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City Views, North America

In Search Of Artistic Sedona, Arizona: A Walking Tour Of Exposures International Gallery Of Fine Art

February 4, 2013 • By

This is the first in a series of infrequent articles highlighting the arts community of Sedona, Arizona.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that fine art is not in short supply in Sedona. As you drive through the city’s main thoroughfare on State Route 89A, it becomes quite evident that there is a profound respect not only for nature’s creations but also for those that are meticulously crafted by the hands of men.

One of the first things that you notice, besides the beautiful red rock formations (of course), is the inordinate number of art pieces sitting in full view for everyone’s enjoyment on the city’s street corners and side streets. Usually, these pieces can be found right outside either one of Sedona’s massive number of art galleries.

It’s the perfect blend of aesthetics that makes the city that much more wondrous if that’s even possible.  Yet, somehow it is.  The city boasts at least 50 fantastic galleries which house an amazing array of sculptures, paintings and southwestern artifacts.

I decided to take a walk outside of my hotel room to pay a visit to an art gallery that was literally steps away on the right.   Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art was more like a 3 dimensional fantasy where every thing that you loved about art was staring back at you in living color. I was literally on sensory overload.  There were so many things vying for my attention that I had to stand still for a moment and get it together.  It was overwhelming and dramatic and uplifting.

I spent a good two hours taking in every shape, color and meaning that this showcase offered its visitor. There was ample seating for those who wanted to sit and ponder on the rather high price tags that went upward in the million dollar range.  There were sculptures made out of various media, glass art that shone like the morning sunrise, intricate jewelry that honored indigenous cultures, Oil Paintings that told stories of the old Southwest that you couldn’t wait to listen to. This is just a small sampling what I got to experience.


Sunriser 2 by Sculptor Bobbie Carlyle is a study in dramatic poise.


All  three of these Wind sculptures are by the artist Mark White.  On the left is Flame 3 Blade, the center one is the only one of his sculptures I couldn’t identify and the one on the right is called Wind Ripples.


North America, Reviews, Travel Advice

Riding The Rails Of The Verde Canyon Railroad In Sedona, Arizona

January 22, 2012 • By

Without a doubt, the expansion of the western states would have slowed to a crawl without the assistance of the railway system plowing its way through the plains. Today, most of those trails are fleeting memories, but some still live on in the form of the Verde Canyon Railroad.

There have only been a few times in my life that I’ve ridden a train, actually, I can count that number using one hand and still have a few digits left over. I guess I’ve always just wanted to get to my destination faster than what the rails could take me. When I got the chance to check out the Verde Canyon railroad as their guest during my trip in Sedona, Arizona this past June, I was ready to pull the train whistle myself and shout, “All Aboard!”.


City Views, North America, Travel Advice

Travel Photo Thursday – Sedona, AZ

July 21, 2011 • By

I could have sworn that I built something like this on The SIMS!

Today’s picture is a curiosity that I couldn’t help but to discover during my trip to Sedona, AZ.  It’s a humongous 8k sft mansion located right across from the famed Cathedral of the Cross.  Since the Cathedral draws thousands of visitors a year, one could surmise that the owner of the mansion is not exactly a shrinking violet.

The property was bought for 286,000.00 US about ten years ago and took almost that long to finish the house.  The landscape is nothing short of a masterpiece, as you can see below, their koi pond is worth a cool million bucks.READ MORE

North America, Reviews, Trip Reports

A Review Of The Orchards Inn Of Sedona

July 12, 2011 • By

I’d had a particularly busy day having taken a short day tour of the city of Sedona, purchasing a few souvenirs, visiting parks and taking a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad.  It was getting late, so I figured it was as good as time as any to make my way to my next hotel, the Orchards Inn of Sedona.  At first glance, I thought it was positioned in a weird spot.  It was set back a couple of blocks from the main drag on Hwy 89A and it was literally two blocks from the Best Western hotel that I stayed at.

It was a unique complex, I would hazard a guess that it had been an apartment complex in another life.  It was expansive, yet welcoming and check-in was easy enough.  I have to admit that I’m no fan of apartments, in fact, hate could be used to describe my feelings toward it.  They must have soundproofed the rooms because you don’t hear the usual rumblings from next door as I had expected.

I was given my keys and told that a buffet breakfast would be served every morning in the Taos Cantina restaurant located right in front of the hotel on the main highway.  Interesting tidbit: If you booked your room via Expedia, you would have to pay the regular 9.99 charge for breakfast.  If you booked directly with them, the breakfast was included.

I guess their position is you’ve already gotten a great deal on the room, you could at least spring for breakfast.  The good news is that paying 9.99 for that breakfast was a steal!  They had everything that you could imagine: juices, pancakes, cereals, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee….it was a pretty huge spread that gave no one a reason to leave hungry.READ MORE

North America, Reviews, Travel Advice, Trip Reports

A Review of A Spa For You in Sedona, Arizona

June 24, 2011 • By


The first thing that you notice when you step into A Spa For You Suites in Sedona is the owner, Thea Draaisma’s mega-watt smile that seems to come from somewhere deep in her heart and makes a soft landing on her face. She walks toward me with hands outstretched, “You must be Renee!” a half question and half declarative statement. I confirm it and she responds back with an all-encompassing hug.

I am there for a 90-minute session that consists of a 45-minute massage and a 45-minute Japanese facial massage. After escorting me into the session room, she begins to explain exactly what I can expect from each procedure. I have to say that no one has ever taken the time to sit down and confer with me about any issues that I may be having, at least no more than asking where my trouble spots were.READ MORE

North America, Reviews, Trip Reports

A Review of the Best Western Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas in Sedona, AZ

June 19, 2011 • By

Have you ever sat down just to look at a sunset without any thought or desire to do anything beyond taking in the glorious sight before you? There’s no expectation, no waiting for anything more than what you see directly ahead.

That was actually one of the primary reasons I wanted to visit the city of Sedona, Arizona. It would be my quiet respite where I could sit and stare at the red rocks and commune with nature. So, since I had heard such tempting tidbits about Sedona… it was a nature lover’s dream, a spiritual epicenter, a cultural cornucopia…..I wanted to go and see what all the fuss was about. Was it simply hype? Or did the rumors have any truth to it?

I had the great fortune of staying at two wonderful hotels during my stay there. The first was the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas (Arroyo Roble translates into Oakbrook; my limited Spanish would have had me guessing that it meant Red Arrow!) and it is such a beautiful and inviting hotel.

I arrived very late at 9:30 PM but I was quickly and efficiently checked-in. The desk clerk told me where breakfast would be served and gave me my room keys. As I turned to face the rest of the lobby, I had to smile because it reminded me of the ranch on Big Valley, like it was owned by very rich ranchers from the old west. It was the perfect rustic setting that I had counted on.



Interviews, Travel Advice

The Inspired Traveler – # 11 – Michael Schuermann

April 29, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to bend the ears of Michael Schuermann, who runs The Easy Hiker website.

Mike taking a hike in Sedona

1)      What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
(More a wry smile.) When I see people do something they quite clearly do not enjoy, like pulling their bored and tired kids through an art gallery, out of a sense of “holiday duty”

2)      What is your favorite place in the world?
New York as a city, Northern Arizona in terms of the landscape, but if you ask for my favorite travel destination, I generally prefer places where I have not yet been.

3)      What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
The Philippines – not because I did not love the country (I spent more than two years of my life there) but because they have blacklisted me and would probably throw me in the slammer if I ever tried to get back in. (It’s a long story.)READ MORE