After a million hours of travel time, we arrived in Scottsdale!


As mentioned before, we are in Scottsdale for a half business/half pleasure trip.  I am speaking at the Girls on the Run Summit on Tuesday evening, but the Husband and I are going to enjoy some R&R for the rest of the time.  We NEED this holiday!


When we landed in Arizona, the first thing the Husband said was, “Can we find a vegetarian sushi place?”  I have created a monster – he is OBSESSED with sushi now.  Thanks to the handy iPhone, we ended up at Kabuki.


And I FINALLY figured out how to use chopsticks!  It’s all about the pressure in the bottom stick.  Go me!


We started with edamame:


And we ordered two vegetable rolls plus a cucumber roll to share.



After the Husband got his shop on (new shoes), we arrived at our lovely resort.  I love hotel lobbies.  Especially beautiful ones like this!


Pools don’t hurt things, either.


Unfortunately, we didn’t have a moment to linger because I really wanted to attend the cocktail reception.  I’ve become friendly with so many of the GOTR staff and was anxious to see familiar faces and meet some new people, too.


GOTR power was everywhere!  In fact, over 280 council directors and volunteers are attending the three-day long conference.


Fellow blogger Amanda (who is on the Sacramento Board of Directors) was there, too!  So nice to see her again.  Funny how our paths keep crossing.


I had two Sierra Pale Ales + some finger food:



After two hours of mingling, the Husband and I were starving and headed to Grand Lux Cafe… which looked deceivingly liked a Cheesecake Factory!  Turns out, it’s a new spin off of the famous chain.  And the food was good!


I got the ‘Vegetable Plate,’ which was just four side dishes (plus a huge bowl of brown rice, which I was too full for anyway).


The macaroni and cheese was fabulous.  I also got braised cabbage, spinach, and green beans.


Off to sleep in my comfy hotel bed!  There is positively nothing better in my mind.  🙂



  • Gracie (complicated day) January 16, 2011, 11:15 pm

    Funny story: My dad went on a months-long business trip to Japan when I was six. After he returned he taught us to use chopsticks, and I ate with them at home for years after – in fact, until I married! Once at a sushi restaurant the chef asked me if I had lived in Japan because I was so comfortable with chopsticks.

  • Camille January 16, 2011, 11:16 pm

    What a gorgeous hotel! And props on figuring out chopsticks! I am still working on them 🙂
    Have fun!

  • Coco January 16, 2011, 11:25 pm

    that mac & cheese looks BALLIN!

    • Coco January 16, 2011, 11:26 pm

      p.s. just noticed that you changed the photo on your main page–cute!

      • Caitlin January 16, 2011, 11:27 pm

        Thanks! It was time for a new pic 🙂

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 16, 2011, 11:28 pm

    Glad you got the chopsticks down pat!

    I lived in Phoenix (Scottsdale) for 9 mos and this is the perfect time of year weather-wise there!

    Looks like you’re having a blast!

  • Sana January 16, 2011, 11:31 pm

    My goal for 2011 is to learn how to use chopsticks!

  • annette January 16, 2011, 11:35 pm

    Have so much fun with the vacay- and congrats on doing the chopsticks thang…..I finally learned a few months back too! 🙂

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate January 16, 2011, 11:36 pm

    Anything related to the Cheesecake Factory is okay in my book.

  • Erika @ FoodFitnessFun January 16, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Fun day! Enjoy yourself! 🙂

  • Kiran January 16, 2011, 11:38 pm

    I always thought vegetarian sushi’s are the best way to begin experimenting sushi 😉 Love the new profile pic.

  • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) January 16, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Hooray for mastering chopsticks! The hotel looks amazing, hope you enjoy your trip!

    P.S. – I happen to LOVE Grand Lux even more than Cheesecake Factory. Odd, b/c the menus are practically the same, but I appreciate that the menu isn’t full of ads =P

  • Laurie January 16, 2011, 11:41 pm

    If you bump into the Northern VA GOTR people, give them a shout out from Armstrong Elementary and thank them for all their hard work.
    Have a blast…sushi, pools and hotels, oh my!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) January 16, 2011, 11:42 pm

    I love your new pic in the side bar! 😀

    Have fun in Arizona!!!

