Day Six – May 2012

Yesterday wasn’t too chocked full of adventures; the girls (Bri and Brandi) had to leave us to head back to the doldrums of Minnesota.

Stopped by a nice little Mexican place in the Hilltop area called Javelina Cantina where the girls feasted on the finest Mexican cuisine and I engaged in a battle with a pork adobo sandwich layered with cheese lettuce and tomatoes, smothered in guacamole, creme fraiche, and cumin aioli on some toasted bread. I only ordered it because I love to say aioli. Needless to say the sandwich won and my pants lost. From now on its fork and knife meals for me.

We headed down the strip to visit Mooney’s Irish Pub at the end to enjoy a cold frosty beverage before making the trek down to the airport to provide relocation services for the girls.

The trip down to the valley was uneventful. Saw several law enforcement officials along the way. I can now boast that I did not make any new friends on the trip down to the airport or the trip back up to heaven. All in all a boring trip.

We finished the night in our usual location – the deck watching the sunset across the red rocks and making plans for the day when we can stay for much longer periods of time.

Several years back, we took a hike up Cathedral Rock and didn’t really think much of it at the time. We have a new goal to hike as many of the trails as Sedona has to offer and decided that we would start accomplishing that goal by going back to where it all started.

Woke up this morning, and after getting a little work in, we loaded up the water pack, slipped on the old hikers, grabbed the hiking poles and headed out to locate the trail head.

Cathedral Rock boasts some of the most awe inspiring views of both Sedona, (see the new pictures in the galleries under the “hiking” section) and the neighboring village of Oak Creek. This is a short, steep climb into the saddle points or “gaps” of Cathedral Rock. The towering side rocks keep the saddle points shaded and breezy; but the lower portion of the trail is bare red rock with total sun exposure. Though the actual hike is only 1.5 miles up and back, you gain about 600 feet in elevation along the way; some of the trails up are fairly steep and it takes a little to navigate them but the view at the top is so worth the climb.

The climb up was something else. Took us about 2 hours to get up and about 30 minutes to get back down. Time for a little lunch and a beer or two at a local watering hole called the Full Moon Saloon in the Village of Oak Creek.

A quick buzz through the grocery store for a couple more provisions, then back to the hacienda for a steak dinner and yep, more deck dwelling.

I love this place.


Day Four – May 2012

Looks as though I in fact didn’t fall over the edge at the Grand Canyon!

A long and scenic drive north yesterday morning up to the top of the Oak Creek Canyon lookout where we followed in tradition and supported the Native American tribes in the region. I found a nicely inlaid money clip, Tink found herself a cedar bead bracelet to replace the one she had previously and another nice ceramic piece for the mantle at home. The girls found a couple trinkets for themselves as well. A few photos later and we were back on the road.

Continuing the drive up towards Flagstaff where we were pretty certain there was still snow up on Snow Bowl (major ski resort in the area). Took in some good scenery along the drive over to Williams and then on up towards the canyon.

Stopped in Grand Canyon village for a visitor pass and found the gentleman at the store had either just gotten out of bed or recently moved to AZ from some sort of surfing gig in CA. Totally laid back and moved at a snails pace as well. After what seemed like a couple hours we were back on the road. The pass allowed us to bypass the lines and lines of traffic waiting to pay at the gate. Silly people.

We no sooner found ourselves a place to park and stuffed some food in our mouths (after all, it’s the Grand Canyon, we weren’t there to eat) and literally bee-lined down the path towards the big hole.

The views were spectacular as always. Not a cloud in the sky and nothing but little edge portions of the canyon where I could walk out, look down in awe of Mother Nature’s creation. This of course did not sit very well with the spousal unit but hey, you have to get to the edge in order to see the bottom!

We walked a few hundred miles yesterday, saw tons of great views, took lots of wonderful pictures of the scenery and decided we needed to head back down the hill to Sedona.

That was an interesting drive. Coming down Oak Creek Canyon from Flagstaff starts out as one lane switchbacks coming down the mountain side, then it turns into a one lane roadway meandering through the Coconino National Forest back to Sedona. Once at the bottom of the hill, you come into the town and are immediately greeted with spectacular views and all of the pedestrians uptown searching for the next great treasure (or future garage sale items). So here we are, heading down the one-lane roadway into the scenic views and shoppers on a holidayu weekend from one of the most visited places in all of Arizona – you do the math. It was gridlock at it’s finest.

What should have taken about 30-35 minutes ended up taking well over 2 hours. Interesting ride down the hill to say the least. At a minimum the view made it all worthwhile. This is the life you choose when you choose to live here I kept telling myself.

Back home with little time to spare to get ready for our anniversary dinner. The girls went their separate ways uptown for Bri’s golden birthday dinner and my wonderful wife and I spent the rest of the evening at our favorite creekside restaurant – Ken’s Creekside. When you come to Sedona, you need to eat at Ken’s Creekside, their chef’s make the most awesome creations.

A perfect way to top off a wonderful day.

Day Three – May 2012

The wind can go away now. We have never experienced wind like we have here for the past two days. Trying to enjoy a cigar with a beer in your hand is difficult when you are trying to hang on to anything possible so you don’t blow away. Poor Tink is really having a go of it.

Yesterday we started our day at the Coffee Pot Restaurant in Sedona, home of the famous 101 Omelettes. The jelly omelette looked tempting but I settled on the 2 eggs with corn beef hash and some grits on the side. The rest of the gang had omelettes – I guess they thought they had to conform somehow.

We needed to take a quick buzz through the grocery store. Quick was supposed to be the operative word because after all we are not in Sedona to grocery shop (contraray to some people’s opinion). Dropped off our numerous (and necessary) purchases then it was off to uptown where we pretended we were tourists by looking at the usual and customary future garage sale items.

Dinner at home and then it was off to the deck to take a serious stab at doing what we came here to do. Sit, drink and stare.

The wind had different plans for us however so we decided to embark on a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit. Game setup and discovered there were no dice in the place (not even the game). Thank God for the iPhone app that simulates rolling dice (thanks Brandi for the find).

Woke up this morning with good intentions on making an excellent breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. Not a frying pan big enough in this place to scramble more than one egg at a time. We made due and then decided to take off for our daily adventures.

We headed west to the hillside town of Jerome. Place was packed with people searching for that next great treasure (or future garage sale items). Couldn’t find a place to park so we headed down a dirt road towards an abandoned mine – bringing all sorts of commentary from the people in the car that were not driving. Finally found our way back into town and parked the rental. Let the walking begin. Had some lunch and again, pretended we were really interested in purchasing some future garage sale items (catching a theme here)?

Back to Sedona and a little trip to the artisan village of Tlaquepaque – a really cool place with future garage sale items for millionaires. Did a little speed walking around the place, looked at a couple shops and other assorted eye distractions, then off to one of my favorite places in Sedona – the Oak Creek Brewery for some good hand crafted beer, wings and a couple pizzas.

Back to the ranch and back to the deck. Spent the evening getting some of the days pictures uploaded onto the blog and writing this post.

Tomorrow is the Grand Canyon. If there are no more posts after this one, I fell over the edge.

Day One – May 2012

We finally got here. The trip was interesting to say the least.

Got to the airport at “oh-dark-thirty” (thanks Bri for the ride), decided to check our luggage curbside but found out they had a plane change and therefore the exit row seats we paid for were no longer our seats. We went inside and on the way to the luggage drop area, we ran into Michon (she went to school with Theresa about a decade or so ago). Turns out Michon has worked for Delta for some 30 years and decided she needed a project for the day and we were going to be it.

We finally unscrambled the ticket mess up, got a couple of perks from Michon and on through security.

Have I mentioned how much I am in total admiration of full body scanners? At my age, I’m just glad I’m not the one seeing the images that come through, bet it livens the day for the TSA agents though :).

Next adventure was bumping into our dear friend Scottie at Caribou. From now on, he shall be known as side-show Scottie. Nuf said.

Just about ready to board is not a good time to tell your customers that part of the plane’s ceiling came down and now it was going to take maintenance a couple hours to fix. Great start to our trip. Funny thing was they had an airport lounge literally a couple feet away from the gate, and after that exciting news nothing sounded better than a $25 bloody mary.

Finally it was time to board. They were boarding the plan from the middle door. We got the exit row seats right in front of people that were boarding. I quickly became the welcoming committee for Delta – I guess they wanted me to do a little work for all the perks we got back at the front of the airport.

Two hours late and we are in the air.

Landed in Phoenix. It was a little warm. 94 degrees and sunny of course. Being we were welll behind schedule, our planned day trip to Tuscon was now out of the question. We got our luggage and headed off to get our car. If you haven’t used Enterprise lately, I would recommend them. They have this personal concierge approach to helping their customers and I have to say it was pretty refreshing. Thanks Jenny for helping us out with that one.

Bummed around Scottsdale for what seemed an eternity while we waited for our friends Bri and Brandi to get in from Minneapolis. Of course their flight was delayed because of the weather in Minneapolis. They fianlly arrived, we got their luggage and hit the road.

45 minutes north, we stopped in Anthem, AZ and decided we needed provisions for first thing in the morning. Coffee, a couple micro-brews (actually I had a craving for some good old Oak Creek Nut Brown), snacks and other “essentials”. Then a swing through Taco Bell for a well-balanced, healthy dinner and it was back on the road.

Some 50 miles up the road and another 10 miles to go before our exit, I saw these really pretty lights in my rear view window. I’ve heard about UFO sitings in northern Arizona before but never knew they drove those things that close to the ground. I pulled over to perhaps take a picture and from out of no where, the alien appeared at the passenger window dressed in a highway patrol uniform. Strange. I guess doing 81 in a 65 isn’t recommended.  After a freindly little exchange of information and other assorted small chatter (and a warning to be mindful of the vehicle’s speed), we bid a fond adieu to our new-found friend.

We finally go to the exit, through the Village of Oak Creek, admired all the infrastructure changes they have made to the roadway since we were here last and ultimately found the place we are calling home for the next ten days.

A little relaxing time, a good cigar, one or two of our micro-brews, good friends, my favorite person in the world and pitch black and full of anticipation to wake up and see the views surrounding the place I love most in the world.

Here is the view we got when we woke up today:

Almost Time to Go

The night before and I want to make sure I can post blog message to our blog from my trusty iPhone, technology has come so far in that we will be able to hike to the top of a red rock formation, share both the pictures and thoughts with the world I something we are really looking forward to – I know, kind of geeky but still pretty cool none the less.

So here it is, the night before we head out, testing writing a blog post from my iPhone – I should be sleeping, the time will go by faster!

Let’s Make a List!

One week to go …

With so much going on in our world, we’ve resigned ourselves to creating lists; what do we need to buy, what do we need to do before we leave? Clean the house for the guests who will be staying here retrieving our mail, newspaper and making sure Prince Scotch the kitty has a never-ending trickle of water at his disposal.

What do I need to make sure I get done business-wise and what can I bring along to work on while I’m there. This trip will be a real test for me to see how well I can run my business both remotely and with all the eye-candy distractions around me (a.k.a. the red rock formations, golf courses, and of course the visually relaxed Tink with a screwdriver or glass of wine.

So here we are, a week out … but the week will go quickly – how do I know? I put it on the list.

Getting Ready …

Creating this blog site derrived from our domain name selection.

After getting a divorce from Comcast for their alleged infidelities, we decided that getting our own domain name would carry us into the future and no longer tie us to any particular internet service provider.

We settled on because it sounded cool when you add it to the end of the email address … dfisher or tfisher @ HomeInSedona …

Now that we own the domain name, setting up a website seemed like the next logical step, then it hit me … why not setup a blog site where we could share our experiences when we travel there, share the photos we take and upload a couple movies as well, that way more people can share and enjoy what we already do.

Our next trip to Sedona starts next Thursday, May 24th. Come back and see what we are up to when we go back to HomeInSedona …