Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sedona, First Day

It took us less than 3 hours to drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Sedona, AZ, a high desert community at 4,500 feet. We decided to take the fastest route; so we left by the South Entrance. Arriving too early to check-in to Red Agave, Sedona's Red Rock Adventure Resort, we stopped for guidance at the first Visitor Center we encountered.

This proved wise, as the clerk was very helpful and we discovered that some of these "centers" are really fronts for time-share sales! We found out some of the places that would be interesting to visit, some that we would avoid, and trails we might choose to hike. We also found the sites of several vortexes (energy centers). Sedona is renowned for its stunning red buttes and monoliths and the thousand foot formations that surround the town.


We drove right on by the Gallery District, with its oversized and overpriced life-sized sculptures of bears and what-not. Claire wanted to check out the Hummingbird House at the "Y"; but, that proved of little interest to us--many expensive doodads, but none we thought of as gift-worthy. However, we did treat ourselves to New Horizons, a CD by local musician Robin Miller. As we walked around, we heard a piece that sounded like one of Pete Haycock's numbers. Robin obliged us by playing samples of each track before we decided we would like it.


We started back, stopping at the Tlaquepague shopping area for coffee at The Secret Garden Cafe. I had a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie to go with our cappuccinos. The place was so pleasant we returned, later, for lunch. We loved the food, the service, the weather, the ambiance.

The Secret Garden Cafe

Claire's Southwest Veggie Cobb Salad, with sliced portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, dried corn, sun dried tomatoes, diced cucumbers, spiced pecans and asiago cheese on a bed of organic field greens.

Chuck's Hummus Pizza, topped with black mission figs, roasted red peppers, carmelized onions and feta cheese.

Shopping Center


Metal Monk Sculpture

Changing Woman Sculpture. You may recall the legend about her from the blog in Canyon de Chelly.

Driving back to our resort to check-in, we decided to stop at The Chapel of the Holy Cross on the way. This Catholic Church was conceived by artist Marguerite Brunswig Staude before WWII as a interdenominational site; she collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright on the design; but, before it could be started, the War broke out. Finally, it was downsized dramatically and located here in Sedona in 1956.

On the Way to the Chapel

The Chapel

Entering the Chapel

View From the Chapel

Statue Head from Assisi

Sculpture by Marguerite Staude

McMansion Seen from Chapel

Next, we headed to our resort, to check into our studio apartment and to try out the pool and two hot tubs! The weather, pool and tubs were perfect. We enjoyed the scent of rosemary as we went from pool to hot tub to pool and back again.

We love the way the space is laid out. We have a studio arrangement with the bedroom and kitchen being the main area. The bed has a pillow top, which is comfortable, but requires a pole-vaulting stick to climb onto. The kitchen has a microwave, oven and stove, refrigerator, and a set of dishes, pots and pans. Just beyond is the bathroom sink; straight ahead from there is the toilet and shower; to the right from the sink is the changing area, with large closet and tall dresser with several drawers. The quiet at this special place is rejuvenating.

Preparing Dinner in Casual Attire

Our Humble Abode

View from Our Front Yard

At night, Jo, the manager, started a fire in the stone circle and brought out the makings and tools for s'mores--chocolate candy on a bed of roasted marshmallows in a graham cracker sandwich. After polishing off two of them, I returned to the pool and hot tubs for a final, relaxing bath.

I finished Breakfast With Buddha, tonight: Wisdom clearly presented in a gentle way. I thought it got better as it progressed through the relationship between Otto and Rinpoche; but, equally true, I found it less hard to accept the foibles I share with Otto as I began to see him as human rather than an object of judgment.

Teaching Method: He'd offer a lesson, usually taken from everyday experience, and then allow time for it to sink in, time for the living of ordinary life, which, after all, was the point and purpose of his teaching. ~ Otto Ringling, character in Roland Merullo's Breakfast with Buddha