I felt a rush of adventure and anticipation as I prepared for my journey to Sedona, Arizona. The red rock formations, peaceful scenery, and quaint tiny towns were all things I had read about and were looking forward to seeing for myself. Even a trace of snow would have made my trip that much more enjoyable, so I kept my fingers crossed for it.
I was hoped it may snow a little to add to the magic of the trip. AZFOODGUY is going to Sedona! It's only the second time for me, but this time, I was here to do things for the AZFOODGUY brand.
Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas as we began the road. It was dark and dreary outside, but rain fell heavily rather than snow. Travel time was extended due to heavy traffic. But the clouds started to break up as we got closer to Sedona, showing the stunning landscape that greeted us.
When we arrived at the motel, our good buddy Billy was there to meet us. The inn was concealed from view, sitting amid the woods close to a trickling brook. When we arrived, I was hoping for a cozy cabin experience, but instead we were shown to a high-end hotel room. The suite was sleek and sophisticated, with a fireplace, a new tub, and a shower.
After we dropped down our bags, we went for a walk to investigate the nearby stream and open area. The venue was beautiful, and the sound of the river flowing was excellent for weddings and other celebrations. We warmed ourselves by the fire pit while enjoying the fresh air and scenic surroundings.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Sedona town, the inn offered a haven of peace and quiet. The façade looked like a log cabin, although the inside was as sophisticated as any five-star hotel room. Due to the small size of the inn, we felt like we had the stream and surrounding open spaces to ourselves. The inn's secluded and intimate atmosphere made it seem more like a home than a business establishment. The inn was not like any other, feeling more like a home than a place to stay for business. It was the perfect way to get away from the stresses of daily life. The wide-open terrain and meandering brook heightened the sense of seclusion. Guests would have felt like they had stepped into a scene from a movie about the super-rich at this exclusive inn. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I would enthusiastically suggest to anybody seeking a genuinely special and exciting vacation.
We were feeling so revitalized that we made plans to eat at The Table, a restaurant not far from where we were staying. The cuisine was "farm-to-table," meaning that it was prepared using only foods that were grown or raised in Arizona. The server also informed us that the restaurant often forages for mushrooms in the neighboring forest, and that both the beverages and the mushrooms were from Arizona. And I did eat wagyu, from an Arizona-raised cow. Nothing tasted artificial, and the flavors were true to the ingredients.
The drive back to the hotel took approximately 18 minutes, and we were surrounded by nothing but trees and mountains in the pitch blackness. It was a remote and peaceful spot. When I got back to the hotel, I had a long, relaxing bath in the tub, followed by a hot shower. I was very comfortable as I sat inside, munching on the free brownies and listening to the rain.
The next day, I awoke early to the aroma of breakfast cooking. The chef prepared a special brunch for us that was out of this world. Light, crunchy, and fluffy air waffles accompanied the delightful tea we drank. There was also fresh salad and Indonesian fried rice on the menu. We ate breakfast in the inn's lobby near to a fireplace as the chef brought out additional plates and spoke with us about the dishes he prepared. We shot photographs and I further investigated the stream with my new camera lens after breakfast.
There were automobiles passing by, but the area was very calm despite its proximity to the major road (approximately 200 feet away). No automobiles were audible to me. Only the sound of water trickling down the stream. The sky was overcast and chilly, but the fresh snow on the mountains provided for a breathtaking backdrop.
I felt a wave of calm sweep over me as I stood there in Sedona, taking in the view of the city, the clouds, and the distant mountains covered in snow. The wild and free splendor of nature never fails to center and humble me. The neighboring stream contributed to the serenity, its flowing water forming a natural musical score.
There was nothing at all unsettling about the sound of the water; on the contrary, it was rather relaxing. It was a timely reminder to savor the simple pleasures of life's ebb and flow. The creek's roaring waterfall brought home to me the wisdom of going with the flow, since life is always moving forward. While the foreboding skies and snowy peaks may have made me feel vulnerable, they also served as a reminder that everything is fleeting and that this storm, too, will pass.
The scene before me served as a gentle reminder to stop what I was doing and take it all in, to allow the tranquility and harmony that can be found in nature permeate my soul. Being there, soaking in the unadulterated splendor of my surroundings, seemed like an adventure in itself, and served as a timely reminder that some of life's most exciting opportunities sometimes present themselves in the unlikeliest of settings.
As we left Sedona and traveled back to Phoenix, I couldn't help but feel a pang of nostalgia for this enchanted place. There was enough of excitement and new experiences to be had, regardless of the weather. It may not have snowed when I was in Sedona, but it didn't diminish my wonderful time there.
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