Sorry for the blogging delay but we were traveling non-stop over the Christmas holidays and then I got sick! Now that I’m finally getting over my cold, (just in time for a weekend trip) I can finally get back to telling you about the amazing time we had in Arizona over Christmas.
We drove 6.5 hours from San Diego with both dogs to Prescott Valley, AZ, a little mountain town where my aunt bought her retirement home. We had the Feast of Seven Fishes there on Christmas Eve, went four wheeling, hiked in the snow on Christmas Day and had a great time with family and friends. The day after Christmas I really wanted to visit Sedona, which is just over an hour north-east of Prescott Valley. There are two different routes to drive there, and in the morning we took the highway just in case there was any lingering snow in the mountains on the switchbacks. We got to Sedona around 11:30 and stopped at Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, a restaurant my aunt recommended for lunch. Our table had a great view of one of the rock formations Sedona is so famous for, and our lunch was amazing! We started off with soft pretzels and a beer cheese dipping sauce as an appetizer, followed by a chicken caprese sandwich for me and a burger for Julio. He also had a flight of 7 of the local brewed beers with his meal and there was one I actually liked (as many of you know, I REALLY don’t like beer). We even splurged on an apple crisp for dessert!
After lunch we headed out the the various viewpoint pull offs along the roads leading in and out of Sedona to get some pictures of the amazing rock formations! Sedona is famous for their red sandstone formations- red rocks that seem to change color in the light and provide a great backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. I only regret that I forgot to bring my hiking shoes so I could have worked off some of my lunch! Julio and I stopped st most of the viewpoints south of town, drove slightly north of town, and then backtracked to get on 89 West back towards Prescott. There’s also a lot of shopping to be done in downtown Sedona as well, with lots of gift shops and cultural stores, museums and galleries. If we had had more time I’m sure I could have gotten Julio to make a few stops to fulfill my shopping needs. Next time!
On our way back to Prescott Valley, we took the other route back that would take us through the mountainside mining town of Jerome. On the way, we made a quick stop at Oak Creek Winery and did a tasting. Not the best wine we’ve ever had but their red blend called “Fire” was an interesting sweet dark red wine that I thought was pretty good. Winding up the mountain switchbacks we reached Jerome, AZ, an old copper mining town built right into the mountain over 5,000 feet above sea level. It’s amazing to see how people even built their homes on the edge of a cliff, when they look like they could go sliding down a thousand feet at any moment! After the mines closed, the town was revived by tourism and retail shopping, and was named a National Historic Landmark.
The rest of the ride was very pretty, driving through the snow covered mountains up to almost 7,000 feet in elevation and then easing back down into Prescott Valley. There’s so much to see and do around the area that Julio and I can’t wait to plan another trip out to see the Grand Canyon, Montezuma’s Castle, and Horseshoe Bend sometime this summer!