Arizona: Day 3

Hello again from Scottsdale!

Part of this whirlwind vacation has been spent housesitting for friends of Mariah and Chris', and they certainly enjoyed shocking me with all the little details of this house. If you haven't gathered so far from reading my blog: I live in a house with four friends, I work as a supervisor at an independent movie theater, and I bake/blog on the side. Nothing fancy over here! Even if I like to pretend otherwise when I go out to eat.

But walking into this house... no, mansion... was impressive in the most literal sense of the word. There is even a remote control that accesses all the lights, TV's, music, temperature, etc. etc. etc., for every room. Here are a few snapshots, to really get you on the same page.

Now THAT'S a shower!

After lounging over our morning coffee and snacks, Mariah and I tidied up the house so that it was in tip top shape for the owners' return. We dropped our bags off at her apartment, and then we were on our way for a little sightseeing.

First stop, Taliesin West. Any Frank Lloyd Wright fans out there? What a stunner this house is! It is a little pricey to tour- $25 per person. So we stuck to wandering around the grounds. I've never seen any of his work outside of the pages of art books, and just being able to walk around the outside was such an opportunity. His attention to the environment when he builds is breathtaking. The house truly seems to belong to the desert, wacky geometric angles and all. Genius.

Realizing we had not eaten more than some carrot sticks for breakfast and had then decided to walk around in the desert taking pictures, we hurried to find some lunch. I had mentioned I might like to windowshop since Scottsdale is a bit of a playground for the rich. I'd wanted to see what that perspective looks like: What kind of stores are in the shopping areas? What are the prices like? How do they make life easier for wealthy patrons when it's 110 degrees outside and no one wants to walk around?

We ended up at Scottsdale Quarter, an outdoor mall of sorts. It houses designer stores, mostly. And, weirdly, a "bar" where you can order up a hairstyle and have your hair washed, dried and styled for a fee. You order your style from a small "cocktail" menu. I'm not joking...

The walkways of the quarter are lined with palm trees, and there is a shaded central area with fountains that small children run through for relief from the heat. As you walk along the sidewalks, mist spritzes down from above. It's all very lavish.

The only purchases we made, however, were at It'Sugar. And let's just let the picture speak for itself.

But we also grabbed a refreshing lunch at a place smack dab in the center of the quarter called True Food Kitchen. They specialize in healthy and delicious cuisine, and they really delivered! In particular, if you are traveling to Scottsdale and are vegan or gluten free, I would recommend checking them out. Everything is meticulously labeled with lots of room for substitutions, and the waitstaff were beyond helpful in terms of explaining dishes, ingredients, etc. They are totally prepared for any kind of food allergy/restricted diet.

The interior has a modern loft sort of feel to it- bright pops of color with lots of steel and stained wood.

Right away we made some good food choices to cool us off and fill us up: natural sodas with soda water, freshly juiced fruit, and herbs to start! Mariah got a bahn mi tofu wrap with sweet potato hash and kale salad while I proceeded to eat an entire pizza. It was just too yummy to save for leftovers: Roasted corn, poblanos, kale pesto, goat cheese, and fresh cilantro on a whole wheat crust. Yeah, that really hit the spot.

After all that heat, we headed back to Mariah's apartment to relax a bit before we headed out to what she has described to me in the past as "literally our favorite bar." Kazimierz World Wine Bar is intimate and candlelit, decorated with old world globes and glazed windows, has an absurdly extensive wine list, and frequently boasts live music. To our good fortune, a sweet duo of bearded  20-somethings played acoustic guitars and harmonicas, crooning to us while we sipped lovely Cabernet from Napa. Kazimierz also has a menu that serves food until a shocking 1:45am, and judging by the look of Mariah's egg sandwich with cheese and arugula and other such delicious things, it is worth seeking out on the food front as well!

Frosted glass with the occasional clear "leaf" for peeking!

My last day starts now! Until tomorrow... XOXO