Although I don’t recommend timeshare purchases, I got caught and my ownership brought me to Arizona. I took advantage of it with a getaway this week.
Fortunately, my kids joined me in Scottsdale, with my daughter Samantha and four of my grandchildren, we made the trip since school was out and shared precious time together.
The Scottsdale area is the land of majestic cacti, spectacular sunshine-filled days and picture perfect landscapes. We decided to take a road trip from our Westin hotel to Sedona, about 2 hours away.
We drove out to what’s called “Red Rock Country,” going through the mountains where the landscape is dotted with tall cacti reaching to the sky, and where the earth starts to turn a beautiful shade of red. It took 450 million years of “happenings” and varying amounts of iron oxide to create the awe inspiring scenery.
The charming little town of Sedona, with 19,000 residents but 3 million tourists a year, became a tourist destination around the 1950s after movie productions, like Zane Grey’s movie, “Call of the Canyon,” was filmed here. Movie stars like idols John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda, who filmed here, wound up buying vacation homes because they needed to come back to this unique land. The town has become an enclave for artists who are inspired by the terrain.
We made our way over a smooth winding highway, and the scenery caught my attention, but the kids were busy playing music and games on their “screens” until we hit “Red Rock Country.” Then we all stared in amazement!
As we drove into the center of Sedona, named for an early settler’s wife, we noticed the many shops and dining choices lining the road, but they were all dwarfed by the spectacular scenery.
The hotel concierge gave us many choices for lunch and we chose “Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill.” It has an award-winning menu that features Argentinian, Peruvian and Mexican food, but its setting surpasses the famous cuisine. The restaurant sits in a natural fire, red rock environment, surrounded by over 700 acres of wild protected land. It is a jaw-dropping scene!
We then journeyed a mile into town for ice cream. The long line to get served proved its deliciousness. We all indulged!
Our final destination was the “Pink Jeep Tour,” an off-road excursion along the historic Broken Arrow Trail. The tour company was created in the 1960s by a Los Angeles transplant who visited the Pink Orchid Hotel in Hawaii, where everything was pink, and decided to rename his company “Pink Jeep Tours.” We signed on for the ride, but I never could have anticipated the rough, roller coaster ride. It was the bumpiest, scariest ride of my life, but we all marveled at the beauty surrounding us.
A fitting end to a day to be remembered and cherished!