Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Costa Rica

Last week we were in Costa Rica for a continuing ed conference for Mitch. He spoke on a panel, attended classes, and participated in the talent show. I had a massage and swam in the pools and the ocean. Somebody had to do it!





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 9: The Desert Botanical Garden

For our last full day in Phoenix, we spent the bulk of the day in the wonderful Desert Botanical Garden. We started off the morning with an outside breakfast under a fairly aggressive mister. Then we walked every inch of the botanical garden. There were cacti, flowers, succulents and a butterfly display. I loved it all! We saw Gambel's Quail, Harris Antelope Ground Squirrels and a rabbit in the garden. After 3 full hours of desert walking, we were ready for refreshment and headed to a taco place where we cooled off with beer, mojitos, smoked chile guacamole and tacos. We drove to see Mitch's old house in Phoenix, and tooled around Paradise Valley where the rich folks' live. We ended our day with another dip in the pool. Ah, the life!










 





Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 8: Pueblo Grande Ruins, Heard Museum, Friends

On day 8, we were in Phoenix. We started our day with a nice riverside breakfast in a restaurant in Scottsdale. Then we went to the Pueblo Grande ruins (near the airport). I was amazed! The ruins themselves aren't much to see, but it was amazing to learn about the Hohokham and how they dug over a thousand miles of canals by hand. Their engineering, irrigation and maintenance of their systems is mind boggling. I purchased a beautiful necklace in the gift shop. We headed over to the Heard museum where we had lunch and prickly pear cactus cocktails. The museum is filled with Native American artifacts including kachina dolls, weavings, knitting and more. In the late afternoon we hit the pool at the resort, then finished up the day with dinner with some friends Mitch had not seen in 20 years.











Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 7: Sedona. Cathedral Rock, Oak Creek Canyon, Yarn, Bowie Knife & a Space Ship

We started our seventh day with a wonderful breakfast in Oak Creek Canyon at Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market. It was filled with friendly locals instead of tourists...it's not in the main part of town. Then we purchased our $5 local pass for parking at any of the trailheads at the Visitor's Center and headed to Cathedral Rock. The views were stupendous! It was only marred by the Pink Jeep Tours, which drive tourists up onto the rocks and deliberately say and do things to make them scream and squeal. There were bicyclists too. We helped one lost cyclist find his way to the double black diamond challenging trail above.

After we came down from the hike, we headed to Oak Creek Brewery for a wonderful lunch and craft beer. We had an outside table and it was wonderful!

Then we headed to a yarn store where I bought locally dyed yarn and the yarn dyer's own designed vest pattern for the yarn. Great souvenir.

Had to visit the "energy vortex" at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where years ago Mitch was ordered by staff to NOT play a Native American style flute outside on the grounds.

Mitch tried to show me the sunset from the Sedona airport, but it was PACKED with sunset watchers and we immediately drove away. We were directed by a woman in a cowboy hat and skirt who was wearing a pistol and a Bowie knife on her back.

Heading out of town, we stopped at Bell Rock (last photo on this post). Supposedly, there is a space ship under the Bell Rock (on the right) and one day, the ship will turn on, split the rock in two, and shoot off into space. It's also a Sedona energy vortex.

It was a wonderful day!















Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 6: Montezuma Well & Castle, Wine Tastings, Sedona

 On day 6, we said goodbye to Flagstaff after seeing the house where Mitch used to live. The bend in the fence where he slid into it with his vehicle one winter is still there after 15 years. We headed down towards Sedona and on the way we saw amazing ruins at Montezuma Well, where there are cliff dwellings around a spring-fed lake that maintains a constant water level. The water is full of endemic leeches and water scorpions. The lake feeds out through cracks in the side of the canyon (crater?) that it's in, and you can still see the trenches that the inhabitants dug on the other side to direct the water. Next we saw Montezuma's Castle, a large cliff dwelling that you can no longer go into. Driving towards Sedona, we stopped in Cottonwood for wine tastings at Alcantara Winery where we sat on an outside patio with cats overlooking a valley and saw their terraced vineyards, and at Arizona Stronghold which was a tasting room in the town of Cottonwood.