My Red Sedona


Sedona was officially named in 1902 when Theodore C. Schnebly, a Dutch settler bought 80 acres of land near Oak Creek in 1901. He applied for a post-office permit. He wanted to use his name and proposed that he call the land Schnebly Station, but was told the name was too long (and quite frankly I don’t think the name would have done the beauty of this place any justice) when he made application for the post-office after many settlers complained that the mail service was very slow getting to town. His application with his name Schnebly Station was denied because the name was too long to fit on a cancelation stamp, and so he decided to name it after his wife, Sedona.

Beautiful Sedona is about a 4500 foot elevation as you drive north in Arizona, about two and a half hours from Phoenix. Along the drive and when you arrive you will see the beautiful canyons of Sedona.


A magnificent town of red rock mountains. It is typically about fifteen degrees cooler there than in Phoenix during the day and considerably cooler at night and in the early morning. In the winter they get about two inches of snow and temps can hover around the fifties. In Sedona you will find the breathtaking views at every turn, along with lots of culture, particularly from the Indian tribes who settled there from the twelfth century.


Sedona is known as a spiritual place and is known for having good vibes in its multiple vortex sites—the energy centers. Here you can find health and meditation centers, spas, springs, crystals, and numerous tours are available. To understand all about the vortexes, please click on this link



We drove up and stayed there for two days. We walked, toured, shopped, and took in a lot of Sedona’s splendor. We took two trolley tours through some of the canyons and the national forest. We also visited Boynton Canyon which is a very special place.


At that canyon it was deemed a holy site back in the 1950’s by a woman named Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a former student of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. She built the chapel there up in the canyon to represent the sacred site for prayer and meditation. It was completed in 1956. It is known as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and it now belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. The red rock formations there called ‘rock people’ are called the “The Twin Nuns” and in front of them it is believed to be the Madonna carrying the baby Jesus.




From this canyon you have a bird’s eye view of Sedona and the famed “Bell Rock” which is a canyon shaped like a bell and said to possess very strong vortex energies.


Before the tour guide even announced what we were looking at, I could have sworn I was looking at rock formations chiseled into the shape of people. But they are all natural formations over millions of years. I was fascinated by every moment I spent in Sedona.

Anyone I encountered that spoke of Arizona told me not to miss visiting Sedona and I found out why. It was truly an inspirational treat. We stayed right in the heart of the Upper Village which afforded us the luxury of walking out of our hotel room right on to the main downtown core. The view from our balcony was outstanding.


I was advised to visit “Sedona Story” by a few people and found it was located directly across from my hotel. When I went to this healing and crystal center, I had a spiritual reading done which was pretty intense. I had my Chakras read and purchased some crystals there for energy and healing.

Another day, my husband and I found ourselves walking off the beaten path on our way to explore a gallery by foot. When we realized we had walked about twenty minutes, downhill on a winding highway road in the desert sun and found ourselves gasping for air as we drank our water bottles dry, we decided we should turn around and go get the car because my husband thought he wouldn’t be able to make it back up the steep hill. As we began to head back, we took frequent rests as my husband and I had to take cover out of the heat to cool down. Within a block I noticed a lone store on the hill called “Victorian Cowgirl”.


I told him we should go in and pretend we are shopping just to get a dose of some air conditioning. When we entered I was immediately captivated by the charm and merchandise in that store. There was clothing styled from the old saloon days. Frocks, boots, and all kinds of accessories were crammed into this little store. I thought it was a costume store and asked the owner if it was, but the owner told me they are all brand new clothes and she has clients who shop there from all over to wear her clothing. I saw frocks, hats, vintage handbags, hosiery and saloon boots made of leather and lace. And of course I had to have me a pair of those.

saloon boots

One evening we drove out to a place called Airport Rd. to visit one of the vortex areas and take pictures of the sun setting there. It was magical. We got there around 6:30 pm as we were told the sun would set around 6:50 pm. When we arrived we found about twenty other people already at the edge of this canyon, complete with cameras clicking away and some sitting on rocks awaiting the sunset and/or meditating.


Within the next fifteen minutes, a flurry of cars drove up the winding, dusty road and parked and joined everyone else on the peak.

I wasn’t there but five minutes before I could feel a vibrating electricity flowing through my body, radiating through me as though I were being renewed internally. The sunset on the canyons were just like watching the pages of a storybook turn.




After that solemn event we went to have dinner at one of the top recommended Italian restaurants to eat in Sedona called Dahl and Lisa DiLuca. Lisa is the chef who took over the place as her own when Dahl retired last year. All I can say about that meal was OMG! I have been to many a five-star restaurants and this place won the award from me for best Italian food. If you happen to visit there, you will be in luck if the soup of the day is Tuscan tomato!.


After two glorious days in Sedona, we ventured back to Scottsdale for the next few days, back to our beautiful suite at the Fairmont.


We’d often stop at Wholefoods and buy some cold cuts and cheeses amongst other delectable healthy treats to enjoy for breakfast and/or lunch on our beautiful balcony at our hotel. We woke early each day and watched the beautiful sunrise from our balcony while we sipped on our coffee and had breakfast and dreamed about the next time we would be back in Arizona.


Hello, I Must Be Going


I’m back from my amazing adventure in Arizona! I mentioned my love for the desert here before and that I would be venturing out there early fall for a time out and a scout around to look for a winter property. I don’t usually like to announce to the universe that I’m on vacation, but I’m always happy to share my adventures upon returning.


I chose the title for this post, Hello, I Must Be Going, a title used on one of Phil Collins’ old album covers because it describes how I feel about returning home from a most amazing place—Hello I’m home, but I must get back soon to Arizona.

I always felt that “I’m home” feeling when I’d land in Las Vegas, but this was different. Something I can’t actually put into words touched my soul as I stepped into Phoenix Harbor airport and it never left me. Even as I boarded the plane to come home to Toronto, I felt as though I left my heart in Arizona (not San Francisco). I’ve been to many states in the U.S. and to many other parts of the world, but I can say with certainty, that the people of Phoenix, particularly Scottsdale, are among the friendliest people I’ve met. It didn’t matter whether they were waiters, hotel staff, gas station attendants or otherwise; happiness was everywhere.


The sun was hot, 109 degrees and no matter which direction I looked out, the scenery was breathtaking. What’s not to be happy about? Heck even the TSA security guards were joking and friendly at the airport, definitely something I never feel in my home airport. I talked to everyone I met, taking in their happiness and hopefully spreading my own joy along the way. We made some wonderful new friends, which makes it all the more fun to go back there and spend more time with them. I am sending a special shout-out to Larry and Lois in Scottsdale. I miss you guys!


We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Princess Scottsdale hotel. I can’t recall ever loving a hotel and staff so much anywhere as I did at the Fairmont. Besides the gorgeous scenery on the grounds with its 64 acres property, the staff were impeccable, kind, friendly, obliging, fascinating, and any one of them would go out of their way to accommodate our every whim. If I tell you that those bellmen and car jockeys are unbelievably accommodating and felt like family, that would be an understatement.


Special thanks to my new friend Jerrod who always had our car awaiting us! These guys are outside all day in the sweltering desert heat running back and forth valeting cars. They are never without a smile or humor.


Is Scottsdale where all the friendly people live? Is it why they dub Phoenix Harbor airport the friendliest airport in America? The scenery only intensified the beauty of the city. I can’t even recall how many times a day I’d just stand in awe and repeat the word “beautiful” when I’d take in the views around me. The scenic desert with its wide roads and palm trees and low rise buildings and marley roofs and the cactus-lined shoulders of the roads don’t let you forget you are in a vast desert.


We rented a car from the airport and that was the smartest thing we did. Because of the lay of the land it would have made it difficult to walk to all the places we wanted to see or it could have cost a fortune in cabs. You need wheels in the desert and a half-decent car with powerful air conditioning.


We loved going down to Old Scottsdale where it was once the Old West decades ago. Many stores still try to represent those olden days of cowboy and Indian locales.



You can still find a few saloons there as well. It was down there that I purchased my first cowgirl hat(s), and yes, they came fully adorned with bling!

cowgirl bling

The hub treated himself to an authentic pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots, and we found numerous other souvenirs and artifacts to bring back home.

cowboy boots

Oh and, we had to purchase another suitcase to get all of our things home. Route 66 no doubt! Yes a lot of Route 66 souvenirs to purchase were available there. My husband chose a suitcase with Route 66 signposts splattered all over it. No doubt it was easy to spot coming off the luggage rack at Toronto airport!

route 66


On day four, we decided to leave our beautiful suite at the Fairmont and journey up to the magical, mystical land of Sedona. It was a two hour drive, north of Scottsdale. A mere hour or so just south of the Grand Canyon. Sedona is the land of the red rock mountains and the powerful energies of the four vortexes (more about these in my next post) within the town.


I think of it as a slice of heaven.


Don’t even get me started on how ridiculously stunning the views are in Sedona and along the 179 North highway driving to Sedona. But I am going to save some of that for my post next week. Stay tuned for part two.

Have you ever been to this gorgeous part of the world?