Friday, March 29, 2013

On The Road Again... Arizona

The day has finally arrived!! I'm on my way to Sedona, Arizona! I am BEYOND excited!

Packing for this trip was a major issue... and it had NOTHING to do with clothes. Being an artsy kind of nerd, and thinking I am a budding Ansel Adams I decided I wanted to pack my digital SLR and tri-pod... not thinking for one moment I wouldn't be allowed to bring the tri-pod on board the plane. Once that little faux pas was brought to my attention, I had to RE-PACK everything. The problem was using such a large suitcase to fit the tri-pod and then filling it with stuff so things wouldn't rattle around.

I pride myself on being a light packer. Knowing I will have the use of a washer and dryer, I only pack a few things and wear them over and over. I plan carefully so I only have to wear one pair of shoes and then pack my flip flops. A toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, mascara, hair brush, and Advil are the only items in my makeup bag. That's it. This all normally fits in my small carry on luggage. Now, with the tri-pod and the large suitcase, I have so much empty space to fill.

With only 2 hours of sleep under my belt ( I was so excited I couldn't sleep) I was up and running at 4:15AM. On board my 7:10AM flight out of Philly without a hitch. Our plane was on the runway, in the 'take off' conga line, when instead of gaining speed to lift off, the captain announced we had to pull out of line and be de-iced.

In all my years of flying, even in the winter I never remember having to be de-iced so close to take off. Since I had a seat on the wing I got the perfect view. There were these guys hanging out in capsules with steam nozzles on the front... suspended in the air from long octopus arms. They maneuvered over the wings and steamed the ice off. I was so enthralled I forgot to grab my camera and take a picture until they were finished. Darn!

Five hours later... I landed in Phoenix, Arizona! Grabbed my rental car and was off to visit family.

It was wonderful to visit with my niece Jen Shank!!! I haven't seen her in years so we had MUCH to talk about. The kids were adorable, funny, and cute. I had forgotten what it was like to have three kids all demanding my attention... at the same time. Sadly I didn't get to spend much time with her hubby... as he had to work, but dining on their patio by candle light was a special treat and gave us time to chat.

Have you ever heard of a Javelina??? Me either. It's a local rodent around here. They travel in packs and are the size of a pig. They eat all kinds of plants and chase after my niece when she is running in the morning. EEEKKK! I'd run too if they were chasing me!!!

The air is so DRY here I feel as if all the moisture in my body is being sucked out of me. I drink water constantly, apply moisturizer 10 times a day, and can't seem to ever have enough chap stick on my parched lips. I'm a Jersey Girl after all and literally feel like a fish out of water.

After leaving Jen's... I headed north towards Sedona. First stop... a nail salon for a manicure and pedicure... and a DEEP moisturizing!!!! Hey... I'm on vacation... time to treat myself. This place also gives a chair massage included with the manicure... ah... my neck, shoulders, and back really loved that surprise.

Next stop... Arcosanti. I can already hear you ask, “Arcosanti???” One of Frank Lloyd Wright's students, Paolo Soleri designed an experimental living community. His belief that urban sprawl and cars are going to be the demise of Earth and living as we know it... has designed a community where 5,000 people can live in the space of a half a mile without having to drive. Arcosanti is putting this theory to the test. So far a hundred or so people live here. More information can be found HERE.

In as much as I agree with the theory of the way the buildings are being designed, using passive solar energy, multi use designing as in using roof tops for seating and gardening, being 'one' with nature, and making a community self sufficient... I DON'T agree with packing so many people into a small space and think everyone will live harmoniously. Great idea on paper, but not in reality. It was certainly a 'must see' and was glad I stopped for the tour. BTW... if you plan to visit Arcosanti, make sure your shocks are in good shape... it's a long drive on a very bumpy dirt road to get there.

I finally grabbed a hotel room in Camp Verde, Arizona. For dinner I found an old local tavern, The Horn which had a colorful history and ate a yummy dinner... and treated myself to PECAN PIE for dessert. I'm so spoiled!

The names of the towns and streets make me laugh. Horsethief basin, Finnie Flat Road, Carefree, and more. I'm sure if people came to my area they would say the same thing... Wickopecko Drive, Sunset, Cold Indian Springs.

I am in AWE of the scenery around here. The mesas and plateaus are beautiful. The cactus and wildflowers are unique. It is lovely to visit... but there is no place like home. I miss the lake, the ocean, the colors green and blue. Everything here is tan, beige, or brown. If I had to live here, I would paint my house blue, just to be different :-)

The picture above was taken at Acrosanti. The grass and olive trees were planted by the community. The mesa you see in the background is basically what the Arizona view is like... 360 degrees.

Next on my list... Jerome, AZ... a real ghost town!! Not to mention 'artsy'. Then I finally get to check in at my condo in Sedona for the week. The adventure continues!

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