Arizona 2019 – The Journey Begins

Our trip to Arizona began in Scottsdale and ended abruptly with an early flight home. When we first arrived, we were met by my cousin Janice who whisked us to her lovely house atop a hill overlooking a mountain. My husband and I had a casita to ourselves where we enjoyed the expansive views.

View from Casita

I couldn’t help marveling at the lack of grass, the tall saguaro cactus, the wildflowers, and the distinctive shrubbery. Here’s a sign that caught my fancy and brought home visions of the Wild West.

Posse Headquarters

We’d been to Arizona before and were stunned by the scenery and magnificent landscapes. I wrote about it in Peril by Ponytail, my mystery novel that won third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Marla Vail, my hairstylist sleuth, meets her husband’s extended family for the first time and discovers family secrets no one wants exposed. It was a blast to write with so much material about this amazing state.

Peril by Ponytail

On this trip, I planned to take no notes and to completely relax. It almost worked, except for the frantic finale which I’ll get to later. We spent the next few days at leisure, shopping and dining while adjusting to the three-hour time change. One day at lunch found us at CopperWynd Resort in Scottsdale. The view from the terrace was amazing.

CopperWynd Resort Scottsdale

Fate led us to dinner at an Italian restaurant where we ran into my cousin’s friends. The talented musician playing there that night was son to one of these ladies. We enjoyed the food, the ambiance, and the music by Scott Hallock.

Dinner in Scottsdale

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Coming Next: Road Trip to Flagstaff

MARCO ISLAND, FL

If you’d like to escape for several days to a beach haven away from it all, visit Marco Island. There’s as much or as little as you want to do here, with expansive sandy beaches, boat rides, fine dining, shopping, water sports, and more. Driving onto the island, a two hour drive west from Fort Lauderdale and just south of Naples, we stopped at the Snook Inn for lunch. Located on a waterway, this rustic restaurant offers a scenic view along with outdoor dining. I had Baked Stuffed Shrimp while my husband had Conch Chowder and Crab Cake Sliders. Then we went for cocktails later to Quinn’s on the Beach at the Marriott. Again, we chose outdoor seating so we could watch the sun descend on the horizon.

Snook Inn
Snook Inn

We spent two nights at the Hilton with its lovely pool area, big wide beach, three dining places, plus a lounge. The food in Sandpipers and the Paradise Café was excellent, better than many other restaurants we’ve experienced, with an artistic presentation worthy of the best worldwide establishments. For dinner in the Paradise Café, I ordered Coconut Crusted Tilapia that was absolutely delish. My husband ordered Salmon Oscar, and we shared a Key Lime Pie for dessert. Here you have a choice of eating outside on a screened patio with a view of the sunset and beach or inside in the air-cooled restaurant.

The last night found us at Capri Fish House where we ate outside under the chickee hut facing a waterway. While we waited for our food (I ordered grilled grouper), a thunderstorm struck and lightning flashed all around. Rain poured down, necessitating our moving to another table to avoid getting wet.        

Snook Inn
View from Snook Inn

Other than the food, we enjoyed the beach. The lounge chairs and towels are free at the Hilton. If you want an umbrella, it costs $19 per day. We hunted for seashells, splashed in the sea foam, sniffed the salty sea air, and floated in the bathtub warm water. This mini-vacation came with its comedic moments, such as when the spouse spilled ketchup all over himself or got lost walking on the beach looking for the hotel entrance. I tried to unlock someone else’s room until I realized I was at the wrong door. Good thing our daughter came along to laugh at our mishaps. Family vacations, however short, are treasures to be stored away with memories and photos.

Quinn's on the Beach
Quinn's on the Beach
Hilton Hotel view
Hilton Hotel view
Marco Island Beach
Marco Island Beach
Nancy in the ocean
Nancy in the ocean
Capri Fish House
Capri Fish House
Capri Fish House
Capri Fish House
Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie
Nancy at Capri Fish House
Nancy at Capri Fish House
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset

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