Americas,  Travel

A Weekend in Scottsdale

We spent last weekend in Scottsdale visiting Colin’s cousin and his family who live down there. It was our first time in Arizona and the weekend was certainly a whirlwind trip. But we managed to fit in lots of family time, sunshine, sports and cowboy gear during our lightning fast weekend in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Arts Festival

On Saturday, we headed out to the Scottsdale Arts Festival in downtown Scottsdale. I love going to local festivals and markets when I’m visiting a new place. This one was fun, but definitely more for looking than for shopping. I thought it might be more crafts and little things to buy – but it was more paintings, sculptures and expensive pieces of art. But again, it was all nice to look at. And there was a lot to see! Unfortunately, we happened to catch one of Arizona’s few rainy days and spent the last half of the festival ducking for cover.

Old Town Scottsdale

Colin, the reluctant cowboy
Gordon, getting right into it!

After the Festival, we headed to Old Town Scottsdale. It was like walking through an old timey town from a country western movie. Of course, it was also insanely touristy. There were countless tourist shops with little trinkets to buy. There were also lots of cowboy boots for sale. So yeah, you could tell everything there was overpriced and catered to tourists. But, it was still fun. We also found a restaurant, Cien Agaves, with delicious shrimp tacos, street corn and really cheap margaritas!

Scottsdale Rodeo

On Saturday night, we headed to the Scottsdale Rodeo. And I had no clue what to expect. I’ve never been to a rodeo before and really wasn’t ready for all the cowboy hats, bell-bottom jeans and shiny belt buckles. It was a lot of fashion I didn’t quite understand. The rodeo itself was also something I didn’t really understand. Colin and I would try to guess what the scores would be for each event before they came up and we were always so off. Watching some of the events, like the barrel racing and bucking horseback riding, was really cool. But others, like when they wrestled the steers or tied the cows’ legs, just seemed cruel. There was also a monkey strapped to a dog and forced to chase goats – that one I did not enjoy at all.

Family Time

The whole purpose of our weekend in Scottsdale? Spending time with Colin’s family. It was really nice to visit with Gordon and Beth, and their girls, Lydia and Elena (and their dog, Thomas). It’s nice to go somewhere and have family to stay with, show us around and spend time with. Gordon and Beth’s home is beautiful! Seriously, it’s one of those HGTV houses they would reveal at the end of episode and the couple buying it would cry with happy tears. They also had an awesome hot tub and pool that we got to enjoy.

Besides spending time in the hot tub, we also enjoyed some great meals with the Schryers. We had brunch on Saturday and invited some of Colin’s second cousins, who happened to be in Arizona too. We also got to watch Gordon’s hockey game (which was more successful than the Canucks one we watched later), admired the awesome cacti and homes in their neighbourhood, and enjoyed a birthday cake for Colin’s birthday.

Canucks vs Coyotes

So one of the reasons we came down for this weekend in Scottsdale was because our Vancouver Canucks were playing the Arizona Coyotes. Kind of like when we went to LA to watch the Canucks play the Anaheim Ducks. Who knew I liked hockey enough to travel to watch games? (Spoiler alert: I don’t.)

The Canucks happened to be playing on Colin’s birthday, so Gordon bought some tickets and invited us down. Now, I’m not the hugest hockey fan. I find the game kind of boring (I prefer basketball where there are points all the time) and I usually can’t follow the puck. But our seats were so awesome for this game that not only could I follow the puck, I could see the players’ faces! Sadly, the Canucks lost (because we suck) but the game was still a lot of fun. And to make it even more fun: Elena and Lydia got to ride on the zambonis before the game started. And Gordon and Beth put a birthday message up for Colin on the big screen.

Spring Training Baseball Game

Gordon got a ball!

More sports? Crazy, I know. But apparently Arizona hosts a lot of spring training for MLB teams. I didn’t know that was a thing but it’s a great way to watch some pre-season games. And the real fans travel to Arizona to hang out with their team in the off-season and watch all of their pre-season games. So on Monday, our last day in Arizona, we headed to a nearby field to watch the Arizona Diamond Backs play the Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately, our seats out by third base were in direct sunlight. As much as we miss the sun living in Vancouver, this was too much. The game had barely begun and we were all sweating and so uncomfortable. So we decided to take a walk along the covered concourse and happened to stumble upon some great seats. They were right behind home plate and, most importantly, in the shade. It was a much more enjoyable game after that!

What did we miss?

Well, we missed a lot! That’s what happens when you only visit a place for a couple of days. We didn’t arrive until dinner hour on Friday and left in the afternoon on Monday – not a lot of time to see it all.

Right in Scottsdale, we wanted to check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum. Apparently you can tour his summer home and see students who still study his work. I’m not the biggest architecture buff or museum fan, but Gordon and Beth said it was pretty cool. There are also botanical gardens in Scottsdale that I think would have been fun to go to. I loved seeing all of the cacti and desert flora on our drives/walks around the area, so it would have been cool to see more.

Of course, there are also lots of hikes around Scottsdale. It was so cool seeing mountain views but very different mountains than the ones we are used to in Vancouver. Now, I’m not much of a hiker. I like a good view, but I’m not too great at the climb up to reach said view. So we missed those on our weekend in Scottsdale, but I can’t promise I would be on them even if we had the time.

And then, there’s the farther away places we wanted to go to. I really wanted to go to Sedona. It looks so beautiful and everyone I talked to said it was a must-see. It’s about two hours from Scottsdale, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to make it there. It would also have been awesome to make it to the Grand Canyon, but that’s even farther. So next time, when we can stay for longer, I’m planning to take a couple days to see both Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

Have you ever been to Scottsdale? What’s on your must-see/must-do list? 


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