We are at the end of our 4-week stay in Scottsdale. As always, it is a little sad to go but there is so much of the world to see. Over the last few weeks, in addition to doctors etcetera, we had a chance to watch the Giants beat the Diamondbacks, play golf, plan future travel, and have some great meals.
Hitting the Ballpark
One thing I was looking forward to prior to our arrival in Phoenix was a chance to get out to see a ballgame in person. Most years in the Bay Area, Diana and I managed to catch a game in San Francisco (Go Giants!) or to see the Oakland A’s or even the San Jose Giants, the local single-A affiliate. We frequently catch an MLB game for whatever city we’re in when the local team is having a homestand.
This year, we got a quadruple treat: A game at Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks play and the Giants were visiting. Good, inexpensive, uncrowded club-level seats between home and first base. The Giants won 11-4! A fun time all around for the many, many Giants fans in the crowd.
We only managed to get in one round of golf for the month we were in town. We always seemed to find something else to do, even if it was just lazing by the pool, frozen drinks in hand. To make things easy, I referred back to my Scottsdale Golf post of last year. I found a good deal at Rancho Manana in Cave Creek again, so we happily snapped it up.
Unlike last year, I came into the round fairly rusty. I lost more than one ball on more than one hole! Still, the backdrop was picturesque and the course was in decent shape. Diana enjoyed playing from 100 yds or less, so as not to torque her new ACL too much.
We took residence at the same great Sheraton resort as last year. We feel comfortable there and many of the staff welcomed us back. The big difference this time around was the sheer number of people, especially in the pool over the 4th of July weekend.
In total, we’ve stayed in timeshares for 35 of the last 57 weeks. We do so because it usually provides us bigger/better accommodations and pricing than what we could get through other means. Of course, we own a small fraction of that number of weeks. I hope to shed light on how we do this in upcoming articles.
As we were relatively sedentary for the last 4 weeks, we took some time to investigate travel options for the upcoming months. Pandemic life still provides a lot of uncertainty, which translates into more work and a fair amount of plan B development, just in case.
Next up for us is a 3-month road trip to Spain and Portugal. We decided to only rough out a plan of where we will sleep to provide flexibility to respond to learning about new must-see places along the way as well as reacting to virus outbreaks (even though we’ve been jabbed). I’m already a little giddy with anticipation.
Good Eats and Drinks
Blue Adobe and Richardson’s are great spots for New Mexican food. We’ve had very good Carne Adovada (pork braised with red chilies), stuffed Hatch chilies, and enchiladas at both places. We also got some onion rings and bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos at Richardson’s. We always had leftovers from both of these restaurants that we could enjoy the next day!
Another couple of faves from last year were Ling & Louie’s Happy Hour and White Chocolate Grill. Everything on the L&L menu bursts with flavor and our sushi roll, steak lettuce cups, and crispy calamari didn’t disappoint. Throw in some tasty cocktails for a good time. We went to White Chocolate for Father’s Day dinner and it was packed. We tasted steak salad, enchiladas, and filet with shredded Brussel sprouts. The bread pudding was a great ending.
Notable new spots this year for great eats were Craftsman Kitchen and The Greene House. They both sported a “modern farmhouse” vibe with well-conceived and executed dishes. Our meal at The Greene House featured warm brie, roasted seabass, and short rib, accompanied by a half-price Wednesday bottle of white Rhone blend. Craftsman Kitchen started us with cocktails using house-distilled spirits and tomato melon burrata salad. The mains of pillowy gnocchi, heavy-handed grilled cheese, and volcano pork shank were equally yummy.
What’s your cocktail of choice?