Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sedona & The Grand Canyon on a Budget, Plus An Ethical Dilemma

Well it's totally fucking gorgeous here. Much better in person. 😍 #Sedona
Sedona, Arizona

The boyfriend and I took a road trip to Sedona last week.  We had so much fun.  It was gorgeous and so nice to see things I had never seen before -- I ended up taking over a thousand pictures in 4 days.  Thankfully most pics didn't turn out that great. ;)

The scenery in Sedona is just glorious, and pretty spectacular to see in person if you ever get a chance.  This pic above is the best shot I took there -- most pics didn't properly capture the amazing colors and details that you see in person.  

Sedona is pretty much a tourist town -- with plenty of site-seeing, eating and shopping opportunities.  We stayed in a studio suite at the Sedona Summit Resort (reservations made via, and it was pretty nice.  If you want to stay there, just be warned that there are sales people lurking around trying to lure you into time share opportunities.  Be sure to avoid engaging with anyone that offers free gifts, raffle opportunities, etc.  Meh.  Anyway, the total bill for 3 nights at the resort (I don't really think of it as a resort -- they looked like condos to me) was $418.20, plus an additional $40.62 in resort fees.  Not exactly cheap, but not that bad.  You can find both cheaper and more expensive places to stay in the area, for sure. 

The Sedona shops where we found the best deals and most interesting items were:  Art Mart of Sedona, Earthbound Trading Co, Eisenart Innovations, and Joe Wilcox Indian Den.  There are TONS of shops and galleries in the area, and we didn't visit them all.  Honestly, we avoided most of the galleries -- southwest art really isn't my thing. 

Favorite (and pleasantly affordable!) spots to eat in Sedona were: Famous Pizza - pretty much the best pizza I have ever had.  We ordered the BBQ chicken pizza.  NOM.  Ridic.  Nice beer selection, too. Sedona Sweet Arts - the bread pudding?!  I was reluctant to even try it (WET BREAD? hurl), but it was to-die-for (made with croissants!). I can't stop thinking about it and asked the bf to see if they would ship some to me for my birthday. Their stuffed breakfast croissants are also tasty and very affordable.  They have plenty of gluten free items, too.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting a little town called Jerome.  It's about a 40 minute drive southwest of Sedona.  I'd say it's a must-see.  Just a cute, quaint, unique little town. Fair warning: it is pretty high up (5,000+ feet above sea level) and accessible via a steep, narrow, winding road.  The drive is doable.  If you are a wuss like me, you might squeal during parts of the drive, but it's doable.

Jerome pics below.  Just the most adorable little town!!! Probably more fun for chicks than dudes, but that's ok. 

JEROME, Jerome, Arizona

Mile High. Jerome, AZ is really, really cute. #Jerome

RV, Tour Bus & More Parking, Jerome, Arizona

Sometimes I can't decide on a caption -- Titillating or Tits McGee. #Jerome

Vintage Cop Car in Jerome, Arizona

Yes, Please, Jerome, Arizona
Copper Country Fudge.  
Gotta say the server (owner?) WAS A WEIRDO, but maybe that's a "pot calling the kettle" statement.
I went with rainbow sherbet.  Wishing I had taken a bit of fudge to go. Regrets!

There are flying cars in Jerome, AZ #Jerome #arizona

green and green


Favorite store in Jerome?  Lola.  
Fun and fabulous presentation, and so many cute, affordable and unique items.  
Loved the owner. I can't say enough good things about this store -- I wish I had one like it.  
I found a $28 necklace that I am CRAZY for.  I wish I had bought more at this store!



Right next door to Lola is an oddball looking shop called House of Joy.  I was totally bummed that it was closed the day we were there.  BUMMER.  I have a feeling it is spectacular inside.  

Our big excursion was a day trip to the GRAND CANYON.

What can I say about it that hasn't been said?  It was one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen in person.  If you haven't been there, try and see it someday.  It's pretty much mind-blowing.

The Grand Canyon. So gorgeous -- a trillion times more amazing in person than any photo can capture.

Words fail me!  It's amazing. And it is a LOT more impressive in person!

πŸš‚πŸŒ…πŸš‚heading to the Grand CanyonπŸš‚πŸŒ…πŸš‚

We took the Train to the Grand Canyon.  
More on (moron!) this at the end of the post.

Watching/being watched. The cowboy show was lame, but I was lucky enough to pet two horses and a German shepherd pup in one day.  Yay! And this horse nudged me. πŸ‘πŸ΄πŸΆπŸ΄πŸ‘

There is a cowboy show that you can watch before you get on the train.  
I thought it was was stupid, but probably necessary as they are tasked with trying to please humans aged 0-100.
I ignored the show and wandered around the back of the set.  
I got close to the horses and even managed to pet one for a while.  WIN.  
The horse nudged/nuzzled me a little.  SILENT, HEARTFELT INTERNAL SCREAM OF JOY.

Lording over it all

You won't be alone when you are at the Grand Canyon.  


