A Travellerspoint blog




sunny 17 °C


Although we had rented a car, we decided to book a tour to the Grand Canyon. It was a great decision. With no worries about navigation, we were both able to sit back, relax and enjoy the incredible views. We would not hesitate to recommend Pink Jeep Tours for this experience.

We were picked up at 8 am and did not return until about 6:30. The drive was almost 2 hours each way but was great. It took us through beautiful Oak Canyon and the ever-changing landscape that has long left the cacti behind and brought us into snowy forests. Fortunately we had a gorgeous day with sunshine which was much better than a couple weeks ago when, according to our guide, it was well below zero with 3 feet of snow.

I even got to see 2 roadrunners at one of our stops.


Our tour of the canyon had us enter the park from the south east rim and allowed for many stops along the south rim. We even enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch on the edge of the Canyon while giant raven waited patiently for a sample.


I was pleasantly surprised that my fear of height and vertigo was almost non-existent. Something about the hundreds of million year old layers in the rock make you feel like you don’t have that far to fall. Still, I, as always, was a rule follower and stayed inside the guard rails.

Here are some shots from our amazing day. It may just look like a whole bunch of rocks but it really is spectacular. I am not much of a landscape photographer and it is really impossible to capture the canyon’s grandeur.


Posted by curlygirl 22:13 Archived in USA Tagged canyon arizona grand Comments (5)



sunny 24 °C


Leaving Phoenix early on Thursday morning, we made our way further north towards Sedona and our base for the next three days.


We stopped along the way at Montezuma Castle National Monument. This castle built into a cliff was built by the Ancient Puebloans.

Neither part of the monument's name is correct. When European-Americans first observed the ruins in the 1860s, by then long-abandoned, they named them for the famous Aztec emperor Montezuma in the mistaken belief that he had been connected to their construction. In fact, the dwelling was abandoned more than 40 years before Montezuma was born, and was not a "castle" in the traditional sense, but instead functioned more like a "prehistoric high rise apartment complex.


From there we headed into Sedona and were immediately wowed by the red rocks that Sedona is famous for. After a visit to the visitors’ center, we confirmed our theory on why the rocks are so red.


Before checking into our hotel we decided to visit Red Rock Crossing. We opted to do a hike to the base of Cathedral Rock but after about 20 minutes on a poorly marked trailed we opted to turn around for fear of getting completely lost in the wood, in the heat, with our half bottle of water. We did get some nice views though.


We quickly learned that we really don’t fit the typical visitor profile for the area which is primarily hikers and those here to see the hundreds of psychics that line on the main strip of the city. Some of the hikes look great but with Sherry’s post op foot and my foot that has yet to recover from my Peruvian mud hike fall ( might need a x-ray since that was last July), we were not too adventurous.

We did take a tour up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is built into the rock.


The rest of the day we just poked around the city center. Although the town is beautiful, it is full of touristy shops and money grabs.

After a delicious dinner of rattlesnake sausage, buffalo skewers, prickly pear cactus fries with a prickly pear dip, we set out to find one of the 4 vortexes in Sedona. This is what the web tells me about the Sedona Vortexes.


There are several energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy, located in the Sedona area. (In Sedona, the energy centers are referred to as vortexes rather than vortices.) The energy from these vortexes saturates the whole area in and around Sedona, and can be noticed in a subtle but general way anywhere around town. If you actually go to one of the vortex sites, which is where the energy is strongest, it can be a very uplifting experience. The energy you take in at one of these energy centers can stay with you and affect you positively for days afterwards.

I seriously think I felt something and Sherry had wind swirling in her ears but not sure if we are changed by it. We do plan to look for at least one more….just in case.

Posted by curlygirl 21:52 Archived in USA Comments (1)



sunny 24 °C

There was no intention of blogging today or for many of the days on my trip to Arizona since most of the sightseeing is planned for later in the week and today was just gonna be a little shopping and poking around. But we had such a good time at the Desert Botanical Gardens that I had to share a few pictures.

My work was kind enough to send me to Arizona in the midst of winter for a two day conference on Tuesday and Wednesday so it only made sense that my bff, Sherry would fly up from Newfoundland, check out my new pad in Ottawa and then join me as I extend my work trip into a little holiday.

Those who know us won’t be surprised that we decided to spend our first few hours at the Premium Outlets. Well those few hours turned into many and before we knew it we were rushing out of there to get the Botanical Gardens in time to explore and enjoy sunset at the park. It did not disappoint and was so worth tearing ourselves away from the shopping. Although I will say, the drive to the mall was also gorgeous…like driving through the set of the road runner cartoon. Love the landscape.

The gardens were so spectacular, peaceful and surprisingly quiet. Apparently Superbowl Sunday impact the people who get out to the malls or the Botanical Gardens. Works for me.

Here are a few snaps.


Just could’t keep sherry from trying to rest on the cacti.


We loved it so much we decided to dine in the gardens, sitting outside, alone under a heater. The food was amazing. I will never eat corn on the cob like that again….hot, sour, salty, sweet…a palate explosion.


A great day here in the desert. Can’t beat sunshine, shopping and extraordinary landscapes. Sigh……

Posted by curlygirl 21:20 Archived in USA Tagged gardens botanical phoenix Comments (2)

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