11 February 2010


A sunny morning and after another lazy start we take a brisk walk around the resort property—the red rock vistas are non-stop and stunning. Wish we’d done more walking this trip, but it takes a bit of time to explore the opportunities and limitations of any new venue, and the weather really didn't cooperate most mornings so we ended up in the car.

We’ve found our pace, and are almost to the relaxed state that was the goal of this trip. I’m not convinced that Arizona and Sedona in particular will require a return visit, but we’re thoroughly enjoying this new experience.

Weather this time of year and at this altitude will always be a wild card. I do love cool nights and sunny days, and having to wear a vest or jacket daytimes is not a negative.

Our biggest disappointment has been the shortage of good Southwestern food. I think we expected Santa Fe… We’ve been told by a local that it’s the Italian and French restaurants that you can depend on in Sedona.

And, while our studio unit is top-notch I’ve decided that we need at least a one-bedroom for these trips. We’re used to having space to separate and have some alone time, but the bathroom is the only privacy available here. Also, the appliances and cooking facilities are minimal, and with our disappointment with SW food availability I’d have liked the opportunity to cook more easily.

One of the values of returning to a vacation destination is that you can plan ahead for the highlights and shortcomings. In France and Spain we know we’ll visit the markets several times a week for fresh food and ingredients, so we’ll need refrigeration and cooking facilities. And in Paris and Nice, we’ve found wonderful cafes, bistros, and restaurants, so the hotel option works well.

Here we’ve been dependent on Safeway. In Santa Fe we can eat out three times a day and never grow tired of red and green chiles. In Kaua’i we can hike the waterfalls and beaches, and find convenient and casual restaurants scattered around the island. And, because there's a five-star hotel on premises at our Kaua’i timeshare we have our choice of several great restaurants on-site.

In the coastal Carolinas we’ve found the shrimp boats and produce markets for in-room meals, and local restaurants to augment the experience. In cities both in Europe and the U.S., we’ve discovered great places to eat by doing advance research, talking to locals, and just walking about.

Yep! Dining is a big part of our travel experience, because shopping for food and dining in the restaurants gives us good opportunities to observe the people and the culture, and we get to experience the local culinary specialties.

I’d noticed a sore throat on awakening the past two mornings, and I’m aware that it’s escalating into something more. I’m aching and tired, and feeling flu-like. CA goes out to explore some more, but I'm content to lie around and watch t.v. and doze for most of the afternoon.

In the evening CA goes to the Wildflower Bread Company and brings back iced tea and sandwiches for our dinner. I’m enjoying my tuna on multi-grain while he brags about his roast beef with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and gorgonzola on sour dough.

Think it's a good thing that we're heading home, because being sick while traveling is the pits...

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