For years, we’ve had this plan – go to Scottsdale in the summer when it’s a zillion degrees, and get cheap rates at the Four Seasons. Then, just hole up in the air-conditioned resort. Last year, we finally did it, and it was great. And, we found that we didn’t even need to hole up all that much – the Four Seasons provides lots of shade and misters, so it’s quite comfortable to be outside even in the heat of the day. And the desert landscaping is beautiful and the food is great (though spendy) – our plan was a rousing success. We did wonder, though, if it would have been as successful if it had been more scorching hot. Only the first day or two was in the 100’s – the rest of the days were in the 90’s, and one day it only got up to about 87. What would it be like on those 112 degree days we’ve heard tell of?

This year, we were able to find out. As we flew in late on Saturday afternoon, the pilot announced that the temperature in Phoenix was 110 degrees. It was definitely hot, but as we were mostly moving from air-conditioned airport to air-conditioned rental car center to air-conditioned car, we were pretty comfortable. We stopped at a mall on the way to Scottsdale to get something to eat and a few things at a supermarket, but by then it was evening and, while definitely hot, there was no sun beating down from directly over head. (I guess being farther south affects this, too – by 7:30 pm it was full-on dusk – don’t usually see that in Portland until around 9pm.) We got to the hotel around 8pm and were comfortable ensconsed in our room by 8:30.

Sandra, our travel agent extraordinaire, had arranged for us to have a DYI sangria kit and chips and salsa awaiting for us on arrival, and it was all laid out in the room. It was a great little spread – they really pay attention to details here! But we weren’t hungry and decided to save it for later. We called down to the front desk and asked for a refrigerator for the room, which the poor maintenance guy had to lug up to us on his shoulder (we’re on the second floor of a building on a hill, so he had to climb lots of steps, plus it was still over 100 degrees out) – big tip for him! We plugged in the fridge and put away our sangria fixin’s for later.

So now to the heat part. Sunday and Monday were both 110-plus degree days, and we spent the bulk of both of them outside: meals on covered patios with misters going, and several hours of each day in a cabana by the pool. Both days were awesome, and the only time I felt really hot was in the walk from our room (which is at the edge of the property) to or from the lobby/restaurant area. But even then, the desert landscape is so gorgeous and so full of little critters (birds, lizards, even little bunnies) that you don’t care (or we don’t, anyway). It’s just so nice – I love it here so much that sometimes I even get a bit teary!

Sometimes I start to feel guilty about the misters, and the water being used. But, unlike other desert resorts, there isn’t much greenery here that requires watering – the vast majority of the landscaping is desert plants. So I figure they are probably using less water than comperable properties, and I’ve decided that that is going to be good enough for me :)

The pool area has a large upper pool, with a lower adult-only pool and a separate kids’ wading pool. I prefer the larger all-access pool to the smaller adult-only pool; the kids in the all-skate pool can be fun, while there are sometimes gross PDA’s in the adult pool. The best thing about the pool area is that it is ringed with cabanas. These are free of charge (except, I guess, the couple three that are really big and have ceiling fans and TV’s in them – thankfully, no one is ever watching the TV’s, or if they are, you can’t hear them) and even on Saturday, when the resort was at 80% occupancy, we were able to find one.

I’m not usually much of a hang-out-at-the-pool vacationer, but I really like hanging out at this pool. I think maybe it’s the cabana – makes it feel a bit like being in a tent; I can pretend I’m camping. Because it’s so hot, we have to get in the pool about every 20 minutes or so, but that is all it takes to be perfectly comfortable.

The staff at the pool are very attentive (more so at the upper pool – the lower adult pool I think is a little more out of the way and they don’t seem to make as many trips there) and regularly bring around complementary things like Otter pops and corn nuts. I feel for them, having to work in this heat, but there are misters all around the pool so hopefully they benefit from these, too.

When we arrived on Sunday afternoon, the attendant was taking Otter pops around, but stopped to help us get set up in a cabana with fresh towels and ice water. In so doing, of course, she had to set her bucket of Otter pops down, and they weren’t going to be long for this world in the heat, so Lis finished taking them around while the attendant helped us. The other patrons were amused by this, and the attendant was bemused by this. She said to me “I’ve never had anyone do that before”, but I couldn’t tell if she meant this in a “that’s so nice” way or in a “maybe she needs her medication adjusted” way.

Last night after our pool day, we came back to the room and had room service out on the balcony. We split a club sandwich and a salad, and broke out our sangria mix, and even though it was still over 100 degrees, we were in the shade and there was a breeze and the sun was going down and the sky was purple and the hills were pink-ish and it was awesome. No misters on the balcony, either, but still perfectly comfortable – I’m a little afraid that once we get back home I’m going to be cold for the rest of the summer, but Lis says she doesn’t think that will happen.

As we sat on the balcony sipping our Sangria, I heard a soft rustle and looked down just in time to see a bobcat walk by right below our balcony. Have I mentioned that I love it here?