On January 8-9, Bloguettes had their first work retreat in none other than the gorgeous Sedona, Arizona! We met up at our co-founder’s house at 7am and piled into a huge van with our gracious driver, Dustin (aka Lorena’s husband, aka president of the unofficial “Boyguettes” club). We got some breakfast sammies at Starbucks, cranked up some Missy Elliot and were on our way to Sedona!
We arrived at the Hilton Sedona Resort earlier than expected (yay for planning ahead!) and were greeted by our weekend coordinator, Tessa, along with a super welcoming staff. No lie, in the first hour of being there, the hostess Miranda, along with a few other staff members started singing “Rich Girl” as they passed each other in the hallway and we couldn’t help but laugh and sing along.
Since we were a bit early, we freshened up a bit and headed outdoors to take some pictures with the cutest hot cocoa on the planet along with our dapper Winston who was loving the change in scenery.
After our mini picture session, we changed into our workout gear and headed to Bell Rock for a hike with Tessa and our knowledgeable tour guide, Cindy.
We stepped out the car to see a majestic Bell Rock sitting at the top of the hill and just because Mother Nature decided to be a gem, small tufts of snow fell from the sky as we started the hike. We could have climbed a lot higher if we didn’t stop and take so many pictures (#photographerproblems), but the bits of red rock, snow, & greenery we saw along the way was definitely enough for us.
After everyone helped Winston overcome his fear of jumping down a steep incline, we drove back to the hotel and split into groups. Half of the team went to a kettle bell training class while the other half went to the spa (Don’t worry, we didn’t leave the kettle bell team hanging. They went to the spa after their class).
Thanks to Daniel, the spa director, we received complimentary spa treatment services at the Hilton’s Eforea Spa. The majority of us had therapeutic hot & cold stone massages where they alternate heated & chilled stones to increase circulation and relieve stress and tension. We had the option of starting the massage with a White Sage Ceremony where the therapist lights a bundle of sage and wafts the aroma around the individual with a feather. The ceremony is said to heal and release ‘bad juju’ as we like to call it. The actual massage was exactly what the therapists said it would be—invigorating—and must have been a good one seeing how our editor fell asleep without even knowing!
While half of us were listening to babbling brooks in the ultimate state of relaxation, the other half was hard at work in the kettle bell class. The instructor, Pat, told us he had a background in body building, so we knew we were in good hands. We found out our little Allison is a beast when it comes to banging out a set of pristine push-ups & needless to say, the kettle bell crew all woke up sore the next morning from their workout.
After everyone showered & changed into our dinner outfits, we were treated to fireside cocktails. A wide range of sangrias, cosmos, & non-alcoholic drinks for our preggo mama & underage baby Bloguette were the perfect way to introduce dinner.
We took a few pictures, grabbed our drinks, and paraded inside to a sit-down dinner. Our server, Shelley, brought out a savory Santa Fe cheese & tortilla dip, pork belly sliders, and lobster tacos—just to start. As for the main course, a variety of salmon, steak, and elk (for Dustin, our adventurous foodie) was served and cooked to absolute perfection.
With our tummies warm & happy, we descended to the hotel lobby where a game night and dessert bar *cue the hallelujah chorus* were on display. As the creative team styled plates full of chocolate-covered strawberries, cake pops, peppermint bark brownies, & Mexican hot chocolate (ugh, DROOL), the rest of us stood behind them like vultures & silently claimed dibs on all of the sweets laid out in front of us.
We found out everyone’s sense of humor during several hilarious rounds of Cards Against Humanity and after a lot of laughter—and legitimate tears of laughter—we headed upstairs for the night. The Hilton Sedona gave each of us our own rooms (#blessed) and needless to say, we slept like babies.
The next morning, we met in the dining area at 8am and treated ourselves to the continental breakfast buffet. Our server, Cherry, made sure our orange juice glasses were full & that our sky-high plates of eggs, bacon, waffles, & fruit were up to par. As soon as we finished breakfast, we headed into town for our 9am Pink Jeep Tour.
We split into two cars and were zipped off to the Broken Arrow trail with our tour guides, Scott and Bethany. Most of us being Arizona girls were not prepared for the 9am chill in the air, but thankfully, our guides gave us individual blankets. We realize that might not sound like a note-worthy thing, but without it, we would have died (sort of exaggerating, sort of not).
On the ride up, Scott (who had a hint of a Matthew McConaughey drawl) told us everything we would ever need to know to survive a few days in the woods. We learned about how way back when, people used the Yucca plant to shampoo hair and how the Juniper tree was used to tenderize meat and gave way to modern-day gin. He also mentioned that there was apparently a Bigfoot sighting a few weeks prior and to keep a sharp look out. (Our editor was sincerely hoping he would pop his head out to say hey, but sadly, Bigfoot never made an appearance).
We had two stops during the 2-hour tour—Submarine Rock and Chicken Point. There’s no way we can describe how absolutely beautiful and humbling seeing such a beautiful sight was, but we can say that the view alone made the tour 100% worth it.
While the ride up was more educational, the ride back down the trail with tour guide Bethany had more of a personal feel. Somehow in the short ride down, we were able to bond over life stories (both serious and funny) and couldn’t stop saying thank you to our gracious guides at the end of the trip.
We ate lunch at a local Mexican eatery and warmed our bellies (yet again) with amazing food. We drove back to the hotel, packed our bags, and before heading back to Phoenix, made a quick stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross to take pictures of—and in front of—the gorgeous red rocks.
We drove back to Phoenix a little tired, but so incredibly thankful for the amazing weekend trip we got to spend all together! Infinite amounts of gratitude to the Hilton Sedona Resort for coordinating all of the unbelievable events we got to experience and for having a staff that was so willing to help us with anything we needed. As the first work retreat in Bloguettes history, we could not have asked for anything better! To many more in the future!
To see even more behind-the-scenes footage, watch our official Sedona Retreat vlog!