Tucson Part II: Hike, Eat, Digest, Nap

April 12, 2013

After I finished my cookie dough cereal, Matt and I went out exploring. I actually spent a whole summer in Arizona when my dad worked in Phoenix when I was young, so I have fond memories of prickly pear flavored everything, giant cacti and desert hikes.

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We found a little trail that led us to a waterfall

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And then we found a long legitimate hike just on the other side of the resort property. We hiked about 30 minutes into Ventana Canyon and loved feeling like we had escaped into the canyon away from the world. Thankfully we had water and sunscreen with us!

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After showers, we reunited with Gina, Tom + Liv for one more meal – brunch at the Loews resort.

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The resort is known for its Blues, Brews + BBQ brunch and after multiple people reported it was out of this world, we had to try it.

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They had everything from sushi to fresh green juice to grilled meats and vegetables to shrimp cocktail to an amazing dessert spread to all-you-can-drink local beer and champagne. The brunch was not cheap, but man was it worth the cost. All the food went above and beyond the call of flavor to impress the palate – bourbon-soaked watermelon, pineapple grilled ribs and jalapeno mashed potatoes.

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I had champagne with prickly pear syrup – superb!

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Plus a jalapeno green juice

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They had local beer on tap and Matt was in seventh heaven!

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Mazen was perfectly happy with milk : )  Look at that tooth!

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Liv loved her grilled salmon and watermelon juice!

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I started with a sushi and seafood sampler, which I shared with Matt

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And then I feasted on this incredible plate. Grilled fruits, a charred tomato, jumbo asparagus, beer-soaked grilled corn, barbecue salmon, pulled pork, spiced cornbread, beans and an amazing mac and cheese.

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And as if that weren’t enough….the dessert table was breathtaking!

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I shared this plate with Matt and Karen – plus a slice of heavenly German chocolate cake. Our favorite was the coconut crème pie on the right.

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A memorable day of eating for sure!!

Afterwards, we all did this until we were digested enough to put our bathing suits on:

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

Awww love the squishy babies <3

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2 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

Those drinks sound so good!

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3 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh April 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

Wow, my stomach is seriously jealous! That looks insanely wonderful! Nothing like a good nap to follow some good eats. :)

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4 Ashlee@HisnHers April 12, 2013 at 8:49 am

That brunch is right up this Texas girl’s alley! I love seeing bloggers’ worlds collide :-)

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5 Alex April 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

Gah, Mazen is so cute! That little one-toothed smile is just adorable!
What a fabulous day of eats. At occasions like that I often wish my stomach could just expand for the night so I can try all the delicious choices. Unfortunately that is not the case and I ususally end up with a stomach ache…

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6 Lindsey @ Pas de Deux April 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

Brunch buffets are always so much fun–especially when you have people to share a tasting plate with :-) I’m loving this multi-post vacation recap–can’t wait to see what else you all were up to! Sorry about the troubles you had getting back to Cville–hope you have a relaxing weekend planned.

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7 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

Mmm…yum!

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8 Carey Morgan April 12, 2013 at 9:03 am

You’ve got to be sure to try the local beer Nimbus. My brother is the brewmaster!

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9 KathEats April 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

Wow!!! Matt loved it!! One of the best IPAs he’s ever had he said

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10 Carey Morgan April 14, 2013 at 9:58 am

So glad he liked it!

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11 Spice Chicken April 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

Is Nimbus distributed nationally?

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12 Carey Morgan April 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

Hey Spice Chicken — You can find Nimbus across the Southwest and West Coast, but they still don’t have a wide distribution in the Midwest or East Coast.

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13 Jennifer April 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

The Loews chain of hotels is amazing! We’ve stayed in a few and nothing compares.

Mazen is just adorable! I love the big, red cheeks! :)

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14 Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings April 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

Wow that meal looks amazing! And unlimited local beer and champagne? Done. I want to try the champagne with prickly pear, sounds delicious.

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15 Lynn @ the actor's diet April 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

You me and dessert buffets one day. I see it happening

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16 Sarah April 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

I traveled to Loews Ventana Canyon to help with a retreat at my first job out of college about 10 years ago; I’m so happy to see it is still amazing! I loved that place.

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17 Ellie April 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

Drooling here, omgness all that food! Everything looks so flavorful and it’s funny you mention watermelon juice since that’s exactly what I was craving last night, hah!

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18 Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body April 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

Mazen is so stinkin cute with his little tooth poking through! What I wouldn’t give to be where bathing suits and tanks tops are a requirement. Summer couldn’t come any sooner as far as I’m concerned.

