April, 2016

IMG_2970Back in Sedona for the month of April.

We took a little side trip to visit some friends in Corpus Christi – a most enjoyable time I must say. Life on Padre Island is a different place. The water, the beaches, the community – all pretty cool but there’s not place like Sedona!

We left Minnesota on March 25th about 4:00 am for the long drive to Denton, Tx and a well deserved nap. 14 hours in the car is long enough for my bones. Another 6+ hours on Saturday and we arrived at our friends (Jim and Kelly McFadden) home. The next five days were full of laughter, adventures, great food, great company, a little business and a lot of fun.

Left Texas for another 14 hour drive towards AZ. The vast majority of the time we spend literally driving across Texas. Man that place is big! Finally pulled into Tucson about 7:30 for a bit more r&r.

We hit a huge street festival on Friday morning in Tucson, walked about for a few hours then hit the road again for the short drive up to Sedona.

Unloaded the car at our “home” for the next month, went and removed the dead Texas bugs from our poor car and made it in time for the Grand Opening of the Gateway Cottage Wellness Center where a good friend and business colleague is one of the service providers.

Back down to the Village and into PJs for a little dinner and catching up.

All in all, a good start to a great month!

July 2015 – Week 1

Where did the week go? Last I reported, we were crashing overnight in Trinidad, CO – that was last week Friday.

The second day of our driving journey brought us through the eastern edge of Utah where the weather was amazing. There were high clouds, low handing clouds, clear blue skies and lightening. all you had to do was look in another direction and the weather seemed to change.

Had to take a detour stop in Winslow, AZ on the way to Flagstaff. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, here is the video. Funny thing about that was we blew into town, parked the car, walked down the block, shot the video (in one take because we are that good) and left. Didn’t event take time to look around Winslow – we were in a hurry to get “home”.

Tried to stop in Flagstaff for a beverage before heading down the hill into Sedona but being it was the Fourth of July, the town was crazy nuts so we took a pass. Also took a pass on driving down Highway 89A from Flagstaff into Sedona. Normally, one of our favorite drives but on holiday weekends, the backups and delays can be horrid. Took the interstate down instead and finally blew into town unleaded the car and settled in.

First stop of course was PJ’s Village Pub – one of our new favorite places to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.

The monsoon season is here in AZ the beginning of July hosting ominous looking clouds, frequent lightning, downbursts of rain and then it’s done. Almost like Mother Nature is throwing a tantrum and gets over it. Pretty cool to experience.

Working has proven to be an easy transition. Conference calls and great internet access are pretty much all we need to do what we do.

Theresa was invited to a Women’s Business Meet-up by a friend we met last fall when we were here … resulting in a couple face-to-face appointments to talk about social media management – something we definitely want to explore if we are looking to increase our physical presence out here.

The rest of the week consisted of a small hike around Bell Rock loop (one we have done in the past) just to get our feet red, a day trip over to Prescott because 1). its a neat town to visit and 2). we could. Took a decent hike to Teacup Rock (see the gallery).

The coming days we are looking at temps in the upper 90s which will make hiking real enjoyable! Looking forward to our next one!


October 2014 – Day 7

Last day here in Sedona for this time anyhow.

Yesterday’s hike to Turkey Creek (see pics) was the longest in terms of distance we’ve done out here so far. 6 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet. To put that into perspective, our favorite hike has always been Cathedral Rock Trail which is a mere .7 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet.

We had an opportunity to meet many new friends during our trip this time. With us spending our time this trip down n the Village of Oak Creek vs. our usual staying uptown Sedona, we discovered the people down in the Village are much more friendly and treat everyone like they are locals. Hardly anyone here is originally from here and a large percentage of the people are either from MN, WI, IA or the Midwest.

One of the couples we met moved to the Village about 3 weeks ago. He is a life coach and she is from the UK. She has a background in Social Media and is interested in setting up shop here in the Sedona area. Suffice it to say, we had plenty to talk about. She was very grateful for the advice and direction I gave and I think she will really make a go of it here.

Off to a new restaurant for dinner, Cucina Rustica – a Mediterranean restaurant with an Italian flair. The food was incredible. In breaking with tradition, we decided not to order separate items from the menu so as to not have left-overs. Instead we decided to share an entree and settled on one of the specials of the day, the cioppino followed by an apple bread pudding for dessert. This did not disappoint!

Stopping by our new favorite hangout on the way home, PJ’s Pub (where the pub is the hub) where we of course met even more new people forging new friendships and relationships that will last a long time.

This place is starting to feel like home but for now its back to the daily life and continuing to put the plan in motion to where we can spend more than 7-10 days at at time in our HomeInSedona.

October 2014 – Day 1

Sedona2And we’re back.

Tried something a little different this time. We took an oh-dark-thirty flight out of MSP and got to Phoenix about 9 am. grabbed the rental and took that all-familiar drive north.

Something about the weekend day – I think most everyone from Phoenix wanted to take a quick jaunt north for the day or the weekend – when we got into the Village, traffic was horrible. Adding to all the mayhem is the fact that for whatever reason, navigating traffic circles remains a mystery to the people here and with the Village of Oak Creek and the town of Sedona spending millions of dollars putting them in several years ago the people are simply going to have to learn.

Finally made our way through the Village and on to West Sedona. Stopped at a new place this time, Pisa Lisa where the first order of business was an ice cold Oak Creek Brewery Amber ale followed closely by an Antipasto plate full of good eats.

After a light snack it was off to the grocery store for some sustenance for the week – apparently we can’t just sit on the deck, smoke cigars, drink beer and screwdrivers – we have to eat food as well. So be it.

We made our way back down to the Village where we decided to stay for the first time since coming here. Cautious optimism turned into shrieks of joy and delight when we entered the place we are staying and saw the view from the deck. Only in two, maybe three times that we have come here have we had a view like the one we have here.

The town home we rented this time is nestled in the Canyon Mesa Country Club. Boasting an executive 9-hole golf course, club house, swimming and tennis the homes here are built around the golf course itself.

After a walk-about in the complex, dinner was in order and then I do what I do – find time to get some work done.

Darkness has fallen over the red rocks but according to the weather people, everything will be right back on track tomorrow – sun shine and warm weather. The only interruption in our spending the day outside will be to find a watering hole to watch our beloved Packer’s play another exceptional game of football.

June 2013 – Day 3

Monday was rather uneventful here at our “home away from home” for the week. Dick spent a couple hours in the morning working (No, we didn’t close e-Merge Online Marketing down for vacation, it’s not really that horrible though, the view from the “office” is just that much nicer. Theresa worked hard at eradicating the albino look we Minnesotan’s seem to take on during our excruciating long winters.

Spent a couple hours in the afternoon wandering about the coolest outdoor shop called Son Silver West. The place was simply loaded with everything you can imagine to “Sedona-ize” your indoor and outdoor living. If I had a dollar for every time Theresa said “We are going to get that for our house here”, we could afford to have a house here!

The hot afternoon sun called for an ice-cold beer. One of our favorites in the Hillside shopping area is an Irish Pub named Mooney’s The views from the front patio are to die for. A couple cold ones and we were on our way back “home” for a little cook out and yet another night of deck dwelling.

Today was hike day. we decided to take it a little easier and hike to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. There is a hiking trail just south of the Chapel called Little Horse. The Little Horse trail provides one of the best pictures of Courthouse Butte in the area. From there the rocky trail meanders some 1.5 miles or so where it intersects with Chapel of the Holy Cross Trail. From there, another 3/4 of a mile on Chapel Trail ending up at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The rest of the tourists came by car (most likely with their air conditioning blasting). We walked up in hiking gear.

The route back was the same path although we did take a little detour thinking we would just pick up Little Horse trail back to the parking area until we discovered the trail we were on would be another 3 miles before we picked up yet another trail back to the car. The 5 mile hike was enough for us for the day. Pictures of the hike are in the Gallery under Hikes – Enjoy!

