Let me just state, right off the bat, that we did not have a chance this trip to hike to any energy vortexes in Sedona. You might be shocked, but I promise we will do this when we go back in March. Our RV park in Cottonwood (Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort) was off the beaten path and quiet, providing a perfect spot for some down time. We took the pressure off of ourselves for a couple of weeks to slow down, catch up on routine things, and just chill before our daughters, Madeline and Rachel, and Madeline’s boyfriend, Layne, arrived for a visit.

To familiarize ourselves with the area, we drove around Sedona one day, and took another day to drive around Cottonwood and Jerome. We visited the Tuzigoot National Monument, and we went kayaking on the Verde River—one of my most favorite kayaking days yet!

Once the kids arrived, we stayed busy. On the first day, we showed them a few sites around Sedona and walked around Uptown Sedona to do a little shopping. The girls treated us to dinner at The Hudson restaurant. The food was delicious, and we were able to soak in the scenery surrounding Sedona.

The next day we started at the Alcantara Winery, located just outside the entrance to our RV park, for a self-guided wine tasting. The weather was sunny, warm, with a slight breeze, as we sat outside drinking wine and soaking in the atmosphere. We then visited Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle—national monuments—before driving to Glendale (near Phoenix) to get cheap ($1.69/gal) diesel fuel and visit Carl’s stepbrother Shane, his wife Pam, and their daughter Ashlyn. We haven’t seen them in several years, and it was wonderful to reconnect with them. The kids saw their first cacti on mountains, so a special pull over was made to take a picture with a Saguaro.

The third day was a long day trip (2 hours one way) to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Lots of walking, phenomenal sightseeing, and plenty of picture taking.

Day four was a trip to Arcosanti, a “prototype arcology” (Google it!). Unfortunately, because of covid, Arcosanti had cut back on the number of tours they were doing and the number of people in each tour. I would like to go back in the future, post covid, to take a tour to learn more about this 1970s-frugal living place.

Thanksgiving Day was delicious food made by all five of us, drinks, onsite putt-putt golf, working on a puzzle, and watching Love Actually at the timeshare resort they were staying in called Sedona Pines.

On our last day with Madeline, Rachel, and Layne, we did an off-road jeep tour into the mountains of Sedona. It was a cold, wild ride in an open-air pink jeep with just the five of us and our tour guide driver. The ride was so bumpy and rugged, our appreciation for seatbelts grew as they kept us in the jeep! The scenery was beautiful, and the adventure was a perfect way to end our visit with the kids.

We will be spending more time in Arizona over the coming months. We will be in Mesa over Christmas and New Year’s before we move to another part of Arizona. There is so much more for us to see and do here. Our adventures continue!  Stay tuned…