After a very trying few months and a long, frigid winter, Nate and I decided we needed to get. out. of. Alaska. A family trip was absolutely in order. We debated for a while whether we should go or not…San Diego, Sedona, or just stay put? We finally decided to go for it after we learned we got money back from our taxes (thanks, little deduction Magnolia!) and are so glad we did. Our family balance was a little off kilter lately and we desperately needed time to connect, preferably in a very warm climate. Hello, Sedona!
I began to research places to stay. We typically stay in home or condo rentals rather than hotels. However, for this trip I really yearned for a small resort feel in which we could walk just a few steps to dinner (and stay in our swim suits) and cooking/cleaning was not an option. I really needed a break! Nate and I have always enjoyed wonderful stays at Kimpton Hotels— we’ve stayed there in Portland on our wedding night, during a road trip to Boston, and a weekend getaway to Philadelphia. When I learned the Amara Resort and Spa is a member of the Kimpton family I knew it was the place for us.
The pool is reason enough to stay at Amara Resort and Spa, the inclined entry is perfect for kiddos and the backdrop is a photographer’s dream. Our room was perfectly positioned just a few steps from the pool. We didn’t get to enjoy as much pool time as we hoped due to some fluke cold weather, yet we did make the most out of the time there that we could. We spent much of our pool time in a huge cabana: playing, having lunch brought right to us, and even taking a nap. Ahhh, take me back! A few of my other favorite amenities at Amara Resort and Spa are the wine hour (complimentary beverages between 5:00–6:00pm!), a coffee bar in the mornings, and truly delicious food– which is difficult to come by in many hotels. Oh! Also chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine waiting for us. And the hot tub. Hmm, so many things. I worried how everyone would sleep yet the girls did wonderfully. Naps were questionable– but they slept fabulously at night! Magnolia’s crib (which Amara provided and had pre-setup for us) fit perfectly into the walk-in closet so she had the privacy she needed to rest. Waverley was just tickled to sleep in a big bed right next to her parents. These are the days, am I right?
The location of the hotel is perfectly situated to walk to other restaurants, shops, or go exploring. We made it to Jerome for a day (if you go, you must eat lunch at The Haunted Hamburger!) and on a few hikes. Nate and I enjoyed an amazingly indulgent date night at Cress on Oak Creek and we just walked along a picturesque little path to get there from our room! Guys, I am talking a FOUR COURSE meal of fabulous food sans interruptions from babies and toddlers. It was magical.
I was surprised at how there is something to do for everyone in Sedona. We enjoyed our time there so much we tried to extend our stay, unfortunately could not due to no available flights (apparently it’s already tourist season in Alaska). We didn’t even have time to enjoy the spa at Amara Resort and Spa so I am making that a priority next visit. I am already dreaming of going back!
Traveling with little kiddos can be intimating. I was forced into it when Waverley was little and now it is just a part of our life. It is so important to get out of Alaska and go somewhere warm as often as possible! I’ll admit traveling with two littles is a bit more complex, yet the effort is completely worth it. We made many lifelong memories on this trip and our objective of reconnecting was achieved. I love seeing the girls experience new adventures and enjoy learning about new places. Waverley’s favorite part of the whole trip was swimming in the pool and the BFF she made. Magnolia enjoyed a side of toast at every meal and once there was butter, so her life was essentially complete as she reclined in the highchair and sucked that toast clean. She also liked the pool and having her parents around 24/7. I definitely loved the extra morning snuggles with her, too:) The highlight of Nate’s trip was one of our hikes, probably not the part where he carried Waverley on his shoulders for 90% of it and the boulders she demanded he put in his “pack pack.” The best part of our trip, for me, was our date night at Cress on Oak Creek and leisurely days by the pool. Just as summer was intended to be!