A Romantic Getaway

For our anniversary, my husband planned a romantic getaway to the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain and we had a blast!  Anyone who knows me knows that I love the Ritz-Carlton.  They offer the best service, and although I know there are other hotels that have great customer service, I will always be partial to the Ritz.  The Ritz has always been good to me. This is why I chose the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain for my wedding and the Ritz-Carlton at St. Thomas for our honeymoon in the Caribbean.  Although Matt and I had a great time at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, it does not compare to the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain.


We began by taking a short hike on one of the hiking trails, and then we went back to the room to prepare for dinner.  Prior to dinner, we watched a flutist play the Native-American style flute in the mountains.  The sound was so beautiful and was perfect for the quiet beauty of the desert at sunset. The music was so relaxing and serenaded us into a wonderful, quiet dinner.

Matt made reservations at Core Kitchen and Wine Bar.  We were seated at a table with rose petals and candle light on the patio.  A band was playing nearby for an event at the hotel so we enjoyed the music and the intimate setting.  For our anniversary, the Ritz prepared a wine toast, but since we do not drink alcohol, I requested ginger ale instead.  Matt and I toasted and a shooting star lit up the sky. I closed my eyes and said a quick little prayer.  It couldn’t have been more perfect with the band playing in the background, the beautiful starlit sky, and the awesome staff at the Ritz.  The manager of the restaurant came over to our table to introduce herself and then again to ensure that we were enjoying ourselves.  Mark was our server and he was just adorable.  I hope he is our server when we return.


For starters, we ordered the chili-dusted quail with roasted garlic custard, warm salsa vinaigrette, herbed hazelnuts and cilantro, which was well seasoned with just the right amount of spices.  I also ordered a salad that consisted of watermelon with lime dressing, tomatoes and feta cheese.  I know the combination seems odd, but it was undeniably one of the best salads I have ever eaten.

For my entree, I ordered the confetti vegetables, dungeness crab rice, green beans, and sweet soy butter sauce.  The combination of the rice, soy sauce and halibut was perfect.

Matt ordered the chili-lacquered New York strip with corn-nopales relish, avocado fries, and poblano sauce.  Matt really enjoyed his steak.

Several dishes, which were compliments of the chef, were also brought out to us on our special night. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and a chocolate assortment were served before dessert.

I love the Ritz-Carlton logo imprints on the chocolate.

Mini blueberry cheesecake bites were also brought out for us to sample. They were delicious!

For dessert, we ordered a banana split.  I know this does not look like your traditional banana split, but it was the best banana split I have ever eaten.  The banana split consisted of a chocolate fudge brownie, banana pudding (instead of sliced bananas), chocolate cherry ice cream, and freeze-dried strawberry vanilla.  The chocolate cherry ice-cream and the banana pudding had such a great burst of flavor.  I think I’ll be going back just to get that dessert!  This banana split is #1 on my dessert list now.

Matt and I sat on the patio for hours just listening to the music and watching the stars.  It was such a beautiful night and the perfect setting for celebrating our first year together as husband and wife.  My husband planned all of this!  He is so awesome.  I thank God for him!  Day two was “spa day” — yes!

Shayla Jay

Shayla Jay


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  1. slgrey

    Beautiful! Congratulations on your first year of a lifetime together. Wishing you all continued love and blessings!!!

    • shaylajay

      Thank you for your warm well wishes!

  2. DJ


    • shaylajay

      Thank you, DJ!

  3. L.Piazza

    I remember this all too well, we had so much fun!!! My partners in crime:-) Ughhh memories of the Ritz!! LOL

    • shaylajay

      I know. I miss you guys so much!

  4. Mothernature35

    Happy Anniversary Lady! Love catching up with u in ur blog!

    • shaylajay

      Thank you!