April seems like a busy month for us. As previously noted, the SWMBO and I celebrated our anniversary last Monday. Today was the BRD's birthday. She has reached an age where she lies about her age so I won't reveal it. My birthday arrives in a couple of weeks and then SWMBO has another one in mid-May.
At any rate, the BRD and her beau invited us to share in the fun and we left for Sedona in the beau's "hog", as the BRD calls it. It's actually a Cadillac Escalade SUV. For the life of me, I can't figure out how he manages to keep gasoline in it. I filled up my little Dodge Neon this week and it took 30 bucks at the cheapest place in town.
But we headed off for Sedona...which is only about 50 miles away. The two-lane road into Sedona, which is always clogged with traffic, was even more so today since there was some kind of construction going on. Since SWMBO and I had been over that way the last time, several "roundabouts" have been added at sites that formerly were intersections with traffic lights. We all agreed the roundabouts were an improvement but making the road a four-lane would have been even better.
When we got to Sedona, we went to Shugrue's restaurant . . one of the BRD's favorites . . and had a delicious lunch. The beau had informed our waitress that it was the BRD's birthday and when dessert arrived, her plate was decorated artistically with "Happy Birthday" in chocolate!
We drove up into Oak Creek Canyon a way, then back out through West Sedona, marveling at how new construction is being shoe-horned into this already crowded place. I remarked that this was probably the first time I didn't have to be concerned with the road and could actually look around at the scenery!
Enroute to Cottonwood in the Verde Valley, we were amazed at how green the landscape was. Our winter snow and rain has done wonders for it though we know it will dry out and brown as the summer advances.
We stopped at Orion Bread - a wonderful artisanal bakery in Old Cottonwood. It's fairly new to that thriving area and we had read about it awhile back. Walking in, we were smothered in the wonderful aroma of dozens of loaves of homemade bread. We left with several loaves of different types after talking with the owner, the baker and the sales person - all the same person. He's a young man who obviously loves what he's doing. I just hope he can keep it up. It is worth the drive over the mountain just to pick up some of his products.
Then it was on up through Jerome, which like Sedona seemed amazingly crowded on a Friday in early April. Can't imagine what either town will be like this summer.
We didn't stop in Jerome this trip. I have spent many an afternoon in the Spirit Room and stayed overnight a couple of times in the old Connor Hotel upstairs before it was renovated. But we were all stuffed from our lunch and a few drinks we already had consumed so it seemed sensible to keep going.
Up and around the winding road to the Mingus Mountain pass, then down the other side and back home again. A great trip, good company and a fantastic day.
And I didn't have to drive!