    I (finally) heard back about my GOTR coaching application…. they are trying to get me a location to coach at! 😀 *fingers crossed* 😀

  • E (from One Twenty Five) January 16, 2011, 11:43 pm

    You and the mac n’ cheese look beautiful and delicious.

    I’ll let you choose which adjective goes with what noun. Have a wonderful sun-shining-all-the-time,-I’m-tres-jealous-trip. xo E

  • Mandy January 16, 2011, 11:44 pm

    Regarding the chopsticks, it might make it easier for you to bring your middle finger up to support the “top” chopstick (similar to the way you’d hold a pen) – I find this allows for more precise movement; you don’t need to move the bottom stick at all. 🙂

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 9:37 am

      I think the problem is that I hold a pen like a gorilla.

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please January 16, 2011, 11:46 pm

    If you have time, you should check out http://www.slofoodsaz.coml for lunch or dinner. I tried them last time I was in Scottsdale and loved it!

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit January 16, 2011, 11:50 pm

    I have never been to Arizona but my boyfriend has to go out there for spring training for the SF giants in March…I need to go visit! Their training is in Scottsdale so maybe I can make it out there. Also, sushi is amazing and the Cheesecake Factory spinoff needs to come to NC!

  • Kristina @ life as kristina January 16, 2011, 11:51 pm

    Looks amazing! Such a great organization! Ps-how is your manicure still on?! I need to know your secret!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales January 16, 2011, 11:56 pm

    Aw, my grandfather used to live in Scottsdale. It’s such a beautiful part of the country. Enjoy your time there!!!

  • Ashley January 16, 2011, 11:59 pm

    I love the new picture on the main page! I think GOTR is so great and I would’ve never heard about it without you. There is a chapter here and I’m thinking about being a solemate in the future and possible coach some day. That would be wonderful. Have fun on your holiday! I hold my chopsticks in an extremely weird way, but it works for me. I think the “normal” way is weird.

  • skinnyrunner January 17, 2011, 12:00 am

    i bet your staying at fire and sky resort in scottsdale. we stayed there for a wedding a couple years ago, gorgeous!

  • Amanda (modernation) January 17, 2011, 12:01 am

    So great to see you and not be dressed completely in spandex and wearing a helmet! So funny you went to Grand Lux. Glad it was good and hope it was as expensive as we thought it sounded!

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 9:37 am

      hahaha yes, so glad!

  • Lauren January 17, 2011, 12:06 am

    Chopsticks just need practice, glad to see you’re getting them! My boyfriend took me to sushi on our first date, and I was terrible with chopsticks but after tons of sushi dates, I’m so much better.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now January 17, 2011, 12:11 am

    Chopsticks are easy, just gotta practice!

    And cucumber sushi (kappamaki) is my favorite.

  • Maryann January 17, 2011, 12:11 am

    Enjoy the relaxation, you deserve it!

  • Steff January 17, 2011, 12:42 am

    I live here in Mesa , AZ and Kabuki is a fav for sushi but Sakana is the best.
    Check out Olive and Ivy before you leave, and don’t miss Pita Jungle. And Frank and Lupe’s for real Mexican.

    And if you are here until Friday, Th nights is Art Walk in Old Town Scottsdale. Galleries open 7-9 pm for viewing and somes wine to sip!


  • carlee January 17, 2011, 12:47 am

    That MAC N CHEESE looks BEYOND amazing!!
    Love the new pic on your blog too! Sooo pretty! 🙂

  • Alyssa January 17, 2011, 12:47 am

    Sounds like the perfect mix of work (which sounds pretty fun by the way 🙂 ) and relaxation 🙂 Any plans to meet-up with Tina since she was there for the marathon?

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 9:38 am

      We were going to meet up last night, but we were both too busy!

  • Stephanie January 17, 2011, 12:49 am

    You look radiant in your new photo! Lovin that you created a veggie sushi monster. I’ve become one too lately!

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? January 17, 2011, 1:03 am

    That hotel looks awesome!

    I love that you figured out chopsticks! Those suckers are tricky. We had this awesome nanny when I was little, and she taught me how to use them. If I hadn’t learned so young, I would NEVER be able to figure them out.

