Our Vacation In Sedona in November 2004

Date of last edit = 12/25/2004

We drove from Texas to Arizona on November 19 and 20, 2004. The total drive time is about 20 hours, of which the first 12 hours or so is just getting through Texas. While enroute, we spent a few hours for a catnap at the tourist information booth on the New Mexico and Arizona border. We finally arrived in the Sedona area around noon on Sunday.

We stayed at the Ridge Golf Resort in Oak Creek Village, which is located just a few miles south of Sedona on Hwy 179. The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and included unpacking the van, taking the kids swimming, and taking a nap.

On Monday it rained, so Tom took the kids to the movies. We first saw Sponge Bob Square Pants, and then took in The Incredibles. On Tuesday morning, Tom took the kids to do arts and crafts with the resort staff artist. The kids painted little totem poles. The rest of the week was spent being tourists. We went to Slide Rock State Park, Airport Mesa, Sinagua Mall, and the Outlet Mall. We went out to eat with Greg's family at Steak-n-Stix restaurant. We also took the tour of the Christmas Lights at the Los Abrogados resort.

On Thanksgiving Day we drove to Clarkdale to have turkey dinner at my folks house. Besides Ernie and Mary Beth at the dinner table, there was Greg and his family, along with my family. We had the best of turkey, mashed potatos, sweet potatos, green beans, pumpkin pie, etc.

On the following Saturday after a week of being tourists we drove to Tucson and spent the night at Greg and Pam's house. On Sunday we were supposed to get up early to hit the road back to Houston. Although I got up at 7AM and drank several cups of coffee, the rest of the family slept in late. Greg and I also got sidetracked tickering on a computer. Greg showed me some cool Javascript routines and helped me to revise some formatting in my personal calendar Java file. We finally got everything packed up and got on the road about noon. I drove all day and all night and pulled into the driveway at home about 5AM. Elizabeth and the kids got a couple hours of sleep while I went to the grocery store and bought food for breakfast and lunch. Fortunately I had jury duty that Monday, so I didn't have to think coherently while I sat on a bench for hours while not getting picked to serve on a jury. Unfortunately, Elizabeth had to go to work and teach school on that Monday and she was very tired and worn out all day long.

The location of the resort where we stayed is shown above.

Highway sign on AZ Hwy 179 to welcome tourists to Sedona.

Another cool Sedona sign a little bit further north on AZ Hwy 179. This sign definitely demonstrates the character of being in Red Rock country.

Kokopelli sees a golden lizard wearing mittens.


Here's another cool Sedona sign. This sign is on the road driving south into Sedona from Oak Creek Canyon. The apples on the sign remind us that the first white people to settle in the Sedona area started growing apples back in the early 1900's. There are still remnants of apple orchards in the area of Slide Rock State Park.

Kids went swimming at the Resort. Water temperature was allegedly 85F, while the ambient air temp was about 50F. I think that might be Courthouse Rock in the background a little over a mile away.

Coffee Pot Rock as seen looking north from the top of Airport Mesa.

Elizabeth and the kids strike a pose at Airport Mesa. Jeremy is 9-1/2 years old here. Katie Beth just turned 8 earlier this same month.

Kokopelli is hiking around Sedona.


One day we went hiking around Slide Rock State Park. It is a very scenic area featuring a natural water slide, which was created by erosion of the rock and then a natural layer of algae or some other slick fungus adhering to the surface of the slide. We took several scenic pix... click on the links below to view them.

  • Family photo closeup at Slide Rock.
  • Family photo not so closeup.
  • Jeremy and Katie Beth at Slide Rock.
  • Jeremy and Katie Beth rock hopping.
  • Jeremy sitting on a big rock.

  • Here are some scenic red rock formations on a cool looking mountain in Sedona.

    One day we had lunch at the Red Planet Diner. I heard that many years ago, this restaurant was an A&W Rootbeer franchise, located on the far outskirts of West Sedona. Now this same restaurant is rather centrally located within Sedona. The Red Planet Diner appears to cater to space aliens and UFO's.

    The Red Planet Diner has models of spaceships and aliens hanging from its ceiling. I've heard that some of those creatures were flushed through a vortex and ended up here on earth in Sedona. Personally I find the vortex theory a bit hard to believe. It makes more sense that the aliens arrived here by travelling through a wormhole from Uranus or from another part of the galaxy.

    One of the uglier aliens at the Red Planet Diner looks a bit like an Exit sign with a facelift. It sort of looks like that alien got run over by chariot in Ben Hur because its legs are missing. However, that alien can't be all bad, since it does appear to like beer.

    Across the street from the Red Planet Diner is a bicycle shop, which features Kokopelli riding his bicycle.

    One day we were shopping around in Sinagua Mall in Uptown Sedona and I was getting bored silly. I stopped by a T-shirt shop and saw some clever T-shirt designs. I was too cheap to buy any, but I did take a few photos to preserve the memories. Click on the links below to view them.

  • BEWARE: Lizard Dropping
  • Bad Ass Tribe
  • Feel the SUN on your cheeks

  • My brother Greg and his family were also vacationing in Sedona during the same week. One of our favorite things to do is to get together with Greg's family for a nice lunch or a dinner out. Some of our favorite places to eat include the Hideaway, Red Planet Diner, and Steaks and Sticks. Here we are at a private room inside the Steaks and Sticks restaurant. By coincidence, it was the same room in which we had eaten dinner on previous visits to Sedona in previous years. Unfortunately, Greg's daughter Karen was still at college on Tuesday evening when we went out to eat here. However, I used some photo editing software to include her in the picture below.

    Each year in late November, the Eco-tourism group in Sedona arranges for families to decorate for Christmas the yard areas around Los Abrogados Resort. Those families actually stay at the resort while the decorating is in progress. Tourists and spectators then pay for the opportunity to tour the resort and vote on their favorite theme or decorations. Near the end of the tour, we stopped by a tent that offered free wassel and the warmth of a few space heaters.

    Tom poses for a photo with Sponge Bob Square Pants. My kids questioned whether I used this opportunity to pass gas while bending over for the photo. I denied it, and there was no evidence of steam or methane to confirm such activity.

    Tom poses for a photo with Stretch Woman from the Incredibles.

    Jeremy and Katie Beth pose with some kids who seem to get along as well as they do.

    We ate a wonderful turkey dinner on Thankgiving Day at Ernie and Mary Beth's home. I thought the turkey tasted great. Others said it was less filling. Still another said that the turkey was fowl. Perhaps we're all right. Elizabeth actually took this photo, so I had to photoshop her into the picture. You can double-click on this photo to see the enlarged view in a separate window.


    Here are the host and hostess for our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

    Here are those lizards . . . still hanging around . . . still doing their waggly booty dance.


    One day we went hiking north of the Sedona Summit Resort. There was a short nature hike on a trail in which various trees, shrubs, and cacti were identified by signs. While on this nature hike, I shot a few landscape pix, and then used software to merge them all together into a big panorama view. This file is about 2.7 Megabytes in size, so if you are using a 56K modem, don't bother to look at it, because it will take you a painfully loooooong time to download it. If you have a high speed broadband connection, and you want to see a photo of the Sedona landscape, then feel free to click on the links below. Depending upon your browser capabilities and display screen resolution, the first link should open the panorama image in a full size 7303x1318 pixel window, which you can scroll across by dragging the windows title bar, while the second link should open the image as a reduced size image in the default browser window, which you may use your browser options to increase the image size.

    7303 x 1318 pixel window of Sedona Panorama looking North to East - 2.7MB

    Default browser window of Sedona Panorama looking North to East - 2.7MB

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