EVERYONE takes shots like this.  
Some get awfully close to the edge. 
Fun (?) fact: 
Park statistics show that about 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year 
and an average of 12 people die there annually. 
An average two to three deaths per year are from falls over the rim.
If you get too close to the edge and fall in, you deserve to die.


Rick Astley, Jr. wasn't feeling it. 
I saw more than a few grumps that looked bored with the view.  
This made me want to push those folks right over the rim.

Mr. Selfie

Mr. Selfie pretty much selfied his way around the entire freaking rim, managing to be so in the moment, 
but not in the moment at all.

One option if you are planning to see the Grand Canyon is to take the Train out of Williams, Arizona.

We left Sedona at 6am (GULP) in order to get to Williams by 7:30am so that we could catch the Train to the Grand Canyon.

There are various train options, and you need to make your reservations at least 24 hours in advance.  You can take the expensive route ($215 round trip, per person, plus service charges -- OMFG WTF GIMME A BREAK), the cheap route ($65 round trip, per person, plus service charges), or somewhere in between.  We considered going first-class, but it turned out that would cost $298 for the two of us, PLUS service charges.  That seemed like a rip-off, so we went with Coach tickets which were $181.60 total with service charges for both of us to go both ways. Not cheap, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we went for it.  Note: we could have driven ourselves all the way to the rim and back for a helluva lot cheaper, but we had already driven so much and we thought it would be fun to chill and ride a train to our destination.  To be honest, the train is a little pokey -- I'm thinking it goes about 35 mph -- and the scenery on the way to the Grand Canyon isn't all that thrilling, so keep your expectations realistic in those areas. 

The coach seats were fine -- comfortable bench seats with a view, and plenty of storage room on board.  You can bring a backpack, drinks, snacks, whatever -- it's a long ride -- about 2.5 hours each way.  There is a tiny bathroom in each car, so that's a relief -- pardon the expression.  Snacks are available for purchase, but you'd be smarter to bring your own food and drinks IMO. 

So I have blabbed on and on and on about this vacation, and subjected you to many images that have already been posted on Instagram and Facebook.  Sorry for the duplicate info!  And for the ridiculously long post.

WHOOPS!  One more thing...the ethical dilemma.

The boyfriend and I did a fair amount of shopping -- buying gifts for ourselves and for family members.  Towards the end of our trip we sat down and emptied out all of our shopping bags to review our loot.  The boyfriend opened up one bag and found the items he had purchased, plus two items he had not purchased that had mistakenly been put in his bag. (NO, he is not a klepto).  He looked at the two items he didn't buy -- a pair of earrings and a bracelet.  UM, the price tag on the earrings was $30; the price tag on the bracelet was $450.  GASP!

As he was inspecting both items and telling me about it, he told me the prices.  I asked to see them, and I asked him what he was going to do.  I told him I could mail them back to the shop if he'd like -- it was way too far to drive to return them.  He laughed and said no.  Then I frowned and said, "Hey, let me see that bracelet again." LOL!  But it really wasn't my style, and we both felt bad for the buyer that shelled out for nice/expensive gifts and ended up without them.  Huge bummer!

What would you do?  Keep them?  Return them?  I think the biggest asshole on Earth would try and return them to the store, say they were gifts that they didn't like, and try to get "refunded" cash for them.  Yes, my mind works that way but I try not to act on such shifty impulses.

The boyfriend ended up keeping the earrings and bracelet, and showed them to his mom. The bracelet didn't fit her, but she kept the earrings.  The boyfriend gave the bracelet to his daughter.

Apparently the boyfriend doesn't believe in karma!


Marla said...

Oh gosh! If they were just little things I'd have left it go but that bracelet…gulp. I'd have called them and then sent it back. I'm too honest for my own good though!

I really like Sedona! The scenery is so beautiful and I've had great food there too! Mr. Selfie is too much!

Jane Droll said...

Marla! I always love your comments! Thank you so much!!!

*starr fish said...

Awesome! And very timely as I'm going to Sedona and Grand Canyon in a couple weeks! I can't wait and your post has me even more excited now. Famous Pizza and Sedona Sweet Arts have been noted, both sound yum!

cerebral e said...

I went to Grand Canyon a few years ago (thank goodness before the advent of selfie sticks) and was shocked that no one fell off the edge while I was there. There were so many people in inappropriate footwear (heels! Really high ones!) and trying to elbow each other out of the way to get closer to the edge. Also, for such a litigious country, I'm surprised that they let people so close to the edge.

R.e. the the jewellery - I would definitely have called the store. I hope it's not a little independent retailer...and I hope that some other poor person didn't pay for the items and then discover that they were missing when they got back to their hotels!

Lorena said...

You took some fab pictures J.
I mean really good. You could make a calendar.
Your parents would be happy :)
Oh and on the bracelet / earring dilemma… I think I would have called the store. It would have haunted me.

E said...

I feel so un-American saying this, but I have NEVER been to the Grand Canyon. I need to get on that. Also, Rick Astley, Jr. made me seriously lol. I also just rickroll'd myself.