A rainy day in Arizona….


I didn’t even know that was possible, but sure enough we woke on our first full morning in Sedona to fog and drizzle.




Okay, not that much rain…




But even the fog couldn’t hide the beauty.




Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte rise majestically above you as you travel up Hwy 179.




179 is an amazing road that cuts right through the canyon.




It was my first real look at Red Rock country and I was hooked.




Even through the fog, rain and spotty windshield, it was fabulous.




We’d heard a lot about the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross, and even though I’m not the least bit religious…. decided to do a drive by.




I have to say it was pretty magnificent….




Rising out of the red rocks.




The walk up to the top is long and steep, so there are golf carts to help the fat and lazy like me.




But since the weather was bad, we just drove up and turned around.




And planned on going back for a proper visit when the sun was shining.




We noticed some snow on a far peak and marveled at the difference altitude can make. It was 60 degrees down in the parking lot..





So we said goodbye to the church in the rocks….





And passed by this little hacienda…




Apparently the locals were livid the mansion was built so close to the chapel.




But when you have that kind of money, I guess you can buy any piece of rock you want.

Our first Sedona resort.


Week one found us at the Ridge on Sedona Golf, a nice resort in the oak Creek Village section of Sedona. Out of the way, peaceful and quite lovely.




Admittedly, the bright green grass on the course was a bit of a shock after all the brown and red…




But the contrast with the red rock cliffs was stunning.




This was our building…




Which was not the one I originally requested. Seeing that it was a special trip (35th wedding anniversary) and we’d never been to Sedona before, I asked for a top floor unit with a great view. Lush green golf course with stunning red rocks in the background? Sign me up!


So we went to the first assigned condo and found a stunning view…. which was completely obscured in every window by thick black netting used to hold back the waywardly struck  golf balls. It was hideous! So hideous, I didn’t even get a chance to grab my phone and take a picture of it’s hideousness before the husband was storming out of the unit and back to the front desk. Mind you, this was prime season in Sedona and resorts are usually full of snowbirds. Thankfully they were able to switch us to another quiet section, although our balcony view wasn’t as impressive.




It was still a canyon…




But the back end, with no red rocks.




Unless you count the ones around the grills…




Oh well, at least it was net free.

The condo was nice enough.




Done up in the southwestern colors you’d expect.




New appliances, granite countertops…





Of course the toaster sucked, as they always do.




It never ceases to amaze me how these places that will spend thousands on renovations and decorations can’t shell out the extra $10 for a decent toaster… but I digress.




It was a comfortable, if smaller place than we’re used to.




But the king sized bed was comfy…




The bathroom was big…




With a tub…




And shower.




Our neighbors were quiet…




And before long a mist descended on the canyon obscuring the only peak of red rock we could see from our kitchen window.




Past the tree, through the parking lot and over the other building…. it was there, I promise.







The Arizona trip…..

(Sorry highlight people, but the vacation vote was 8 to 3 in favor of details and minutia. If that’s not your thing? Check back with me in a month. Maybe longer… it was a helluva trip!)

We started out at zero dead thirty.


Yes, that’s 12 minutes after 2 in the morning…. not my finest hour. I’m a chronic insomniac and usually don’t fall asleep before 1:00, so you can imagine how pretty I was leaving for the airport.


Delta did their best to make me feel special, but all I felt like was a zombie. (Probably looked like one too.) Did I mention I went for a slight trim before the trip and came back minus 10 inches of hair?


It used to be halfway down my back, so on what planet is this a trim? No more ponytail  bad hair days for me. Anyway…

I’m one of those annoying fliers who has to sit by the window and gawk at our world from on high. It never ceases to amaze me…


Soaring above big fluffy clouds…


And little puffy clouds…


And mountains that look like crumpled paper… it never gets old. Airplane magazines however, do. I have to say I never realized their target audience was bald people.


Every other ad seemed to be about regrowing hair.


Sure, my hair can go to the gym… just leave the rest of me home on the couch and we’ll be fine.

We landed in Atlanta, which is always a zoo…. and I had to laugh at this hotel that was right on the runway.


Hell, I complain when I hear cars in the parking lot below my room… who needs a disembarking 747?


I’ve never been out west before and was oddly fascinated with the patchwork topography.


Crop circles? Or giant Pac Mans…?


The mountains meeting the desert was pretty impressive.


