Exclusive Escapes – Brief, Sweet and Warm!

Drop a pin on a map and track a 90 minute flight – where can one escape? I’m on a quest for short flights yielding long luxurious weekends in warm weather.

Phoenix weather is significantly warmer than the cold bay area. Premier golf courses are dotted all about Scottsdale and Phoenix 
(I have access to ALL the courses, including private members only courses).

Local restaurants with celebrity chefs are becoming nationally recognized, luxury hotels abound, and a quick flight from the bay area makes Phoenix a very inviting escape. Imagine 70 degree temperatures in November!

Arriving to toasty sunny temperatures, on my drive to the hotel, I was amazed by the date palms dripping with golden succulent fruit.  A delightful mini paradise. An escape from the cold, luxury hotels, sophisticated spas, divine dining, art museums and great art galleries.

Another serendipitous encounter at a recent fund raising event – my dinner partner shared that her sister, a writer and restaurant reviewer, lives in Phoenix. Voila, a few emails, and Pam Swartz and I became quick friends. Pam is the author of Arizona Getaways for the Incurably Romantic and Dine Out Phoenix: Where to Eat From Chic to Unique. Pam is widely recognized as an expert on Arizona’s dining scene and getaways. I LOVE experts!
Pam, besides writing, organizes many food inspired events: Artist in Residence brunch with well known artists; Dine Out With the Chefs, a benefit for the Scottsdale Performing Arts; Artist in Residence Dinner Series with acclaimed musicians, the list of opportunities designed around culture and dining is very impressive.

Dine at Four Diamond Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn, a historic adobe building in the middle of a beautiful desert garden. Private wine cellar available for intimate dining, cozy library for small groups, wonderful patio for lunch or dinner. Chef Jeremy Pacheco stars in this recently remodeled space. Originally the home of cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee, the sprawling ranch property has been restored to its original charm. Furnished to reflect a 1930’s Southwestern ambiance, much like it was during Megargee’s days. Prints and originals of Megargee’s artwork and photographs of him hang on the walls.


Dining with Pam is like dining with the Queen – amuse bouche, additional delicacies delivered from the chef, several desserts… Chef Jeremy drops by to visit. I did return for Thanksgiving dinner, an attentive staff, I was remembered and treated to champagne!

A few yummy suggestions:
Hermosa Salad
Arizona baby greens, pecan brittle, smoky blue cheese, mixed berries, berry vinaigrette

Roasted Maple Leaf Duck Breast
Duck confit cannelloni, blackberry mole

Loup de Mer Loup de Mer roasted acorn squash, local tepary beans, smoked fennel sausage, tuscan kale, Santa Barbara mussels

More to come…sunshine is as abundant as is great dining!


Jenni Bick Journals, Never Leave Home Without…

I have a short list and a long list of must never depart without travel items. A new petite journal has landed on my desk and is ready to be packed into my waiting bag; the bag which is always at the door, passport ready to escape!

The company Jenni Bick Bookbinding produces a lovely assortment of journals and travel accessories, including my favorite in Lifestyle Management periwinkle blue, what’s not to love? The paper is unlined and watermarked, journal cover is finished in a classic European style sewn binding and it includes graceful lovely ribbon bookmark. The end sheets feature a world map with time zones and a most convenient of all, a pencil attached with an elastic loop. Only the best!

Travel journals are the travelers best friend, maintaining a log of your adventure, descriptions of your favorites meal or your most challenging hikes yield infinite pleasure on your return home.

I am preparing for a few upcoming escapes and my new Jenni Bick Journal will be tucked into my carry-on bag, ready to document the first sip of champagne, once I’m tucked into my seat, wrapped in my favorite cashmere pashmina wrap. Another essential for travel: the ubiquitous cashmere pashmina- plane blanket, elegant wrap…news on the pashmina soon!