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A Stunning Arrival in Sedona

April 8, 2014

As much as I loved our home base in Scottsdale, Arizona during girls weekend with my mom and sister, I was super excited to get on the road up to Sedona to check out an area I’ve been wanting to visit for years.  Sedona is about two hours’ drive north of Phoenix and is known for its gorgeous red rock scenery, new age spirituality and wonderful galleries and shopping.

Sedona Red Rock Views

Speaking of Sedona’s spiritual side, our first stop on the way into town was one of Sedona’s vortexes: Bell Rock.  What is a vortex?  Well, that link probably provides a better explanation than I can, but basically Sedona is home to a handful of spots where many people believe that a strong energy emanates from the earth.  Some report feeling a sensation of some sort when visiting a vortex – anything from a general sense of energy, to calm, to prickles on the back of your neck, to stronger reactions and visions.  I wasn’t sure that I bought into the notion of the vortexes, but I figured it was worth checking out, especially once I realized that they were gorgeous viewpoints on their own.  I bring you Bell Rock:

Bell Rock Sedona

We circled for a few minutes before finding parking at the trailhead, and then walked the easy path out toward the rock.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock Sedona

There’s a more ambitious hike that takes you up onto the rock, but we didn’t have time for that.  Our agenda was just to check it out and see if we got goosebumps.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock Sedona

No goosebumps, but that could have had something to do with hiking in a long-sleeved black dress and flip flops.  Either way, it was pretty!

Bell Rock Sedona

From Bell Rock, our next stop on our way into town was the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  This gorgeous little chapel wows with its stunning architecture site and scenic views.  On top of all that, it’s a vortex spot too.  That trifecta makes it quite popular, and we had to wait in a line of cars to snake up the rocks to park at the chapel and check it out.  Because of the unusual parking situation, I totally neglected to take any photos of the gorgeous exterior of this chapel from below.  Luckily, the lovely Lucy of On The Luce gave me permission to post a photo from her Sedona post – check it out for more beauties like this:

Photo by On the Luce.

Photo by On the Luce.

I absolutely adore the look of this chapel from below.  The Chapel of the Holy Cross was designed by a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright’s, Marguerite Brunswig Staude.  It took a couple of decades to obtain approval to build the chapel in Sedona’s National Forest land, and it was eventually completed in the 1950s.  It is an operating church, but at the time of our visit it felt much more like a tourist attraction.  It was easy to see why – check out these views!

View from Chapel of the Holy Cross Sedona

Chapel of Holy Cross Sedona

We definitely took advantage of the great photo ops!

Holy Cross Sedona

In addition to the far-off vistas, we were impressed by the rock climbers above the chapel.  You can juuuust barely make them out here.  They’re the dots on the rocks toward the top center of the frame:

Rock Climbers Sedona

Inside, the chapel’s design is spare, clean and modern (especially for a chapel built in the 60s).  You can tell it’s been designed to take advantage of Sedona’s stunning natural scenery and impart those peaceful views on its visitors.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross

I don’t know whether it was the vortex effect or just the atmosphere inside such a small, beautiful chapel, but I did feel very serene and calm inside.  Or maybe I just really wanted to feel the vortex.  I guess we’ll never know.  Don’t judge me.

Another aspect of the Chapel of the Holy Cross that I got a real kick out of were the little signs posted around the exterior to remind visitors of the rules in the cutest way possible.

Holy Cross Sedona

Once we were done admiring the views here, it was time to make our way into the town of Sedona.  Our first stop was check-in at our hotel for the evening, the Orchards Inn.  We barely spent any time at the hotel, and I wish we could have.  It was located right in Uptown Sedona, walking distance to a variety of shops and restaurants.  And the highlight was definitely the thing that most people come to Sedona for: the gorgeous red rock views.

Orchards Inn Sedona

I really regret that we didn’t have time for evening cocktails or morning coffee on that balcony.  Cocktails while soaking in the hot tub below us would have been even better!  But alas, I was determined that we’d pack as much as possible into our 24 hours in Sedona – stay tuned for more of our adventures in this gorgeous town!

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