Phoenix? Not so much. Sorry, but I hate your airport. It’s not laid out well and the fact that your rental cars are miles away which force me to slog my giant stone filled luggage aboard a shuttle bus and sit like a stuffed sardine in cramped seats with a driver who takes pleasure in turning too tightly and seeing all his passengers flung from side to side is not my idea of a good time.


But I did get a kick out of Arizona cowboys…


Who apparently wear two hats at a time.

Driving out of Phoenix was a traffic nightmare and again, sorry Phoenix… but ugly. Brown, flat and boring. Though they did try to perk it up with some interesting highway rock art.




The overpasses were painted as well…



So kudos for the beautification attempt Phoenix. Leaving the city made me smile because I spotted my first cactus…


I was giddy!


For a Yankee girl like me, this is exotic stuff!


There were veritable cactus forests springing up alongside the road. Squeeeeee!! This is what I think of when I envision the southwest.


That, and scary badass road names.

All too soon the cactus disappeared and things turned brown again.


But then…


They started to turn red….


And I knew we were getting close to Sedona.


I’m baaaaaaack!


And you all are in trouble.

Or you could be… because besides being exhausted and buried in dirty laundry,  I’m buried in vacation photos. And that means you could soon be buried in vacation photos.

So my question is this:  would you prefer –

#1.  To be fully immersed in my normal day to day, minutia filled, travel posts?  (Including restaurants, food, cocktails in the pysch ward, funny road signs, elk poop, a cowboy with 2 hats, the lizard meet and greet, 59 whirlpool tub reflections, death spoon art, the mouse warrior, an amethyst penis, frozen fog, vicious Grand Canyon squirrels, etc.)


#2.  Just the highlights.  (Scenic photos, a few videos and get over yourself River… no one really cares how you spent the last 2 weeks.)

Your choice.



And we’re off….


By the time you read this, the husband and I will be winging our way to Arizona for our long planned and much anticipated 35th wedding anniversary trip. (Yes, he snagged me young.)

It goes without saying there will be an outrageously long blog series of our adventures when I return. We’ll be there for 2 weeks and I plan on taking pictures of everything… so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But for now?

A few photo scraps…

When you’re menopausal…  (if you are, I’m sorry. If you’re not there yet, hang on sister, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.) …people think it’s funny to give you Christmas gifts like this:




#1 – It’s not.

#2 – Please stop.

I was also given this –




I don’t know about you, but any scent that promises to instantly change my mood can bite me. I’m a relatively optimistic person already and don’t need essential oil to put me over the top.

Essential oil…  please!

Why is it essential? I’ve lived without it this long, I’m pretty sure I can continue to do so without consequences.

As for our anniversary, the trip is our gift to each other…. but I did manage to find the perfect card to give the husband on that very special day.








So, be well my friends….

I may drop in from time to time but doubt I’ll be posting.


Proof positive you can fry anything?


The Macaroni and Cheese Bites we had as an appetizer the other day.

I wanted to hate them…




But damn it, they were great.




I know!

But they were cheesy, and oohey, and gooey and… damn it!


What made it even worse was serving the stupid things with a little tub of melted herb cheese sauce for dipping.




I know!

Fried mac and cheese, dipped in cheese.

Double damn it!

We’re all doomed.



You know you want one.


But we’re the ones who were  cursed by the Lord of Crap  lucky enough to receive a poop drone for Christmas.




I can see you seething….. green with envy.

(Or is it brown in this case?)




Because who hasn’t dreamed of holding a levitating pile of poop in the palm of their hand?

(Okay everyone, including me. But admit it… you’re wondering how utterly horrible truly wonderful it could be.)

Eager to  heave it in the trash  get started, I searched for directions.




There weren’t many… I mean heck, how complicated can poop be?




I admit it was a little disconcerting to have a pile of poop watch me blog.




Especially when it started glowing red.

(Red poop is usually not a good thing…. or so I’ve been told.)

After a short charge, it was ready for a test flight.

And Holy Hell!

That poop can really go.

I was expecting a quiet little puff of air and some marginal movement….



But that little sucker really takes flight.

And it’s not exactly quiet either…



Sadly… you can’t control it. The poop has a mind of it’s own.

Which is too bad, because the possible household applications of flying poop are limitless.

Annoying door to door salesmen? Send the drone to answer that incessant knocking.

Unexpected mother in law visit? Program the drone to buzz behind her ear and get twisted in her blue hair as she tells you the proper way to cook her son’s meals.

Neighbor’s dog keeps defecating in your flower bed? When the flying poop rises up behind him he’ll have a heart attack. Problem solved.

Get yours today while supplies last.

Tell ’em River sent you.