Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Sedona, Lovelier the Third Time Around!

Bell Rock in Sedona
@ Cheesecake Factory
Before we left for Sedona, Bill’s college fraternity brother Jim and his wife Glenda and their friends Archie and Teresa were also our neighbors for a couple of days during our last few days in Viewpoint (which is now almost a ghost town since most everybody has gone home). It turned out that they were also headed to Sedona and Verde Valley. Unfortunately, our schedules did not match. 

But yes, it was our third time. First was 2012 when Bill and I were looking at Arizona closely for a base. Then last month, we accompanied Rick and Cherry to see the lovely red city. Last week, as our ‘home’ was being attended to at Camping World, we booked ourselves a three-night, four-day stay at the beautiful Sedona Summit, a resort of Diamond Resorts International where we are members for a nice little vacation. 
Sedona Summit stucco buildings
blend with Thunder Mountain

The entire facility is broken into buildings of several units each; total number of units is 400. Our unit was a studio with a spacious bathroom suite and functional kitchen and dining aside from the living area and bed. We had a balcony and the walkway to our unit has a sneak view of the beautiful Boynton Canyon area.  Distributed around the property are five pools and even more hot tubs. There is even a large hot tub right next to our building of eight units with a good view of Thunder Mountain.
on walkway to our unit
In addition, there are many rooms at the Activity Center for a full schedule of activities like photography classes, etc. A fully-equipped Fitness Center is also housed at the Center.  During our stay, I was able to use this facility twice. At the guest lobby, there is a CafĂ© Center where coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is served free all day. It would be a nice place for a vacation of a week or two or even a month!

Cathedral Rock near sunset
In our last two visits we covered the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Slide Rock State Park, the Airport Overlook, and trendy downtown shops and eateries. This time we visited Bell Rock, Courthouse Vista, and Boynton Area up close but we lingered a bit more at Red Rock Crossing where the dominant Cathedral Rock and the Oak Creek meet in the most beautiful setting of the city. There was even a wedding going on when we were there. We waited until sunset for the glorious sky painting at twilight!

@ Red Rock Crossing
The following day we were toured around model units in the Resort. After that we had a long discussion with sales executives and. Finally, we decided to be owners and start a new phase in our cruising lifestyle. Then we went to the Grill and Tavern for a date night and dine with the most spectacular view of the Red Rocks. What a fine way to end our little vacation!

dinner @/Grill and Tavern with the view!
As I said after our first visit, it is a wonder Sedona was not declared a national park. Sedona's red sandstone formations appear to glow in brilliant red when illuminated by the sun. They are a popular backdrop for many activities like hiking and biking. Many people visit Sedona to explore its vortexes, areas that have concentrated energies conducive to healing. This is relatively new but Sedona has been known as a sacred place long before that time. Pink Jeep tours are also a popular way to visit all attractions as well as helicopter rides that highlight the magnificent panorama from high above. Founded in 1902 and incorporated in 1988, Sedona now has a population of 10,000. It is too late to declare it a national park.

on Black Saturday
By Saturday we hurried to see if our home was ready. Good thing it was so we took it to our next Resort, Thousand Trails’ Verde Valley in Cottonwood only thirty minutes from Sedona. This is also our third time Bill and I are staying in Cottonwood. As a matter of fact, it will be a yearly companion park to Viewpoint since temperatures are about ten degrees cooler than Phoenix. People in the public library and the community center remembered us. And the three crosses at the Immaculate Conception Church's made a good photo for Black Saturday while easter lillies ushered in Easter Sunday!

Easter Lillies for Easter Sunday
Between this little vacation and our two to three month European tour, I will be busy with the submission of the book and the start of its marketing activities. Here goes.