At home for a bit, scraped another layer of red rock dust off (except our shoes, we are keeping the dust on them as a “badge of honor”. Uploaded pictures, enjoying a cool beverage on one of the decks, enjoying the view (and the heat). Later, it is off to Javelina Cantina for “Taco Tuesday”.


June 2013 – Day 1

Another trip to Sedona. November seems like an eternity since we were here last – especially due to the harsh, brutal, long and ugly winter we had in Minnesota combined with the fact that we have had little to no spring. Something about this place “does a body good”.

First, our home away from home this time was a unique find on Craigslist. We stumbled across this listing and while I generally shy away from Craigslist, I did as much checking on this place as possible and have to tell you, no website or Facebook page can do it justice. It is absolutely stunning. Anyone wanting to get a better handle on where we are, visit their website at Best Sedona Vacations.

Our first order of business (after the grocery store and the beer store that is) was to scope out the first hike of the week. One of the most popular rock formations in Sedona is called Bell Rock, located between the Village of Oak Creek and the town of Sedona itself. Bell Rock has a neighbor called Courthouse Rock.

The Bell Rock hike consists of three levels, the first (and easiest) is called “lower Bell Rock trail” and is a relatively easy 3/4 mile walk about around the base of the formation. The second is a little more difficult called “upper Bell Rock trail”, there is a little more ascent to the base of the spires of the formation. And of course the third is the most difficult, actually involves climbing to the tops of a couple of the spires on the formation itself. Guess which one we did?!

Pictures of the hike are on the blog site under the Gallery Section / Hikes / Bell Rock. There are a couple great shots from the top of the spires and one of my favorites; Theresa sitting at the top, absorbing the view.

Back down the “hill” and home to scrape several layers of red rock dust, a little deck dwelling then uptown for a little shopping and dinner at a Open Range Grill and Tavern.

Back home, enjoying another stunning sunset, waiting for the stars to come out and planning our adventure for tomorrow.

Come back!


Day 2 – Fall 2012

The day started with a dilemma (not really) …

So we started the day trying to figure out where to go watch the Packer’s play the Cardinals and wound up at Olde Sedona – the melting pot of the NFL for the day anyhow. One side of the bar were the Packer fans, in the middle were a whopping 2 or 3 Cardinal fans, the other side of the bar we had Bears fans, Lion’s fans, towards the back of the room others were watching the Bronco’s – made for an interesting experience, booing and cheering all over the place. Good news for us – the Packer’s won.

Next on the agenda, a trip to the top of the town – up Schnebly Hill. For those that may not have heard about our first adventure (a couple years ago) up Schnebly Hill, it goes like this: We started our journey up Schnebly Hill road in our Buick Century rental car. At the end of the paved road we were met with a sign reading “passenger vehicles not recommended past this point”. I focused on the word “recommended”. They weren’t kidding! The 5 mile road ascends some 2,000 feet with ruts, rocks and holes that would challenge the best 4×4’s. The trip took us a mere 60 minutes but once at the top, the views were priceless. Several trips later, we were all giddy thinking we were going to have the same experience with some friends who travelled with us but were sad when we got there and found the road had been graded (something they do every 3-4 years). The trip up Schnebly Road then took about 10 minutes. What a disappointment.

So here we are with a Jeep 4×4 crossing our fingers that Schnebly had not been graded. This time we were not disappointed! We stopped at the trail head parking lot, took the roof off the Jeep and started the climb. Ruts, rocks and holes – just as we had remembered – this time we were hanging with the best of the Jeep tours going up and coming down.

Again, the views did not disappoint. Check out the Gallery under the Scenery section and see for yourself!

Back down bouncing and giggling all the way – finally made it back to the trail head where we covered the Jeep back up (an experience for another day).

Dinner uptown at one of our favorite Sedona restaurants – The Cowboy Club. Tink had a nicely prepared halibut and I went for the buffalo flank steak.

Back to the casita for more patio dwelling and star gazing. Tonight we were blessed with seven shooting stars. I am starting to think they are trying to tell us something.

Tomorrow a vortex hike. Pics forthcoming!


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.