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Shopping, Sunset, Sedona.

April 10, 2014

After exploring the sights on our way into Sedona and checking in to our hotel, it was time for a little lunch and shopping.  It was a girls weekend, after all!  We headed over to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, a shopping area a friend had recommended we check out.  Between the architecture, sycamore trees and lovely galleries, shops and restaurants, it was a simply lovely area to spend an afternoon.  Our first stop had to be lunch, and we quickly chose The Secret Garden Cafe.

Secret Garden Cafe Sedona

It was a great place to grab a light lunch.  We sat on a semi-enclosed patio that kept out the wind while allowing us a view of the market around us.  I enjoyed my salad, while my mom and sister also gave their lunches high marks.  There was also a bakery in the entrance that enticed us throughout our meal.  We each left with a house-made dark chocolate salted caramel cup that was divine.  And the waiters were cute.  What more do you need?

After lunch, we wandered in and out of galleries selling mostly southwestern-style art, interspersed with a variety of boutiques.

Tlaquepaque

The shopping area itself could not have been any prettier.

Tlaquepaque

I don’t remember the names of my favorite shops, but the area is small enough that you’d hit them all just by wandering around.  I found a gorgeous earring/necklace set at one boutique full of wonderful accessories and knickknacks, a handmade coffee mug to bring home to the boyfriend from a pottery shop, a lovely maxi dress at a clothing boutique and more.

Tlaquepaque

One of the best things about Tlaquepaque is how warm, friendly and talkative many of the shopkeepers were.  Everyone seemed excited to see us, find out where we came from and ask us how we were liking Sedona.  One thing came through loud and clear: these people loved their hometown.  Are our smiles any indication of the fact that we totally understood how Sedona would be a great place to live?

Tlaquepaque

Seriously, prettiest shopping area ever.

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

When leaving Tlaquepaque, we saw this sign across the street:

Sedona

I’ve mentioned that new age spirituality is big in Sedona, right?  We couldn’t resist checking it out.  It was actually a lot of fun walking around this shop enlightenment center, where there was table after table of different types of crystals, each labeled with the properties that they promote (stress relief, empowerment, love, etc.).  We even picked up a few to bring home to friends as souvenirs.  I figured a little crystal power couldn’t hurt anyone!

By then it was almost sunset, and time to head off to an overlook to take in the end of this beautiful day.

Sedona Sunset

The best place in town to catch the sunset – which is a big to-do in Sedona – is the Airport Mesa overlook.  By the time we got there about 30 minutes before sunset, the overlook was already crowded.  Undeterred, we claimed a couple of rocks as our own and settled in.  The light against the red rocks across the valley was already getting pretty beautiful.

Sedona Airport Mesa

And then a little more amazing.

Sedona Airport Mesa

It was definitely a prime place for sunset views because we could see across almost the entire Sedona area.

Sedona Airport Mesa

It got a little chilly while we waited for the sun to drop, so we amused ourselves by – what else? – taking photos.

Sedona Airport Mesa

Sedona Airport Mesa

When the sun went down, it was actually a little anti-climactic.  Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely, but I preferred the dusk views.  What do you think?

Sedona Airport Mesa

Once the sun went down, it was time to eat again.  On the recommendation of one of the awesome people we’d chatted with earlier at the market, we headed to Dahl and DiLuca for Italian food.  I decided to abandon blogger-mode and simply enjoy dinner with my mom and sister, but it was a truly wonderful restaurant that I’d recommend to anyone visiting Sedona.  Make a reservation if you plan to go – we walked in and had a choice of an hour wait or sitting at the bar.  We opted for the bar and had a delicious, cozy meal with wonderful service.  Yum.  Just go.

After dinner it was back to The Orchards Inn for an early night.  We had an early wake-up call the next day for the highlight of our time in Sedona: a hot air balloon ride!

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