Our 5 year anniversary trip has come and gone, although I'm flat exhausted today. When we go on vacation, we tend to marathon it and do as much as we possibly can squeeze in. This trip to Arizona was no exception.
We started our trip flying into Phoenix, and then driving north to Sedona where we were staying. Sedona is a picturesque setting, with the deep red rock formations circling the town. We wasted no time getting our vacation kicked into high gear as we stopped just long enough to check into our hotel before heading off for a 30 minute biplane flight around the Sedona area.
Upon approaching the Sedona airport I've gotta admit that I was a bit nervous about this whole flight. I had opted for the excitement of the biplane over the calming hot air balloon flight thinking it was more our style, but standing on top of the small butte that housed the airport as the wind whipped around fiercly,I was wondering what I had done. The tiny runway housed on the butte had no room for error as both ends had complete sheer drop-offs. Very reassuring.
The nerves quickly subsided and the excitement started to grow. Jill & I headed out to the runway and got outfitted with our "Snoopy hats" so we could hear the pilot as he pointed out the landmarks on our flight. We sat directly in front of the pilot in a rather snug cockpit, which had VERY active flight controls all around us. Pretty much all the controls needed to fly the plane were present in our cramped surroundings, so we just tried not to come near them as best we could.
Upon taking off all the nervousness was gone and I was just in awe of the surroundings. Cruising around above Sedona the beauty of the landscape was ever more apparent. We soared around for over 30 minutes, but it went by in the blink of an eye. The landing was exhillirating as we did buzzed the runway perpendicularly then banked hard left before setting up for the landing. Despite the winds, the ride was very smooth and the landing was textbook.
Then came the papparazzi....
No sooner did we land and start making our way back to the parking area for the planes, we saw the paparazzi lurking. A Phoenix TV crew was there filming some segments for a TV show, and they obviously were tipped off that we would be in the area and cornered us for an interview before we could even get out of the plane. We gave them some sound bites and sent them on their way, I just hope they don't quote me out of context...
Once we dealt with the media, we set off on a hike on the Mystic Trail. A pretty short hike, although situated between two ridiculous housing editions the trail seemed far away from civilization. We enjoyed the easy hike, taking several pictures along the way.
We did have a minor medical emergency as I was trying to frame a photo op and my foot introduced itself to a cactus. One thorn was visible from the outside of my shoe, so I removed it. After a couple steps it was quite evident there was another hiding in my shoe. I had a tender little toe for about a .5 mile, but luckily we were able to handle the situation before having to call in for the medi-flight. We took a small detour by the Church of the Holy Cross, which has a unique setting above the town.
After the hike we cleaned up, and spent some time walking around the shops near our hotel. We grabbed some dinner, watched the sunset from our hotel room's balcony, which had a spectacular view, and then went to be early to prepare for a long day at the Grand Canyon the next day.
View from the Mystic Trail
The aforementioned Church of the Holy Cross:
The view from our hotel balcony: