A Farewell Lunch for Megan

sumomaya

That’s Megan. She’s our regional Starwood Field Marketing Coordinator and she’s fabulous. She is one of the most passionate marketers I have met. She’s creative. She’s driven. She’s intelligent and she is someone who any company would be lucky to have on their team. And … she’s leaving Starwood. She’s moving to California for a great opportunity to work for Amazon.

I’m ridiculously proud of the work she has done at Starwood and selfishly so sad to see her leave our team. I have so many memories with this one and I know she will do great things, but it’s going to be a bitter-sweet day today (her last day).

Yesterday, the team and I took her to lunch to celebrate her new beginning with Amazon. We decided to try SumoMaya, a new Scottsdale restaurant. It was charming inside, spacious and designed really well. Right before we ordered Kristina turned to me and said, “Let’s just hope the food is as good as the place looks.” She was right – so many restaurants just look the part. But this one made the grade – food was excellent and service was fantastic.

This is what you get when you order a side of corn. Perfectly popped popcorn on top. The thought of Asian and Mexican on one menu is one I wasn’t sure about, but I have to tell you … the food, the service, the décor (you see all that pink, right?) was right up our ally. Two thumbs up for SumoMaya.

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Best of luck in your new role, Megan. From the minute you walked into our office to interview, Melissa and I knew you were a star. You have something so special about you. And with your exceptional marketing work, you truly blew us away with every project you led. I can’t wait to see where this new opportunity takes you. The office won’t be the same without you.

The Travel Hat: The St. Regis Deer Valley

It was our family’s New Years resolution to “travel more”. And I would say that Ryan and I are making good on that promise. I was visiting The St. Regis Deer Valley Resort last year (for work) when I called my mother-in-law and said, “this resort is for you!” (if you know my in-laws, you know this mountain resort is right up their ally).

Fast forward to this year, and my in-laws and I took the kids to Deer Valley to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday and to indulge ourselves in the royal treatment. In case you’re wondering, Deer Valley is a private community right outside of Park City, Utah. It’s gorgeous. Secluded. And resides against the Wasatch Mountains.

Ryan and I did feel a little “Downton Abbey-ish” at this resort. For instance, our Butler was waiting for us upon arrival at the front desk. He greeted us all by name and walked us to our suites to point out all of the room features. His name was Alexander Mattinson, head butler for the resort and lead butler for the North America St. Regis Training Program.

As we were walking down the hall to our suites, my mother-in-law turned to him and asked, “What did you do before you worked for St. Regis?” “Oh”, he replied, “I worked for the royal family at Buckingham Palace”. Turns out, he worked as carriage driver, store manager for the Royal Mews and valet to the crown equerry. Yep, this is how our experience started out. It was a five-star family vacation that I’ll never forget.

Throughout the week, I’ll post more pictures and stories from our trip. It was truly a memorable vacation with my family that I will always cherish.

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis is the resort; beautiful, isn’t she?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

The pool area where we spent an entire afternoon. We couldn’t keep Kelsey out the pool. Travel tip: Bring your children’s swim floaties. Thank me later.

St. Regis Deer ValleyI used to have the same initials as St. Regis – before I got married that is. To me, whenever I see the initials “SR” I get extra excited.

St. Regis Deer Valley St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyEvery night from 7-9pm you can roast s’mores at the fire pits. I had been craving s’mores since my last pregnancy so to me – it was heaven! You literally walk right up and the s’mores tray is already set out for you.St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyThis the “Funicular”. It’s an indoor gondola-type car. You park at the base of the resort, then you ride the Funicular up the mountain and into the resort. It’s one of two ways you can arrive. Kelsey loved it. And that view?

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer Valley

This is a photo right outside the “fire garden”. It’s a little area where you can sit and watch multiple fire pits while gazing over the horizon.

St. Regis Deer Valley You have to “click” on this photo to enlarge it in order to see its true beauty.

St. Regis Deer Valley

St. Regis Deer ValleyDo we look like parents or what in this photo? This was our first official vacation as a party of four. Here’s to many more family trips in our future.

The Travel Hat: Kauai Botanical Gardens

Our last night in paradise kicked off with a hosted reception at the Kauai Botanical Gardens in Princeville. We missed most of it because I was still recovering from a 7 hour boat ride that ended just hours before. But, we made it just in time to board shuttles to our next destination in the garden.

We drove to the bottom of the hill where we were greeted by a pretty tent and a local, Hawaiian band. We ate – oh, how we ate – some great food. We listed to amazing music, by Taimane Gardner, an electric ukulele player. She was amazing – she even played some of my husband’s favorites – Pink Floyd.

We mixed and mingled with other Starwood folks and then a select few of us closed down the after party. Hey, when we don’t have kids around, we’re known to be a little cooler.

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40813_1015Celia and Christy – two of my favorites in Starwood.

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Ryan and I, after the sea sickness wore off. Man, that was rough.

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After she played one note, we were on our phones downloading her music.

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40813_1071More entertainment.

40813_1179The after-party.

40813_1181Yep, we hung out here until it closed. So?

The Friendship Hat: My Girl

There will come a day when Kelsey thinks her mom is a nerd. A loser. Someone who couldn’t possibly know what she is going through. But until that day comes, she’s all mine. We’re two peas in a pod, I tell you.

Two girls who love all of the same things. She challenges me to be a better person. She makes me laugh more than anyone in this world. And she is such a blessing to be around. She’s my girl, and I am so lucky to be her mother.

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