Sedona Vacation 2011, That’s a wrap!

As is my habit, I am including a summary of my vacation. I like to fill in any gaps I missed or answer any questions that came up during the series of posts and just give you  my final take on the vacation as a whole.

This was my 2nd trip to Sedona and Northern Arizona. The first trip I traveled alone. This trip with a companion, my sister. The first trip was really unbelievable because I had the freedom to do what I wanted , when I wanted and didn’t need to think about anyone else. This trip required that I be a bit more considerate but seeing my sister’s reactions and sharing her observations as a “first time” visitor made it totally worth it.

That’s the thing about vacations. I love going alone but when I do I wish someone was with me so we could oooh and aaahhh over the sights together but when you travel with someone you have to balance the things you want to do so that everyone stays happy and satisfied. After all, vacations don’t come cheap these days. Luckily my sister and I usually get along pretty good as far as agreeing on what to see and do.

So I will rate this vacation as an A for me. I didn’t give it an A+ because I’d seen a lot of the stuff before but even seeing it a 2nd time was great.

The Grand Canyon Railroad is always a fun ride and now I know the best seat is the Observation dome car.

The Petrified Forest is interesting but doesn’t take long unless you’re a real “rock hound”. The Teepee formations and the painted Desert were more interesting to me.

 The wildlife wasn’t much better this time than last time. We saw a mule deer this trip. Sandy saw 2, one as we were driving down 89 A  and one from the train. I saw a mule deer family last trip in the Grand Canyon National park but not outside the park.

We saw a Roadrunner this trip and I saw one last trip. We didn’t see a live Pronghorn this  trip but I did from the Grand Canyon train last trip. We had to settle for the mounted  head at the Blazin’ M ranch this time.

Speaking of the Blazin’M, the show was just as good, maybe even a little better this time but the food was nowhere near as good as it was in my first visit. But food aside, I would go back to that show in a minute. It’s great fun. Of course leading up to the show was the Verde Canyon railroad and that was special with two great views of bald eagles!

As for new stuff, I think for me anyway, seeing the Pueblo at Tuzigoot and the cliff dwelling at Montezuma’s castle were the high points right after the Grand Canyon of course. The Painted Desert was pretty cool too.

As for the Grand Canyon, I love the breathtaking views from the rim but I can’t help feeling pretty special to be one of the 1% to make it to the bottom of the canyon.

 I also have to say that the tour guide (Joe) from Native American Tours proved to be the most thorough guide I’ve had in Arizona. What he shared in his one tour came up over and over in all the rest of our adventures.

Back to wildlife…we didn’t see any javalinas this trip but we saw a “flycatcher” and I got a picture of that. That little red and brown bird was pretty neat.

 There were the little lizard things too. Just like Florida they are everywhere!

The desert was beautiful too. The cactus was in bloom from all the rain.

That’s not something that happens all the time and the Red Rocks of Sedona are always beautiful. The color is just so rich and vibrant.

It’s “dark sky” too so with the minimal lights at night you have awesome viewing for the stars and the night sky.

Enjoy a little vino and who knows, you too can believe in aliens! 🙂

I’d like to make one more trip basically as a photo-op.  If I can I think I would like to spend a full day at the Grand Canyon and just work on pictures…maybe camp there one night so I can hit sunrise and sunset. I’d also include a trip to Monument Valley and Canyon De Chelley, again for photos. There’s also the slot canyons up near Page, Arizona that are known for awesome and unusual pictures.

So that’s my thoughts. I hope my sister enjoyed the trip as much as I did. I’m looking forward to our next joint adventure. With any luck it will be Alaska in 2012. (have to get there before the glaciers melt or the end of the world arrives in Dec of 2012)

Our last bit of vintage Sedona was the Hot Air Balloon we were able to watch from the balcony of our time share unit on Saturday morning before we left. That just made the trip complete as I saw Hot Air Balloons on my last day on my other trip. 🙂

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