Monday, February 16, 2009

Sublime Sedona

When I told friends I was going to the Phoenix area, they all chimed in and said be sure and go to Sedona! Well not sure that was which way the wind would blow me, I said, "sure, if I can get there. Being that the weather was way too cold to indulge in poolside lazing, which is what my daughter and I had talked about, and of course we are way too adventurous for such idling, we rented a car and made the trek two hours north to Sedona. It was worth every bit of the trouble despite having to spend 45 minutes going the last 7 miles at the very end of our trip. They are doing some serious road remodeling as you enter town.

It didn't take us long to get a quick bite to eat at a place that reminded me of a ski hill snack bar, complete with French tourists at the next table, a stunning view of the nearby red sandstone formations and we even had a little snow on the ground. So much for getting a tan while in sunny Arizona.

Our next stop was the Chamber of Commerce to seek out a simple hike we could handle in our street shoes, which we enjoyed for an hour hiking in and then out again. The recent snow had melted for the most part, but the trail was pretty muddy. Afterwards we took a driving tour and figured out what all the fuss was about when you mention you're going to Sedona. "Be sure to watch the sunset in Sedona!" they all bark, and yes there is a reason why. The red rock formations create a stunning backdrop for the setting sun. These beautiful rocks have also served as a backdrop for some of Hollywood's classic westerns, including the 1950 Jimmy Stewart film "Broken Arrow.

We thought it might be difficult to find a decent restaurant for dinner, before heading back across the desert, and we didn't want to cross back into town for fear of the same traffic snarl we had encountered before, but thankfully we were proven wrong. A quick stop at a nearby realtor netted us the tip to try Cucina Rustica. Voila! What a treat. This ornately decorated, and award-winning restaurant has garnered a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2006 and 2007.

We feasted on Italian food and an excellent Pinot Noir. We found the Carciofo Alla Griglia, a fresh grilled artichoke served with a lemon pesto aioli, especially delicious.

There are several events that are hosted annually in the Sedona area, including: The Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival, and it is home to several notable arts organizations including the Sedona Arts Center, and Chamber Music Sedona, which sponsors a chamber music program annually from October to May.

(c) 2008 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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