Thursday, November 30, 2017

An Impromptu Getaway to the Desert

I'm popping in real quick with an update because I'm worried that if I don't get a blog post up tonight, it might not happen for another week. The past few days have been crazy, and the weekend's shaping up to be just as packed. But I wanted to share the deets on our recent spur-of-the-moment mini-trip.

First, let me get situated.


Perfect. 

Late November had us spending more than usual. That's mostly due to the impromptu anniversary trip we took to Phoenix right after Thanksgiving. We woke up on Black Friday figuring that we'd lay low and laze around for the long weekend, but Fortysomething just *happened* to check Expedia and discovered some great deals in the desert. The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch was offering 50% off their rooms for the weekend, so we snagged two nights at the special rate, threw clothing and swimsuits into a bag, hopped into the car, and got our mini-vacay on. 



Nightswimming

(Sidenote: This isn't intended to be a hotel review, but I would absolutely recommend this resort. It's a little on the older side and the interior feels like a cross between a wine cellar and a WWII bunker, but it's well maintained and the pool is amazing. Plus, when we discovered that the people next door were prone to loud, ummmm, interactions, the front desk was able to move us to a quieter room immediately. Also, 50% off.)

While we were there, we hit up the ever-wondrous Trader Joe's for snacks and went out to eat at some pretty fantastic (and relatively affordable) dining spots, all of which we would recommend if you're in the Phoenix area: Scramble (a breakfast restaurant with vegan options), Pomo Pizzeria (wood-fired pizza, also with vegan options), and FreshMint (a casual Vietnamese restaurant with - you guessed it! - vegan options). I guess I should add Panera to that list, too, since The Kiddo is obsessed with it and insisted we have lunch there.

Other than hanging out at the pool, we met up with some relatives and tried to hike Camelback Mountain. I say "tried" because it turns out that there are two trails on Camelback, one that you could describe as Difficult But Doable and one that's Pretty Near Impossible. I accidentally took us to the latter. The hike came to an abrupt end when we found ourselves staring up what basically amounted to a cliff face with a handrail and the Kiddo refused to take another step. We turned around and went to Papago Park instead.

Phoenix in its smoggy winter glory
Papago Park

Phoenix isn't really my cup of tea for most of the year - it's too dang hot - but in the winter, I adore it. Sometimes you just need some sunshine.

Ah, you savvy personal finance people are asking, that's nice. But what was the cost?

The breakdown:

Hotel, including all taxes and fees (2 nights): $258.58

Food, including all restaurant meals and grocery trips: $204.56

Total cost: $463.14

Inexpensive? No, but Fortysomething and I didn't buy each other any presents, and the time away together on our anniversary was priceless. We covered our expenses with money from our travel fund. Granted, we weren't planning on doing that, but I feel absolutely comfortable with our decision to do so. 

After all, money is meant to be used... on the things you really value and care about. And for us, this trip fit that bill.

Disease Called Debt

13 comments:

  1. What a great way to spend an anniversary. That pool looks quite inviting. So glad the hotel was accommodating with regards to the noise level. LOL. The last time I went to Pheonix, I definitely remember the deliciousness of food. FreshMint sounds like an awesome place to eat. Will keep that in mind!

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    1. I chose FreshMint on a whim. It was kind of dark and questionable-looking when we went in, but the food was pretty great. I ordered a hot pot and devoured the entire thing. I definitely recommend giving it a try the next time you're in town!

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  2. What a fun impromptu trip!! I love last minute getaways :)

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    1. Me, too! I love traveling, and I love that there are so many options within driving distance of our town.

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  3. Looks do fun! And not bad with the expenses either! I haven't been on a last minute getaway in too long. I'd say this is inspiration, but then I'd start planning, defeating the impromptu aspect. :p

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    1. Thank you! It was a fun and much-needed getaway. I didn't realize how much I needed a break until we were in the car and on our way. It was really relaxing.

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  4. Fun times! We are in Phoenix and I think we ate dinner at this resort once with a Groupon. I could be wrong though. Great choice in Pomo and Scramble. I hadn't heard of FreshMint. Pomo is one of our favorite pizza places. You guys are kind of close, at least closer than us, to our favorite pizza place in Arizona, Pizzicleta in Flagstaff. Also, something we have done the last few years in the summer is stay at the Arizona Biltmore where you get a room and breakfast, lunch and dinner all for about $199 a night. You get vouchers for the food. For instance, you get to spend about $46 for breakfast and $96 for dinner with not tip required. It is only good for Arizona residents so it is nice to take advantage of as a staycation.

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    1. We loved Pomo! FreshMint was a pleasant surprise... I was a little skeptical when we first reviewed the menu. The hot pot was awesome, though. As for the Biltmore, what a great tip! We will definitely take advantage of that deal.

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  5. I've never been to that area, though I flew over it once. Defintely want to get out to the desert one day.

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    1. It really is lovely... in the winter! :-)

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  6. Sounds wonderful, and I agree - spending money that you have on the things that are important to you is what it is all about. Happy anniversary!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, DeeCee! At first, I wasn't totally sure about spending the money... but it was absolutely worth it.

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