Once we found out we were having a second child, we sat down and talked through what needed to be done before his arrival in the fall. One thing on the very top of our list was to go on a trip…just us two. While we would love to go on a trip with Rory, we really needed time for just ourselves. We’ve spent so much time together at home this past year, and it has been incredible, but there’s just something about getting out of your house, and away from the daily to-do’s, chores, and laundry, that is so needed to really reconnect.
Finn and I have always been big fans of Scottsdale (we went for my 30th birthday a few years back and my grandma used to live in Phoenix, so we would have yearly visits to see her) and we knew that it would be the perfect location for our second babymoon. We had so much fun on our Palm Springs babymoon last year and we thought it would be a good idea to change things up.
Our Scottsdale Babymoon Recap
We went for a long weekend (Thursday-Sunday) and wish we could have snuck in a couple more days of sunshine. However, it was hard enough leaving Rory for that long (thank goodness for FaceTime!) so it was probably the perfect amount of time for our first trip away.
Because we’re both fully vaccinated, we felt safe flying for this trip. At the airport and on the plane, masks are federally mandated, so that put us even more at ease. At all of the indoor public places at the hotel, guests were required to wear masks and the staff wore them the entire time. We spent most of our time outdoors – eating, poolside, walking around – so that was when we felt most comfortable being maskless and around people. In the end, you gotta do what’s right for you and your health situation.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Phoenician in Scottsdale and wow…what a gorgeous resort. The last time we visited Scottsdale, we stayed at The Scott Resort which was a much smaller, boutique hotel – and one we recommend! The Phoenician is ginormous compared to that hotel. It has multiple restaurants, five pools, and an award-winning spa. I’m not gonna lie, the hotel was a bit of a splurge for us, but since we haven’t traveled in over a year, and probably won’t be going anywhere again for a while with the new baby, it was worth it to upgrade to this hotel. I heard from many of my followers on Instagram that they love the Phoenician too and many have gone for babymoons, girls’ trips, and family getaways!
The hotel is near Camelback mountain and it has gorgeous views. We saw stunning sunrises and sunsets and spectacular views of the city and mountain. The Phoenician is about one to two miles from the center of town, where there are tons of restaurants and shops, so we took an Uber a few times to get into town. The hotel does have bike rentals, so you could also do that if you wanted to bike over for dinner or shopping.
What I Packed
The temps were in the 80’s and 90’s during our May visit, so we certainly didn’t need to bring pants! The locals actually said it was pretty cool compared to normal temperatures that can climb over 100 degrees. To us, it felt absolutely amazing because it’s a dry heat. In fact, while we were away it was hotter and muggy back home in Chicago!
We kept things super casual and I mostly packed swimming suits, sandals, and casual dresses for dinner. The only heavier item I brought was a jean jacket that I wore on the plane and brought out to dinners because they hike up that A/C whenever you’re inside anywhere! A lot of my maternity clothes were purchased at a Pea in the Pod last year that was going out of business. (I stocked up on everything because there were crazy good deals!) Here’s a list of some of the other items I brought…
- Heeled Sandals
- Rattan Bag
- Maternity Swimming Suits (I have this one)
- Kimono (to throw over swimming suit at the pool)
- Workout Gear
- Hat (just got this one and love it!)
- Maternity Shorts
- Palm Print Dress
- Black Sunglasses
- Jean Jacket
I wouldn’t stress too much about what to pack as everywhere is pretty casual!
What We Did
We really didn’t want to create too much of an agenda or schedule for ourselves as the entire point of this trip was to relax. Therefore, we spent most of our time resting and reading by the pool. It was glorious and I finished three great books (Eliza Starts a Rumor, Beach Read, and In Five Years). With the time change (two hours later back home), we found ourselves in bed by 8-9pm and up by 6am. It worked out great because we got lots of sleep at night and had time in the morning to grab a good spot by the pool and then eat breakfast and explore a bit.
