Dawn was scheduled for a business trip to Phoenix so we decided to take advantage of her free trip to book a little side trip to Sedona for both of us.
I used mileage on American for my ticket and rented a car online. I met Dawn at the Holiday Inn Express near the Phoenix airport where they were meeting and then we hit the road for Sedona.
It was just over 100 miles north on I-17 to get to Hwy. 179. You go north and before long you are hit with some of the most amazing scenery in the world. I can only compare it to what it might be like to drive through the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Granted, the buttes are not as high as the Grand Canyon is deep. The town is named for Sedona Schnebly one of the early settlers.
The colors on a sunny day are just breath-taking. The area is know for the red color of the rock. It is a very arid area with an elevation of 4,500 feet and the iron in the limestone rusts to create the red color.
The first small town is Oak Creek.
This is not where we stayed but we are going to look into it for next time because of its proximity to some of the best views and its very well manicured streets and quaint appeal.
Sedona is a town of just 10,000 people. It is very quiet and laid back. There are just two main roads, 179 and 89A. Sedona is known for it's communities of artists and natural healers as well as the surrounding natural beauty.
Hwy. 179 takes you right into the old part of Sedona. As you cross Oak Creek there is the best known of the shopping centers, Tlaquepaque. It's a beautiful open-air shopping mall with Mexican architecture. But don't forget "to-lock-your-pocket" as all the shops are very high-end. Our favorite shops were the Kuivato Glass Gallery and the Renee Taylor Gallery which had an amazing collection of wind sculptures.
Our first night picked up some tourist information at one of the many visitor information centers to find out what to do. The man at the shop suggested dinner at Ken's Creekside Cafe. The food was great and the view was good but the prices were a bit high and the view
was not as good as I was hoping for. But we had a nice outdoor table and enjoyed it.
Dawn had used her Priority One points for the hotel but that turned out to be a disaster. They said the closest hotel they had was in Flagstaff which is an hour north. Well, it turned out to be not in Flagstaff but Williams which was another half hour west of Flagstaff. Even though the Holiday Inn Express was fine (although it is two stories with no elevator) and it was a nice drive we didn't want to spend that much time driving so we opted to search the internet for a hotel in Sedona for our sedond night and they were nice enough to refund Dawn's points for the second night.
I found the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa on priceline for $112 and got a bit more off that price with a discount offer. That hotel turned out to be in a convenient location in West Sedona which has much more new development than central Sedona. There is a Starbucks, a Safeway, and a Walgreens among other things. The hotel has very nice grounds and great service.
The restaurant on site, Reds, is also very good. We would definitely consider staying there again.
On our second day we went to find one of four Vortexes in town, Airport Vortex, to discover why Native Americans have long considered Sedona as a sacred source of metaphysical energy. The Vortexes are a place where science and spirituality come together as the earth's magnetic field apparently is amplified in such a way as to create a vortex of energy that actually causes some of the trees to twist as they grow.
Some say that this energy creates an environment that allows the human spirit to soar, feeling one with the divine and stimulating sensitivity.
Regardless as to whether or not you believe all that, the experience of hiking, walking, and climbing around on the rocks of Sedona is an uplifting experience if not only for the incredible beauty and climate that surround you. There were no signs indicating where the vortex was so you'll need a map with showing its location.
There are an endless number of galleries in Sedona. Many are worth your time. But be aware that the "local" art is very expensive. Dawn found
a nice dress at a store called "Dahling It's You". She wanted something local to wear to the show that night and I also found a nice turquoise bracelet for both Dawn and my daughter at the same store.
We had a nice brunch at a little diner right in the middle of town called the "Hitching Post". The food, service, and prices were all good and we highly recommend it.
We decided to take in the local night life in the form of a musical walk down memory lane. The show is called "Top 10 Rock and Roll Review" and is in a nice little theater in the Village of Oak Creek that used to be an IMAX theater. The show recently moved from Branson and I'm afraid it possibly should have stayed there. There was a total of 20 of us in the theater on a Friday night. The musicians played a frantic medley of 50's and 60's music that was performed well. The theatrics and costuming could have been left out. We had dinner before the show at the Marketplace Cafe'. We bought the dinner/show package for $50. Like the show we were disappointed with
the restaurant. There was a singer as entertainment who used a karaoke machine for her music. I had the tilapia and Dawn had the chicken. Neither were of top quality but, the tilapia was just plain bad. It smelled and tasted fishy as if it were a cheap white fish that had been frozen. Actually, the frozen tilapia I buy at Costco is way better than what they served.
The next morning we had enough time before we had to be at Phoenix airport that we were able to stop by The Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is in built into the rocks on a hillside and is just gorgeous. It is small but boasts huge windows with stunning views. Downstairs there is a great gift shop loaded with religious gifts and Chapel souvenirs. There is no cost to go into the Chapel but, of course they accept donations. We donated by spending a wad in the gift shop. It is also a great place to just sit and meditate while taking in the beauty and serenity of the place.
Finally, we hit the road again to Phoenix repeating many times that we need to come back
soon. I could see us becoming regular visitors to beautiful Sedona.
Tot: 3.298s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0377s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb