After 9 long months of designing, budgeting, contracting and dealing with the City and the HOA I am pleased to report we finally have a hole in the ground and even some rebar in place! Anyone who has questions about the building process in Sedona please feel free to PM me. My wife and I visited from this past Saturday until Weds to check on the progress and search out new places to see and eat in our soon to be hometown. I will try a different format than my previous trip reports.
1. We stayed at L'Auberge for the 4th time. This time in a Vista Cottage instead of the Spa Cottages we have been in before. We really do love this place. The service can't be beat and we are getting to know the folks there by name. I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone considering a vacation stay/splurge. When there DO NOT MISS the "star gazing" they do 3 or so nights per week. The astronomer sets up a 9' long reflecting telescope on the parking deck and, without computer or GPS guidance, just points it at deep space objects within seconds. His contagious enthusiasm now has me reading about astronomy and planning on buying a scope when we move.
2. Coffeepot Restaurant - We passed on this place the last few times we were in town in favor of checking out other breakfast joints. They really do have one of the best affordable breakfasts in town. Even going on a Sunday morning the wait was only about 15 min. Sure it is touristy but good inexpensive (for Sedona) food is good food.
3. Westside Lilo's - Although not in Sedona, if you are driving in from Las Vegas, as we did again this trip, this is a must stop in Seligman, about 1/2 of the way between the two. Freshly prepared, huge portions, low prices, what more can one ask for?
4. Trailhead Tea - I am glad to see this place thriving. Dan and Eileen have built a great place to try and buy all sorts of teas and herbal infusions. I had to restock a favorite I bought last trip.
1. Harding Spring - Speaking of Dan and Eileen, they recommended we visit Harding Spring. I am sure it has been mentioned here but I don't recall seeing it recently. If you are driving up Oak Creek Canyon this is worth a few minute stop. If northbound towards Flagstaff, it can be found about 1/2 mile past mileage post 386 on the left side. There is a small pull over. If you blink, you may miss the stone pillar that contains the spring. Basically, it is an artesian spring that has been re-routed under 89A and into some pipes placed within a small stone protective pillar. There are two spouts coming out of the stone that just pour fresh, cool spring water 24/7. People pull over and just fill up jugs with this stuff. Try it. It will give you a taste of what water was like hundreds of years ago.
2. Harry's Hideaway - Yes, I can thank RedRox for this one (and I let them know it RR). We had dinner there with some friends on Tuesday evening. It really is hidden away and very easy to miss it while driving down Cornville Road. If coming off of 89A it will be on your left tucked into a small strip. This is the definition of a "Mom and Pop" shop with Harry running the kitchen and Adele (I think that was her name) running the front of the house. Their pork shanks are justifiably famous and all of the food was excellent but their homemade desserts were a real standout.
3. Indian Gardens Café - Another excellent RR suggestion. We had breakfast there Tuesday morning. You just order at the register, grab a seat in the enclosed "gardens" out back and they bring you the food. It is a peaceful, quiet setting un the Canyon just about 5 minutes from Uptown and well worth the short drive. The food was well prepared and excellent. You can also stock up on some groceries and baked good while there.
4. The Field - A newcomer next to New Frontiers grocery store in West Sedona. They specialize in "conscious cuisine" which I assume means organic, local and heavily slanted towards veggie, but with a menu that includes burgers, grilled chicken, etc. In fact, our friend with whom we had lunch and who lives in town declared his burger the best he has had in Sedona. The grilled chicken sandwich was also a standout.
5. Hikes - We did two. The morning after we arrived we did a short hike on Jordan Trail since it is very close to our property. Afterwards, I asked my wife to remind me NOT to do a hike the first day we arrive to give our flatlander bodies a chance to acclimate to 4500 ft! After about a mile in, I felt I had just completed a cardiac stress test, which, fortunately, I passed! Just some friendly advice to other baby boomers coming from sea level, even in you are in some sort of decent shape...take it easy at first. We also hiked Coffeepot Trail, an unmarked trail we found in the book "55 Great Sedona Hikes". It comes off of Teacup and the Sugarloaf trailheads right in West Sedona. It is relatively flat and only about 2.5 miles in and out. Don't be put off by the initial climb. It gets flatter after that.
That should do it for now. If I think of anything else we did, I will add some more comments.