a trip to scottsdale, arizona with fairmont!


i’m so happy to be sharing some photos and also a video today from our trip to scottsdale, arizona a few weeks ago! we had such a fun time, and it’s definitely one of those experiences we will remember forever.  when Fairmont reached out and asked to partner a few months ago, we were incredibly excited at the opportunity, because we have always heard such wonderful things about their properties and accommodations.  i will admit that i was a little bit hesitant to leave new york city during the peak of my favorite holiday season where the festivities are just so good, but fortunately, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess most definitely knows how to do the holiday season right! i mean, they have 3 million christmas lights up around the property, so you know, they get it.  ;)  from the decor to the activities to the food, it was all wonderful. not to mention experiencing it all without having to be bundled up in winter attire, kind of a game changer.  we really liked you, scottsdale!

a little video we made below and some photos from our trip….


so it might just be my kids, but right now, eleanor and samson love playing pretend pet shop, restaurant and hotel. i mean, they go through the whole process at least 20 times a day.  “how long will you be staying with us?” samson will ask eleanor as they play. “um, 10 nights. and this is my baby,” pointing to conrad, “he’s staying with me, too.”  samson will reply, “okay! here’s your room key!” and then they do it all over again, except this time conrad might be her dog and they might ask if there is a pool. sometimes i just quietly listen to them play together and laugh so hard inside. it’s hysterical.  so anyway, it definitely made all of us beyond thrilled to see the little staircase at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess lobby where they were able to “check” themselves into the hotel all by themselves! such a cute idea, and a big hit with us.


a hotel that hands you a candied apple when you check in is the right hotel for me! love this snapshot of my people looking over a map and planning out what we’d do during our stay.


okay. so i have to make a really big deal about these lobster tacos from la hacienda at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. because you guys, BEST EVER. the homemade tortilla in and of itself was divine. i have not stopped thinking about them.


samson, showing off his muscles! and maybe it’s winter and a bit chilly to most locals in arizona….but to us east coasters, a heated pool and 75 degree weather in the middle of winter is heaven. we loved it!


thanks to all your suggestions on instagram, we loved stopping by the sugar bowl while we were in scottsdale! such a fun place! i neglected to get a photo, but we also can’t stop talking about bandera (which a few of you also suggested.) we loved their ribs and the homemade cornbread. it was delicious!


we checked out the butterfly wonderland exhibit in scottsdale during our stay. it’s currently the largest butterfly conservatory in the country and was extra fun for us because eleanor and samson have had some caterpillars here at home that just transformed into butterflies, so we have been studying up and learning all about them.


the gold chrysalis was so beautiful. i couldn’t get enough of them.


we were truly spoiled with a few fun surprise treats delivered to our room during our stay. josh and i were up late one night working on our computers when someone brought the prettiest cake pops to our room! i wish i would have gotten a photo of them, but they were all so good, because yes, i ate four of them.


we roasted, or attempted to roast marshmallows one night by the ice skating rink! s’mores are always a good idea.


another thank you to everyone who told us to check out la grande orange! the homemade english muffin seriously is worth the hype.


i was so impressed at how The Princess is able to maintain a legit ice rink on their property when it is so warm outside. we were able to take conrad out for a tiny and very slow lap around the rink when no one else was on the ice which was so much fun!


and these three jokesters playing a game of red light, green light on the ice!


that face, i mean! this is his ice skating racing position.


another experience from our trip i have not been able to stop talking about, was checking out scottsdale’s musical instrument museum. they have over 6,500 instruments on display from about 200 countries around the world, as well as an experience gallery where we were able to test out and play several instruments ourselves! you can see more of this in our video, but the entire museum blew me away.


samson took a liking to peppermint the penguin, who walked around The Princess grounds during the evenings.  sometimes he’d see him across the way and call out, “hey pepper!” hahaha! the first time he did that i was literally crying from laughing. i love him so much.  also, we enjoyed the fanciest meal at bourbon steak one evening where everything was delicious. a bonus of the meal was that conrad slept through the entire thing right beside me at the table!


the train to see the lights all around the property was exciting! we did it twice because there were so many fun lights to see and the kids loved the pirate ship made of lights below! (we’re really into peter pan and pirates right now.)


can’t get over the pretty palm trees wrapped in colorful lights!


my tiny artists, always coloring something!


the desert has grown on me a lot the last few years. so much of it is so beautiful.


i seriously am so grateful we were able to experience a little bit of scottsdale and make some festive holiday memories together. thank you to  everyone at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for making the trip so special. and thank you to Fairmont for partnering with us on this post! Fairmont has put together a magical memories package for you to experience christmas at The Princess 2015 if you are interested! more info here.

merry christmas, everyone!

  1. Makenna

    Reminds me of my family’s tradition of staying at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA every Christmas, such a magical time!

  2. Kathryn

    This looks like a perfect magical family getaway! Love the pretty lights wrapped around the palm trees too!


