Scottsdale, Sedona, & Soup Kitchens

I’m writing this post at a pizza place in PHX. Airport restaurants are fun. I took a short getaway with my sister to AZ, a place I had no real desire to see again. One of the reasons why I didn’t want to visit this state was political. Racial profiling. I made sure I asked mama for copies of our birth certificates just in case we were pulled over for “Driving While Brown.” That way if we were, I could pull out the birth certificate and say, “Even though as a United States citizen I’m not required to carry my birth certificate, here it is. Hayward, CA copper man.” Thankfully, it wasn’t necessary. My sister, who actually looks Filipina, did the driving. I only drove from the hotel to the airport for the return flight. I have road rage “issues.”

I always wanted to see Sedona, though, and Heather, my BFF from high school, lives in Mesa. Mama had comps for a free week at a resort through her timeshare program. My sister took advantage of it. I told her that I’d go, but only stay a few days. I really wanted to stay in AZ only long enough to see Heather and Sedona.

It was great. It has been too long since I saw Heather. She is a witch (not pejorative – she practices witchcraft – although not Wiccan). She owns a metaphysical bookstore in Tempe. I think she did a “stop aging” spell because aside from being thinner, my sister and I agreed that she looks exactly as we remember her the last time we saw her in 1997. My sister and I hung out at her store all day after we arrived in PHX.

The next day, we drove up to Sedona. What an amazing place. We got settled into our room at the Desert Quail Inn, a cute little motel in the village of Oak Creek, outside of Sedona proper. I didn’t see the point of spending $250+ (average hotel room price) in Sedona for one night. I wanted to spend that money on margaritas and at the spa. Great decision. It was super clean, cheap, and had some better TV channels than the resort in Scottsdale! It was already late afternoon by the time we got there, so we just had dinner and hung out. Maria’s Restaurant and Cantina in Oak Creek makes the best margaritas I’ve had. They are, quite possibly, the best margaritas in the universe. I like sweet drinks (life is bitter enough), and this prickly pear cactus margarita? I could drink two pitchers full of the stuff. I didn’t, though.

Yesterday morning, we decided to go to the red rock that “spoke” to us and explore. That was The Bell. We walked to the base of the rock where the vortex was located. What a trip! As you get closer to the vortex, the branches on the trees actually curl! It had such a cool, harmonic vibe. After, we went to a day spa. The sauna, the body mask, vichy shower, and massage? Heaven on earth. I would live in that spa if I could.

We drove back last night to Scottsdale. I was exhausted, even though my sister drove. I passed out when we got back. I was leaving AZ so I made sure I got a good night’s sleep.

I slept so much on this trip – averaging 12 hours per night. I think my body really needed it. I’m glad I took this trip. Work wise, it was a good thing too. I maxed out my vacation accrual – 160 hours. If I hadn’t taken some time off, I would not be accruing any more vacation hours. Ah America. Land of the “work until you drop dead.”

So here I am, the length of my stay irritating the hell out of the restaurant staff I’m sure, waiting for my flight. Actually, I want to do a “move up,” and I’m on standby for the flight that leaves at 4:40 PM, instead of my original departure time of 8:00 PM. It would be nice to get on the earlier flight, but even if I have to go on my regular flight, it’s all good. I’ve had longer layovers without the internet. I have a lot of time to get caught up on blog stuff, a teeny bit of work, and reading the news.

What news story caught my eye the moment I opened my netbook? Paul Ryan Visits Soup Kitchen for Photo Op, Angering its President Seriously? What a great story to come back to after some rest and relaxation.

This is a new low. How much lower can you go if you’re already subterranean?

The campaign did not have permission to do this. Brian Antal, Mahoning County’s St. Vincent de Paul Society said,

“They ramrodded their way in. We are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations. It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors. The photo op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall. I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals. If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem.”

Very nice. This wasn’t just fake. This stunt has some real potential ramifications. I hope St. Vincent de Paul doesn’t lose their donations because the Romney campaign decided to pretend to be charitable. As a very wise Yahoo! Comments Section commenter said:

True charity is anonymous.


10 responses to “Scottsdale, Sedona, & Soup Kitchens

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