Friday, 30 December 2016

USA Fam Trip Day 8: 21st November 2015

After a relatively early night returning from dinner at the Hyatt Regency we were up early for another breakfast meeting and site inspection; this time at the Royal Palms.
As soon as we pulled up I knew I was going to like this place; built like a small Spanish village with alleyways, courtyards and arches and (most importantly) not too big!

We enjoyed breakfast before heading out on a tour with Nate the regional reservations manager.  I decided to end my journey as I had started it with eggs Benedict and they were sublime, with crispy potato cakes as well.  Poor Nate had been thrown in at the deep end as the person we were supposed to see was off ill but he did very well and showed us right around the property and answered all of our questions.

I loved the laid back feel and the tiled courtyards with their pretty gardens...

We had a few hours before checking out and going to the airport so most of us went into Downtown Scottsdale for a wander around.

Situated east of Phoenix, Scottsdale today is known for it's golf courses, lovely hotels and (to us Brits) ambient weather.  There wasn't a cloud to be seen during our couple of days and it was lovely to feel the warm sun on our faces, yet the locals had their polo neck sweaters on and fires were burning in every hearth, I guess we are just made of sturdier stuff lol

In the mid 1880's US Army Chaplain Winfield Scott visited the area and saw potential for agricultural development.  He bought 640 acres of land in 1888 and he and his wife and brother set up a farm and brought settlers from the east and midwest.

The area was called Orangedale due to the number of citrus groves they had but they also grew figs, nuts and potatoes.  In 1894 the town was renamed Scottsdale and just two years later they opened the first schoolhouse which was quickly followed by a General Store and Post Office.  The first resort The Ingleside Inn opened in 1909 but the second, the Jokake Inn didn't open until 1920 - this building still stands today in the grounds on the Phoenician Hotel.

Stacey, Martyn and I meandered up and down the streets full of shops and galleries, pausing to buy presents and nik naks and take pictures...

before bumping into Judith and Karen at the Rusty Spur - well, that was it for the rest of the afternoon!

We sat drinking Grand Canyon beer (out of the bottle) while listening and singing along with the live band and generally had a laugh - we were having such a good time that other people kept joining in our conversations and moving their seats!  We really had to tear ourselves away to get back to The Phoenician in time to finish packing, change and check out which was a shame as I think we'd have sat there all night as well lol

And that was it, we headed to the airport just as the sun was setting, thanks to Curtis for this one...

Our flight was delayed a little but we made use of the business class lounge before departing for London.  What an amazing trip with a great group of people and it's even better knowing we're still in touch a year later :)

The three Musketeers had time to squeeze in one last selfie though...

From Las Vegas through to Scottsdale and a whole lot of miles, experiences and laughs in between we had a ball xxx

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