(Our southwest trip started May 1. All of my posts were written as the trip went along but were not posted live until we returned. If you want to read all the posts related to the trip, click on "southwest" in the label section below).
I was sorry to leave Tucson. I really enjoyed the city. It was not large and yet seemed to have everything ... shopping, institute of higher education, active community in the arts, scenery, bird watching, restaurants, etc. etc. About the only thing it didn't have nearby was a trout stream. :)
We headed north to Phoenix where we met up with some old friends. Mark and Myrna used to live in California but moved out to Phoenix several years ago. We met Mark and Myrna on a group cruise organized by our then agent (and now still agent and very good friend) Ellen of Sea4Sail. We drove to their new home and joined them for breakfast. We had a wonderful visit.
Next, for a late lunch/early dinner, we met up with Mary Ann who lives in Scottsdale. Mary Ann is also part of this cruise group and it was Mary Ann, through my parents, who introduced us to Ellen. At Mary Ann's suggestion we met at a New York style deli and thoroughly enjoyed both out meal and our time together. Then it was on to an overnight in Prescott Valley, AZ.
We could have driven further but we wanted to do the Sedona area in the daylight as I had read, seen and heard so much about the region. Well, I have to say we were disappointed. Yes, the area around Sedona is beautiful but, as my husband said, too bad they had to put a town right into the middle of it. Traffic, both cars and pedestrians, was heavy what with all the boutique shops and restaurants. Perhaps if we were up to hiking some of the scenic trails in the area we would have enjoyed it more. But we were not and so had to do our sightseeing from the road. After having spent time in southern Utah around Zion and Bryce, Sedona to us was just 'another red rock.'
We continued onto Flagstaff driving the Oak Creek Canyon Road, another very scenic area. During our two nights in Flagstaff, we spent one full day doing a scenic drive of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument which are located right next to each other. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and the drive.
Next day we were going to be heading to the Grand Canyon. But we had the morning free. So we decided to visit the Lowell Observatory. We were very fortunate to arrive just as a tour was starting and we found it very interesting.
Our next stop ... Tuscayan, Arizona ... one mile south of the entrance to Grand Canyon Nation Park.