Friday, August 19, 2011

Adios Beautiful Sedona

A few more photo's from our amazing Sedona Adventure.
This may just be my favourite iphoto ever!
I realize this would work better with a long flowing caftan / minus the flip flops, but you get what I'm feeling.
Amazing vistas.
Love the view from this old tree.

Sedona has churches - which to me is very strange. Is it really necessary to build a place of worship when God provided so many wonderful natural places?


Tom often accuses me of being a hotel snob, which is probably a fair assessment. In this day and age finding a great room is a no brainer, as long as you're willing to do the research - you should be able to have a great experience at any price range.

I've wanted to take Tom to Sedona for years, so our hotel really needed to be special. After going to all of my favorite internet sources I narrowed it down to two properties, Enchantment or L'Auberge. The comments on Trip Advisor convinced me that L'Auberge was exactly what I was looking for. Guest reviews for both properties were overwhelmingly positive, but what really impressed me about L'Auberge was the fact that the General Manager took time to respond to the few people who had a negative comment. It was obvious that they were listening to their guests and committed to providing the best possible experience.

We were not disappointed, L'Auberge was magical. Charming cottages in a stunning natural setting, but what makes this place so special is the staff. Every person who works there is lovely, and they're not faking it. You get the feeling that they really care about this place, and enjoy working here.

Thank you L'Auberge, we will most certainly be back.
We had a creekside cottage, which included a fireplace.
Great deck overlooking Oak Creek.
This is the first time we've ever had a private outdoor shower. Absolutely loved it! What a great idea, wish we had one at home.
A great place to read a book and take in the view.

Dinner is a bit of a splurge but well worth it. Many of the locals shared stories of celebrating life's milestones here. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful dining area, bathed in soft candlelight under a canopy of stars.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cathedral Rock

Different views of Cathedral Rock at Sunset.
Reflecting pool
Beautiful woman taking in the view.
Golden light on red rocks.

Stepping stones.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Vortex Power

Tom and I are in Sedona, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. So lovely that even Tom, who can be a little jaded, said this is what heaven must look like. Having just come from Vegas we thought it might be a good idea to seek redemption and spend our first day here looking for a vortex.

One of the first things you notice about the locals is they have their own unique vernacular. After hanging out at the local coffee shop, we quickly figured out that in order to fit in one should make liberal use of the word "energy". This is a no brainer for me, being an old hippie at heart, but for Tom it's a bit of a stretch. I'm trying to coach him, teaching him phrases like "I only do things that bring positive energy in my life", "awesome energy man", "you ok dude? -your energy seems a little low".

We finally get to the vortex and find another couple there, taking a few snap shots and doing their best to feel the vibe. They eventually leave in frustration, complaining that other than a twinge in their 6th chakra, they're just not feeling it. Once they leave, Tom and I are feeling less inhibited, and do our best to feel the love.
I am intrigued that all over the world, people leave stones at sacred sights.
Going with the stone theory I decided to see if I can channel the power. Yea, I know I look like a geek, but sun protection is important people.
Tom takes my advice and tries meditating by the stone wheel.
When that doesn't work, he turns into a whirling dervish.

Tom is determined to feel the energy, no matter what it takes.

Even though we weren't hit by lightning bolts, I suddenly realize that my bad knee is feeling better than it has in years. I'm thinking tomorrow we take a different approach, perhaps focus our breathing so that we can get past our mind chatter - and really feel what the universe is trying to tell us. Who knows, maybe I'll even ask one of the local shamans to help us in our quest.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Our last day in Vegas and we woke up to a very light rain. Not sure what came over him, but my lovely husband blurted out "That's just great, why do they have to end their drought during our holiday"? As soon as Tom said it he felt horrible. Truth is Vegas was getting to us.

Even though we had a crazy weekend there, something about Vegas just didn't feel right. It was one of those holidays when you try to pretend that everything isn't over the top, that children aren't starving in the Sudan while you're stuffing your face at the all you can eat buffet, that people willingly spend a couple of c-notes to hear Celine Dion sing. No matter how you spin it, there is something weird about Vegas.

