Continental US

Labor’s Day Weekend Trip: Sedona

Monday, September 1, 2014 Day 3, our last day, of our Labor’s Day weekend trip. We got up a little bit later than the past two days at 7 am hehe! We got ready and packed quickly and headed to the breakfast room – it was included with our rate 🙂 There were plenty of selection of cold and hot breakfast items! After check out, we drove to Lake Powell since we didn’t get to see it last night due to our GPS! Entrance fee was $15 for the car. We made a few stops along the road before heading back since we didn’t really have much time there!   I could see why people recommended here for sunset! It must be very beautiful with the rocks and the lake!   We stopped by Glen Canyon Dam on the way back to Horseshoe Bend!     The bridge were all wired up but they made few openings just enough to fit a camera in for those photos, thanks to whoever came up with that design! The drive to Horseshoe Bend was easy! We parked there, grabbed our water, and start hiking! A look back to the parking lot. The hardest part was the hike up to this little sand hill, after that was just walking downward on sand!   We got there at 10 am and it was starting to get hot, so glad we had our full bottle of drink!   We tried not to get close!!! There it is Horseshoe Bend, finally get to see it!   I did research that best timing for photo is in the early morning….worst is sunset since the sun sets right behind it so will be all shadow. At 10 am, there was shadow on the bottom so actually the best timing is around noon!!! Too bad we couldn’t stay that long! I set up the Go Pro for timelapse but guess what, no clouds ahhhh! See my Go Pro there?         It is an HDR hoping to get rid some of the shadow but instead it’s brings out the purple color, interesting!     Time to leave 🙁 We stopped by the Walmart near there for a restroom break and buy drinks for our 3 hours drive to Sedona! After the exit to Sedona, all suddenly, I saw the red rocks, it was pretty unreal the change in landscape!   We set the GPS to Red Rock Cafe and luckily it didn’t disappoint this time. We arrived around 1:30 pm. The breads in Red Rock Cafe were delicious!!!! When I was in the restroom, I saw a drawing saying that relax and be patient for the food because they make everything from scratch! I ordered the French dip beef sandwich, it was so good!! Both hubby and brother ordered the grilled steak sandwich – their breads were so good! The delicious lunch came to be $40.06 excluding tips. While we were eating we looked at the canvas painting/photos hanging on the wall. Hubby asked where is that place? I said it’s the famous Cathedral Rock and he asked where can we get that shot? Urg…..no clue! I tried to go on the internet to look it up but there was no service in Sedona, not even 2G OMG!!! I asked the waiter and he was soooooo nice that he even gave us direction! He said we are on Valley School Road, follow this road all the way to the end it will be unpaved but it’s not like we need a 4×4 jeep to drive on that road so keep going until the end where there’s a parking lot on the left. Park there and a short walking distance would be the famous view of the Cathedral Rock! He said with just the afternoon in Sedona, he suggested the Chapel of the Holy Cross and if time permits go to the airport for the whole view. What a great waiter he is!!! We followed his direction and drove but had to stop to snap few photos here and there haha!     End of the paved road….unpaved road, it wasn’t too bumpy though! By the time we got to the parking lot, our car looked like this! There was an electronic machine where you can purchase the Sedona Parking Permit for $5. I paid and then my husband pointed to the notice down there: free during Labor’s Day!!!! I guess I should look closely before making any payments! We walked down the road passed some private do not trans-pass signs. And by the end of the road, we heard kid voices! It must be a famous weekend spot for the local families! The kids were playing in the creek!     We couldn’t find the bridge that all the famous photos were taken on with the Cathedral Rock and the reflection……… 🙁 We left and heading to the Chapel of the Holy Cross….stopped once again for the panoramic photo of the red rocks!     The HWY 179 is the most beautiful highway in my opinion! We arrived at the Chapel of the Holy Cross!

There were a few staff there guiding you where to park, from the parking, it was a little bit of walking up and it was hot! The entrance way to the chapel, it was very nicely designed to go around to get up there! It was as painful as it was a stairway going straight up the chapel! Inside the chapel: The view from the the chapel was worth the walk up itself!       Next stop: Tlaquepaque, a shopping place for arts and crafts! The shop architecture reminded me of Spanish style!     We made a restroom break here and bought smoothies to relieve the heat! This dog scared my brother, he thought it was part of the sculpture LOL!   We left the shops and stopped by another one, this one no clue the name but it was a huge store! Outside of it was a lot of signs which I made into black and white to give an oldies feel 🙂 Inside this huge souvenir store: We left Sedona at 4 pm, we originally planned to leave by 5 so we could make it back to Phoenix by 7 to have dinner and then return our rental car by 9:30 pm. We were so glad that we left at 4 pm because it was really bad traffic going back! Probably due to Labor’s Day, people are returning back home. So make sure to factor in an extra hour for traffic especially during long weekends!!! We made it back to Phoenix around 7:30 pm, we went to Szechwan Palace for dinner, it’s located inside the Chinese Culture Center and very close to the airport! The food was surprisingly authentic! Love the spiciness of Szechuan cuisine! The spicy octopus: This is our favorite dish: the fish fillet: Spicy horn peppers stir fried with beef: and the beef in spicy hot oil: Everything was excellent except for the slow service, after we finished with the dishes, we were still waiting for the soup pork buns! I totally think they forgot about them! Overall, a very yummy dinner for $58.75 excluding tips! After dinner, it was around 9 pm, we refilled our tank and return our rental car, it was just a few minutes away! Then, we took the shuttle to the airport – our flight at 11:30 pm. One we boarded the plane, we went straight to sleep LOL! The 5-6 hours flight back home went fast since we almost slept the whole way! What an adventurous weekend trip. I couldn’t believe we had done so much in just three days! It was definitely a crazy idea but absolutely worth every single second and penny of it! So glad we made up our minds and visited the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyons!!! We wish one day we’ll have tons of vacation days and will make a at least a 1-2 weeks long trip back here in the west to explore more areas. One that we have to do is The Wave!!! Hoping it’ll come true soon!

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