My husband and I just got back from a long weekend in Arizona. We were there for a wedding, but my ultimate goal was to see the Grand Canyon. Well, I'm sad to report we didn't make it. Things came up, yadda, yadda, yadda, and blah, blah, blah, but our concierge redeemed herself by setting us up for a day trip to Sedona.
This was my first visit to the Southwest. Phoenix was interesting, and I got to have breakfast with one of my favorite writers Tina Gerow (aka Cassie Ryan). The mountains were beautiful and I was doing okay with the dying of thirst all the time thing. They weren't kidding with the dry heat. I kept wondering how my 7-year old would handle it. He's always making all the spitting sounds that go with his invisible sword/gun/laser/webslinging/whatever. He wouldn't last five seconds before his saliva dried up. Actually, that's not a bad idea...
Anyway - the trip to Sedona was fascinating. It's amazing how much the terrain changes - from brown, desert with huge Saguaro cacti to green, hilly canyons of red rock with short, prickly pear cactus. We took the Pink Jeep off road tour of the Broken Arrow trail and it was awesome. I want that as my retirement job. We spent two hours driving over boulders and seeing some of the most beautiful terrain on the planet.
Anyway - it got me thinking about how something you don't expect can surprise you. I expected all of AZ to resemble Pahonix (I love that commercial), but I was wrong. I thought I'd be disappointed missing the GC and that I was settling for Sedona - wrong again. It turned out to be one of the most awe-inspiring trips I'd ever taken.
Afterwards we went down into town and had dinner at the Cowboy Club - a place that actors from the 40's and 50's used to frequent. We had rattlesnake, buffalo and cactus fries. Hell, I even had a margarita made from the juice of the prickly pear cactus. It was veeeeeeerrrrryy sweet. As we drove back to Scottsdale, the sun was setting over the red rock canyons and I have to say that ranks right up there with some of the most beautiful things I've ever seen (right behind my first book cover - of course.)
So, take some time out of your day to surprise yourself. Get off the beaten path. Eat some things you wouldn't normally eat. (Be sure to have the venom and needles removed first - and deep-fat frying helps.) You just may be amazed by what you find.
Leslie "The Assassin" Langtry