We both woke up early on Friday morning in our respective homes and met at the airport. Security went super smoothly, we boarded our flight, and landed an hour earlier than expected in Phoenix.
As soon as we landed, we hopped onto a free shuttle bus over to the rental car center (which was a 10 minute ride). We grabbed an adorable compact car (a light blue Toyota Yaris) from Dollar Car Rental (about $100 total for the three days). The salesman tried to upsell us by telling us the compact car would only be able to do 45mph on the mountainous roads heading towards Sedona. What a bozo. Our little Yaris managed just fine and we were actually reprimanded for speeding at one point (more on that later) so hah!
SOUTHWEST INN AT SEDONA
We checked into our hotel, the Southwest Inn, and dropped our bags off in our room before heading out to do some exploring. The inn was a bit kitschy, with its pueblo-mimicking architecture and the overly western decor. However, our room was clean and comfortable (I especially enjoyed the fireplace) and the hotel itself was quite conveniently located. Plus, it was a pretty affordable option (at $160 per night).
CHAPEL OF THE HOLY CROSS
Our first stop was the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The chapel was built in the 50s, commissioned by a local rancher who was inspired by the construction of the Empire State Building. It's an incredibly gorgeous structure worth visiting, whether you are religious or not. This sleek, clean style of architecture is harmoniously built into one of Sedona's vortexes. The location gives off such serene energy.
TLAQUEPAQUE ARTS & CRAFTS VILLAGE
As we were driving back towards the center of town, we saw the Tlaquepaque shopping area so we stopped by just to browse a little.
RED ROCK CROSSING
Our next little adventure was to hit up Cathedral Rock, another one of Sedona's famous vortexes. However, due to some flooding, we were unable to do the hike we wanted. Instead, we enjoyed the landscape from a bit farther off at the viewpoints along Red Rock Loop Road.
We booked an early dinner so that we could enjoy the sunset whilst we dined. We rode over to the Enchantment Resort around 17:15, which put us there in time to enjoy the light bouncing off of the red rocks all the way until 18:00 when the sun dipped low enough to put us in darkness.
After dinner, it was basically pitch black outside (thanks to the lack of light pollution) so we took a short ride over the hill to the Doe Mountain trailhead where we sat around staring up into the night sky.
I made a sad attempt at doing some star photography. But, with my limited photography skills, the absolute lack of light to set up my camera, and my fear of potentially dangerous wild animals lurking in the darkness, I only stayed outside long enough to capture about a half dozen shots. Even though they're not quite right (I didn't focus "to infinity" so the stars are more like bokeh than pinpoints of light), you hopefully you can get an idea of how beautiful it was. The stars out there are unreal and ridiculous. Some were different shades of blue and green, some would twinkle ridiculously hard, and a few of them were shooting stars.