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19 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries April 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

You’re looking great mama! And wow – all of that food and DESSERT look incredible! Dessert buffets get me every time…

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20 Kat @ Kat's Health Corner April 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

Look at that tooth is right! Tell that little one to stop growing to quickly :) you look great, by the way!

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21 Sonia the Mexigarian April 12, 2013 at 10:42 am

sounds like a lovely experience out at the resort :) i pretty much would had attacked the drinks and the dessert table straight on.

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22 Carly @ Snack Therapy April 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

My taste buds are pissed that I’m not feeding them the deliciousness pictured in this post.

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23 Spice Chicken April 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

Your son is teething, wow! Time flies!

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24 kris April 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

I love that they serve green juices at the buffet! Everything looks delish!

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25 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

All of that food looks DELICIOUS! As does the pink champagne :)

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26 Emily @ Life on Food April 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I would have been so overwhelmed by all of the food options. I am very hungry after seeing all of the beautiful photos.

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27 Ashli - The Sweat Revolution April 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

The only thing better than a buffet is a brunch buffet :)
I absolutely love hiking. I love the fresh air, the wildlife and feeling like you’re the only person in the world for a little while.

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28 Kari April 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Have you tried any Four Peaks brews? I live near Tempe, AZ and it is fabulous! If you are ever near here, I would love to take you- AMAZING!

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29 Jola April 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The seafood sampler looks amazing! I really could eat it right now ^^

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30 Shel@PeachyPalate April 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

It all looks sensational! I’ve never tried anything prickly pear flavoured?! Does it taste like a standard pear at all?

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31 KathEats April 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

More like cherries/watermelon

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32 Shel@PeachyPalate April 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Oh wow! A mix of the two!? The Irish cherries are like a deep purple and taste like no other we import during the year. Definitely my favourite fruit; can’t wait to pick them again in a couple of months! I’m googling prickly pear after I finish this sentence to find out more!

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33 Emily @ The Swallow Flies April 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

That brunch looks INCREDIBLE! We have a super-great brunch in Des Moines (that is also not too kind to the bank account), and after seeing all of these photos, I think I may have to head there soon!

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34 Angelica April 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

That jalapeño green juice sounds intriguing. How did it taste and what would you guess is in it (aside from the obvious)?

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35 KathEats April 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm

It actually wasn’t very spicy. I think it was mixed with some other fruit.

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36 Lindsay April 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm

YUM! What an amazing, FRESH spread of delightful treats!! We are almost about to set foot back on American soil (been in S. Korea for two years) and one of the BIGGEST things we are excited about is the return to fresh fruits and veggies! We have them here, but many are fermented :)

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37 Mom April 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Love the tooth!

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38 Aja April 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm

What an awesome looking day!

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39 kayla April 13, 2013 at 5:51 am

oh my goodness, both yours and gina’s baby’s are so cute together! little liv and mazen!

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40 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) April 13, 2013 at 7:23 am

Oh goodness, everything just looks so refreshing. From the summery hike to the summery spread. It makes me want lots of sunshine and fresh fruit (we’re getting ice and snow mixtures in New England right now!!!)

And is it just me, or is Mazen getting cuter and cuter every single day??? ;)

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41 Cait April 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

that looks so yummy! love smoked salmon and capers!!

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42 Alyssa April 14, 2013 at 8:32 am

That looks amazing :-)

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43 Marissa @Barefoot Colorado April 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

OH MY! That food looks fantastic! I’m not craving prickly pear candy… reminds me of summers in Tucson with my grandparents!

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44 Kara Curay April 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I love your healthy lifestyle and the gorgeous family that you have. It’s fun living healthy with spouse. That waterfall you came across is just amazing. You don’t get to stumble upon those things on a daily basis especially if you’re always in the city like me. The foods you ate are so enticing, I would love to try that pink champagne over there! Your little bundle of joy is so cute and that smile on his face is priceless.After seeing your post, I now crave for a day of relaxation and adventure. Must have felt good after doing all those things, reconnecting with nature, eating delicious foods and swimming for the rest of the day!

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45 Grace April 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Hey Kath!
Looks like a great time. I am super jealous! Quick question, did you get that turqoise necklace in AZ? I just ask because my sister lived in AZ for the summer, and picked up turquoise for all of the girls in the family.
Thanks so much!
Grace

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46 KathEats April 16, 2013 at 5:51 am

I didn’t.. It was a gift so it could still be from the southwest though

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47 ~Christy@wonderofallthings April 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I missed the brunch but the regular menu was good food too. But it looks like it was heavenly… :)

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