Phoenix, AZ – Day #1

Well, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been a bit MIA over here at TCL, but I have good reason. I’ve been in Phoenix, AZ for the last week-ish for work and boy has it been a whirlwind! Sadly, my bags were pretty tight and I made the tough decision to leave my DSLR at home. I, of course, missed my camera terribly and will probably do better to make space for it next time.

I spent pretty much the entire day Tuesday just flying to AZ between 1 stop and long flights. I left my home around 7am and got to my hotel in AZ by about 9pm ET.



I was lucky enough to travel with a co-worker, Y, whom I’ve traveled with before. As soon as we got to the airport, we hit up a rental car shuttle to pick up our car for the trip. First things I noticed – big mountains in the background, bright-bright sun, blue-blue skies, cactus, palm trees, and lots of flat land.


First up, we picked up our rental car.


Just kidding…this one is actually our rental. I recognized it immediately as the “hamster car.


The keys were already in the car for us.


Check out the digital dashboard – 100F!


Interesting highway traffic mitigation system. Sign reads “One vehicle per green.” It helped pace the cars merging onto the highway.


This is what it looks like driving down almost all the roads in Phoenix. Big open blue sky, tall mountains all around in the distance, and hardly anything cluttering the view.


Unfortunately, we arrived right around rush hour and got stuck in quite a bit of traffic. It was 2 hours from the time we landed till we got to our hotel room. Phew!


By the time we got to the hotel room, I felt like this.

But, I still wanted to get a really good dinner in and so did Y.


The sun was setting by the time we went out for dinner and the skyline looked so beautiful!


We found a neat shopping center with tons of small, local dining options.


We walked by each restaurant, checking out the scene and the menu before settling on Kokopelli – a restaurant featuring house wines.




The theme of the restaurant was strongly laid out through the restaurant with wine bottles and barrels all over.


I wanted to try the Gewurztraminer – (Ge-verz’-tra-me’-ner) – Fruit and spice nose, honeyed, dry fruitiness on the palate. – Silver Medal, but they were out of that AND the viogner. Boo!


I did end up sampling the pinot grigio and the chardonnay and went with the chardonnay, which was quite nice. (Both were, but I just preferred the latter).





I started with the Spinach with Candied Pecans Salad. It was divine! I loved every bite of it!


We also had some really lovely bread with some honey butter.


For my entree, I was torn between the Merlot Braised Pot Roast (from the menu – “seasoned roast, seared and then slow-roasted in our Merlot and it’s own juices“) and the Garlic Chicken. When I mentioned my selections for entree, she quickly suggested the pot roast saying it was a specialty of theirs, so I took her advice. I was soooo glad I did!

The plate came out piping hot with mounds of tender pot roast in a cozy gravy-like sauce with broccoli and mashed potatoes. I was very happy to find bits of skin in my mashed potatoes so I knew they used real potatoes. I think the skin adds nice texture, too (not to mention, I believe there’s extra nutrition in the skin maybe?). Dinner was the perfect comfort food after such a long and draining day of travel. Y and I were both so happy after dinner – totally on Cloud 9!

I really wanted to check out what delicious dessert concoctions they had, but Y and I were too stuffed to even share something. Maybe next time?

After that, it was bed time for moi. I decided to try to maintain my East coast sleep schedule so I wouldn’t be too jet lagged when I got home, so I hit the sack around 9:30 pm PT. I was exhausted anyways, so this was pretty easy.

Up next…AZ Day #2…

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