06 February 2010


I’m awake at an unearthly hour and a bit stir crazy--maybe a studio is too small for this week. I silently beg CA’s indulgence and proceed to brew a pot of Ghirardelli coffee… We’ll add a defective and incomplete coffee maker to our list of unsatisfactory amenities. The coffee brewing experience is a freaking mess, takes way too long to brew, and tastes burnt once the dripping finally stops. Can I just say that all this occurs prior to 4:00am…

CA and I are seasoned timeshare/getaway patrons, so we do come with expectations. This is a well-decorated and clean unit, but the inconveniences take away from our satisfaction. So far we’ve been surprised by a growing list:

  • No bath rug or mat
  • No grab-bar or seat in the lovely shower (There’s no tub, but this is an obvious lock-out so we’re cool with just a shower.)
  • A wall-hung hair dryer that gets so hot I actually burn my fingers. Now I understand the brand new hair dryer in the cabinet. So then, remove the defective/dangerous wall-hung version!
  • Incomplete and chipped dinner service
  • No sharp knife
  • Closet doors that are hung from the top rail and unanchored on the bottom causing an annoying swinging effect
  • No overhead coverings from parking lot all the way to our second floor unit. Even if it doesn’t often rain in Sedona shouldn’t there be coverage from the sun and elements?
  • A funky lobby, reception area. Looks like it’s been decorated by a granny
  • High pressure timeshare pitch at reception before we even are given a key to our unit

Finally it's a decent hour, and we're ready to explore. We’ve heard a bit about Tlaquepaque, but aren’t sure what it is... It’s a gorgeous gallery/restaurant/shopping area just a bit south on the Y (intersection of 89A and 179). Our first stop is the Secret Garden for breakfast. For whatever reason this also looks like granny decorated it. We have an adequate breakfast and spend an hour or so in the galleries and shops before heading down 89A toward Jerome.

CA and I are dazzled by the scenery as we wind up the mountains in the Mingus range toward funky little mining town Jerome at the very tip top. The views are spectacular and the streets crowded with tourists, but nothing about the shops or restaurants convince us to fight these crowds and park. Still, it’s been a lovely drive and worth the trip.

We continue to be hopeful about our enjoyment of Sedona. While the red rocks are fantastic, the village itself is a let-down as compared to Santa Fe or Albuquerque. We debate dinner plans and eventually decide on the Barking Frog.

The Barking Frog (An American restaurant with a southwest bark, the sign says.) is a spacious and well-decorated space—finally meeting our expectations of what dining in Sedona should be. After a few minutes in the bar we are seated in the fireside room and there is a welcoming blaze in an adobe fireplace. I choose the roasted chicken with fries and peanut cole slaw, and CA orders a chicken pasta dish. My meal feels very French bistro, which is never a problem for me. CA loves his pasta and we have a very pleasant dining experience.

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