Most of our afternoons were spent poolside drinking frozen drinks (virgin for me!), people watching, and reading. They had cabanas that you could rent for a price, but we never had trouble getting a spot, especially since we were up so early.
The resort has a tremendous golf course and driving range and if we had one more day there, I think Finn would have golfed. (I am a terrible golfer.) Next time!
We spent one afternoon and evening shopping and eating in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s a cute little area with small shops and tourist attractions. Finn couldn’t help himself and instantly wanted to buy all of the adorable little outfits for Rory. That entire area is really easy to explore by foot. You can get dropped off by Fashion Square and then make your way down Scottsdale Road, stopping at bars, restaurants, and shops. Lots to see!
Hiking the Quartz Ridge Trail
My favorite part of the trip was when we spent a morning hiking. The most popular place to hike in Scottsdale is Camelback Mountain. There are two trails on each side, however, the one on the Phoenician side of the mountain is currently closed. Camelback can get pretty crowded and has some advanced terrain, so we asked our concierge for a different trail that would be less intense for this pregnant mama. She suggested the Quartz Ridge Trail which was about a fifteen minute Uber ride from our hotel.
Wow, this trail was spectacular! I wish I could hike it every single week. We got there around 6:45am and probably spent about two hours hiking to the top and back down. It was absolutely gorgeous and not too crowded. We stopped every now and then to drink water, take pictures, and just soak in the sites.
The beginning is a nice steady incline up, but once you get toward the top, it definitely gets more difficult. I was huffing and puffing and it ended up being a great workout for us both.
Here are some tips when it comes to hiking…
- Go early! The trails open at sunrise and we got there around 6:45am. By the time we left at 8:30am, it was getting more and more crowded. Plus, if you go early, the sun and temps are less intense.
- Bring layers. We started with light jackets and ended up quickly ditching them as the morning went on. Parts of the trail were in the sun and parts were in the shade, so dress accordingly.
- Bring water…lots of water! The heat is no joke and it’s really easy to get dehydrated. Finn brought a backpack and filled it with lots of bottles of water.
What We Ate
We always joke that on our vacations all we do is rest and eat…and our Scottsdale babymoon was no different. Because we didn’t want to be tied to plans, we only made one dinner reservation ahead of time at J&G Steakhouse. We probably should have booked a few more, because places got crowded. So if you’re planning your own Scottsdale trip, I’d probably make reservations ahead of time.
- Poolside: All of our lunches were spent poolside at the hotel and the food was fantastic! It was a Meditteranean-style grill with yummy salads, fish tacos, and kabobs.
- J&G Steakhouse: This was actually a restaurant at our hotel that is one of the best fine dining spots in Scottsdale. The views are spectacular and the food was good.
- Mowry & Cotton: Another spot at our resort with delicious food. We had breakfast here in the mornings and dinner on our last night.
- Diego Pops: This came highly recommended from readers and it was an adorable spot! We ended up sitting on their patio for a drink and some guacamole as the wait for a table was pretty long on a Friday night. However, many readers recommended getting the brussel sprout nachos! And the tacos looked fantastic…
- Grimaldi’s Pizza: On our day of shopping, we ended up sharing a pizza at this casual spot. It was delicious.
- Pussycat Gelato: We stopped here for a treat after dinner and it didn’t disappoint. Yummy gelato.
Here are a few other spots we’ve visited on past trips to Scottsdale that we’ve loved…
- Olive & Ivy
- Bandera (we have one in Chicago too and love it!)
- Original ChopShop
- The Montauk
If you have other suggestions, please share in the comments below. That way this blog post can be a good resource for anyone traveling to Scottsdale soon!
Loving Our Scottsdale Babymoon
I’m so happy we planned this Scottsdale babymoon. Time away, just the two of us, was so needed to reconnect and focus on our relationship. While we missed Rory (like crazy!!), we rested easy knowing she was having a blast with Grama. I’m not sure when we’ll be able to sneak in another trip, just the two of us, but this was a good reminder to prioritize our marriage so we could come back as refreshed parents.Casey