  • Gabby (Quest for Delicious) January 17, 2011, 1:16 am

    Ohh i’ve got both those restaurants here in vegas! I’ve never been to kabuki but i’ve heard it’s good. (:
    Have a great time!

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) January 17, 2011, 1:58 am

    Love the decor at the hotel!

    After my husband introduced me to sushi, I’ve been obsessed!

  • Jess @ LifeBeginsat21 January 17, 2011, 3:34 am

    Thanks to you I now have an epic craving for suuuushi!

  • Dani @ Body By Nature January 17, 2011, 5:45 am

    Have an amazing trip!

  • Katherine: Unemployed January 17, 2011, 6:26 am

    It is so wonderful that you get to travel! girls on the run is a great program, too. it is good to see you giving back from what you have learned

    can I email you about some dissatisfaction I have had with a recent magazine? I would love to put together a small tid-bit for you to blog about since I feel the message would align with your operation beautiful campaign

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 3:54 pm

      I would love to see it! feel free to email me at

  • VeggieGirl January 17, 2011, 6:49 am

    Such a fun trip!

    • sarah (the SHU box) January 17, 2011, 7:21 am

      i think we’re staying at that same resort in 2 weeks! i recognize the lobby + pool 🙂 ahhh i can’t wait!

  • Amy January 17, 2011, 7:46 am

    Looks like a fantastic trip! I’m volunteering as a coach for GOTR this season in Raleigh, NC after reading about it on your blog. We had our new coaches training on Saturday and the staff was leaving for the conference the next day! I can’t wait for the season to start next week.

  • Baking 'n' Books January 17, 2011, 7:57 am

    The weather! What is that bright thing in the sky?! 😉

    Love the new picture on your side-bar! (well, the old one was nice too of course…)

  • Jessica January 17, 2011, 8:05 am

    Caitlyn, I have been so excited to read your recaps on Arizona and Scottsdale because I am trying to figure out if I am going to travel with my husband there in February for a work trip he has. We might make it into a mini vacation too! Your hotel looks Beautiful! Any way you could email me with the name? ( Have fun! 🙂

  • Kristyn January 17, 2011, 8:08 am

    GOTR power, Caitlin!!! Enjoy your time in Arizona! We have family there. Such a beautiful place for R&R! Go NJ Council Directors for Girls on the Run too! Our council is Hunterdon County, NJ…hopefully our director was able to come (Becky) and will be able to see your awesome Operation Beautiful presentation.=) You go, girl!

  • Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life January 17, 2011, 8:10 am

    Hubby and I went to the grand lux when we were in Chicago for the HLS! I didn’t realize that it was associated with the cheesecake factory. They have realllllllly delicious breakfasts, especially the beignets. Yum!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 17, 2011, 8:15 am

    That looks like so much fun!! I have been eating so much edamame lately I think I might just turn into a soybean. It’s so good though! I hope you had a relaxing night! 🙂

  • Reenie January 17, 2011, 8:18 am

    Caitlin~ that color looks great on you. 🙂

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 3:56 pm

      thanks 🙂

  • megan @ blackberries for jam January 17, 2011, 8:20 am

    Arizona sounds amazing right now. It is -10 degrees outside this morning here!

  • Allie January 17, 2011, 8:22 am

    Your resort is looking super awesome right now.. wish I was somewhere warm! Hope your work/relaxing vaca goes well 🙂

  • Jenna @Eating Green, Staying Lean January 17, 2011, 8:31 am

    Yay looks like fun!! I LOVE sushi, especially the salty edamame that they offer…I’ve tried to make it at home but it’s just not quite the same 🙂

  • Megan January 17, 2011, 8:37 am

    I like your new profile pic! The red suits you.

    Also, thanks to you, I started looking onto GOTR, thinking it would be a fabulous way to combine two of my new year’s resolutions (volunteer more + run) but alas, we don’t have a GOTR chapter in my corner of the world 🙁

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

      i wish there was!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 17, 2011, 8:39 am

    You made me look forward to my weekend outing for sushi on Saturday!!!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) January 17, 2011, 8:41 am

    Good times! The cocktail receptions sounds fun! Good luck tomorrow 🙂

  • Jennifer (Happiness Here) January 17, 2011, 8:44 am

    I’ve never had sushi. I think it’s time to change that.

