Route 66

Route 66

For a lot of our trip, we were near or on the historic Route 66. A lot of it is gone now, but pieces remain and some spots are even thriving. We started seeing part of it as we passed through Amarillo and the famous buried cars. Barry shared his experience in Winslow, AZ in a previous post. And when we drove through the Painted Desert, they had preserved a piece of Route 66 which used to pass through that area. They even had a stamp for my National Parks Passport of Route 66.

As we made our way home, we travelled for a while on it. Starting in Flagstaff, which has preserved some of it, we stopped and walked around. They have a cute downtown shopping area with a mountain town atmosphere. The people seemed very laid back and super friendly, with a certain quirkiness in their dress and shops to add that fun element. We enjoyed exploring and Barry was able to find a spot showing the LSU game while we ate lunch.

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Along the way, we took a side trip off Route 66 to Navajo Nation, which is officially not under the federal government.  This area was settled by the Navajo, which I learned call themselves, Diné.  We saw a memorial dedicated to the Navajo Code talkers and an incredible rock formation where they had settled called Window Rock.

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I spent several days in Albuquerque while Barry flew to San Francisco for work (can you believe he left me?!?!) and stayed in an RV park on old Route 66. They played up the history with a few adorable throwback campers you could rent for the night and some 1950s cars on display.

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We didn’t stop in Gallup which has some famous Route 66 history and a landmark old hotel where movie stars used to stay when shooting westerns. Maybe next time. I had to promise Barry we would make our way out that way again as we also missed a town called PieTown, named for its famous pies!

Maybe one day we will take it all the way to California!

Art of Sedona

As you can imagine from a city surrounded by natural beauty and very spiritual energies, the artist scene is a key part of Sedona.  In fact, there is one section, Tlaquepague, that was built and curated specifically as an artists’ haven.  It was built to resemble a Mexican village and has beautiful architecture with lovely fountains in its many square.

We spent a good part of a day wandering the maze of unique galleries and shops in Tlaquepague.  We found dazzling natural wonders, a lovely Christmas shop (where we found our traditional trip ornament), and several lovely art galleries including an amazing photography studio.  One gallery made us think of our son, Drew, who is fascinated by Asian culture.  The artist, born and raised in Seattle, was greatly influenced by his father’s travels to Asia.  He eventually studied with Japanese masters and achieved the distinction of Honshin, a master artist.

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Tlaquepaque  – They ring the bell on the hour as would a Mexican village church.

 

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Each fountain was “dressed” for the season – I bet Christmas is lovely here.

 

On the other end of the spectrum for art and shopping was Son Silver, an unique shop that looks more junk yard than art gallery.  It was a fun walk through yards of typical Mexican artwork, pottery, yard signs, and wind chimes.  It also showcased its own vortex designated by a sign saying Vortex Here with an arrow pointing down.  This was a fun stop and provided a couple of great Christmas gifts.

Continuing the theme of architecture as another form of art in Sedona, there is a unique structure which provides beauty and spiritual comfort – the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Envisioned and built byMarguerite Brunswig Staude, this beautiful church is built into the rocks of Sedona with its cross proudly standing out as a symbol of peace.  The site was chosen due to the nearby rock guardians, said to look like nuns as well as one that resembles the Madonna with child.

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The larger singular rocks are known as the nuns or some say wise men.  The one to the left of those is the Madonna and child.

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And of course, we also experienced art in the form of gastronomy with dinner at Mariposa, a Latin American restaurant with a beautiful view of Sedona mountains and stunning artwork.  I have become fascinated by crystals (more on that in a later blog) and this restaurant had amazing art using crystals.  In a moment of synchronicity, the artwork displayed on the walls, by artist Zee, was some that had captured our attention at a Santa Fe gallery.   And the door of the restaurant was stunning – a large slab of crystal with inlays of colored crystal and agate.

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The entrance door to Mariposa.