Sometimes you just need a change of scenery when you start feeling a lull in your life. I recently felt that wanderlust feeling and chose to head to Scottsdale for a quick getaway. Who doesn’t want a mix of 80-degree weather, cool evening breezes, baseball Spring Training, and some culture?


Culture, in this case, meant a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to see the incredible “Chihuly in the Garden” art installation. Dale Chihuly is best recognized for his studio glass movement and elevating the perception of glass from the realm of craft to fine art. His work is in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Smithsonian. Many know his work from the ceiling in the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas or from the sculptures at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

Although I walked the garden trails at the Desert Botanical Garden at midday, I hear twilight is the most beautiful time to see his work because the installations become uniquely lit. Chihuly’s work will be featured at the gardens through May 18, 2014.


I always have a hard time selecting where to stay in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, as there are so many hotels. I mainly look for a property that has consistently great service, a big bar, beautiful grounds and rooms, and of course, is dog friendly. My choice on this trip was the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch.

This property is the perfect spot for a mix of both R&R and some nightlife. I am always thrilled when there is a separate adult pool area, especially given it was spring break time and there were many families around. The poolside service was fabulous as they knew exactly when to mosey on over to ask if we needed another margarita—and the answer was, yes we did! In the evening, we didn’t have to go far to hear some great music; the lobby bar was packed and was the place to be. There are cascading fountains and glowing fireplaces both indoors and outdoors in a stunning lounge setting. We even canceled our dinner reservations offsite and chose to order from the lobby restaurant and remain under the stars while listening to a great acoustic musician.

Whether in a regular hotel room or a beautiful casita, you will surely love the layout of Gainey Ranch. The only regret I have was I didn’t get to indulge in the spa, which when I walked through it had the most heavenly fragrance. I managed to purchase a funky necklace, however, as a reminder to go back for a treatment. Counting the days….