October 08, 2003

The Rest of Our Trip

In addition to enjoying the lovely Palmer-Brown wedding (see my post about it below), we also had a very nice trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.

The weather was beautiful, if hot. It was in the mid 90s all 3 days we were there. Somehow that's unbearable in San Jose but I didn't mind it too much in AZ. I guess the desert atmosphere places the heat in an environmental context, so my brain doesn't protest too much.

Thursday night we met up with my brother, sister in law, and parents and went out to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. I know, I know, it's one of those chain restaurants. But darn it if it isn't good! Despite their 15 page menu (in which, unfortunately, every other page is local advertisements--annoying!) the food is really pretty good. They have this awesome fire-roasted artichoke that I love. See, I have this thing about appetizers. I love them. I could make a whole meal out of them, and often do. Particularly buffalo wings. But grilled artichokes, when I can find them, are the best. Cheesecake Factory's come grilled in a balsamic vinaigrette and a garlic dipping sauce. Mmmmmmm. Other family members ordered salads that turned out to be twice the size of your head. My dad had an orange chicken he really liked. Overall, I recommend the Cheesecake Factory, if you ignore the ads in their menu (which I think is tacky).

Friday morning the boys (sans Kevin) went golfing while the girls (plus Kevin) headed to the Stress Less Step day spa. Ahhhhh, what better way to spend a lazy vacation morning? I had an hour long Swedish massage that left me feeling nice, mushy, and relaxed. Then I had the Asian body scrub. Wow, that was fantastic! First I went into the steam room, then they loofah you off to exfoliate the dead skin, then they rub you all over with a body scrub cream. You take a shower at that point, then they lather body milk all over you. My skin has never felt so soft! I literally glowed after this treatment. It was wonderful.

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After a tough day at the spa, it was time for a nap! We stayed at the Scottsdale Links Resort. Our room was quite nice--a full one bedroom apartment with dining room, living room, and kitchen complete with oven, fridge, and diswasher. It even had a washer and dryer. My parents got an even better deal with a two bedroom apartment. We later learned that in addition to working as a hotel, these are also time shares. The drawback? Uncomfortable beds and Kleenex sized bathroom towels. The thin, scratchy kind of Kleenex they used to have at school.

Friday evening we headed down to the parent's room for a little happy hour with a good family friend, artist Heidi Rosner. Heidi is an engineer by training and worked with my father for several years at TRW before moving to Arizona to pursue her art. Her watercolors are beautiful--visit her site and check it out!

For dinner we headed to the Fox Sports Grill which is your basic sports bar with a nice restaurant attached. Of course I had to order an appetizer (calamari, to share) and had a caesar salad for dinner. Our waiter, Jason, was very friendly and chatty. It was a nice dinner.

Saturday morning my parents and brother headed out with us to Taliesin West. Taliesin (pronounced "tally-essen") West was architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home in Arizona. He came each October through May before returning to his summer home, Taliesin, in Wisconsin. Taliesin West was a beautiful example of Wright's architecture and how well he incorporated the natural surroundings and scenery. It's still a working architectural college (25 students max) with an interesting college curriculum. If you're in the Phoenix area, don't miss Taliesin West.

Saturday evening was the wedding, and Sunday we went home, so that sums up our little Arizona adventure!

Posted by Shelby at October 8, 2003 07:47 PM

I *love Cheesecake Factory*! I think one is coming to the Sacramento area - I hope so.

Posted by: suzi at October 8, 2003 10:20 PM
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