Things to Do in Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix — By on October 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

This week, we have replaced our lost girl of the week, with a lost trip of the week. Former LG of the Week and LG contributor, Kayleigh Minicozzi, has learned how to make the best of business trips. But a trip to Phoenix turned out to be less of a good time, and more of a disaster. She compared it to a bad first date, with no intention of seeing the person again. But as fate would have it, her work sent her there again, forcing a second go-around. And while her judgments still remained, she decided to give Phoenix a second shot.

By Kayleigh Minicozzi
LG Contributor

My relationship with Phoenix started out a little on the rocky side to say the least. I had high expectations for our initial fling, and like most girls preparing for a first date I choose each item in my suitcase meticulously. Wanting to make a solid first impression I packed my favorite outfits, accessories, and shoes and then waited anxiously by the door for my car to the airport. In most blind date scenarios the girl is always running late, feeling nervous and usually having second thoughts, but I didn’t have any of the typical symptoms. Although we’d never met, I’d had conversations with ladies who’d already fallen for him, and from what I’d heard, he seemed like a catch. I mean what’s not to like. Phoenix sounded like he was friendly, warm and seemingly attractive and after uneventful courting with cities on the east coast all spring, I was ready to mix it up.

Once in the airport, it was clear our rendezvous was going to be turbulent. Nothing seemed to go right, and my ease and excitement about our getaway weekend, suddenly changed. Disappointment set in as I sat in the airport witnessing delay after delay. If there is one way to kill a first impression with a lady, it’s to show up 90 minutes late and not even apologize to her. Also, I don’t consider myself particularly high maintenance but when I’m expecting my man to show up with flowers or chocolates, peanuts and flat soda are not equitable consolation prizes.

Prospects of a second date dropped even lower once I was in my rental car and on the road heading to the hotel. In true macho fashion, Phoenix boosted to know the area and gave me the supposed “solid” directions, but I soon found myself stranded in a dust storm, yes you heard me right a dust storm. As I sat in bumper to bumper traffic and watched a tumble weed roll by, I couldn’t believe he’d decided to be so unoriginal and clung to cliché (a tumble weed…seriously!).

The rest of the weekend was somewhat tarnished, as the bad taste in my mouth from our first interaction loomed over each activity. Phoenix tried to win me over with a sunny Saturday wake up and the promise of a delicious dinner followed by a gorgeous sunset but I was past the point of no return. After barely returning his advances, I said goodbye to Phoenix on Sunday with no embrace. I played the, “I have to get up early tomorrow” card to cut the engagement short and took an earlier flight home. Once back in the Big Apple I made up my mind that I wouldn’t call him back and that any future dates were out of the question. Other ladies might like his simple charm but I knew better. Phoenix and I were not a match.

This is where our story gets complicated. After not hearing from or talking about Phoenix for over three months an email entered my work inbox that nearly knocked me off of my chair. I let it linger unopened for a few minutes. It felt like I just received an uncomfortable Facebook poke from a one night stand. Reality set in as the email laid out the details of my next work conference in none other than Phoenix. Every escape plan in the book entered my mind. How could I get out of this? Fake sick? Take vacation time? Purposely get on the wrong plane? Alas my scheming was no use. I was going to Phoenix, like it or not.

After a few days of sulking I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was a world traveler, and I wasn’t about to let Phoenix throw me off my game. After recently seeing Eat. Pray. Love, I thought to myself, “if Julia Roberts can make the most of an ashram in India, I can make this office trip work.”

Eat: I must say that you haven’t truly experienced Americana Mexican food until you’ve eaten it in Arizona. I often treasured my infrequent trips to Chipotle but the culinary treats in Phoenix put my usual chicken burrito to shame!  One of the most unique items I sampled was Mexican corn on the cob known as elote. This was not your traditional backyard BBQ corn cob. The entire piece of corn was grilled and then smothered in a chipotle lime mayo and coated with chili pepper and crumbly cotija cheese. I absolute recommend finding a family owned, non-chain Mexican restaurant and venturing away from your typical choices. You may be pleasantly surprised. Another interesting activity that my work set up was a Phoenicians take on the infamous college bar hop. Instead of jumping from bar to bar and downing adult beverages, we instead went around the city on a guacamole crawl and sampled the best mashed avocados different restaurants in the city had to offer.

Play: Although I didn’t have a ton of time to go out during the day in Phoenix while at my work conference, I did do some research and discovered some unexpected activities that caught my eye. If you’re interested in swinging the old nine iron, Phoenix is home to some of the countries most beautiful golf courses. Zipping around in a golf cart while surrounded by the beautiful Arizona landscape sounds pretty appealing to me but for those of you who are more activity and exploratory there are also a number of hiking and walking trails. You can connect with the Phoenix Visitors Bureau for trail maps or even find out about guided tours. Finally for the thrill seekers, I ready several ads and came across multiple companies that offer Alternative Terrain Vehicles (ATV) tours through the mountains and desserts of Phoenix. Although I didn’t have time to attempt it myself, it sounded like and unforgettable way to capture some gorgeous photographs. To get you started, this site has some really cool video of what the ride looks like and helpful pricing information .

The last piece of information I discovered about the options Phoenix had to offer really excited me, especially since when I go on vacation I don’t typically spend a ton of time relaxing. When I think about the ultimate vacation treat it included fluffy slippers, cucumbers on my eyes and a long massage and according to Mobil Travel Guide in 2009  of 4 star spas in the country can be found in Arizona and more specifically in Phoenix. Taking time for a deep mud wrap, facial or mineral bath is easy and accessible at a number hotels and reports in Phoenix so look into it while booking your travel. One of the top rating spas on Mobil’s list is Alvadora Spa at the Royal Palms Hotel where you can get special citrus body scrubs and a whole menu of other body and skin treatments.

By doing a little more research and taking the planning of the second date into my own hands, I was able to really experience what the city had to offer and discovered the hidden charm I’d missed the first time. I wouldn’t say that Phoenix and I are on the fast track to a long term relationship, but in the end I made a good friend.

Out of my tragic first date I learned that proper planning and schedule setting isn’t just reserved for vacations and trips out of the country. Making the most of any excursion   takes some effort.

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  • Paumg says:

    Hi Kayleigh,

    Great story! I have to say I love Phoenix, for 10 years I used to go to Phoenix just for shopping, since I live in Mexico. But after that I made some really good friends and started visiting a little more often, they introduced some great bars and restaurants. Plus I love going there and staying at a wonderful house I rent through a property management az.

    Happy travels.

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