New Year celebration has looked very different for Chris and I over the past few years. We have rang in the New Year at clubs, at big house parties we have thrown and in the past few years, quietly with a few close friends. This year though, we had no idea what we were going to do. Honestly we wanted to keep it quiet, but take advantage of the long weekend that we were both given from work so we headed on a road trip to Scottsdale.
Where to Stay
Courtyard Scottsdale North
We picked a Courtyard Marriott in North Scottsdale mainly because it was a Marriott and it seemed to be in a nice area. It was a perfect pick. The hotel was right on Scottsdale Rd. and just down the street from pretty much everywhere we went. And on New Year’s Eve we were just a $20 Lyft ride from all of the restaurants and bars.
Where to Eat and Drink
Holy New Year’s Eve dinner! We had an amazing four course dinner with beer pairing and let me tell you, I could not finish any of it. I turned down a whole beer and barely was able to finish my dessert because the amount of amazing food was out of control. My dinner was balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts for an appetizer, delicious mushroom bisque, chimichurri sauce over flank steak and the biggest scoop of ice cream ontop a peanut butter cookie and huge brownie. Amazing. Chris completely skipped the soup and we both just picked at our dessert. Each course was paired with a beer. My favorite was the Eible’s Weiss… their Weiss beer. YUM!
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
We have two Gordon Biersch in the LA area but we haven’t been to one yet so when Chris noticed there was one just up the street from our hotel I knew that was going to be one of our stops. We ate lunch here on New Year’s Day. We both got much needed oversized salad but we started off with bratwursts sliders that were absolutely amazing and the perfect size.
After walking through Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons all day Sunday, and running in and out of stores, hiding from the rain, we worked up quite the appetite for a little happy hour and we stumbled upon Postino. A cute little wine bar, with a super small food menu, but we were totally happy with what we chose. Postino has a pretty big bruschetta menu on top of gluten free bread and, well… yum! My favorite was a tossup between the brie and the mozzarella.
Nine years ago I went to Tuscan with my best friend and I was introduced to my first prickly pear margarita. I always am keeping my eyes open for the same drink on menus, and I’ve even looked at the grocery store for actual fruit, but nothing. So when I saw a prickly pear margarita on the menu I knew I needed to have it. It was absolutely amazing and a perfect pairing to their cod taco and shrimp tacos. I am a sucker for seafood tacos and Diego Pops did not disappoint. Oh and their salsa was pretty good too.
What to Do
Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons
Holy cuteness. These two outdoor shopping areas straddle Scottsdale Road have a ton of great shops of all sizes and fantastic restaurants. We spent a lot of New Year’s Day strolling in and out of home goods and furniture stores, and stopping into Postino for wine and bruschetta. I’m not sure which we enjoyed more. The stores or the wine.
Desert Botanical Garden
New Year’s Eve we didn’t have any plans and were kind of going to wing it, but with the weather taking a turn, and being the grandma and grandpa that we are, we thought it would be cool to stop by the Desert Botanical Garden and see their Las Noches de Las Luminarias. It was a really cool showcase of the botanical garden at night, light up by thousands of candles, with a dozen different performances of local artists and musicians. I wasn’t super excited for this, but by the time 9 o’clock came around I was sad we had to leave. It was such a cool experience and a beautiful presentation of art and music. There were Spanish guitar players and flamenco dancers, Native American storytellers, and a violinist that look like he has had been around the world with nothing but his violin case. It was beautiful. Skip the wine tastings… not the best, but defiantly something to check out next holiday season.
This was one of our first stops when we woke up in Scottsdale on New Year’s Eve and it has amazing views of Camelback Mountain. This cute area of Scottsdale was full of families, couples, power walkers and their puppies. I was super excited we were able to stop here and snap a few pictures before we set off exploring the city. The views of the Mountain were absolutely stunning.
We’ve always talked about doing spring training in Scottsdale one year, and this trip just made me more excited for when we finally have the time one March to watch baseball and drink beers in the desert. This was a much needed getaway that was just long enough to take us