This past weekend I had the privilege of traveling to Scottsdale, AZ for work.  This would be a first time for me in this part of the country.  There was a convention there in which my company was an exhibitor.  This would be a very quick trip. I flew out on Friday, arrived in time to work that evening and left on Sunday once the booths closed to catch a flight back to the East Coast.  Not exactly much time to see and explore the area.  I wasn’t even able to look up any of the great vegan restaurants around. 

I knew going into this trip that I was going to have to plan ahead for my meals.  I think that this is my biggest tip for traveling as a vegan…you must plan ahead.  Especially, if you are not going to have a lot of time while there to figure something out.  Before I left for this trip I did a little food shopping.  I bought snacks for both the plane trip there and the trip back, as I knew from a previous trip that finding food in the airport can be very frustrating.  Most importantly I brought two boxes of Clif bars (12 bars in total) as the White Chocolate Macadamia are my personal go to meal bar when I can’t find other options. 

After the meeting on Friday night we went to a sushi Asian fusion type restaurant.  There wasn’t anything that I could tell was vegan straight off the menu, as it was late and I was a little tired I just kept it simple and ordered some edemame and a bowl of white rice.  There was something so yummy and satisfying about this meal.   It was exactly what I needed. 

The next morning I woke up at 530 (jet lag is fun…).  Seeing as we did not have to meet until 10ish I decide to make good use of my time.  The temps in AZ in the summer are crazy.  The coolest day we were able to enjoy was 108 F.  Because of the weather the only time you were really able to go exploring was early morning.  I ate one of my clif bars for breakfast and went for a walk around the resort area.  The hotel was on a golf course and was really beautiful.  While I was walking around I took some photos with my phone.  The sun was really bright and I wasn’t able to see the picture I was taking until I got back to the room.  These are a few of my favorites that turned out.

During my wonderings I found a café in the lobby that had some fresh fruit and picked up a banana.  I knew that this was probably not going to be a great banana when I bought it, but I felt I needed something fresh.   It was one of those ones that were perfectly yellow.   You knew just looking at it that it was artificially ripened.  It was weird because although it was yellow it tasted green.  Really not so tasty for me as I like my bananas super ripe, I usually wait until they have brown spots on them to tell me that they are ready.  They are sooo much sweeter and more delicious this way.  I really hate those artificial processes that places use on fruit and veg to make it look better. 

So I took my yellow banana up to my room and ate it on my balcony with a nice ice tea.  It was so relaxing; I read a book and just enjoyed the view and the fresh air for about an hour before I had to get ready for work.   The view was gorgeous.

The meeting was busy as we didn’t really have time for long breaks.  I had another clif bar for lunch around noon and continued on.  After the meeting for the day we had so time before dinner and I ate another clif bar for a snack (seeing a tread, yeah after this trip I will be okay if I don’t eat another one for a while…)

For dinner we went to a nice place near the hotel.  Really wanting some vegetables at this point I was able to get mixed vegetables.  It was a great combination cooked simply in a bit of oil, tasted like some balsamic vinegar and seasoning.  It was fantastic, just what I was craving.  After dinner we met up with one of my coworkers friends in the area and went out for a fun night. 

It was a good night, but I was definitely a little tired the next day as I once again woke up at 530. I had set my alarm for 830.  This was way too early, but I couldn’t seem to go back to sleep.  I had a lazy morning watching TV and having, surprise, another clif bar for breakfast.  We worked in the convention hall until it was time to go around 2.  Our flight was schedule to take off at 430.  I say was scheduled as this ended up not being the reality.

We were supposed to be leaving at 430pm and, because of the time difference,   arriving at midnight.  At first we were just delayed about an hour and 15.  This gave us some time to grab some food.  I had a small salad with lettuce, cumbers and tomatoes.  Then, once we were boarded and pushed back from the gate, they notice a problem and needed to bring in the maintenance guys to look into it.  Finally after about 45 minutes on the plane they brought us all off and started looking for a new place as we would be unable to fly on ours.  I am glad to see that they do take thing seriously as I am a bit of a nervous flyer and worry about things like that, but because of all of this we weren’t able to take off until 930ish.  Once you factor in the time chance that is a half hour after we were supposed to be home.  Needless to say it was a long night. 

Over all the trip was very good and I enjoyed Arizona.  I would love to go back to the area at some point and see all of the things that I missed and eat at some of the veg and veg friendly places that I have heard about.  I don’t think I would choose to go back in the summer however.  The temperatures would make it nearly impossible to be able to do much of anything, especially the exploring and hiking that I would most enjoy.   Because it was a for a work meeting I didn’t really have the opportunity to find food that I could eat.  Bringing food with me was definitely the right call, though next time I think I will try to mix it up a bit more as I got really tired of eating the same thing.  Once I got home all I wanted to eat were fresh fruit and vegetables.