Spring training is a bucket list item that every baseball fan needs to experience. Check out our incredible spring training road trip in the Toyota Sequoia!
Disclosure: I partnered with Toyota for this incredible experience. All opinions are my own.
When the email hit my inbox that Toyota was inviting us on the #ToyotaGrandSlam weekend to spring training in Arizona, it was an absolute bucket list, must go, trip. We were elated and honored to take one of our favorite brands on the road (again) and experience spring training with our Colorado Rockies. Toyota delivered the sweet Sequoia TRD and on the first day of our road trip we loaded this awesome SUV up and got on the road.
The Toyota Sequoia TRD is very roomy with the option of 3rd row seating or power fold seats to create more cargo space. Since the kiddos were not taking this trip with us, we went with more cargo space for our 2 day road trip. There was PLENTY of room back there which would make a road trip with or without kids so nice.
We left out after work to head to our first stop in New Mexico. Our original planned route ended up having a detour and so we took the scenic route through our amazing Colorado Rocky Mountains. It was actually very serene and beautiful with some incredible sunsets to enjoy. We ended up driving through herds of deer and elk in the thousands as well which was probably one of the coolest parts of our drive, although it was pitch black and almost 1:00 AM! We arrived at our hotel in New Mexico around 2:00 AM and crashed out.
The next day we loaded up and headed to Scottsdale Arizona. We were so excited to get there and spent a lot of our time talking about those big cactus and baseball. The Toyota Sequoia TRD was very comfortable to drive in and was so smooth and easy to maneuver. We actually ended up testing it in every single weather imaginable and were very impressed with the ease in those extreme weather situations.
I am not even kidding. EVERY TYPE OF WEATHER. The Toyota Sequoia TRD stood up to it and moved through everything flawlessly. Within about an hour we went from incredible winds that were pushing cars off the road and causing people to pull over (while we just calmly drove through), to heavy rain, hail, snow, sleet and even some icy roads! It was a whirlwind of a drive, but the Sequoia was a trusty steed the entire route.
The Talking Stick Resort
We arrived about midday at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale Arizona. Driving up to the resort is beautiful in and of itself. It is covered in native species of plants and has the most amazing staff ever. From check in to check out and everything in between, they were incredibly accommodating and wonderful.
They have complimentary valet services with your stay at the hotel, which we loved. We just pulled right in to the covered area, the valets whisked our road trip companion off to her parking area and we were on our way to enjoy our stay. The Talking Stick Resort is a beautiful property. From stunning water-features to amazing foliage and amenities, it was like I stepped into a dreamland that I never wanted to leave.
I will admit that I was terrible about taking pictures inside the hotel. We were just so excited to experience spring training and our weekend with Toyota that we actually spent more time out of the hotel then in. We did enjoy a nice lunch at the cantina on site and played some penny slots in their casino as well as a stunning dinner at the Orange Sky restaurant and lounge at sunset. It was overall just a really beautiful place and one that we definitely want to spend more time at in the future.
I Might Be Obsessed with Cactus
As we were approaching Scottsdale on our road trip, the one thing I was telling my husband was how much I wanted to see those big cactus with 2 arms. I had never seen one and was so excited for it. Well, let me just tell you that Arizona delivered with more than just those saguaro cactus!
Driving in we saw thousands upon thousands of these massive cactus. We googled all the information that we could about them and learned that they live upwards of 200 years, that it take 50 years for them to grow an arm and that they definitely do not just have 2 arms, they can have many more than that! They are protected and when land is cleared for construction, the saguaro cactus have to be moved to new areas! Honestly, they were so pretty and fascinating to us.
The grounds at the Talking Stick Resort were also covered in many different species of cactus and succulents. I never knew just how pretty these pokey little plants could be when they are in the right environment. We loved checking out all the different species and learning everything we could about them. It might be a new obsession for us!
Checking Out the City
It was so nice to have a car to drive around Arizona. The Sequoia was a dream and honestly we loved that we were able to grab it and take off to explore the city, meet up with friends or just take it for a cruise. While in town, we got a message from our friends that we better come see them! We didn’t know how much time we would have, but as luck would have it, we were able to meet up and enjoy a great brunch.
Can I just tell you how good this felt on my soul. We loved meeting up with them, catching up after a couple months away and seeing the city from their point of view. It was really nice and a great bonus to the awesome road trip! They were only about 30 minutes away from our hotel and the drive was really fun too.
One of the cool things that we loved about cruising around in the Sequoia was that Arizona has some really great art on their highways. It of course features CACTUS and lizards! We also were really impressed with the gas mileage on the Sequoia. We were getting around 17 MPG on this large SUV which is awesome and features a 5.7L V8 engine! As someone who drives a large SUV daily, the gas mileage was impressive!
The trip was already incredible and dreamlike. I felt like we were constantly breathing deeply and taking in every ounce of the experience that we could. We could hardly wait to dawn our Colorado Rockies gear and get to a ball game and when we finally arrived, my husband and I were seated so close we could hear the ballpen and smell the grass!
The Colorado Rockies home field for spring training is called Salt River Fields. It reminded me very much of a smaller version of our stadium at home and it was so clean and welcoming. There were fans from all over that descended on the ball field and we loved cheering on new and old players alike. It was so fun to see the adjustments being made to the team and see our major league players on a smaller scaled field. I loved the intimate feel of it all.
After a rocky start to the first game against the Padres our boys pulled it together and got one of the most talked about wins of the weekend! We were so excited and the energy there was electric! Way to go boys! After being on an electric high for the evening, we headed back to the resort and drifted off to sleep.
The next day we loaded up and decided to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather with a little cruise and a car wash before hitting up our second game of the weekend. Opening that sunroof on the Toyota Sequoia and soaking in those UV rays was just what our native Colorado souls needed before heading home.
We cruised on over to Peoria fields for the second game featuring the Angels and Padres. We would be leaving spring training a bit early and so we weren’t able to catch our Rockies but we loved checking out another spring training facility and sizing up this seasons competition.
One of my favorite parts about being at this game was not necessarily the game itself, but the company we kept. I definitely decided to represent Toyota at the game and loved that many of the folks that traveled to spring training with Toyota were sitting as a group. It was really engaging to exchanging our road trip stories from our home cities in the various Toyota’s that we all drove down there and learn about other cars and the features they had.
I definitely will be sharing more about our Toyota Sequoia TRD in a future post, but let me tell you, I had a chance to peek at the Camry, Avalon and the Land Cruiser and all were super awesome. I think the favorite of the weekend was either the Camry or the Sequoia for sure. Everyone loved our Sequoia TRD and we definitely weren’t complaining about our comfy cruise to spring training.
I have to be honest, coming back from spring training, everyone has asked me how it was and I am having a hard time putting it into words. It was truly amazing. It was a dream. It was a massive check off the bucket list and a moment for us to always look back on and smile. It was everything I never imagined would be our lives and still was exceeding that. I love road tripping. I love Toyota and have been an owner of their vehicles for nearly 20 years. I love baseball and have always dreamed of attending spring training. It was everything.