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Tucson Desert Getaway at Casino Del Sol

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This past weekend after a very hectic work week for the both of us, the Mr. and I packed our bags and drove two hours south to Tucson, a place my youthful heart is very familiar with (college) and headed to the southwest side of town – to Casino Del Sol. It is a AAA four Diamond Recipient, Voted Tucson’s Best Casino by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine as well as Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Award Winner.

I wanted to head out for dinner – take him to local steakhouse Daisy Maes where my college bff worked and all the spring training players ate but after we heard all the options to eat, Benjamin didn’t want to leave, he said, “Why would we leave, everything wonderful is here!” Agreed – and guess what? Buffet night was steak night!

That view above was the view from our 9th floor Sky Level suite was spectacular. Are you surprised it’s so green? Because I was too!

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The suite layout is exactly how I’d add on to our home if we decide we need the space and want to drop the cash. Every detail was just lovely – one can never go wrong with two bathrooms (right?) and a spectacular pool view!

Pool time

Speaking of the pool – Benjamin said all he wanted to do was sit in it all day so I said – put on your trunks and let’s go! I find lately that I’m actually sitting in the shade rather than actually working on my tan.

casino-del-sol-hotel-tucson-review-stay-diana-elizabeth-blog_0013Swimsuit: Beach Riot / Beach tote: Hat Attack / Hat: Cuyana / Sunnies: Wildfox / Shorts: Forever 21 (similar)

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The pool at Casino del Sol is quite pretty and during times of the day there are shooting water fountains in the pool! Lots of shade, chairs and the most fun music playing, and wrist bands so you know it’s hotel guests only. I saw this shadow in the pool and I thought hmmmm, this is a good photo op!

I love that you could walk into the pool in addition to the large shallow steps on both sides where you could hang out and go as deep into the pool as you want. You know, like when your mom says you can’t swim right after eating but you are allowed to a certain step – your mom too? ;)

We don’t have a pool back home, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a very shallow one, would that be silly? I suppose you’d just call that a legit kiddie pool.

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For some reason I find it ridiculously fun to peep out from the side of things, I don’t know why. Maybe this will be my signature photo – like “Where’s Diana?”

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After pool time, we refreshed to get ready before meet up with my little sister from Big Brother Big Sisters (we were matched when I was in college).

UofA

Before we headed into town, we stopped by my alma mater and see how the campus has grown. When the weather gets cooler we’ll come back and I can give Mr. Wonderful a thorough tour of my freshman year dorm, classes, student union and show him how I lived some of the best years of my life.

I loved my college years. It’s not just school spirit, it’s beyond that – it’s a time in my life where I felt like I grew into who I am today. The friends I made, the experiences I had, the growth into a young adult and feeling comfortable in my own skin – my personality and my ethnicity (I know, sad but true). It wasn’t until I was 17, away from California on my own, gaining confidence in my independence and making such fond memories in a small quaint town where the entire town lives and breathes your college. It was such a simple, enjoyable life to experience before transitioning into the real world.

I think that’s why people have such spirit for their alma mater – those young adult years were huge milestones! Do you have a similar love for your college years for the same reason?

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Bodysuit: Love Labels / Bra Camisole: Hanro / Jeans: J Brand / Heels: Steve Madden / Clutch

I’m taking a picture by a gymnasium on UofA campus because it has my friend’s name on it! He just won the NBA Finals, retired for a month and accepted a two year contract back with Cleveland. Just ask your husbands who he is *wink* I had to take a pic by his gym (he donated funds to build) and send him a photo.

Casino + Food

The casino reminded me of Caesar’s Palace! We walked around and it kept going and going, such a large space with different themes, so fun.

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I believe when you’re on vacation room service is in order – because why not. Plus, it’s a great time when you can eat in your bed and not feel guilty about crumbs.

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It’s monsoon season now in Arizona – it’s one of my favorite times of the year – and I could see a little bit of it coming in from our room. Storms fascinate me.

I wish I could show you the other pictures we took before this selfie – both of us squinting so hard or eyes closed because it was just so bright – I’m about to cry at the camera and my pupils felt burned by the sun! Oh that Arizona sunshine!

I just thought the cacti was so pretty I wanted a quick photo on our way out. I once tripped over a cactus in college, got sent to urgent care, and the needles are still in my foot – I’m part cactus, really.

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On our way out we went to meet up with some good friends for church and lunch at Beyond Bread – a place Phoenix desperately needs. We feel so refreshed – able to unplug, connect and enjoy time together. Thanks so much Casino del Sol!

Our hotel stay was given in exchange for a post, no compensation was provided. 

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

IMG_0960Bodysuit: Love Labels / Silk Pants: Anthropologie (similar) / Clutch: Similar

If I don’t write a post about how summer is going thus far, it will be over before I know it and I’ll be sad – but elated to be wearing fall clothes (won’t we all). We celebrated Benjamin’s birthday recently! It was a long day for him with driving all day for work and I insisted we go to dinner and our eyelids couldn’t stay open because by the time we drove up through crazy traffic and sat down, it was 9 pm. We ate at Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North. I love the Four Seasons and later this summer I’ll be bringing two of my girlfriends for a memorable girl’s spa weekend.

The summer days in Phoenix are hot – every day pretty much over 100 – but I have to admit, I’m not bothered by it! I have yet to experience my usual summer crankiness. I’m doing most of my tasks early morning or cranking down the air while hanging at home if I’m not traveling on my summer tour. We also sleep with our ChiliPad on and it’s the best thing ever. I’ve asked Benjamin if it ever broke if he’d buy a new one and he’d say, “Absolutely!” and I laugh so hard because it shows how we cannot sleep through the Phoenix nights without it!

Blogging has kept me occupied with content. Thankfully Benjamin is a great Instagram Husband to help. If things slow down a bit (as in brands don’t specify a specific post date) I have spilling my guts posts, those deeper thoughts that I’ve been dying to share and I just need to publish them. I overanalyze every word, rethink the photo and then I just draft it. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there – you just assume everyone wants to read about things to buy, fashion, travel and happy pretty things.

I’ve picked up my camera again and have been shooting nearly every day for Phoenix Home & Garden’s Faces of Phoenix. I cannot put into words how much I love it, like I really really am having so much fun – one shoot featured macaws! I’m so busy, almost feeling like I did for PHOENIX magazine’s Top Docs when I photographed a dozen or more docs – just about the same amount this time around! Earlier this week I went up north to Kingman for an all day editorial shoot with the editor of PHOENIX magazine and it’s so nice to be back doing editorial work – my favorite! My heart feels so much joy when I’m out on assignment.

In other news, one of my darling bests Sommer got engaged and will be tying the knot in San Diego very soon! The other month it was constant girl time with my girl gang and I felt like I was 24 again. No matter how busy life gets, I promise time with your best friend(s) keeps you young and keeps life exciting (like New York)! So even if you’re busy working, take time for some R&R – work hard, party hard (though partying hard for me means being out to dinner at 9 pm lol). Cheers to summer memories and livin’ easy!

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