Monthly Archives: February 2012

Rocky Road… No, Not The Ice Cream


If you have never experienced the magical vortex of Sedona…well, I can’t recommend that you do because I have not either.  But I will say this – as much as we poke fun at the people who talk about their “spiritual” red rock adventures, there is something to be said for the majesty of the mountains in that little town.

Chris and I rolled in late Friday night, had a quick bite at the little restaurant inside the Hilton and hit the sack to rest up for our weekend.   When we woke on Saturday and pulled back the curtains in the room, the sight that greeted us was nothing short of breathtaking.  Huge, iron-rich peaks surrounded us and the cloudless blue sky stretched across the horizon in this awesome, ethereal way.  I immediately felt a calm and sense of peace unlike anything I have experienced in over a year.

We made our first stop at Wildflower Bakery, a Panera-like chain that we love, for juice and pastries and then headed on down to our Pink Jeep Tour.  Now let me tell you… I am not a big risk taker.  You couldn’t pay me enough money to sky dive or swish down a black mountain.  But off-roading in a crowded little jeep with total strangers?  Loved it.  It’s amazing how much I trust people I have only just met.

We zipped across the rocks, holding on for dear life, and were able to take in some of the most picturesque views I have ever seen.  Chris and I marveled at the fact that such a place exists right here in the United States.  So often we travel far and wide, seeking out these take-your-breath-away moments, and we were able to find one 2 hours north of our new home.  One of my favorite (nerd alert!) parts of the tour was walking along Submarine Rock and learning about the formation of the mountains and how the iron turned them red.  We were also able to see a really neat shift in the ground where an earthquake that impacted forty miles of land had occurred.

After our tour, we took a moment to indulge in some true Western grub at the Cowboy Club.  Sipping prickly pear cocktails and munching on cactus fries with a side of pulled pork sliders and sweet potato waffle fries was fab-o.  The wait staff was friendly and accommodating and each of them donned an awesome pair of cowboy boots and a (be still my Maine girl heart) flannel shirt.  I would definitely go back to this fine establishment!

In an effort to counteract our caloric intake, we strolled around Tlaquepaque shopping center and admired the craftsmanship of local artisans.  A little too expensive for our taste, but beautiful and interesting in its own right.  My favorite part of it was how it resembled an old Spanish villa.  You don’t see that sort of architecture just anywhere.

Totally exhausted from our morning, we took a quick snooze (because hey!  you can do that on a mini-vacation) and then got ourselves ready for a night on the town… and by that I mean, a dinner at Oak Creek Brewery and Grill.  We were hoping to try Elote, but the wait was over an hour.  Maybe next time!

Anywho, the brewery was great.  We each had a cup of the spicy, rich tortilla soup and shared a Broken Arrow Barbecue Pizza.  The pizza, heaping with creamy smoked gouda, mozzarella and sweet BBQ chicken was only made better by the generous portion of cilantro on top.  This might sound like an odd combination of food, but the extreme flavors and combo of sweet, salty and savory played off each other like instruments in an orchestra.   Highly, HIGHLY recommend it.  Sunday morning (last day, tears) was just as lovely as the rest.  I woke up a little earlier than Chris, grabbed a heavenly cup of coffee at Red Rock Coffee and drove a few miles up the road to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  This chapel, my friends, is nestled into the side of the rocks and I don’t care if you believe in God, Buddha or the trees, it is truly unbelievable.  I snapped a few photos with my phone and made my way up the winding road by foot to take a moment of silence inside.  The views from the top of the hill were just stunning and the chapel itself was sweet, understated and divine.   What an incredible way to start a Sunday, huh?

After that, I swung back by the hotel and Chris and I began our day of wine tasting.  Our first stop was at Javelina Leap, a tiny tasting room and vineyard where the staff never stop smiling and the wine is only sold from their shelves.  We took a brief tour of the property and teased our palates with samples of Cabernet and Petite Syrah.  The place had loads of charm.  Our next and final stop was at Page Spring Cellars & Vineyard where we took an hour and a half long guided tour (really informative and fun) and sipped ten different types of wine (shared, I mean) while listening to a local musician serenade us on his guitar.

The night was rounded off with a glass of the Vino de la Familia (red version, of course) and a yummy cheese platter and bruschetta, shared on the porch with new friends.  Plenty of laughter ensued and I tell you what, I did NOT want to leave.

If you have the chance, GET TO SEDONA, STAT!  You will not be disappointed.