Archive for November 3rd, 2010

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Arizona is breathtakingly beautiful. Ok, maybe not every street in Phoenix, but it’s just a short drive to some of nature’s finest sights. It’s amazing to think it wasn’t long ago that the entire place was desert. You’re reminded, though, when you are on one of the mountain peaks and look down on the city. It’s hard NOT to notice that there are only a couple of blue spots in the big picture you see in front of you. So no, Arizona couldn’t be my settling place, since you know I need at least a large body of water. But I do think this is a fabulous place to visit and will be back.

The main reason I’ll return is that I have family here: my Aunt Ri and Uncle John. I haven’t seen them since they moved here four years ago – and it feels like even longer. Every Memorial Day weekend when we were young, my cousin Tara and I used to go with our families to a condo John and Ri rented down the Cape. They were always memorable holidays, especially when Ri decided it was time we knew about the birds and the bees. Not only did I never forget that, neither did my mother!

While not quite as eye opening as my earlier lessons, I did learn a lot today, as John and RI showed me around their adopted area. We went to the top of South Mountain and got some beautiful views of the city. We drove completely around the city (always keeping it to our left, as Uncle John pointed out). And we explored Old Town Scottsdale, which is a great western town, complete with cowboys and indians, as you’ll see in the slideshow.

After much too short of a visit, I got back on the road and made my way to Sedona. I didn’t need Aidan to tell me when we got there – you see red and just know. I did actually make one stop before I got there, though. I was lucky enough to make it to Montezuma Castle National Monument  just before closing time. It’s a five-story, 20-room dwelling built into a cliff and dates back to the 1100s! You can’t go in it, but it’s amazing to look at and think about how and why they built it and lived.

When I was kicked out of the historic site (gates must be closed) I tried my best to get to Sedona for sunset. I didn’t quite make it, although I did see the sun go down. It just wasn’t quite the scene I’d hoped for. (But then again, what ever is?) I soon drove into Sedona, and was able to get a few pictures before dark. I’d planned to go to Flagstaff tonight, where rooms are cheaper and it’s closer to tomorrow’s destination (Albuquerque), but I decided to stay over and wake up in Sedona. I need to see the red rocks in the real sunlight – after all, I’ve come all this way…

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