Our last night there turned into a cross between Hangover and Date Night. A few highlights:
The evening started out okay, just the two of us hanging out and chillin.
Loved the desert sky after the summer storm.
Enjoyed the bright lights of the strip.
Scored the best table in town for dinner.
Shortly after the show started, something went terribly wrong. Just as the fountain was at it's peak (maybe as tall as a three story building) a freak gust of wind blew the mountain of water directly onto the patio, and our heads, and clothes, filling our dinner plates. We (and my brand new dress) were seriously drenched, I'm not sure I've ever been that wet in my life, even while taking a bath. The Maitre De was horrified. He apologized profusely, and insisted this had never, ever happened before. Tom and I had a good laugh, after all - karma is a bitch.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today our Vegas adventure continues. Highlight for me was watching Tom play craps. Poor guy is so Canadian that he would end up apologizing to the table when he rolled craps on the come out. I guess it didn't help that I would say things like "baby needs a new pair of shoes" right before he threw the dice.
Hanging by the pool in the afternoon.
Why have we been going to Europe all these years, when we could have just gone to Vegas?
Looking like a test pattern.

The giant buddha at Tao.

Viva Las Vegas

Bright neon lights, all that's missing is Elvis.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lady Luck

Shortly after hitting the strip, Tom made a $5 bet on a slot machine - and hit pay dirt!
Winning $547 and change, is this for real?
Yea Baby!

Vegas baby!

Vegas, Baby!

Tom and I are in Las Vegas, which is kinda weird, as we don’t really see ourselves as Vegas people. Not to mention the fact that most people have the good sense to visit in the cooler months of fall / winter, avoiding the scorching heat of summer.

In spite of our hesitation, we started feeling the Vegas vibe when our plane landed. As soon as the wheels hit the tarmac we couldn’t help but notice the other passengers’ liberal use of baby, as in “yea baby”, “vegas baby”, “you know it baby”. Maybe Vegas wouldn’t be so bad after all.

The true Vegas test came when we checked into our hotel. Many of our friends advised us that when checking into a luxury hotel, there is an unspoken rule. All one has to do is casually slip the desk clerk a $20 - and voila - a swanky upgrade. This just didn’t seem right to us, both having worked in hotels in a previous life. What if we offended the desk clerk? What if our friends were having a little fun at our expense?

All day we had been arguing over which one of us would have to slip the tip, but as everyone knows paper beats rock, so Tom had to go for it. He casually handed the clerk his passport, with Andrew Jackson peaking out, and we were soon informed by the young man that the hotel would be more than happy to upgrade us to a beautiful suite - with a beautiful view of the strip, compliments of the hotel of course!

As they say in Vegas, we hit the jackpot, people. This may just be one of the coolest hotels we’ve ever stayed in.

The living room in our hotel.
Love the tub.

The view from room.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pug Separation Anxiety

PSA - Pug Separation Anxiety - hits Tom and I every time we have to leave Tex and Maggie at home. Our son Tyler and his girlfriend Jane will move in and take care of them, with the help of Jade, our fabulous dog walker / friend. A week with three of their favourite peeps, full of love, pug games and absolute mayhem. Not to mention the fact that we've left 12 pages of in-depth pug instructions. Still doesn't make leaving them any easier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Today's photo comes from Tom, the real photographer in our family. Not only does he play the guitar but he takes a mean owl photo.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Nobody appreciates a sunny day like we do in the Pacific Northwest. Don't get me wrong, we don't mind a little rain, keeps things green and clean. It's just that we will never be jaded about a beautiful, summer day.
A glass of wine with friends on the patio is what I'm talking about.
Lush summer flowers.
Street banners.
View of Burrard bridge from Granville bridge.

Interesting reflections.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Dogs Life

Now that Tex and Maggie are 15 people often ask us for advice on how to raise an older dog. I have a standard answer, explaining that it takes a great deal of love, luck, prayers, a dedicated vet, and good dental hygiene. While all this is certainly true, it is much easier than explaining that in my heart I really believe they're still here because they know their humans still have so much to learn. As crazy as it sounds, my pugs have been two of my greatest teachers.

Today's iphotos, dogs in the hood:
My sweet Maggie, who was originally our neighbour's dog, before coming to live with us. Everyday we are so grateful for our beautiful girl.
My Tex - aka the Dali pug - a sweet, wise, old soul.
Like Paris and New York, Vancouver is a dog loving city. We met this wonderful bloke on our walk today.

A beautiful day in the park with your best friend, does life get any better?