Desert Luxury in Cave Creek (Days 22-23)

You don’t have to be a long-term traveler to know that being on the road is tiring.

At this point we’d been roadtripping for three weeks. Aside from our time visiting my brother in San Antonio, we’d been sleeping in the back of the car, working at coffee shops, and using public showers for three weeks straight — and we were ready for a break.

So imagine our delight when the next two days of our trip ended up being pure desert luxury.

An easy two hour drive took us to Cave Creek, where we were warmly greeted by Ryan’s “aunt and uncle” — old friends of his mom’s from Louisiana who had since migrated to Arizona to be near their son and his family. They welcomed us into their beautiful home, which boasted a to-die-for guest suite, as well as tremendous mountain views just out the back door. I had never met them before, and it had been years since Ryan had seen them, and we had a wonderful time getting to know them.

Ryan’s aunt was eager to show us the area, and we jumped in her car and off we went! After a delightful lunch on the patio at The Grotto Cafe, we were off to explore Scottsdale and Phoenix. Where Tucson had offered a grungy yet welcoming vibe, this area of Arizona was far more upscale. The traffic was crazy, the views spectacular, and hotels and spas were seemingly on every corner.

Our first stop was the stunning Arizona Biltmore hotel. You guys — this place was magnificent.

Photo from
Photo from

The more I travel, the more enamored I’ve become of true luxury hotels — not just expensive hotels, or ones with trendy lobbies but basic rooms — and the Biltmore set a new standard of luxury in my mind.

Arizona Biltmore 3 Our Streamlined Life
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The Biltmore was designed by Albert Chase McArthur,  who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright, and the resort has been an Arizona landmark since its opened on February 23rd, 1929. Also, pools like this make it hard to go back to campground life.

Arizona Biltmore 2 Our Streamlined Life
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Ryan & Rebecca Biltmore Arizona Our Streamlined Life

After exploring the grounds at the Biltmore, it was on to our next destination: jade bar at Sanctuary Resort overlooking spectacular Camelback Mountain.

Scottsdale Spa Our Streamlined Life

Sanctuary Resort was another opulent retreat, and we had the entire patio to ourselves to sip drinks and catch up (and catch our breath).

Spa Drinks Our Streamlined Life

I’m thinking I could get used to travelling like this. Maybe it’s time to start from scratch and become a luxury travel writer?

The following day included more work for me — but after a heavenly night’s sleep in a real bed, I was more than up to the task. Besides, I had this lovely view to distract me …

Desert Home 2 Our Streamlined Life

And then we ended the day with margaritas and Mexican food. #perfect

After two days of thorough relaxation, we were rejuvenated and ready for our next adventure: THE GRAND CANYON.

I'm the oldest of 12 crazy kids and two pretty awesome parents. My love of travel developed during my early years traveling the globe as an Air Force brat. I'm a runner, a writer, and a reader, and I love cooking up good food and cozying up our camper.

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