Sedona, Arizona

The day didn't go as planned yesterday. We were making it up as we went along, but it turned out to be a good day. We saw a lot. We accomplished a lot. Our plan was to drive north to Sedona...and, check...that was about the only thing that went as planned. As we rounded the first bend on the state highway heading into Sedona, the beautiful red rock formations came into view.

We passed by the visitor center. We were on our way to Cathedral Rock. The visitor center billed itself as information for the Red Rock Scenic Byway. We didn't really know what to expect when we arrived at Cathedral Rock, and so we decided to stop on the way out, if necessary.

It was stunningly beautiful along this byway. We wondered why it wasn't a national park, and then answered our own question. It's probably because of the community of Sedona, nestled cozily among all the formations I'm about to show you.

We reminisced about why we never visited here when we lived in Phoenix. It was the first three years of our marriage, and we couldn't afford even to visit Sedona...a rather expensive place to stay, eat, and shop. Also, Mike was in school year-round...even in summer. He worked evenings and I worked full-time. We were busy. There wasn't much time for vacations. Heck, we didn't even visit Tucson until after we'd already moved to Oregon.

We pulled off at the first scenic viewpoint and found virtually no place to park. Mike ended up dropping me off for a couple of pictures while he circled the parking lot.

I climbed up on a picnic table for this pano.

And that was when our plans started to change. We drove on several miles more to where we could park for a short hike to Cathedral Rock.

Again...there was absolutely no place to park. Even the side streets were lined with cars from end to end between the signs marking tow-away zones.

Okay. So that was only slightly disappointing.

We enjoyed the sites we could see.

It reminded us of Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Arches all rolled into one.

With our Cathedral Rock plans thwarted, it seemed a good time to visit the quilt store.

It was not visible from the main road, and so it was a little hard to find. We parked up the street, and I walked to where I thought it was. Finally, I found it.

The "wearable art" part of that sign confused me a little, but I kept walking.

This little quilt was hanging to the left of the door.

Walking inside...oh...this isn't what I thought it would be. It actually was a clothing store. There were some finished quilts hanging on the walls, and some for sale, but this was not a fabric store at all. They had a few little cuts of fabric sitting around that could be purchased, but everything else was already finished. It was a little intimidating...like being at a quilt show...I didn't think I should touch anything. So I left after just a few minutes.

So...my quilt shop dreams dashed, I turned around 180 degrees and saw this shop. "You'll do," I said.

This turned out to be a fun little shop with exotic spices, teas, sauces, jams, pasta...you name it.

There were also cool beverages. The ones at the bottom of the next image in the center...the red bottles...were prickly pear soda. Very tempting, but I passed.

Instead, I amused myself with the many funny tea towels and aprons.

There were also some handy kitchen items.

These tempted me mightily, but I passed them by.

Who can relate to the next one?

They had some beautiful pottery. I didn't even look at the prices. I knew in my bones everything was going to be too expensive for this retiree.

This is what I came out with.

Below is a wooden spatula and a bamboo knife. I wanted the bamboo knife to slip between nonstick pans and baked goods. At home, I use a plastic knife, but I don't have anything like that in the RV. As for the wooden spatula, I use these all the time. The one I had in the RV was splintered after years of use, and threatening to break, and so I replaced it with this pretty one.

While I was paying for these items, the woman at the cash register thanked me for finding their store. I explained I'd wanted to visit the quilt shop across the way, but it turned out not to be a quilt shop, er, fabric shop, as I'd thought. "Well, no! It's fine art!" she emphasized the last two words so that a cretin like me could understand. Well, excuuuuuuuusez-moi! I wanted to say, but I kept my snide comments to myself.

From there it seemed like a good time to have lunch. We went to a restaurant called "The Sound Bite." It was warm enough to sit outside, and this was our view.

Of course, there was pink salt on the table.

Mike had a glass of white wine. I had the Berry Berry Sangria. Yummy.

Mike had steak tacos. I had fish tacos. We shared this Apple Brown Betty for dessert. Double yum.

And then, we headed back to the RV, stopping off first at the visitor center. I found a refrigerator magnet there.

Also, I took this picture there.

The next image corresponds to the sign above.

When we got back to the RV, Mike patched a leaking bicycle tire, and I worked on my slow-stitching. Yesterday's inchy "assignment" was to stitch the leaves and stems at the top and to stitch the thread in the needle. I'd worked on this before we left, and so I just needed to do a little more on the thread to finish it up.

After that, I finished up the stitching on the sixth snowflake.

Smitty posed for his next magazine spread. This is his "Bond...James Bond" look.

Perhaps this side is his better side.

After that, I sewed the beads on.

Then I rinsed out the Sticky Fabri-Solvy and voila! It was finished.

