Friday, December 29, 2017

Our Sedona Home

The owners of the home are looking to be part of AirBnB and we were their guinea pigs. So far the place was sufficient to host seven people overnight and nine for dinners.  Four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, spacious living room, open kitchen and dining area.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Shortest Drive of the Trip

We took the scenic route through Oak Creek Canyon which took us about an hour to arrive in Sedona.  Sedona was bustling holiday vacationers and we joined the crowds.  We walked around a little bit taking in the sun and shops before we settled in our home in West Sedona for the holidays.  Mariposa Latin Inspired Kitchen is the latest hot spot with beautiful views of the red rocks.  We started with drinks; Smoky Pear and the Mariposa and the Aton ceviche appetizer.  Sushi grade yellowfin poke, avocado, mango chili salsa, bibb lettuce, chipotle aioli, crispy shoestring potatoes.  I created a ceviche wrap out of the bibb lettuce and it was amazing.  We loved the Smoky Pear - the pink drink on the right the most out our three drinks.  The third drink was the Pricky Pear Swizzle.  Too much fizzle swizzle - a soda like cocktail.  We ordered the three empanadas and the funghi sublime flatbread which was a small flavorful pizza with a mushroom medley, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, chevre, gorgonzola and white truffle oil.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

On The Road Again

On the road by 7:44 a.m. Overall, I really enjoyed Taos.  Not quite what I expected but I think I wanted it to be snowy.  We drove south along the Rio Grande on SR 68 to Flagstaff. Beautiful, mountainous, rolling terrain except we saw a dead horse on the way out of town. Sad.  

I did pretty well not getting car sick on this trip but the drive out of town was winding and I got a little queasy.  I needed to put the iPad down.  I used to get car sick when I was young.  And as a young adult, it got better but I could not read in the car. I could not sit backwards in a train, either.  In the last twenty years, I could read, write and take pictures as a passenger.  Except on the winding roads through valleys or over mountain passes.  Even looking out and taking in the landscape would make me a bit queasy.

We arrived in Santa Fe at 9:36 a.m. for a short excursion to the Post Office and Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  The Post Office was packed on December 20th.  I tell you, I love my post offices.  

Back on the road after 11:30; ate lunch in the van on our way to Flagstaff.  We crossed into Arizona at 2:05 p.m.  I had offered to drive but there was a high wind advisory in effect.  Brad pushed on the whole drive from Taos.  
We spotted regular looking homes in Winslow, Arizona.  Tumbleweed blew across the road as well. 4:15 p.m. arrival in Flagstaff.  I saw a hotel that reminded me of McMenamins in Portland and I had Brad stop so we could check it out.  The Historic Monte Vista.  Their Rendezvous bar was hopping and that was my draw.  But we were knackered so we ordered decaf coffees. We did surfed on internet for hotels and we decided on our first stop (again).  When I went to the reception desk to reserve a room, there was a few of us waiting for service while one of the staff members was on the phone giving the caller recommendations for other hotels.  Eventually, the other young woman leaned over and asked her to wrap the call up as she said the caller can do their own search online.  She needed to service the customers standing in front of her.  Google it, people.

The establishment recommended Martannes for a quick Mexican dinner (aren't they all quick).  Camerones de la diablas and Brad had carne burritos.  I have been too quick to eat and my pictures have been half-eaten dishes.

The free, hotel parking was limited so I cased out a parking spot.  It took about a half hour for someone to leave the Rendezvous bar as patrons were parked in the hotel spots.  Here, I find out in the morning that Wednesday was happy hour ALL day.  No wonder the place was packed at 4 p.m. and people were not leaving at 6 p.m.

After we settled into our room, we walked to some outdoor stores and I got a recommendation from the Aspen Sports dude where to find a Belgian beer.  Historic Brewing Company.  What a comfortable space and the people were friendly.  I had a dubbel and Brad had the Apricot Tripel.  I had my hand-knitted Bernie cap on and the bartender acknowledged it. He wants Bernie to run again.  He doesn't care about his age. He is working two jobs to make ends meet and has to buy his own insurance as he is not working enough hours to be considered full-time with one of the employers.  With one-fourth of his salary going towards rent and more than another fourth going towards health insurance, he struggles to pay bills and save money as well.  The bartender wants leadership that cares about his situation and future generations. 

I wanted the barleywine but Brad was already out the door.  Maybe we would find more Belgians but none were to be found at another taproom so we headed to bed. There was a chance of snow and the winds were to pick up overnight.  Our room happened to be on the fourth floor and situated at the intersection.  The freight trains traveled through town about every half hour.  It actually was more melodic than bothersome.  What was funny early on were the folks leaving the bar screaming as the wind hit there faces.  It was as if they never experienced the cold wind before.  But as it continued until 3 a.m. in the morning, it was not so funny.  Before we left the next day, we hiked in Buffalo Park with a brisk wind at our faces.  We tried not to scream like the patrons of the Rendezvous bar.  We did a little shopping and ended up at Sosoba for lunch.  It was fantastic. All in all, Flagstaff was a fun town.  

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Drive to Flagstaff with high winds

Flagstaff in the horizon

Vanilla Lavender Latte - Delish!

Hotel Monte Vista


SoSoba, Flagstaff

 Sweet Chili Calamari - served with greens, shaved vegetables, cilantro, ponzu sesame seeds, seaweed salad.  Amazing flavors!

TanTanMen Ramen - ramennoodles, hoisin ground pork, sautéed greens, seasame seeds, menma scallions, soft egg, in a spicy miso pork broth.

Sweet Chile Glazed Udon- Udon noodles, pork belly, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, peanuts, greens, ponzu, cilantro, chicmarron.