Tag Archives: Arizona travel

Ballooning Over Phoenix: Up, Up and Champagne

At daybreak, floating over the Sonoran Desert at 6,000 feet in a basket is an awesome way to start the day.

Contrasted against the outline of cactus and brown desert are over a dozen giant multicolored balloons being inflated. They slowly rise like other worldly mushrooms whose spoors invaded the planet.

Liftoff is, well, like floating in air. Except for the occasional blast from the propane jet and sounds of primal glee from adults one would think have experienced it all, the world silently drifts away.

The Sonoran Desert is lush despite receiving an average annual rainfall of 10 inches. In the distance is shockingly blue Lake Pleasant formed in the 1920s by damming the Aqua Fria River.

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Floating over the Sonoran Desert is awesome at daybreak


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa: Pirate, Piper, Painter

Josh Riffe, CTO

Upon entering the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in swank Scottsdale, AZ, you may be greeted by a pirate.

Michael McClanathan

Depending on the time of day you might hear live music being played at the edge of the golf course on bagpipes by a gentleman with long blond hair in a kilt.

Nelson Garcia-Miranda

Before entering Deseo restaurant you will experience the Kierland’s Artist-in-Residence intently painting.


In the lobby of the hotel, you may run into Scotty, the Kierland’s top Dog-in-Residence.

Welcome to the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, “an uncommon experience.”



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