So I’ve been wanting to return to Phoenix for a while now. I left in January 2016 after five months there - and I hadn’t been back since.
I tried to make a trip out west a few months ago but it just wasn’t the right time. When I was able to get a few days off work this month, I booked the trip without thinking twice.
Admittedly I wanted to go to Phoenix in the summer months - when it was hot! I wanted to once again get the whole experience haha. But we went in October - when the weather was more tolerable (low 80s).
We stayed in Old Town Scottsdale, within walking distance to some pretty fun bars and restaurants.
On the first day, we walked to Culinary Dropout for a happy hour. The food and drinks were great. I would highly recommend that place! I had never been when I lived there.
We then checked out a bar closer to our hotel. The Arizona Cardinals were playing so it was neat to be there for that (although they lost).
The next day we woke up early to hike Camelback Mountain. I am NOT a hiker by any means but when in Rome, right?
The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. We hiked for a good hour before I got tired/scared and we had to turn around. The hike was fun at first - but the path got more narrow as you climbed higher! I was freaking out. NOPE.
After our hike, we had breakfast at La Grande Orange! It is a favorite of mine. Then - we went to LAST CHANCE, which is more of a flea market/TJ Maxx/what is going on.
I discovered the store while living there. Basically - Nordstrom has a really, really lenient return policy. Everything that gets returned - or things that simply don’t sell in Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack - get sent to Last Chance.
It is such a cluster there. First of all - the line was wrapped around the building. I will admit to waiting outside the store doors for it to open in the past but I never waited OUTSIDE. A cashier told me they had to change the rules after someone was pushed down the stairs racing to get into the store.
Anyway, the store opens at 10 and everyone who waited in line outside is escorted in. You have to walk. If you run, you’ll be asked to leave.
Then - those of us who showed up later are allowed in. We’re to remain in a single-file line, down the stairs and into the store.
You can score some great finds in there! It’s why people wait for hours before the store opens. Anything Nordstrom sells - can be found there at a VERY steep discount.
I lucked out on these Jimmy Choo heels for $130. They look brand new.
ESPN anchor Sam Ponder said she got her entire wardrobe for this season from Last Chance. (She is native to Phoenix). And there are others who make THOUSANDS of dollars from buying items from there and reselling at a higher price on eBay/Poshmark.
We then went to have drinks at Four Peaks. We had a few local beers - then headed to Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers in North Scottsdale for dinner. YUM.
The next day we woke up early again, which is not hard to do when your body is on eastern time. We were supposed to go to Sedona but we decided to make the trip to the Grand Canyon because…why not.
The drive there was STUNNING. Arizona is a beautiful state. The weather dropped drastically as we drove north. We had to stop at Walmart so Gary could get something with long sleeves.
The Grand Canyon was beautiful. We only went to one overlook point but it was enough. There were A LOT of tourists there and it was chilly! ha
We drove back to Phoenix and made a pit stop at In-N-Out Burger.
We then went to a few more bars near our hotel, which was fun.
Later that night - we ate pizza at Pizzeria Bianco. It was good but didn’t live up to the hype.
We then stopped to get an ice-cream sandwich (I know, we pigged out this day) before going back to the hotel.
We left at 5:30am on Sunday.
Good to see you Phoenix :)