The reason behind the Arizona trip was to attend my very good friend Joe’s wedding. We used to work together as designers at an ad agency in the bay area and have kept in touch ever since. I started making travel plans as soon as we got the invite for Joe and Terra’s wedding – 10/10/10 – very nice! I did a bunch of research online and learned that holy smokes, it’s expensive to fly from Sacramento to Phoenix on Southwest without any special deals. We ended up going with U.S. Air because of that. We flew into Phoenix, rented a car and ended up here:
The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa – what a beautiful hotel. We spent a little time exploring after our Heart Attack Grill experience.
The backside of the hotel has a man made waterway that runs shuttle boats to Rawhide – a western town and steakhouse. It’s an 1880’s frontier town that includes live action shoot em’ up shows, horse rides, a mini train and period shops. It’s part of the Gila River Indian Community.
This photo was taken by another hotel guest. Our boat driver was hilarious. We got to listen to the theme from the Love Boat, A Sponge Bob song, the theme from Gilligan’s Island and Will Smith’s Wild Wild West – it was too funny. We walked around the western town for a bit and then got a call from Joe inviting us to his place. He got a miniature schnauzer 4 years ago because he loved Higgins so much. It was my chance to meet Minga Von Schnauzer for the first time and to check out his new house.
She was such a love bug – made me miss Higgy. We hung out with Joe for a while and then Dan and I headed back to the hotel for drinks in the bar.
This is an outside view of the lower level of the hotel – the bar was to the right. We sat in over-sized leather club chairs which was a relaxing end to a rather busy day.
Next on the agenda in the morning was to meet up with my online friend Stephanie. We met online through my old blog. It’s been a good 6-7 years. We are part of an email group and have sent cards, gifts, texts, etc. but we had never met. I am happy to report, she is not scary. Hah! We met for breakfast at the Eggery and had a wonderful time. 2.5 hours of non-stop conversation – so happy to finally meet her and looking forward to her upcoming visit to Sacramento around the holidays.
After breakfast Dan and I decided to hit the hotel pool for a few hours before we needed to get ready for the wedding.
My girlfriend Jess always takes a foot/pool photo on her vacations, so this one is for you Jess!
The hotel has 5 pools and water slides for the kids. Something didn’t feel right about taking photos of strangers in their bathing suits laying out by the pool – so use your imagination, resort wear, fruity drinks, etc. It was pretty cool, our lounge chairs had little flags on the backs, raise the flag and the servers come right over. Haven’t enjoyed something like that since our wedding/honeymoon in Maui.
Next up… Joe and Terra’s wedding at Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona.
Had to get a picture of my dress as we were leaving the hotel, wish I could of gotten a photo of us together, but nobody was around. The sky just seems unreal, such a vibrant blue.
The golf course was beautiful.
The weather was perfect – not too hot with a little breeze.
The groom, Joe – looking dapper in his wedding suit. He’s in Maui right now enjoying his honeymoon – so jealous! I didn’t get a pre-wedding shot of the bride, Terra – too many people in front of us to get a good view during their vows. The ceremony was really sweet – parts made me cry.
The reception was held on an outdoor patio by waterfalls.
I loved the satin paisley fabric for the tables. I’ve never been to a reception that had a patterned table cloth, they looked gorgeous. All of the girls at my table wanted to make PJ’s out of them, LOL.
The table flowers were so simple and elegant.
Same with the cake, I loved it! – I had the chocolate layer – chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling, it was delicious! The table next to us had the vanilla layer.
The first course salad was simple and one of my favorite things of the night. Mixed greens with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes and black beans. I chose the creamy lime dressing and it was amazing. Dan had the Spanish Sherry Vinaigrette. Gotta re-create the creamy lime dressing in my own kitchen.
We basically ate by candlelight, so I don’t have any dinner food photos worth sharing.
But I did capture the swanky nacho bar before dinner – OMG, the corn relish salsa was incredible. They also had passed platters of appetizers. Southwest eggrolls and scallops. We both enjoyed several mango margaritas, yum! I also captured the Intermezzo – Lemon Sorbet garnished with fresh lime.
The perfect palate cleanser… We had a really fun table and lots of laughs were shared with new friends.
We’re so happy for Joe and Terra and glad we got to be part of their wedding celebration. The entire trip was a much needed break from our crazy over-scheduled lives. Every time we go away – even for a mini weekend getaway, it reminds us that we need to do it more often. Our financial planner/tax accountant refers to it as “marriage insurance” – love that!
I’m looking forward to planning our next getaway. Any ideas or suggestions? Where should we go for a long weekend?