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Much-Needed Vacation

by Nick Coons
May 5, 2004

This past weekend was our first real vacation in just over two years. "Real vacation" is defined as anything that is more than one day, and is planned (so the time I got stuck in the snow and had to stay overnight as an emergency doesn't count). We left home Friday morning about as early as we possibly could. And when you consider that you often forget things at the last minute, that ended up being about 10:00am. We made several stops in the valley before we finally hit the highway and headed north.

This trip would last Friday through Sunday, and we were staying in a place we had never been to before, called the Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona. We didn't really have any specific plans for the entire weekend; we just tried to plan out what we'd be doing within the next few hours, and possibly the rest of the day. The next day was always a mystery -- Less effort and more fun that way.

Our first stop was the usual break; Sunset Point just off of I-17. In about an hour thereafter, we arrived in Sedona and immediately proceeded to the lodge. Even though check-in wasn't until 4:00pm, and it was just after noon, we wanted to check it out. Taking the road up the hill towards the airport, we found that the lodge was almost at the end just near the airport. Keep in mind, this is the Sedona airport with little itsy-bitsy planes flying around, it's not Sky Harbor, so noise is not even an issue. About 50 feet from the lodge is a wonderful scenic view right over the city.

Driving back down towards the city, we made a quick stop at McDonald's (yes, the one with the teal arches) for a quick lunch. Well, not that quick; we spread it out for nearly an hour. But anxious to see the inside of where we were staying, we went back to the lodge and they allowed us to check-in early.

Now, at about 3:00pm, we were unpacking everything into our room and immediately proceeded to... relax. I took a nap for about an hour. There's just something about driving a long drive that you've made many times before that makes one bored, or tired, or both. But not wanting to waste the daylight away, I went outside to take some pictures. This started out as being a quick five-minute walk and ended up as an hour and a half hike to the scenic overlook, then back down the mountain and up a hill for another vantage point, and finally back up the hill and to the lodge.

We were approaching dinnertime, and following the "relaxing" trend I began when I arrived back at the lodge, we ordered delivery directly to our room. The evening ended with pizza, soda, TV, and finally sleep. And we had a whole other day to start all over again.

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