(Click on photos to see them full size.)
Today was a “split” day, because Jeremy and Anya left at 6:00am to go to the Grand Canyon for the day while Dad, Debbie, Victoria, Ari, and I stayed in Sedona. Just because we didn’t go to the Grand Canyon didn’t mean that we were going to laze around all day, though (just for a few hours in the morning), and so we decided to do a bit of touristy sightseeing followed by a nice hike as our day’s activities.
Our first stop was the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a tiny but beautiful Catholic chapel literally built into the famous Sedona red rock. From our car up to the Chapel was probably a half mile (all uphill), and then from the top parking lot up to the Chapel itself was another few hundred yards, so the round trip total just to see this Chapel was probably between 1 and 1.25 miles walk .
After leaving the Chapel, we decided to try the Wildflower Bread Company, a “local” version of Panera Bread. The restaurant was packed, but the line moved quickly and we were able to find a table. Ari was really tired, so was starting to act out a bit, and got it into his head that we had ordered something off the menu for him (when, in reality, we had brought food for him to eat). I didn’t want to have to stand in the long line to order something for him, so, when the store manager fortuitously stopped by to ask how our lunches were, I asked him, “May I order a chocolate milk for my son and give you the cash to pay for it so I don’t have to stand in line?” His response, without hesitation: “Sure, I’ll get that for you, and it’s on me.” Wow! Great customer service!
In the same shopping center as the Wildflower Bread Company was a Cold stone Creamery. Although we didn’t enjoy an after-lunch treat, I am mentioning this because this Cold Stone must have—I have to believe—the most amazing view of any Cold Stone location in the world. Don’t believe me? Look at this photo I took from just outside the ice cream shop:
After lunch, we headed off to hike the Boynton Canyon Trail, which was semi-muddy but totally beautiful. I believe it’s a 2.5-mile there/2.5-mile back trail, but we did about 1.75 miles before turning around because it was starting to get late in the day and we were all getting hungry. As we were turning around to head back to the car, Ari started asking to get out of the backpack so he could walk, but, of course, we knew there was no way he’d be able to walk the full distance back, so instead suggested that we would let him walk the last bit when we got close to the car. When we were within a quarter mile or so of the car, we let him out of the backpack, and—boy, oh boy!—was he proud to hike the last part of the trail by himself!
We rounded out this wonderful day with a dinner consisting of take-out Thai food from Thai Spices Natural Restaurant and a relaxing evening spent watching the remainder of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.