It’s that time of year again, spring means Sedona! I have had the great fortune of teaching for the Sedona Arts Center for going on six years, eavery six months. Years ago I came to Sedona and fell in love with what is now My Happy Place. The red rocks, the art, the fresh air, the hiking, the biking, the spiritual energy, the vortexes…. I had to figure out how to connect permanently with this place! When I reached out to the Arts Center about teaching, they were happy to add me to their mixed media workshops, then I secured representation with the Lark Art Gallery here in town, and the rest is history.
A trip across the country from Florida always means getting up at 3:00AM. My typical MO is to start packing at midnight the night before, so this is always an exhausting trip. This month was no different except that my son Connor had volunteered to drive me to the airport, so he too had to join the ranks of the 3:00am club.
We were successful in a timely arrival and I hoped to start the framework for today’s blog post but there was a little disconnect with the OIA Wifi. Isn’t it funny how much we depend on technology that when it does not work, we just don’t know what to do with ourselves? I decided to enjoy my coffee and Starbucks oatmeal and not worry about it.
They were already boarding the Star Dust, Pork Medallions, and Extra Fancy Elite Credit Card class, so my time was short anyway.
When I work in flight, I typically use the barf or airsickness bag as a trash recipticle for my paper tidbits, my paper towel, and ultimately my water cup when I am finished working. (I used to have a barf bag collection in the days when they had logos and artwork on them, but that’s a different story for another time) Much to my chagrin, there was no bag to be found in ANY of the three seats across my row. I began to wonder if the air sickness bag was being phased out. Is this yet another cost cutting strategy for discount airlines? This was Delta after all, they are still offering me a cookie, pretzels, or peanuts free of charge… but if I vomit, I’m on my own.
Sorry seat mate.
In flight I worked on six pre-painted 6×6 panels to help pass the time. Despite working on almost no sleep, I enjoy being productive and making art is what I love, so it was a no brainer. I had to wait for the sun to come up however, as it’s difficult to work in the harsh shadows of just the overhead light. Many people ask me how I get the glue on the plane. This has never been a problem because I put it in recycled Olay containers, which are 3 oz or less, packed in one zip top, clear plastic bag. Totally TSA compliant.
My seat mate slept the entire flight, he was not interested in my art making or the fact that I took over the empty seat space between us with my collage operation. This was a good thing. AND thank goodness he didn’t have to use the restroom at any point during those six+ hours in the air, that may have required some tricky navigating.
Upon arrival to Salt Lake City it was cool to see MOUNTAINS on the horizon, Florida is completely flat and I am a New England Girl. I aways get excited about mountains, hills, peaks, valleys…anything.
I found an Italian restaurant in the Salt Lake City airport that was serving up breakfast combined with power outlets. What more could you ask for? Apparently the server thought I should have asked for a Mimosa, or a beer at 8:30am, but I told her I was just fine with coffee. What is it with airports and alcohol?
Things were going well until we were delayed on the runway in Salt Lake, it was getting hotter by the minute inside that Delta tin can. Why is it that they cannot run the AC when the plane is on the ground? My teenage daughter runs the AC with all the windows and doors open in my second floor apartment, so I know anything is possible.
Lots of sitting down combined with heat from the runway made my feet start to swell. After about a half hour of waiting for the hydraulic system to be repaired, my feet were puffing out the top of my Fluevog Mary Jane’s like Porky Pig’s girlfriend.
What was her name?
Anyway, thank goodness we eventually started rolling and I kept my feet out of sight under the seat in front of me. This is where the art travel bag was supposed to be, but desperate measures… The flight was less than an hour so it was the perfect opportunity to catch up on a little sleep, window seats are good for that sort of thing.
The excitement of getting to Sedona began to kick in as we touched down in Phoenix. Soon I’d be in my rental car and on my way through the dessert. BUT I had a stop to make first, a friend had recommended I check out SAS Fabrics, in hopes of finding sequin waste on a roll. This stuff works fantastic on the Gelli Printing Plate. Thank goodness for the Great Google Maps, or Apple Maps, whatever your preference. This is an example of how much I love technology (when it works), how cool is it to be able to navigate to anyplace, anywhere?
SAS Fabrics has multiple locations in Phoenix. I found the one closest to the airport and pressed START. Ten minutes later, I was in an amazing explosion of all things sewing; buttons ribbons, buckles, bobbles, but no sequin waste. Tons, and tons of sequins in every size, color, and style… but the strip it was punched out of was nowhere to be found.
After treasure hunting, I was hungry again (are you sensing a theme here?), probably because I knew there was a Whole Foods somewhere close by. I love the idea of being able to eat healthy on the road. You do NOT have to eat fast food with sky high sodium and fat content just because you are traveling. AND you should always pack your workout clothes, your running shoes, and your swim suit, because most hotels offer you the opportunity to exercise any or all there of these options.
I grabbed a fresh veggie juice with a shot of turmeric, some sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and quinoa from the hot bar. Whole Foods always outside seating where you can enjoy your meal and this Phoenix location was no exception. I sat down and took a moment to reflect on how grateful I am to have such a wonderful job, before digging in.
After lunch I hit the ground running, making my way two hours through the desert with saguaro cactus, winding hills, tumble weeds, and interrupted cell signal. I took this perfect opportunity to call my sister and catch up. “What? I can’t hear you anymore.”
The light started to lower in the sky and the color began to shift to gold. This is my favorite time of day. I’d be in Sedona for the sunset, perfect timing. When you see the sunset in Sedona, you’ll soon realize that getting up at 3:00am was well worth it.
From 17 North for about a hundred miles, I turned onto 179, getting close! The drive through the desert is lovely, wide open, and vast, but once you get to the red rocks things change to spectacular pretty quickly.
There are three pull-outs for scenic views and I stop at every one of them, every time. In all the years I have been coming here, the view still takes my breath away. There is something very special about Sedona, if you have never been you might want to put it on your wish list. After all, it’s My Happy Place for a reason.
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