Monday, June 23, 2008

George Michael Concert

Wonderful!!! I was so excited with my fourth row tickets, center stage. I've never had seats so wonderful. I sat next to Katie and Linda. All three of us came to the concert by ourselves because we love George Michael and no one that we know feels the same way. It was a blast! We were from different 'decades' so had different perspectives of him. Linda was sharing some teen crush notes listed a new born child in my home...and Katie was in college. Three entirely different generations enjoying the same music. He started about 45 minutes late (even though the tickets said that the show would start PROMPTLY AT 8PM with no bands to warm up the crowd). I fall for that every time. So I sat in my seat promptly at 8PM, and waited. But when it started, wowowowowowo, it was worth it.

New best concert friend Katie and I sitting wayyyyy up front. That is the crowd behind us!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sauce in Scottsdale

Went to Sauce with Karl and Coco after French class. This is a Fox Concept Restaurant, a group specializing in "boutique" restaurants. This is at the Scottsdale Waterfront near Nordstrom's in Scottsdale. Kalen has eaten and recommended the Macaroni and Cheese. He has been here several times and brought his Grandmother Jane to enjoy the Mac and Cheese. I think that she was surprised at the taste. I will have to come back with him because we had pizza instead.

A large menu is posted on the wall as you enter the restaurant. Orders are placed at the two cash registers in front of the wine bar. The hostess explained a few things about their specials (of which NONE applied to what we wanted to order) and took our order. She was kind enough to split the tab into three sections so that we could pay individually. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio and they gave us three chilled glasses to take to the table.

Ahh, now for the food. We decided to order two 12" Gourmet Think Crust Pizzas. The Sausage and Carmelized Onions was wonderful for $9.50. The Chicken Caesar and Parmasan was also $9.50 and looked like a salad dumpted on the pizza crust, with wonderful shave slices of parmasan cheese. It was actually quite good. The wine was light and fresh and chilled. The main person (the guy who floated around the tables asking how we were doing) refilled the wine glasses and poured full glasses, which set off a conversation about how bad it was to do that since the wine stays chilled better if it is allowed to remain in the bottle. Lesson learned! We finished both pizzas, and I doubt that we would have been satisfied to split just one. The conversation was the best part of the meal, as we tried our best to discuss summer vacation plans in French and it sounded very fluent to me. I must admit that my French is better with a little wine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mi Ranchito

Cute little four table place outside of the chip factory. The woman gave me a tour of the chip manufacturing and a sample bag of fresh off the line chips. Yum! I had a red and green burrito. Tasty. Fun time and new friends.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Spa at Camelback Inn

Day 3 on our exhausting mission to live the life of leisure as "Spa Girls." We headed to The Spa at Camelback in for facials. We arrived about lunch time and checked in, then went to Sprouts Restaurant for a healthy lunch. If you want to see a picture of the view from the restaurant.

This spa had a different atmosphere than the other two. Southwest,
yes, bit with an "urban" feel to it. We spent about two hours lounging in the hot tub and outside under the palm trees. About 1/2 hour before our facials, we moved into the lounge area. It was a quiet place with about ten lounge chairs. We settled into two chaises and took a brief nap. When our names were called, we were escorted to our treatment rooms for another wonderful experience.

I ordered the Camelback Signature Facial. The online brochure describes it as: Blends of grapefruit, mandarin orange, cranberry and pomegranate make this facial the ultimate in aromatherapy. Accompanying the therapeutic aromas of pure plant extracts is a detoxifying pumpkin enzyme treatment followed by a specialized mask customized to your skin type. Your relaxation is further enhanced by a gentle hot stone hand and foot massage.

It was wonderful!

My sister ordered the Sonoran Rose. She described it as incredible. The brochure describes it as: Our two most popular facials are now blended to form a fabulous treatment. This patented skincare line has stabilized oxygen in creams containing Vitamins A and E as excellent free-radical scavengers. A deep pore cleansing and the rich aromatic essence of the rose relaxes, soothes and softens skin. During this facial, an application of Glycolic Acid removes surface build-up of dry skin on the face, hands and arms leaving the texture of the skin fresh and radiant.

Great day, again, and we were exhausted. We made it home and then arranged with Kalen to have dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. I didn't add the photos on this day but check the July 4 posting for the restaurant.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mustangs and Massage - Aji Spa at Wild Horse Pass

G mentioned some time ago that she would like to start riding horses again. So when I saw the listing for "Mustangs and Massage" at Aji Spa, I knew that it was a good pick.

