Friday, January 20, 2012

Sedona - Final Day

My last 1/2 day in Sedona started with a jeep tour with our A Day in the West tour guide. He took us into some of the back country "behind" Sedona. It was absolutely beautiful and informational.

He told us all kinds of stuff about the history of the area, the plants and their healing qualities, and the animal life.

The above picture isn't of the actual jeep we took. It's a picture from the wall mural on the outside of their building. Pretty cute. Their jeeps are actually yellow. :-)

Here is a link to all my public albums at this time:

Stay tuned...

Sedona - Two more days

Thursday - Friday:
After only one half day in Sedona, I knew staying at least one extra day made absolute sense since I was already there. I made arrangements with the hotel and was off on more adventures.

On Thursday I went on a Pink Jeep Tour into the area of ancient ruins. Not only is the surrounding scenery beautiful, getting to and from the ruins, but to actually visualize the peoples who inhabited these cliff dwellings is humbling. Click on the link to see some pics from their website. Here is a link to all of MY pictures from that trek. These are all organic and not yet edited:

My Friday tour was postponed until Saturday so I had a Free day. I took the time to head up to the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross, a famous Catholic church built right on top of the rocks, blending beautifully into the scenery.

I stayed up there quite a while, trying to capture the changing colors as the sun moved across the valley.

The picture on the right is taken standing at the church facing the hillside.

The lower left picture is taken standing beside the church looking down into the valley. It's a little hazy in the distance due to a fire somewhere in the northern area.

Stay tuned...

Here is a link to all my public albums as of today:

Sedona - First Half Day

January 11, 2012 (Wednesday):
I left Connie and Bill's mid morning with the plan to spend a couple days in Sedona and return on Friday. Immediately after arriving, I scoped out a visitor center and booked a couple jeep tours for the next two days, found a hotel, then headed up town to wander around and get my bearings.

Sedona is a beautiful and fascinating place. Sedona's official website sums it up be

st: Often called "Red Rock Country" Sedona is a four seasons playground for everyone -whether you're into history and archaeology, arts and culture, shopping, outdoor sports; or the spiritual and metaphysical, imagine doing all this in a backdrop of some of the most spectacular scenery in the world".

The weather was absolutely lovely, making it difficult to remember it was still early January. My luck was amazing!

First order of business was to have a leisurely lunch. After lunch I wandered around town with camera in hand. I've turned into a photographer who takes a picture of everything.

Sometimes people look at me funny when I take pictures of odd things (like my food) but... hey... you never know when you might capture a unique photo worthy of submitting to a stock photography site.

I was particularly fascinated by the vast array of life sized scuptures displayed around town.

The sun wasn't exactly in the right position for pictures, but I did the best I could (and have not edited). One of my favorites was an authentically garbed w
estern couple (mounted on a wagon wheel), swirling and dancing to whatever music was in their bronze heads.

Another favorite was a cowboy painter, with a smaller statue of a little girl taking a picture of him as he worked on his (fake) canvas creation.

And... a scupture of a life sized horse, with all the detail of what a cowboy would carry including
the gun and holster, saddle bags, etc. Totally amazing!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

219 / 388 / 284 / 46

The numbers in the title are the number of pictures I took each day I was in Sedona this week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). That totals 937 in four days. Actually it was two 1/2 days and 2 full days.

Those numbers do not include the mere 288 additional pictures I took since leaving home on December 18th. I have done some purging but need to do a LOT more.

We photo bugs take a lot of pictures in hopes of getting that one or two outstanding shots... which are greatly subject to lighting conditions and weather.... and whether the photo bug was smart enough to remember her tri-pod (which I was not). :-(

In the case of Sedona, a little moisture on the rocks would have helped bring out the color, but it was beautiful anyway.

I will make additional posts, with additional commentary on each day of my Sedona adventure.

For those of you with nothing more meaningful to do, below is a link to ALL of my public photo albums. There are 42 total albums with, literally thousands and thousands of pictures. You won't want to look at them all.

The first 7 albums are the ones from this current trip. The album titled Max Jr. & Janice is actually their album. I did not take those pictures.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Daily Grind

The weather continues to be beautiful in Arizona. Even the locals seem to think it's unusually warm for January. I love it !

January 5 - 7:

Thursday was 30,000 mile car maintenance day. Since I plan to keep my car for a long time, and do some road traveling, I want to keep her running at tip top performance.

My car is nearly 4 years and just recently turned over 30,000 miles. Low miles so far, but that will likely change now that I'm trying to fill the lonely void in my life with visiting family and friends... and using my camera as a travel companion.

After my excursion to the car dealership, Connie and I went for lunch at a Mexican place called Macayos. It has large portions of, colorfully presented, good food and a fun decor conducive to taking interior pictures.

Friday: Even on vacation, a person has to do chores, so I did some laundry and general clean-up in my room.

