Traveling to…Scottsdale

IMG_7019I can’t believe it’s been over a week since my parents came to visit me, and we were spending the morning touring Downtown Scottsdale, something I’ve been wanting to do since my move out here. My parents were not in New Jersey anymore-traded in their sneakers for sandals, hand-picked local vegetables at the Old Scottsdale Farmer’s Market, and grabbed their cowboy hats to photograph the cacti and authentic Arizona architecture. I could tell they were enjoying themselves, and I was too. I had warned them that people were more outgoing here, well more wiling to smile or say hello to a perfect stranger, than those back home. Sure enough, the first person they encountered was a native from New Jersey, who like most others in the Phoenix/Tucson area, but they enjoyed knowing that no matter where your travels may take you, you’ll always find someone with some sort of connection. One of the many reasons I love traveling so much. I definitely felt like a tour guide talking about places I knew, or attempted to remember from my visit two years ago. With the day still young, but no idea where to head off next, we chose to take a drive through the scenic roads of Paradise Valley and gaze at the beautiful homes and ranches. I envied the homes with entire walls of windows, imagined what it’d be like to wake up to the sunshine and mountain skyline everyday. You would wake up feeling alive!

IMG_6844I was excited for this visit and spending some much-needed quality time with my parents. It seems somewhat strange that we won’t be taking a tropical vacation or spending my birthday in a different country this year, yet these days had that nonchalant easiness of being on vacation. It also could be that I was finally using our Canon again, changing the settings according to my lighting and focusing on the delicate petals of each flower. I’ll admit it, I was a little selfish with the camera this weekend, which is why my dad knew to bring his smaller digital camera to take his own photos too. I really missed using a good camera and taking high quality images; not that my iPhone isn’t good, but stuffed french toast just doesn’t look as delicious. Our morning in Scottsdale was a great way to start our week in Tucson, and made me long to come back really soon!IMG_6847IMG_6848IMG_6851IMG_6855IMG_6857PicMonkey CollageStopped for brunch at RnR, where of course I cooled off with a bloody mary and decadent Chambord French Toast topped with fresh raspberries and Chambord-infused cream cheese. Now that’s a breakfast fit for doing some site seeing. PicMonkey CollageIMG_6867 IMG_6869We walked past the Torched Goodness booth to check out their creme brulee creations. I would have loved to try a bite, but the bright red rhubarb and beets drew my eye away. For the first time in my culinary life, I bought rhubarb with the intention of making this classic spring pie, one I’ve never ate or attempted to make before. IMG_6871 IMG_6873 IMG_6874Native Arizona honey, the best way to prevent allergies out hereIMG_6877 IMG_6878 IMG_6881 IMG_6883 IMG_0792 IMG_6905 IMG_7008So many beautiful rocks, each one unique and special IMG_6918

Over the top garden decor, now if I only had a yard large enough

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For a brief moment I felt like I was back in Philadelphia, and I missed the city and summers back homeIMG_1293IMG_6894

A garden of herbs in Scottsdale’s Arts District
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