I did something unusual this month-- I took a vacation! Now you might think that having my own sewing business is vacation every day of the year and you'd be right, but sometimes the artist in me needs to get out from behind the computer screen!
For my sister's birthday, we met in Sedona, Phoenix-- she picked it and I happily agreed. She was flying in from Florida and we were supposed to land within a half hour of each other in Phoenix-NOT! She had two layovers and made it on time-- my straight flight was delayed four hours! Fortunately, I have the presence of mind to always travel with hand work...
(This is a secret project I am working on-- English Paper Piecing clamshells-- more in another post, and boy, did I get a lot done!)
So getting in very late, I missed my trip to the Desert Garden in Phoenix. Sorry, no cactus flower embroidery inspiration! :-(
...and basically we were up an at 'em to drive up to Sedona the next day.
Born and raised in the Northeast-- there's always something enchanting about cacti growing by the side of the road. And while I think of Arizona as a flat desert, its actually quite mountainous-- 99 degrees in Phoenix but we still had a snow peak up ahead.
We stopped at the famous Montezuma Castle site-- what struck me was how PEACEFUL it was there. Located by a little stream, I could just envision the Native American women of ages past doing their sewing by the lake. XOX
Then it was back on the road-- as we drove around a last mountain the red rocks came into view and they were stunning.
The first night in Sedona we went to the Tillakawapakawa Center, and trust me, it is WAY easier to spell than to say. It's a place loaded with art and galleries. Many many beautiful things to ogle and fortunately the shops closed early or my credit card would have been smoking! The buildings all looked pretty new, but everything was arranged so carefully like a little village and every spot was like a work of art, too. So my camera got the workout!!
Next day we hiked up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. All uphill... this place does not lack gorgeous vistas!
Unfortunately, I got distracted by this person's house that could be seen below... In a former life, I may have been a real estate agent, because a pretty property and location, location, location, never escapes my eye!
It had a pond, waterfall, and God only knows how many bathrooms... basically, the only fault is the fact that stalkers with zoom lenses will be spying on you from the Chapel!
This is my sister-- we are blond and brunette versions of the same person and a better traveling companion you will never find. She is very much agreeable when ill-advised side trips are in discussion, also will want to buy you any and all items that take your fancy in gift shops. DO NOT wear mascara with this person, as you will soon have tears rolling down your cheeks from laughing too hard! She does need to work on her rock star hand signal though. XOX
At night we shopped at the more touristy area-- I am a sucker for a gift shop and don't mind the tourist traps at all-- I just love to take all of it in, see where all the visitors are from, and have the locals tell you the best things to do.
Of course, I assured my sister quilt shops were off the table, but this one was a mile down from the hotel, so what the heck! Taking me into a quilt shop is as ill-advised a side trip as they come.
Well worth the visit-- they had four rooms, beautiful batiks and a nice selection of red rock applique patterns.
we drove up to the Grand Canyon. The elevation is 7000 feet--so to get there from Sedona, it is a climb-- first we went through the Oak Creek Canyon-- a narrow shady crack with trees, a creek, the most charming cabins, and as cool as the day was warm. Then you switch back and forth over a great hill-- the views as you went higher and higher were spectacular... it was my turn to drive though, and BOTH hands were firmly gripping the wheel, believe me! So no pictures!
While admiring the incredible sight, I thought to myself-- it's really not a big hole in the ground-- the bottom of the canyon is at an everyday type of elevation- it's the surrounding cliffs that are spectacular!
Both times I have visited the Grand Canyon it has just been for a day. I love a hike and I have vowed both times to return and walk down at least partway. This first time I went was in February and this time I noticed how much greenery there is down there-- we could not see the Colorado River at the bottom.
Then of course you see something like this and you realize it's time to get back to civilization and... HOME.
Back at home, for the flower basket of the month, I went with this favorite mountain flower and a jar that probably seeped into my consciousness at Tillakawapakawa. Thanks for joining me!