This was my first time using "bugle beads," which are the long thin tubes.

While I was waiting for that to finish in the washer, I made up the seventh snowflake.

So far, I've done four in true blue and two in aqua blues. I want to do them half and half, and so I'll do this next one in aqua blues too.

Today we're moving south to Kartchner Caverns State Park. This will be a first-time visit for us. We have four nights there, and we'll make a day trip to Bisbee, Arizona, and Tombstone, Arizona. I have an idea we may not have cell service there. Mike found a review of the campground, and it indicated most cell service providers were available, but not Verizon. If that's the case, I may not have internet access for a few days. If you don't hear from me, you'll know why.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lisa said...

We saw all of this when we went to Phoenix for a week. Such a beautiful place.

Cathy said...

Sorry your day trip didn’t go as planned, but you still got some gorgeous photos! That Quilts Ltd. store is apparently a chain. At least, they have a sister store of the same name in Tubac, AZ, where we vacation every February. Same sign, same type of goods. We avoid going in there because they are snobby. They hover over you like you can’t be trusted not to walk off with their merchandise. What a stupid, misleading name for their stores.... I’ve mentioned them in my blog before under the Tubac label. Anyway, here’s hoping the next stops on your travels continue more smoothly.

QuiltShopGal said...

Wow, sounds like Sedona/Red Rock is way too popular. How dare they not save you a parking spot. They should have put up a special sign to block a spot for you and Mike! And the Quilt Shop should change their name. But overall it does sound like you still had a very good day and great weather. I've been to Tombstone, as a small kid. I look forward to hearing more about it from your adventures!

Julierose said...

Such beautiful rock formations--I love that soft reddish color--I wonder how they'd look at twilight?

[Have you read the James Doss series that takes place in the Four Corners? Lots of descriptive writing and funny mysteries and Native American lore...this post reminded of it.;)))]

I hate the "upscale" stores--we have plenty of them here and on the Gold coast farther on down the road from us...
Your epic journey is sure taking you interesting places....
hugs and thanks for sharing your lovely photos...Julierose

Quilting Babcia said...

Gorgeous blue skies in your photos. Beautiful country, though too bad you weren't able to find parking spaces. But be happy you're in the land of sunny skies - blizzard conditions here today with 50 mph wind gusts. Ushering in the lion of March a bit early.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! The original Quilt Shop was one of the best quilts shops I've ever been in and had a wonderful online site.
Looks like the beautiful Red Rock area has become too popular. So sad.
We last visited circa 1986. Gad zooks! That's almost 30 years ago. So much for going back .....
Your Kaua`i Friend (Google insists I'm my DH. Not!)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Too bad things were so packed you couldn't enjoy more. Yes, I think that was a fabulous quilt shop before - what a change over. Mr. Smitt would make a dashing Bond.

Beth said...

It is somewhat amusing that the woman in the store felt the need to explain to you that the quilts you had seen were "fine art". If only she had known she was speaking to an award-winning quilter, an artist in her own right, she might have saved the explanation for someone who (horrors!) thought quilts were solely for snuggling under. Grrr.

Linda said...

Those red rock photos are gorgeous. I guess in spite of not getting to park and visit, you were still surrounded with beauty and still had a fun day.
No store in its right mind would have quilt in the title if it is not a quilt store. Ugh on the pretentious "fine art" comment.
Smitty was looking extra handsome in those photos.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Another interesting recap to your day. These were breath taking pictures. I have to say that I was really surprised that there were so many visitors that you could not find a place to park. I think those kitty bag keepers were just too cute. You have great resistance to impulse buying. I am wondering if I have matured enough to refrain from cutting that snobby clerk to the quick. lol. Some things die hard.
xx, Carol

piecefulwendy said...

I think the "quilt shop" needs to update their signage. I hope you did an inner eye roll to the fine art comment. Geez. The scenery photos are beautiful - I hope to visit Sedona some day. The towels all made me chuckle. Glad you could top of the day with a tasty meal and dessert (and soothing drink!).

quiltzyx said...

Sorry to read that parking in Sedona was such a disappointment. Still, you did get some lovely photos of the red rocks.

Odd name for that store. Too bad you ran into that snooty-ness too. But the cookware shop did have some fun things. I love Stonewall Kitchen products. I first saw them at Harris Ranch, off the I-5, on my way up to visit my sisters. That's my regular pit stop & I walk through the shop & buy a prezzie for my sisters.

QuiltGranma said...

Well, at least their name is Quilts Limited... meaning they only have quilts! Not fabric. Gotta learn the meaning some use the language differently. Sorry for your disappointment, I would have been frustrated too. Though I might drool over some of those draping toppers!