  • Haleigh January 17, 2011, 8:45 am

    You look beautiful in your pink top 🙂 Enjoy your vacation! xoxo

  • Hope January 17, 2011, 8:45 am

    Looks like you are having fun! The resort looks beautiful too! That macaroni and cheese looks delicious!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing January 17, 2011, 9:00 am

    My brother took me to a Grand Lux Cafe in Chicago when I went for a visit. I couldn’t believe how Cheesecake Factory like it was! Little did I realize the two are connected…

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} January 17, 2011, 9:04 am

    Oh, I love Scottsdale! I lived there for 7 years and I miss it so much. I hope you get a chance to go to Sedona while you are in AZ. Totally worth the trip.

  • Kate January 17, 2011, 9:19 am

    Welcome to AZ! It’s been in the 60s the past few weeks but this week we are headed for 70s 🙂 Your resort look gorgeous — enjoy!!

  • Shari January 17, 2011, 9:21 am

    What a beautiful hotel! Enjoy your much-deserved vacation! 🙂

  • Kathie @ Frugal, Fit and Fabulous January 17, 2011, 9:24 am

    What an absolutely beautiful hotel! Way to go on figuring out the chopsticks. I still have a hard time with those. ha!

  • Marie-Journey to Body Zen January 17, 2011, 9:36 am

    Have fun! Looks beautiful!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations January 17, 2011, 9:37 am

    I love hotel beds too. There are few pleasures greater!!

    Hoping you both have a very restful time.

  • Kelly January 17, 2011, 9:45 am

    Have fun in Arizona!

  • Kara January 17, 2011, 9:53 am

    That mac ‘n’ cheese looks sooooo good. I think I know what I want for dinner now!

  • Allie @ Healthy Balance, Healthy Life January 17, 2011, 10:10 am

    I love the new picture. Looking beautiful as always, Caitlin!

  • Marina January 17, 2011, 10:13 am

    What an awesome lobby!
    I love all kinds of sushi, it’s such an awesome food!

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 17, 2011, 10:30 am

    Beautiful hotel and congrats on mastering the chopsticks! 🙂

  • Dani January 17, 2011, 10:33 am

    Looks like you are going to have an amazing time! Whenever I think of vacation I always think of out of the country or florida but Scotsdale seems very exciting!! Are you thinking about traveling any other place beside Scottsdale while in Arizona?

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 17, 2011, 10:35 am

    I can eat weird things like scrambled eggs with chopsticks, but not sushi 🙂

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life January 17, 2011, 10:36 am

    Sushi looks amazing–and how fun that you’re combining a vaca with GOTR!

  • Leanne (For Health's Sake) January 17, 2011, 10:54 am

    Your new picture (top left) is super cute! Love the pink top 🙂

  • Joanna @ Drizzle of Sunshine January 17, 2011, 10:55 am

    I LOVE sushi!! Healthy, fresh, and delicious! What’s not to like? Can’t wait to see the rest of your trip! Looks like fun!

  • Madeleine @ Stepping to the Bright Side January 17, 2011, 11:25 am

    I too adore the feeling of sleeping in hotel beds- it means something new’s in store and that’s always great! Love that you’re visiting so many west coast chains- Kabuki, Grand Lux Cafe. Enjoy AZ!

  • monicanelsonfitness January 17, 2011, 11:30 am

    I have stayed at that hotel too. Isn’t it lovely!
    Have fun!

  • Amanda @ JustAmandaJ January 17, 2011, 11:36 am

    Dang, now I have a sushi craving!
    That hotel looks gorgeous! So awesome that you’re staying there on your business/pleasure trip 🙂 Plus that it looks so nice out!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 17, 2011, 11:42 am

    I just had vegetarian sushi for the first time last week and LOVED it. I’m glad I’ve found an easy replacement for my beloved rolls, because Eating Animals has got me totally rethinking eating fish!! Enjoy Scottsdale!

  • Ashley (The Vegetable Life) January 17, 2011, 11:46 am

    Oh the weather looks so beautiful there! I am so jealous!

