Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sedona, Arizona

My mom works at a school so she's on a typical school-goers schedule- Spring Break and all. She's not one to just laze around the house for a week. She likes doing things and drinking wine and exploring new places. Hum.. I wonder where I get it from.

For her Spring Break, she decided to visit some friends and family in Phoenix, AZ. Since my new office is in Scottsdale, I decided to spend the week with her. We flew in on a Friday to spend the weekend in Sedona.

I have a lot of friends that live in AZ and all of them RAVE about Sedona. It's known for it's sandstone formations. They are a crazy beautiful orange and red when illuminated by the sun. Plus, there are hundreds of hiking trails.

I flew in on Friday into the Phoenix airport at around 8am. My mom flew into the Mesa Airport around noon. She had planned to drive to the Phoenix airport, then we would drive the 2 hours north to Sedona.

Due to some plane problems on her end it was unclear when my mom would land to pick me up. So, I decided to take a shuttle to Sedona. Once I arrived, I checked into the Poco Diablo Resort, which was slightly dated but very nice!

I decided to do dinner "downtown" at a VERY popular and recommended restaurant called Elote Cafe. They don't really "do" cabs or uber in Sedona so I had to call a town car to take me the 2 miles from my hotel to the restaurant. (Normally I would have walked, but.... coyotes.) The $15 town car took me to Elote and recommended I try the pork cheeks. Whhhaaa?

I arrived without a reservation which seemed preposterous to the host. Actually most people did. Even for a single person wanting to sit at the bar, the wait was 45 minutes. To the margarita stand I went. Wow. Delish.

The bar seat eventually came, I ordered another marg and reviewed the limited menu. I zeroed in on the pork cheeks and went for it.

the pork, the corn cake, the everything. I had never even heard of pork cheeks. But now, I will not shy away from them.

Nom nom. I had another $15 town car pick me up to take me back to my hotel. I asked him to stop at a liquor store to get a bottle of wine before I went back. But because the liquor store was the opposite direction of my hotel (by literally 2 blocks) he would have to charge me an additional $5.

That's it! I was just over this pretentious town car situation, and 3 margaritas deep I was ready to let this driver know it.

"That is absurd and you know it! You're getting paid 7.5 dollars a mile plus what I will probably tip you, and you're going to charge me extra for a liquor stop two blocks up the road?!"

He knew it was absurd. "Well, there is a drive thru liquor store we could go through and technically that wouldn't be a stop so I wouldn't have to charge you, just as long as you know what you want."

Perf. We went through the drive thru and I asked the guy to give me a $10 bottle of dry red wine with a twist cap. That's when I realized I was in Sedona. The cheapest wine they had was $23. FINE give it to me! Got to hotel, opened wine, poured in plastic hotel cup, turned on HGTV, laid in fluffy king bed and #latenightsedonagoals.

My mom finally arrived at the hotel around 1am. I poured her some wine after a long, dark drive.

The next morning, we got ready and headed to the hotel lobby for a glass of champagne. We sat on the patio overlooking the golf course and cheersed to our mini vacay.

At 10am the wine tour bus picked us up. We were about to go to 4 different wineries in the Sedona area for wine and food tastings.

Before the tour, I wondered what kind of demographic would be on this tour- Sedona seemed a little on the retirement side if you know what I mean.

We get on the bus and there are four people- two couples in the back. They looked to be in their mid-twenties and they were PUMPED for this wine tour. They told us they had a cooler full of beermosas and strawberry margaritas. yummm yes please.

The bus needed to make one more pick up before heading to the first winery. We stopped at a nearby hotel and 6 women on a bachelorette party got on. They looked ROUGH from the night before, but also came prepared with a cooler of mimosas. Did we miss the memo?

To the first winery we went. As we arrived, the bro-iest bro in the back asked if there was a dress code at the winery... the driver informed him no, there isn't. He then proceeded to take his shirt off, "good, because I hate clothes!" Ok... so this is how it's going to go.

We spent the next few hours bouncing from winery to winery, beautiful view of the AZ desserts and all. Most the wines were just meh, with only a few standouts of which we bought bottles of for the ride home.

After getting back to the hotel, we went straight to the hot tub to soak for a few hours, followed by a wine induced nap. After the nap, it was a little too late to go into town, so we checked out hotel bar restaurant which was just what we needed.

The next morning we headed into town to check out the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and for lunch at Oak Creek Brewery. We had to head to Phoenix later that afternoon, so we were able to do a quick 4-mile hike around Bell Rock.

The trip was short but sweet, but oh so worth it.

This was aggressive before a hike... 

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