i spent most of this past week in scottsdale, arizona. while it was a business trip, my team and i managed to squeeze in some leisurely pursuits as well ... shh, don't tell anyone.
we stayed at the saguaro, an instagram dream of epic proportions that's only a 5-minute walk from old town scottsdale. just scope the lobby:
and, a cute coffee shop:
however ... the rooms, while funky and fun, were a bit skeevy in that you could tell this place was probably a former by-the-hour motel that got a few coats of paint and some colorful bedding. still, not a terrible place to spend a few nights.
our boss insisted that we stop here on our way to the hotel, as two of us were in-n-out virgins. i got the "animal style" burger and savored every messy, meaty, cheesy calorie in the back of that cab.
we stepped it up a notch for dinner that night with a sit-down meal here, a casual spot with nice ambiance (and a nice bob marley mural). my crispy shrimp caesar salad and reeeeally strong old fashioned were good enough, but i was so glad i convinced everyone to split the s'more pudding for dessert. it came with salted caramel graham crackers and had toffee chunks in it and everyone was just making awkward food moans for a solid 10 minutes. "i can't imagine enjoying anything as much as i enjoyed that," one of my coworkers said nearly three days later when we were reminiscing about it. normal.
the saguaro restaurant
we now interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to get real basic for a hot second. i detoxed the next morning (and the morning after that) with a "yogi breakfast" at the hotel restaurant. just greek yogurt with granola and fruit, apple slices, and almond butter, but oh maaaan it was good, and i felt like i was ready to do some sun salutations and like, harness my chi or some shit immediately after consuming it. namaste?
mcfate brewing company
i forgot how nice it was to dine al fresco in the middle of november. the beer was decent, and my grilled salmon and broccoli was so-so, but the atmosphere was just lovely.
solid mexican. solid margs. excellent lighting fixtures.
a couple of weeks ago, i had mentioned the mannequin challenge to my colleague, who runs social media for our company. given the great vibes at the arizona office -- as well as the great piercings, tattoos, and crazy-colored hair -- we figured it was the place to make it happen. sidenote: there was also a soundtrack of 2000s pop-punk playing there at all times and it made me soooo happy.
anyways, it didn't come out perfect (dammit, dude in the beginning, why did you twitch?!), but considering how many people are involved, i think it's pretty amazing for only one take. the ping-pong ball and the group cheers-ing at the end are my favorite parts. oh, and that's a picture of our CEO that we're swooning over on the phone.
escape the room
half-drunk on margaritas from barrio queen and ready to enter an enchilada coma at 9:30pm, the last thing i wanted to do was a team-bonding exercise, but i'm so happy i did. if you've never done one of those "escape the room" things, it's pretty self-explanatory: they lock you in a themed room (ours was "old western bank heist") and you have an hour to get out with a handful of items, including the key to unlock the door. i knew it was going to be good when the super-sarcastic guy working there made fun of my coworker for being unable to unzip her jacket before we got started -- and when we finally got out, he made her an "i escaped the coat" sign as you can see above. oh, john! i'm pretty proud that my primary contribution to our success was shooting the fake sheriff. i spared the deputy, though. why do they love bob marley so much here?
old town scottsdale
we had the morning to ourselves on friday, so i grabbed an americano and went wandering solo around old town to take some photos. since it was 8:30am, nothing was open yet, and it was a bit creepy, but kinda cool.
this was my first trip to scottsdale -- and to arizona, period -- so i barely scratched the surface of what the area has to offer, but i hope to return to this strange and delightful desert land soon. since this song was stuck in my head for the entirety of the trip (alternating with that "black beatles" tune), i'll leave y'all with this. yippee-ty-ay-yayyy.