I hate surprises. Well...let me rephrase that. I hate mystery.
I always read tv show spoilers so I know what is going to happen. I always snoop around and ask for hints on birthday presents. I always like to know what is going on! So when I walked into our bedroom Sunday night and there was a suitcase on the bed with Eric standing next to it I was very confused. Eric told me what I had to pack but would give me no hints as to what we were going. All he told me was that he had planned a short little overnight "somewhere" surprise vacation and that I would get no more hints.
This all made me very anxious. I could not get to sleep that night. Had he properly researched the hotel on tripadvisor? Had he gone on yelp or citysearch and found one of the top rated restaurants to have dinner?? What kind of research had been done?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
A normal person would have just been excited......
So at 10am the next day we said goodbye to Toby the dog (it is nice to have a room mate that likes crazy puggles) and hopped in the car. I was still poking and prodding and begging for hints but none were given.
About an hour and 45 minutes outside of Phoenix is one of the most beautiful places in America...Sedona. Sedona's main attraction is its amazing array of red sandstone formations (or red rocks). The Red Rocks form a breathtaking backdrop for everything from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.
As soon as I started to see the Red Rocks in the distance I knew where we were going. I really wanted to go to Sedona while in Arizona but we just did not seem to have enough time (being as we only have 1 day off a week). Eric was sweet enough to plan this secret trip and make time in our schedule so we could just ignore the errands that we had to run and just relax.
We drove up to a very cute boutique hotel that had the beautiful red rocks in the backround (The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa)
Our room was not ready yet...so we decided to get out and enjoy the beautiful landscape. There are literally hundreds of hiking trails in and around Sedona. After studying the hiking map we decided on a trail and headed out.
Neither Eric or I had hiking shoes with us. So...we tried to choose a trail that was not too easy but not one of the crazy strenuous ones. We pulled up to the red rocks trail and it was amazing. It was so quiet and peaceful and I fully understood why Sedona was such a spiritual place.
We started our hike up the trail and were lucky enough to see 2 perfect hiking sticks sitting there right in front of us...it was fate!
The views from the trail we were on were amazing. We never passed another person on our hike. It was great just to be out in this amazing place with my new hubby. I just wish we would have had some hiking shoes as regular running shoes on red rock do not have the best traction!
And of course it would not be a Gutman vacation without a cheese ball picture......
After our hike we were starving and went to seek out someplace to grab something to eat. We had dinner reservations so we just wanted something small. We found the cutest little restaurant with an intimate little outside dining area (The Heartline Cafe).
I won't bore you with the details. All I have to mention is that they had the most amazing soup I have ever had. Roasted pear & butternut squash with toasted pecans on top. If you are ever in Sedona you must get this soup....and then order like 10 extra bowls...package them up...and overnight them to me. Don't worry I will pay you back!
After our small lunch we headed to the downtown. It was pretty touristy...cheesey shops with knick knacks. However there was one thing that caught my eye....this fudge place. You see..I am from Michigan and we have this place called Mackinaw Island. Mackinaw Island makes the best fudge ever. I cannot eat fudge from anywhere else because the fudge on Mackinaw Island is so good. I am walking past this store and they have a sign in the window saying "Our Fudge Recipe is from Mackinaw Island". Well....of course I had to go in and get some....and I have to admit..it was pretty damn good.
Moving on....Eric and I were pretty tired so we decided to go back to the hotel and check in. The room was very cute. The bed had a fabulous mattress and a great down comforter. I am such a sucker for hotels that have down comforters...it totally makes the room!
The bed was extremely comfortable...so comfy that I actually fell into a very deep sleep. Eric woke me up just in enough time to get all primped up for our romantic dinner.
Oh...yes....the obligatory self portrait....
We had a very nice dinner .... well minus the cheese ball waiter that seemed like he should be working at a T.G.I. Friday's. For instance ... he introduced himself by saying..."hey, I am nate...short for nathan". Um...ok...
When we returned to the room Eric had arranged for some chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to be waiting for us.
All in all it was an amazing (too short) vacation. I wish we could have stayed longer and gotten a spa treatment overlooking the landscape....but...I guess that gives me something to look forward to for next time.
I feel very lucky that I have a husband that loves me so much....one that will plans me surprise vacations (even though I can be hard to handle when the word surprise is mentioned).
If you ever get the opportunity I strongly suggest you visit Sedona. It certainly is one of the most beautiful places in America.