  3. Tammy

    swimming in an outdoor heated pool outside?! wish i could do that right now- it’s finally getting chilly in nyc!


  4. Jessica

    My kids and I always love watching your videos! They’re always begging to watch more because they think your kids are so cool/hilarious. They always ask to play with them :). Thanks for sharing!

  5. sarah

    looks like a fun family trip! can you tell me where you got the black and white striped swimsuit in the video? i love it!

    • TAZA

      thank you! it’s from kate spade saturday several seasons back!

  6. Megan

    Looks like such a fun trip!! Those palm trees are looking really nice right about now!

    Have a wonderful weekend // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  7. hanna

    The trip looks like a lot of fun! –Hanna Lei

  8. i love vacationing during the winter!! it’s the best! your babies are the sweetest! i love watching your little videos. they have such great personalities!! xoxo


  9. Who knew there were so many lights there!? What a cool way to enjoy the holiday season even in the warmer weather!


  10. Elaine

    What an amazing trip. The Scottsdale Princess really does know how to do Christmas… I hope it’s just as beautiful for us in Hawaii. I’m glad that you could go and thank you for sharing with your incredible video. It is really fun to watch all the special things you got to experience!

  11. Amy

    Sweetest family ever! And please share where your Pink sweater is

  12. Carson

    hi! I’m wondering, what do you use to make your videos with music included . I’m not good with this stuff but would love to make a video with background music like you do, so any direction would be so appreciated ! thank you!!

  13. These photos are so great, and the video is superb! You guys are so talented at making them! xo

  14. I’m so glad you came to visit my home state!! I’m in Mesa..about 20 minutes away from downtown Scottsdale. We LOVE Le Grande Orange and the Sugar Bowl!! We’ve yet to try Bourbon but have heard its wonderful. There are so many fun things to do here in the Phoenix area and I just think its the best. :) Merry Christmas!

  15. Beverly

    I didn’t know about that musical instrument museum and I live in AZ. It looks so cool!! We’ll have to go sometime.

  16. CeeCee

    What a fun video! That museum looks great! Please share where Eleanor’s blue hat is from & also what music artist is featured. Loved the music! Thank you for making such lovely videos to share! Always look forward to your posts :)

  17. j0d33

    I’m so glad you went to MIM! I’ve been meaning to take my kids there. So great to see your perspective and that you loved it (its embarrassing to suggest a place that someone doesn’t enjoy). Happy holidays!

  18. What an amazing trip! I love visiting my aunt in Scottsdale. Everything there is so new and clean, it’s gorgeous no matter the season. But I always love coming home to the old school charm (and grit, let’s face it) of NYC. Cheers!


  19. Queenie

    Love the video and photos, it put a big smile on my face!

    Merry Christmas :)


  20. Amy

    Looks like a really fun trip! Eleanor’s swimsuit is so cute and Sampson looks like he’s going to the Olympics as a speed skater. Ha!

    Your story reminds me of The Babysitter’s Club – one of the little sisters was always playing a version of hotel like that. Maybe I’m the only one who read enough of those books to remember this!


  21. You rock red lipstick better than anyone! :)

  22. Cynthia

    I was over there this weekend. Scottsdale is probably one of the nicest cities here in the valley. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Happy Holidays- Cynthia

  23. Renee

    Hi, Taza- your trip looks so very fun & festive! Could you tell me the song you used in the video? I hope you and yours have a very blessed Christmas!!

  24. Ashley

    Arizona is such a fun place. I love the picture of the palm tree with christmas lights. Not something you see during this time of year!
    – Ashley

  25. Kaylee

    I’ve never thought of AZ as a fun place, but this made me want to add Arizona on my travel-wish list! I also watched the vlog which was even more amazing :) xx

  26. Bruna

    It seems like you guys had so much fun!! Great pics and video by the way :)
    Conrad is getting so big…so cute!

    Have a wonderful Christmassy week ;)



  27. Rose J.

    Scottsdale is a really nice area! Glad you had fun, and what beautiful and fun photos! merry christmas! xo

  28. Cara

    I wish my family went away for the holidays. We just do what we can to make our home feel as magical as we can for the Christmas season!

  29. vicky

    ugh! I cannot get over the photo of you and the littles on the step – I believe the 4th photo down. it’s just crazy how big your family has gotten. I feel like I’ve been following the blog for so many years (pretty sure it’s only been 2 or 3, though) and now they all seem so BIG! cutest family ever. great pictures.

  30. Adrienne

    Merry Christmas to you & your lovely family xx

  31. Katie F.

    I have been reading your blog for a long time and just wanted to let you know my 2.5 yo daughter is obsessed with the video and song from this post. She LOVES the part with the kids in the water and belly laughs at the jingle bells song and dances along. That’s all—-I have had to bookmark it just for the video and song!

    • TAZA

      aw, yay! thanks so much katie! i love that song too! it’s a good one.