Phoenix Rising

The Farm at South MountainWhen I was a tourist in my hometown (Phoenix/Scottsdale), I stayed at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Here are a few more things I loved about Phoenix, including places I had never been like the relatively new Musical Instrument Museum, with thousands of instruments from all over the world and cool pieces from pop culture like the piano that John Lennon wrote "Imagine" on. We had dinner at The Farm at South Mountain, a super romantic and beautiful spot that is a must-visit while in town and strawberry shortcake at Phoenix institution Durant's, open since 1950. I loved going back to the Heard Museum, dedicated to American Indian art and country dancing at Greasewood Flat, which used to be an 1880's stagecoach stop.

John Lennon's Piano at the Musical Instrument MuseumMusical Instrument MuseumThe massive Musical Instrument MuseumGreasewood Flat - one of my favorite spotsThe beautiful Farm at South MountainOld-school Durant'sThe Heard MuseumChunky Southwest Jewelry & Bolo Ties at the Heard MuseumThe Heard Museum

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass And The Best Massage Ever

View from my roomI got the best massage of my life at Aji Spa (meaning "Sanctuary" in the Pima language) at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Arizona. Already, I've had three friends go see this therapist because of my experience and they say the same thing. At the spa, I met Jason, he put his hand on my back, and started asking questions about my trip and what I was doing at Wild Horse Pass. I later learned that's his first indication of how tense someone is, by how their back tightens. I was coming off of two months of air travel all over the world and my back was killing me. He told me he works with a lot of football players so he'd take it down a couple of notches for me on the Gila River Rock Massage. I don't know how he did it, but I never had to say a word - he knew where every painful knot, and chronic tight muscle was and made them disappear.

Aji Spa Pool

Waiting Area in Aji SpaI also met with Belen Stoneman, an extremely gifted Native American woman specializing in therapeutic massage and healing techniques - the type of person that calms you and inspires simply by being in the same room.

Where we met with Belen at Aji Spa

Healthy Spa FoodI had been invited on this trip with Visit Phoenix with a fabulous group of travel and digital superstars that became friends by the end. Staying at a hotel in my hometown was a little bit strange at first. But Wild Horse Pass reminded me what I love most about my home state - the mountain ranges that are wise, the cacti that reflect home to me, the great food and wine from Arizona.

Room Balcony View

Lobby at night"Friend, Welcome to my house. It is good to see you. The creator be with you."We went horseback riding through the Koli Equestrian Center on property and came across a group of wild horses with their babies. We were quiet, privileged to be there, watching, on the edge of what is their land, not ours.

Wild Horses

On My Horse! Our Wonderful GroupAlso, we didn't go on this trip but I love take first-time Arizona visitors to Rawhide, right next to Wild Horse Pass. It's designed to look like an 1880's Western town, with a steakhouse & saloon and gold panning, burro rides, and a petting zoo for kids. Oh, and a mechanical bull. You get in for free, and then just pay for the attractions you want. 

Yum - gorgeous smoothies from breakfast - a welcome treat after so much rich (yes, delicious but I miss making my own stuff!) food on the road.

Breakfast Smoothie Shots