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Thursday, July 13, 2017


Last month my husband and I traveled to Phoenix, AZ for a conference.  Every few years, we attend the annual meeting of our Southern Baptist Convention along with thousands of other pastors, ministers, and messengers from churches all over the country.

The first day and a half is the Pastor's Conference, and then the next two days are basically a big meeting mixed in with worship, sermons, and reports from all of our Southern Baptist entities.  It's always good to catch up with friends and fellow ministers from around the country and hear about the good work our missionaries are doing to spread the gospel around the world.  One of the most powerful times of the conference is when groups all over the arena surround our new missionaries with prayer and commission them as they go out across the world to share about Jesus.

Since this was basically a "business trip," we didn't have a lot of spare time to roam the town and sightsee, but we did manage to squeeze in quite a bit of seeing the town here and there between sessions.  Thankfully, we were there during a "cool front" and the weather was mostly in the 90s, none of this 120 degree business that's currently been going on!  The weather was lovely- pleasant mornings and evenings, and even the heat of the day wasn't unbearable.


We had some time the evening we arrived so we headed for Old Town Scottsdale.  We enjoyed walking the quaint streets and blocks of shops and restaurants.  It was a Sunday evening so most things were closed, but we still got in some fun window shopping!

I could not get over all of the beautiful landscaping...the bougainvillea was breathtaking!  Along with many varieties of huge cacti everywhere and sweet wildflowers, the landscaping greenery begged to be admired.

This dress was perfect for travel- so comfortable yet looked pulled together, and easy to dress up or down with your choice of shoes and accessories.  Although be prepared if you wear it while flying... the sleeves are so full that TSA had to pat down them down going through security.  ;)

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Gray Ruffled Sleeve Dress  ||  Sneakers  ||  No Show Socks  ||  Monogrammed Tote

One of my fellow ministry wives from our church found out that Phoenix has a Last Chance Clearance center for Nordstrom.  This is truly the last stop for merchandise!  There are tons of shoes at bargain basement prices- some have obviously been worn and returned, but most are in perfect new condition.  We heard rumors that people line up an hour before the store opens each day to get in, but we went in the afternoon and it wasn't too bad.  Be ready to dig if you go (literally- piles of shoes, accessories, home goods, etc. loaded up in bins to look through- plenty of racks and hanging rods also though), but there are some awesome deals to be found!  

This day I wore this orange gingham dress with skinny pants.  It's very lightweight so it's cool, but it's also thin and short for me, so it needs a slip or pants underneath it.  It would probably be perfect as a wear alone dress for petite sizes.

Our last full day was mostly spent at the convention, but we slipped away for a few hours in the late afternoon for dinner and to explore a bit.  Phoenix is surrounded by mountains, and although we didn't have time to do any hiking, we did check out South Mountain Park, which has a road you can drive to the top of the peak.  The views from the top look out across downtown and all of the surrounding areas for miles and miles.  Easy to navigate take a peek by car if you're not up for hiking the landscape, or there are plenty of trails around if you do want to hike.

We had just been to dinner so this is what I was wearing to tromp around on the top of the mountain... ;) good thing those shoes are comfy!  A good pair of white trousers is such a staple for me- I wear them weekly and often to church with a nice blouse.

White Pants- similar here or here  ||  Blouse- similar  ||  Tassel Necklace  ||  Clutch- TJ Maxx

One evening I wore this casual combo- stripes + floral + leopard = love!

On the day we headed home we had a little bit of time before we headed to the airport, so we stopped by the gigantic shopping center Fashion Square.  I think just about every store you can imagine is here!  

I wore my trusty gingham shirtdress (which comes in GREEN now too and is currently half off!) for our travel home and threw in a cardigan for the chilly plane/airport.  This outfit has been on repeat this summer!  I've said it before, but I could not love this tote more.  I carry it daily, but it's especially great for trips.  We loaded it down with my laptop, big camera, a novel, my husbands iPad, as well as all of my normal "purse" items.  It often gets this kind of abuse and doesn't look one bit any worse for the wear... I'm so impressed with the quality and how the straps have held up.  

Gingham Dress (1/2 off!)  ||  Similar sandals here ($25!), here, or here  ||  Similar Earrings here or here  ||  Monogrammed Tote


A little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale.  After a day of traveling we chose it at random and our traditional enchiladas/beans and rice plates were good.   More "authentic" Mexican and spicier than this Tex-Mex girl is used to!

An old church converted into a restaurant.  Beautiful, very cool atmosphere, and very good.

Downtown, has only been open for a few months.  We went for a late night dinner and all had tacos.  They were good but the star was the table side hand made guac!  They bring out scads of ingredients and custom make your guac to order.  Probably the best guacamole I've ever had!

Ray and me, our Pastor and his wife, our Worship Leader and his wife (such a fun crew!)

Southern favorites with a slightly gourmet twist.  We stuck with the classics, and I loved how they used sweet old china to serve on.  The biscuits were huge (that's a dessert size plate, but still!).

Downtown, nice courtyard or inside dining, delicious!

A must stop before we headed home to the land of no In N Outs!  


Along with a huge number of the conference attendees, for convenience we stayed at the Renaissance Downtown and the accommodations were fantastic.  There were so many shops and restaurants within walking distance, if you're downtown for meetings you really can find everything you need right there.

So, have you been to Phoenix?  What are your favorite spots?   I enjoyed it SO much more than I expected to, and would love to go back for more play time next time!  We both said if you can make it through the summers it would be such an amazing place to live.

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I have visited Phoenix twice and loved it both times. Last year we stayed at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria property. It was gorgeous and perfect for a summer vacay. We loved the restaurant there. We also ate at Montauk. I shopped at The French Bee which was amaze balls.

  2. Those sound wonderful, Ron! I'll have to check them out if we go back!

  3. Since I live here, I love all the places you've been and some you didn't. There is so much to do and some of the resorts have the most fantastic water parks that are wonderful for the whole family. Shopping is hard to beat in Phoenix, there are some amazing malls all over.

    1. I felt like we barely got to scratch the surface, but we enjoyed it so much! Would love to come back some day!

  4. How did the cold shoulder shirt paired with the red pants fit? Thanks!

    1. I think it's true to size but is a loose, flowy fit. I actually ordered up a size because I wasn't sure and had to take it in some.

  5. Next time you head to Phoenix, you need to try True Foods. Awesome farm to table restaurant. We are fortunate because one has opened in my home city of Dallas.


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