  • Ali @ Ali Runs January 17, 2011, 11:56 am

    I love your new picture on the side bar! The weather looks so nice–I’m very jealous! 🙂

  • Amber K January 17, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Looks like a fun time! I have only tried sushi once and I thought it was horrible. But maybe because it was RAW freagin’ FISH! lol I should try it sometime without the fish, because then I might actually like it.

  • Natalia - a side of simple January 17, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I have yet to try sushi…(I know!!) but your pictures are making me crave some! Have a great time on VACATION!!!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats January 17, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I love seeing hotels/hotel rooms – it’s so luxurious! I hope your foot is feeling better today!

  • Little Bookworm January 17, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Great new photo on the side of your blog. 🙂 Hope your presentation goes well tomorrow!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 17, 2011, 12:26 pm

    New picture! Love it.

  • Ashley January 17, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Looks like a beautiful hotel! Grand Luxe isn’t new! There’s not one in Tucson where I live now, but it was all over South Florida a couple years ago! There might even be one back in your hometown!

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 3:58 pm

      oh fun facts! i’ve never heard of it before.

  • Meghan@travelwinedine January 17, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Fun! My company had our sales meeting at that hotel last winter. I totally recognize the lobby. If you have time, you should go on a guided desert hike. It was magnificent, and a great workout.

  • Jen January 17, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Have a great time away with the husband 🙂


  • kate January 17, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Love the new picture. Have a blast in AZ!

  • Erica January 17, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Scottsdale is GORGEOUS! Enjoy your time there. And best of luck with the talk- I’m sure you’ll do fabulous! You must be a pro by now 🙂

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 17, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Wow!! that is pretty awesome your husband asked for vegetarian sushi!! That’s like..anti-guy lmho. In a very good way!

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 3:59 pm

      my husband is kind of the anti-male. he likes sushi, volunteers with GOTR, cries during movies, and is a vegetarian. lol

  • Caree @ Fit-Mama January 17, 2011, 3:03 pm

    oohh, I totally could go for sushi right now! I love it that my hubby loves sushi too! And I love love grand luxe cafe!

  • Tiffany January 17, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Yay I’m excited to see what restaurants you go to out here! Being a poor college student, I don’t go to too many different restaurants that frequently, so it’ll be awesome to see what you find! And I had no idea there was a GOTR summit here. Enjoy your time! As other commenters said, it really is the best time of the year here weather-wise. But if you find yourself getting envious, just remember that the summer is brutal. 115 degrees is not uncommon!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life January 17, 2011, 5:54 pm

    Congrats on mastering the art of chopsticks! I gave up years ago but may have to give it another try.

    Enjoy your vacay!

  • Andrea January 17, 2011, 6:38 pm

    Ha! I didn’t know you would be out here for GOTR! I was a GOTR coach this past Fall. Did you get to meet our Julie Rose? 🙂

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 7:46 pm

      i have not yet!

  • Alyson @ Nourished Fitness January 17, 2011, 8:23 pm

    That glass building behind you in the first picture is where I use to live! 🙂 There’s a restaurant on the first floor there called Nourish.. give it a try if you get a chance! Have a wonderful time in AZ!

  • Jolene ( January 17, 2011, 10:11 pm

    That mac and cheese looks SO insanely amazing!!

    Cute nail polish 🙂

  • Catherine January 17, 2011, 10:45 pm

    I was in Phoenix for the rock n’ roll half marathon and saw some GOTR people and it made me think of you 🙂

  • Dee January 20, 2011, 2:03 pm

    Oh, I love Grand Luxe! I had my post wedding brunch at one. That macaroni and cheese sure does look yummy.

  • kristin November 27, 2011, 3:40 pm

    hey lady – what hotel did you stay in while in scottsdale? we are planning a trip now! i am referencing all of your posts for suggestions on what to do, but cant find the hotel! thanks!

    • CaitlinHTP November 27, 2011, 6:46 pm

      We stayed at FireSky Resort & Spa!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2011, 6:49 pm

      @kristin: FireSky Resort & Spa!

      • kristin November 27, 2011, 8:13 pm

        @Caitlin: thank you!!!!!!!! p.s. congrats on being preggo!!!! i know i commented and said that but i am so happy for you!!!!

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