The drive up to Sedona is an easy one from Phoenix. It takes about 2 hours and it's a straight shot. My favorite part of the drive is when you get off 17 and head towards Sedona on Hwy 179 or the Red Rock Scenic Byway. It's amazing how quickly you come upon the red rocks scenery. And it's so big and beautiful!
We got to Sedona around lunch time and ate lunch outside at Taos Cantina. The food was good and it was nice (although a little cold, they had heaters) to sit outside in the sun. Then we headed a few miles back down Hwy 179 to the Cathedral Rocks trailhead. The trailhead can be found easily on Back O Beyond Road and is less than 15 minutes from "downtown" Sedona. This hike is short (1.5 miles out and back) but super steep and requires a lot of scrambling. My mom went some of the way with us and then opted for just enjoying the energy (no doubt from the vortex near by!) and views.
After Cathedral Rocks, we had appointments for massages at Sedona Rogue Hotel and Spa. This was a really nice way to spend the late afternoon. After massages we stuck around in the lounge and then used the private jacuzzi surrounded by bamboo. Perfectly relaxing. After the massages, we decided to have a casual dinner in the hotel so we stopped at the Safeway and got together food and wine for the night.
Our hotel was wonderful and what a deal! We stayed at Orchards Inn, which is right in Uptown with incredible views of the mountains. So you are walking distance to tons of restaurants and shops, but you also have just incredible views of the sunrise. There's a great little pool and jacuzzi which no one was using (fair enough...it actually started snowing while we were using the jacuzzi). The room was nice and it was literally under $125 a night. You can't go wrong with this hotel!
After our hike, we went back to the hotel and warmed up in the jacuzzi and took showers before heading down to Tlaquepaque Shopping Center and Oak Creek Brewery for some shopping and dinner. Tlaquepaque is a really beautiful, upscale shopping center with art galleries and other shops. The brewery was recommended to us by several people, so we figured it was a must do.
We headed back down to Phoenix on Monday morning, but first stopped at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. We were told by the receptionist at our hotel that the chapel was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but it was actually designed by one of his students. Anyway, pretty cool chapel. Fits right in with the scenery around it. I do wish that the ridiculously huge mansion with the waterfalls right below the chapel wasn't there. It takes away from the simplicity of the chapel and the beauty all around it.
Really enjoyed our mini-vacation and hope we make it back to Sedona soon. It got me excited for our adventures in Santa Fe, NM later this summer for Allyson's clinical rotation.