Friday, April 22, 2011

Take off your rainbow shades...

Switching continents for today's A-Z challenge post...
time to touch base with the good ole' US of A.

S is for Sedona
or Scottsdale...take your pick.

In a sense I think choosing a topic for the letter S was almost harder than some of the tricky letters still to come. Those tricky letters don't give you too many options but with the letter S the possibilities are endless.

I met hubs and some of his work colleagues/friends out in Scottsdale Arizona one December for a few days of R and R following a sales meeting. Hubs says every day is R and R when you're me, but I digress. I love the landscape out west so we're talking Arizona today.

Did anybody out there get my post title?
If you were born after 1980 forget it.
Unless of course you are one of my children and you've grown up knowing all the words to the music of the 1970's. The song has nothing to do with the state but is actually about a hippie girl named Arizona. As my daughter pointed out, it doesn't matter what the song is about because I only sing the chorus.

I've been out west fact, both of my parents were from 'out west', not Arizona but nearby states, and I lived in one of those states as a toddler. We made a few trips west when I was growing up too, to visit grandparents and cousins and I love the big sky and the mountains and the red rock.

Arizona in December was nice because it was warm during the day and cool in the evenings.

I do talk excessively about the weather, don't I?

This trip was eleven years ago yet here I am recalling the temperature.
Great weather can mean the difference between a great trip and a not so great trip ya know!

We were staying in Scottsdale but spent a day in Sedona and I thought it was beautiful.

On the way to Sedona we made a stop at Montezuma's Castle which is perched right into the side of a cliff. This amazing five story stone cliff dwelling at one time had about 20 rooms and as many as 50 people living inside. It was carved right into the limestone on a high cliff and you needed a series of ladders to reach it.

Just look at the color of that sky.

I read later that visitors used to be able to actually climb up there but that ended in 1950 due to extensive damage. Thank goodness because hubs, aka the mountain goat, would have been all over that. The 'castle' and area around it were declared a US National Monument back in the early 1900's and it is definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.

Once we got to Sedona we had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant called L'Auberge. L'Auberge is a luxury hotel in the desert and is a place I'd love to return to spend a weekend in one of their cabins on the creek. The setting is gorgeous.

We wandered around town and later took a jeep tour so we could get a closer look at some of the amazing rock formations.

The color is not like anything you see on the East Coast.
Most of them had names based on what they resemble and we might have had fun coming up with names of our own.

How would you like to go to church here?

This is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church that rises two hundred feet high in the red rocks. I don't think any regular services are held here but, the view...I am all about the view.

And the weather, but especially the view.
Would you look at that blue sky?

Another fun thing we did while in Arizona was a trail ride.
Hubs is always disappointed if they don't let him canter.
Once on a holiday in St. Lucia (see, there's another S) they let you run your horse across the beach if you wanted. They did not have to ask him twice.

Arizona looks nothing like St. Lucia.

I love all the cactus.
fyi-we do not have cactus growing in NJ.
They like it dry don't they?

Our guide was an adorable little cowgirl who warned us to keep an eye out for snakes...might make the horses skittish.


If you live out west do you ever stop noticing the sky?

We trekked up Camelback Mountain while we were in Scottsdale.
It was warm and we were not really dressed appropriately because I had a fleece on when we started out and was broiling by the time we made it back down.

It's actually a pretty good climb.
Do you see the teeny tiny blue speck in the middle of the bottom of the mountain?

That's a person.
She changed her mind about going any higher.

Changing your mind isn't an option when you're with the hubs.

Most of my A-Z posts have been focused on Europe because that's where we've spent most of our life and travel time in recent years. The more you travel the more you realize just how much there is to see in this world and how little you'll manage to get to in your lifetime.

Travel broadens your view of the world and of your own back yard. It connects you to people you'd probably never connect with in the course of an ordinary day. It makes you think. It makes you appreciative of the place you call home while simultaneously making you long for the places you've never been.

America is a beautiful country and its geography is so diverse from coast to coast. Each part of this great land offers something different in the way of food, language, custom, and natural beauty.

And I would like to see it all.


  1. Two days before we left for our Arizona Vacation, I fell and broke my foot!c Oh was my husband upset! I think he thought I'd done it just to rain on his parade!
    Well it turned out to be the best trip! We arrived in AZ and the car rental place gave us an upgrade with handicap plates! And then every National Park provided us with wheel chair parking, and a Ranger who showed us around! Best free tours ever! Especially at Montezuma's Castle!

  2. Your pictures make me want to go to Arizona although the thought of those temperatures does not.

  3. I've never been a fan of things Southwesterny (sorry, made up word) even though I've visited--I should have gone with you because your pictures and description makes me think I should try it again! Wonderful post! Excellent photos!

  4. It's been 40 years since I went to Arizona ... and your photos brought back to my mind the memories of the beautiful blue sky, the cacti, and the mountains. While the beach is still my favorite destination, I'd like to get back to Arizona some day.

  5. I would like to see it all but till then I have your pictures to see!
    Happy Easter and maybe we will get together again soon! enjoy your girls this weekend.

  6. Beautiful! I especially love the sky in the last picture. Thanks for sharing your travel pictures.

  7. A) I did not get your title. I was born in 1981.
    B) "Everyday is R and R for me!" ha! :)
    C) You should travel to my neck of the woods sometime. But only come in the summerish months. It is gorgeous.

  8. We lived in NM for a time and I loved being in the desert! I loved the warm days and the cool nights and we did have snow (a few times). In all the sky was just breathtaking the the lighting storms were amazing because of the hig allitude. Have a great Easter!

  9. Guess what? I'VE BEEN THERE! :D
    One of my nephews lives in Phoenix, and I went out for his wedding. Absolutely beautiful out there; so different from what we're used to. It was a quick trip...I want to go out and spend more time out there exploring.

  10. Woohoo I have been there! Loved your pictures!It was a good trip when we went, I won't mention how many pictures I took while in the Have a wonderful weekend with your family.
    until next time... nel

  11. Wow...I'm glad you mentioned the blue speck lady..I blew it up and could see her. Yeah, my hubs is like that too...You must conquer the mountain...blahblahblah. LOL!

  12. I've been to Sedona twice...once with friends and the other time with my family. It's such a beautiful place and I'd go back in a heartbeat! We went on a trail ride, too, and had the best time! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!

  13. I'll take BOTH Sedona and Scottsdale. We've visited both (my Mom lives in Sun City). I had a blast on the jeep tour in Sedona; so many times we thought we were going to tumble over!

  14. Your photos a wonderful and you described Scottsdale and Sedona so well. I have been a few times and find the landscape so unique and visually stunning. My husband has not been out west yet. We are waiting until he retires to explore. Your husband and mine would get along. He tells me, "Every day is Friday for you."

  15. I have heard the R&R comment from my hubs more than I care to recall! LOL.

    My sister lives in Tuscon and there's no reason I should not visit her and see these great sites. If you ever want a travel companion, look me up. I am all about adventure and seeing other cultures, and BIG blue SKY, and trying new foods. I think the food is what I'd remember longer than the weather, but yes, it makes a huge difference. When it's bad you remember it, too!