In the planning stages of our trip (you know.. like a week before..) we had read and heard so many wonderful things about Sedona.
So of course, we were curious. We knew we wouldn't have long to stay, but we wanted to see the scenery and to take some time to shop. That second part was pretty much just me...
We drove through the Coconino National Forest to get to Sedona. It was GORGEOUS! But the driving was killing me and I wasn't even driving. Nothing but windy mountain roads decreasing in elevation rapidly as we drove through. The view was gorgeous, but the roads were windy and narrow. I was glad to be out more-or-less once we made it to Sedona. Sadly, the light was too dim and my pictures of this area really didn't turn out. This one is ok, the spot on the top is a bug on the windshield.. ick.
Once we got to Sedona we were immediately out of the beautiful mountains and into and equally beautiful city surrounded by red rocks. Seriously, pick a direction to look in Sedona, and you've got an incredible view!
View from the car.
View from the street.
We got out and explored some of the shops. There were plenty of places filled with handmade items specifically from the Southwest. There were also a handful of touristy stores, but the most populous was the new age type store. We passed about six or seven shops where you could buy crystals, have your aura read or photographed, etc. Apparently people believe that since Sedona is so beautiful, the strange landscape leads to pockets of mystical energy called vortexes. This is an interesting theory, but I don't know how I feel about it yet. No matter what you believe the scenes are breathtaking.
There was a beautiful sculpture on the street with all of the shops. Maybe it's just my girly nature, but I was such a fan of this piece. It featured two dancers and it spun around to music. I thought it was beautiful!
After stopping at some shops we went to Wildflower Bread Company for dinner. Which is basically a west-coasty version of Panera bread. The food is a little more unique and quite a bit healthier, at least in spirit. I got the tuna salad and veggie minestrone and Kyle got potato soup and the continental chicken sandwich. It was good and relaxed, which is what we were looking for after a lot more driving.
We picked a hotel last minute which was strange for us, but worked out just fine. We slept in a little and enjoyed how bright the sun was in the morning. It's much easier to wake up that way! We didn't plan to do much more in Sedona since we had limited time, so we grabbed breakfast at Wildflower (again) which was great. I got banana walnut pancakes and Kyle got the egg breakfast. The potatoes on his plate were AMAZING! And my pancakes were really good!
After breakfast we headed to The Chapel of the Holy Cross. This is a beautiful chapel that is built into the gorgeous red rock landscape. We waited until about lunchtime to avoid crowds, but it was still very busy! (Take note: no public restrooms!)
The drive was slow while we waited for parking, but the view was gorgeous so we didn't mind too much.
We parked and walked up the ramp to the tiny chapel. Inside it was nice and many visitors were lighting prayer candles or stopping to say a prayer. It was a little different for us since we aren't Catholic, but the beauty and symbolism was the same.
Some people who reviewed this place on trip advisor (follow me for reviews and specifics!) were making an interesting point that since they don't have mass there or perform weddings on the property, it is really more of a tourist destination. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that yet, but I am glad that we visited. It was such a unique and beautiful destination to add to our trip.
In the basement is a gift shop which contained lots of typical gifts: rosary beads, post cards, books, bibles and angel figurines. I wasn't in the market for those items, but instantly fell in love with this little votive candle holder. It was handmade in Sedona by a local artist.
Here is a little more of the Sedona landscape to end this post.
What is the most scenic destination you've visited?
All for now,