This information is from the website:
Spend the morning on horseback in search of the 1,500 Wild Horses that roam the Gila River Indian Community and enjoy an afternoon of luxurious pampering with this one of a kind package offered at Aji Spa. Cowboys from the Equestrian Center will greet you on horseback for a 1.5 hour ride through ancient tribal lands where descendents of the Spanish El Conquistador’s noble Mustangs roam free. Keep an eye for a rare view of these amazing wild animals before returning to the spa. Indulge in the sanctuary of Aji Spa for the rest of the day while enjoying a saddle-soothing 50-minute full body massage (excludes Watsu) and delicious lunch at Aji Cafe.

We started the morning with a 9AM ride. We were part of a group of about 8 women, so our guide had his hands full. He was from Pima/Maricopa Tribe and his brother owned the stables. He lead the way through the desert, pointed out the wild mustangs on the property and discussed other desert flora and fauna. He kept a sharp eye out for things that would cause the horses to spook (such as SNAKES) and the ride was delightfully uneventful.

My horse, Jessie, liked to be in the lead so she always kept trying to get to the front of the line next to the guide. Cowboy Roger noted that horses tend to take on the personality of the riders.

Was that directed at me?

When we returned, we jumped into the pool for our mid-morning chat. We ordered our poolside meal and decided to share: Pasilla Flat Bread Pizza with Anchiote Chicken made with Pepicha Basil Pesto, Oven Roasted Chicken Tenders, Sweet Onions, Roasted Peppers & Mexican Cheeses spiked with Ancho Pepper Aioli. We also ordered flat breads with assorted dips and spreads. All were excellant.
Ginan is my CMO...Chief Motivation Officer. She does a lot to keep me headed forward and has become a huge supporter for the 3 Day Walk. So, as I was trying to lay on the couch in the evening to watch a DVD about Andy Warhol (we will be at the museum in July), we took a break so that I could get my 3 Miles in for the day. It was tough as I was exhausted from the day's activities. But off we went, down the Old Cross Cut Canal parkway that runs along side 48th Street. 3 full miles, and I am very happy to have kept up with my training plan. Obviously she didn't think that 1.5 hours on horseback was enough for the day.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Carefree Resort & Spa

Our destination today was the Carefree Resort & Spa. We started the morning with breakfast with Kalen at La Grande Orange. Then took 101 North to Pima Road and further north to Carefree. The day started with a 4.5 mile walk through the neighborhood. It was a tough one as there were (surprisingly) a lot of hills. We took a water break in downtown Carefree, which is where the World's Largest Sundial is located.

A plaque on the dial reads:
"Solar engineer John Yellot and architect Joe Wong designed the sundial for K.T. Palmer in 1959. It stretches 62 feet and points to the North Star. Solar local time is 27.7 minutes behind Mountain Standard Time and the hour markers are adjusted to compensate. The town of Carefree added copper cladding in 1990."

On our return to the resort, stopped for lunch on the patio. We had wonderful Nicoise salads and two glasses of fresh lemonade. After enjoying the meal, we changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool. The water was and so refreshing! We were a little anxious about the time, so we returned to the spa to wait for our massages. What a delight! If you have never had an 80 minute massage, do so. It is delightful.

G selected the C a r e f r e e M a s s a g e - A light to medium pressure massage designed to
heighten senses, allow complete relaxation, and stress relief. It worked!

I selected the T h e r a p e u t i c M a s s a g e - This deep pressure area specific massage focuses
on relieving pain, stiffness, and muscle soreness caused by injury or overuse. It helps to promote an overall sense of well being while improving posture and body awareness. (I now have an overall sense of well being!)

We returned home to change and meet Kalen for dinner in Scottsdale.

All in all, a great day. We were sound asleep by 8:30 PM. This is truly exhausting work.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Paisley Violin - again!

I told Karl that he had to join me for a lunch at the Paisley Violin. He retired before I had found the little restaurant tucked away on Grand. David made my double espresso, and Karl had the iced tea.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chicago Live!!

Kalen and I attended the Chicago/Doobie Brothers concert at the Dodge Theatre. I thought that the Doobie Brothers were incredible. They often had the audience on their feet, dancing. Seated two rows in front of us was a man who looked like he could be quiet "Ernie from Accounting". He was rocking out and singing along with every song. Chicago was a little too laid back, and Kalen fell asleep. He said that it was the music that used to play as a child when it was bedtime, so it was a conditioned reflex. The grand finale presented both bands playing together, and the audience, again, was on their feet. Strong ending and a good choice for the show. I have now become a big Doobie Brothers fan...after all these years!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Market Cafe at the Buttes

Four of the women from my ASU MBA class, Joey, Barbara, me and Nevida, met for a Sunday lunch. at the Market Cafe at the Buttes. (Missing are Maggie and Maria.) We had a wonderful window seat (and the windows were all opened) and took in the beautiful views from on top of the Buttes.

I did take some photos of the food, so check back later.

Okay, finally back to add the photos of the yummy lunch. To start with, the fries were very good.