Thursday, November 18, 2004

Just the Two of Us...

Wow, what a day. The week before Thanksgiving is definitely the time to come to a place like this. We've suspected most of the week, but now we're sure: We're the only guests in the villas right now. Whole place all to ourselves. Pretty amazing.

Not only that, but we had the Pink Jeep tour all to ourselves too. It was nice, I must say, since Kimberley got to ride shotgun (and thus avoid any motion sickness) and asked a million questions. The "Ancient Ruins" tour is really worthwhile. As a child I visited the various ruins at Tuzigoot, Montezuma's Castle, etc. and got very comfortable with the idea that they must be viewed from afar lest they be damaged. Well, imagine my surprise when this tour walks you right up to the ruins. Close enough to get some fabulous pictures of the petroglyphs, the construction, the whole mess.

I thought I knew a lot about the history of the area, but we learned quite a bit, especially about the differences between the time period of this particular dwelling versus some of the later ones seen elsewhere. Its thought this dwelling was home to the Ancestral Hopi from ~1100AD to ~1380AD, before the majority of them moved further north to join the other Hopi people. Their lifestyle was quite different than the Yavapai who followed, which makes for an interesting contrast.

In any case, it was a blast. Our guide was great and we really got the royal treatment since it was just the two of us.

After that and a quick lunch, we headed to the former Ghost-Town turned artist's community of Jerome. Toured quite a few more galleries, saw a lot of nice stuff, and even got to watch a glassblower work for a little while. At the last gallery we hit on our way out, we found a beautiful etching done by a local artist. The piece is printed by first etching the design onto a steel plate, then the plate is inked and then paper is rolled onto it. Each time through the process results in a slightly different piece, since the inking, etc. are all done by hand. In any case, its a beautiful piece. The artist is Robin Anderson and his style is right in between Leonardo DaVinci and Picasso's pen/ink drawings. Fun! Here's another piece that's similar. Its funny, Kimberley and I have such different tastes in art, but actually buying art is really easy because for some reason we always seem to both immediately latch on to some pieces, and that's how we know the piece is right for us. Neither of us is sure why, because one or the other of us will pass on lots of similar pieces, but there's almost always that "one piece".

We capped the evening off with a private dinner for two by Chef Michael. My main course was the Duck with Armangac and Figs, and Kimberley had the Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto. Michael used to own two restaurants in the Big Easy, and sold them both to come out to Sedona and open this place. Top notch food, to be sure, and he'll have a cookbook out sometime next year. Very cool.

Needless to say, we'll be sad to be leaving on Friday. The Adobe Grand Villas are fantastic, even if we hadn't had the whole place to ourselves! What a romantic trip!


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