After getting back from her Dr. appointment, Connie and I went to the Sun City West library which was totally awesome. I like libraries. They have a sense of peace and reverence to them. I was so impressed with the organization of the library, with separate rooms for various categories: Media (music and videos), Newspapers, Investments, etc. They even had a room full of computers for people to use. Very cool.

Saturday was a totally lazy day for me. I set up my tri-pod and took pictures of some paintings Connie wants to sell. Other than that, though, I spent time reading, laying in the sun, napping and doing Words with Friends (my new online scrabble addiction).

Today is a new day. Other than church at 1:00 I have no idea what the rest of the day will hold. I hope for a little time in the sun !

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Desert Botanical Garden / Phoenix

The plan to go on an excursion with Connie today fell through because she took Bill to the ear doctor and it took longer than expected.

Instead, I headed out to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix by myself. It was a warm, sunny day and I made the mistake of only wearing a sleeveless top.

As a result, I didn't spend as much time at the garden as I would have liked... in the interest of saving my skin from turning direct from white to red. I'm working on getting a tan, not turning into a lobster.

Anyway, I did take a lot of pictures. Here is a link to the complete album. Some good, some not so good due to the direction of the sun The picture above is actually glass art, not real plants.

Click on a photo to enlarge, then scroll left or right with the arrows. Enjoy !

In spite of all the traffic down here, I don't mind driving around. Even though it gets jammed at times, for the most part traffic moves along pretty good due to an abundance of lanes. There are up to 7 lanes going each way on the freeways... and almost always 4 - 6 depending on the location. You still have to watch for the crazies who zip in and out of traffic in a hazardous way, but you get that anywhere I guess.

Tomorrow is a scheduled oil change and 30,000 mile check-up for my trusty traveling companion.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


One of my resolutions for the new year is to write a journal... not necessarily EVERY day, but often.

January 2, 2012:
A relaxing day mostly hanging out at Connie & Bill's. I went out to get gas in my car before it leaves me stranded somewhere scrambling for my AAA card in need of rescue service.

Then went to Barnes and Noble to catch up on a few current edition magazines. I'm always amazed at how many different magazines are published on every possible subject.

It's good for me to get out at least once a day and go somewhere. The roads around here are a bit confusing. Sun City West is designed in a circular pattern and, unless you actually look at a map, it's hard to get your bearings.

I like all the choices for shopping around here! I don't do that much shopping but I like having choices when the mood strikes. I like some of the stores we don't have available in Wenatchee, like a BIG bookstore. It's one of my favorite places to go hang out when I have nothing else to do (or don't want to do anything else). I also like Panda Express and Dunkin Donuts, Long John Silvers, and many of the little strip mall cafes.

After my gas-getting outing I went back to the house, played Connie 3 games of Yahtzee then went to take a late nap. All that effort being a good sport while losing makes me tired. I must have been really tired because I slept right through dinner in spite of Connie calling me. Oh well, won't hurt me to miss a meal or three... or more!

January 3, 2012:
I got out in the front courtyard for a little sun before the overcast skies sneaked in. Still a pleasant 68ish degrees in spite of the cloud cover.

I called to make a Thursday appointment with the Ford dealership for an oil change and 30,000 mile check up. Hopefully, nothing will need to be done and I can get out of there without blowing my budget.

Connie and I have a massage scheduled for 12:45 this afternoon so I'm anxiously watching the clock.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reading Frenzy

I've been on a reading binge since leaving home on December 17th when I headed south for a few weeks.

The first book doesn't really count as "reading". It was actually listening... 15 hours of listening to an audio book entitled "Family Ties". Good entertainment for the trip from Wenatchee to Spokane, Spokane to Salt Lake City, and somewhere beyond Salt Lake City it was finished.

The books I have actually "read" since are:
Wild Montana Sky by Deborah Holland
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
In Too Deep by Kathryn Shay
Dream House by E. Jean Beres (a novella)

Now I'm reading a book called Elvis Has Not Left the Building. It's a story about Elvis having faked his own death, had major reconstructive surgery to be unrecognizable and living in obscurity as a private investigator, specializing in finding missing persons.

Other books in progress:
Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
The Litigators by John Grisham
True Believer by Nicolas Sparks

More books are in the Que... along with a number of Bible based books to help me with guidance as I wander into the unknown. LOL

I'm also going to start getting out for some one or two day road trips around the Phoenix area. Want to enjoy the beautiful Arizona sun, fresh air and give my camera a work-out.


Ringing In The New Year

I am having trouble embracing the New Year of 2012. I want to hold on to my past with Max instead of moving forward without him.

I know he is with me always and everywhere and yet I, somehow, feel like I'm leaving him behind by embracing the New Year.

Beyond that I know 2012 is a critical election year for our country. I pray we can move in the right direction to recapture the principles this country was founded upon and regain world respect.

Best wishes to all !