trip recap :: az in january

If you follow me on instagram then you already saw a few of these photos ... here are some highlights from our trip last week to Phoenix.

As usual, just like in Denver, we ate at some of our favorite restaurants. I will start there ... here is a little Phoenix dining guide. Although, we did not eat at all of these places this trip, they are our favorites; click through to their websites for more information.

:: Le Grande Orange ::
• market, cafe, and restaurant
• delicious breakfast + lunch
• don't miss the Daybreaker omelette, the Commuter sandwich, the granola + fruit, or the Birchermeusli for breakfast
• I love the tuna nicoise salad, stacked turkey sandwich, or chicken salad sandwich for lunch
• they have amazing homemade english muffins - perhaps the best you'll ever have
• get the burger on an english muffin; their pizza is good too
• you'll die over all the cute stuff in the market
• love the fun market atmosphere

:: Essence Bakery Cafe ::
• organic, locally-sourced food make up the menu for this breakfast, bakery, lunch spot
• for breakfast, I love the French scrambled eggs
• for lunch, I love the Greek Caesar salad and their quiche is amazing too
• they have amazing daily specials, usually a sandwich or salad, and a soup
• get there early for the croissants, especially the almond croissants
• their macarons are well-known; I like the vanilla bean the best

:: Pane Bianco ::
• a simple menu of just a couple of sandwiches and salads to choose from for lunch
• amazing bread, simple ingredients, but lots of deliciousness
• simple, eclectic, rustic decor
simple foccaccia pizza for dinner or head over to their main/in-demand pizza + wine bar restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco
• don't miss Lux, the coffee shop next door

:: Arcadia Farms ::
• we just discovered this place in Old Town Scottsdale
• organic and locally-sourced breakfast and lunch
• super-cute cottage decor and nice patio as well

Some other notable places to check out...

:: The Parlor ::
inspired pizzeria with their own tomato + herb garden out front (I talked a little about this place here)

:: ncounter ::
fresh, modern cafeteria/counter-style spot on Mill Ave. in Tempe

:: Pomegranate Cafe ::
vegan restaurant in Ahwatukee

:: Culinary Dropout ::

:: The Arrogant Butcher ::

:: NoRth ::
fresh northern Italian; I love the building

:: True Food Kitchen ::
organic with great atmosphere, two locations: one at The Bilmore and one at Scottsdale Quarter

Okay, and on to the rest of our trip! We got to spend lots of time with my sister, nephew, and mom. My nephew is the cutest; and we always have a blast with my sister and mom. I got a chance to get my hair done which was long over-due (last hair appointment was 6 months ago). It was a treat, for sure.

John and I ran the P.F. Chang Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. This was the fourth time I have run this particular race (John's third time). And, it was an extra special accomplishment since I ran it (feeling amazing) at 5 1/2 months preg. The weather was gorgeous; just perfect actually.

John and I also had lots of quality time together ... not only during the 13.1 miles we ran together, but on another 6 mile run we did and a trail run we did at Papago Park. We also had breakfast out together at Arcadia Farms and spent a couple different occasions just sitting outside reading in the warm winter desert sun or working on our computers at a coffee shop.

As always, it was super tough to leave. We both love Phoenix and could see ourselves living there - with the weather being so gorgeous this time of year, that rings doubly true. We have spent a lot of time in Phoenix over the past eight or so years that my sister has lived there, so we really know our way around. In a lot of ways it has become a home-away-from-home - it was when we were in Durango and continues to be now that we are in Miami.

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