On Thursday morning I left Phoenix feeling light and free! After all I had just posted a fatty blogpost, solved a problem of scheduling, AND I knew Velma (the valiant vehicle) was stoked to be on the road again. Little did I know what a day it would be!
First, I stopped by Cave Creek just north of Scottsdale based on my hosts’ recommendation. Boy, I wish I had more time there! I think I chose my stop well, I perused The Town Dump a wonderful and mesmerizing store. When my good friend Lisa buys a ranch off-yonder we will be going here for the decor. I will attempt to describe the store but god help me if I do it a shred of justice,
First of all, the sign that beckons you from the road reads, The Town Dump: One of the World’s Most Unusual Stores. Sold.
When you first walk in they have their bases covered. Quirky quotes printed on every available surface, Southwestern art, off-beat fashion pieces, etc. What first caught my eye were paper flowers that unfolded and were really quite stunning. I got Velma a couple, this gal deserves to be treated well after all! The first sign that the store is more than you expect comes at the edge of the “main” store front. Tiles of all patterns, shapes and sizes then hinges, nails, all in the Southwestern style. Rather quickly things begin to grow and you enter a room filled with wall decor: a cross made of Texas license plates, copper in every shape and size!
The real treat comes when you step outside into the labyrinth of a courtyard and barn converted to display unique statuaries, garden furniture, decorative fencing, rough hewn ladders and stools, I could list the wonders for days. So many items reminded me of people. The fleur de lis fencing- for Eve! The colorful tiled garden bench- must be Rainey’s someday! And the giant sized cowboy boot lanterns? The center piece for Lisa’s back terrace, right next to the firepit. Won’t they be cute when the peep up out of the snow?!
Whew, calm down Cara. As much as I adore decor I had to drag myself away with only a few photos and my paper flowers. Next stop, SEDONA!
And by next stop I mean next destination. There were several great scenic views of the red rocks I stopped at along the way but my main goal when I reached Sedona: The Cowboy Club.
Not only did I read about the Cowboy Club in both of my guiding texts but its own description drew me in faster than a rodent to bait. As focused as I was on this mission there were only two things I had to order, fastest I’ve looked at a menu in days.
I’ll have a prickly pear margarita, rocks with salt and the appetizer sampler.
What is so intriguing about this appetizer sampler you may wonder? Well I will dispel any confusion momentarily. First, though the margarita. My prickly pear margarita came out and it was a sweet pink shade, its taste subtle yet potent (I had to take a walking tour before my next stop!). All in all it brought to memory a family favorite, Eve’s pink drink.
Now, to sidetrack even further, I am going to take this opportunity to dub Eve as my role model in many ways. Badass, check. Independent, check. Lighthearted and silly, check. Tequila lover, check check check. As a result of the last category Eve developed The Pink Drink (for which there is a special fixin kit).
The Pink Drink made perfectly is a rare treat. Ask a bartender to replicate it and you may with you’d gone with Bud but when it is right oooh man it is a tasty slippery tequila slope cleverly disguised in Barbie colors. Have I romanticized it enough? The reality of it all is quite simple but its all about proportions: a good amount* of Petron silver, a tidbit* of cranberry juice, soften* with Petron citronage, plenty* of ice, shake in whatever container available, add lime and serve. God help you if its anything short of fabulous. (*all terminology refers to exact amounts)
Back to my story. This prickly pear margarita gave the pink concoction of the tiara a run for its money, utoh! The appetizer sampler was an exquisite pairing. With an appetite for adventure I sampled the following:
Nopales fries with a house-made chili dipping sauce
Buffalo Brochettes cooked in a glaze
Snake Brochettes with a house-made orange ginger sauce
Braised Beef Taquitos with rich pico de gallo
Cilantro Flatbread with “Southwestern peanut butter”
It was all very good. My least favorite actually was the Buffalo, the texture was too chewy and the flavors just didn’t come together in the same way the others did. The snake was curious but enjoyable. The taquitos were delightful, the beef was so tender. The nopalitos were the powerhouse of flavor: beat strips of cacti, lightly breaded in a cilantro batter and then dipped in a custom sauces, mmmm if only I had more room in my stomach! Lastly, I sampled the “southwestern peanut butter” which as a diehard Skippy Creamy fan practically went against my religion. It was damn good! My compliments to the Cowboy Club and my server Felix. Not only were my tastebuds delighted but it was an incredibly pleasant Sedona experience surrounded by the towering red rocks, tourist passerby, and the dry heat I’ve come to expect in Arizona…until Flagstaff that is.
Before I get ahead of myself I had another sizeable adventure in Sedona. As many people know, Sedona is a very popular place for many New Age beliefs and practices. For me it began with the urgent need to pee. I had been toying with the idea of seeing a psychic or getting my aura photographed, if not here where else?! Instead I stopped at the visitors center to use the restroom and saw right next door two different New Age centers with a variety of offerings.
Here is where things get interesting. I was parked in the visitor’s center parking and although it was later in the day it said “Visitor Center Parking Only” I’m a naturally guilty person I guess so I decided to back my car up into a parking space on the other side of the lot in front of one of these centers. Then I could go check it out worry free.
Apparently, while I was considering all this, Eric, who gives energy massages, was preparing to leave for the day. One of the shopkeepers said, “Wait, don’t go yet. That lady is going to want a massage.” Meaning me. At this point I get in my car, back up and at the point when most people pull out and carry on their way, I pull back into another parking spot.
So then I walk into the store, it has every time of imaginable rock with properities I can’t even imagine. One type of quartz that was a little too close for comfort was priced a $1,000. My interest lay in human interaction. The psychic isn’t in? What was the sign about massages out front? What’s an energy massage? $10 off? O.k.
Bam. Mine and Eric’s paths crossed as they were meant to be. Probably because of the acacias singing their hearts out in the nearby trees. So I had a 15 minute energy massage, boy did it feel good! Cross a massage with meditative breathing with mental will power and it was like I’d never spent hours in the car.
I left Sedona with a huge smile on my face. Yes I may not have gone on any hikes or seen the Chapel of whatever but I had gone on a limb in a culinary, spiritual and physical sense. Sure it may be an adverts technique but I left Sedona calm, collected and above all content.
Fleeting Moments in Flagstaff to come!
With love from the road,