Monday, November 10, 2014

Sedona--Rocks and Roundabouts

Days 13 and 14 (Sunday, November 2 and Monday, November 3)

Snow and rain made for an indoor day in Flagstaff on Sunday.  We went to Mass at the beautiful San Francisco de Asis parish, sitting high above the city on a hilltop.  A cold rain fell as we arrived…but a heavy, wet snow had begun to fall by the time we left.  Despite the chilly, wet weather, the parishioners were warm and the service, informal and friendly.  The church looks new, but artistic elements have been added, such as medieval-style tapestry hangings that bring in a traditional feel.

Flagstaff has some great restaurants.  We enjoyed a delicious Italian meal at Fat Olive’s on Route 66 on Saturday night, and Sunday’s dinner was another tasty Thai experience at Pato.  There are many Thai restaurants in Flagstaff, and Pato was among the highest rated.  We found the food wherever we ate to be tasty, reasonably-priced, and served with a smile.  Our best service:  Denny’s!  Yes, the friendliest, most efficient service has been at Denny’s, with surprisingly many healthy options and those great AARP-discounts!  Oh, Yeah!

On Monday, we took 89A to Sedona…a twisty, backwoods road that had many amazing views!  I wish I could have taken some photos of the mountains, colorful trees, and streams, but I couldn’t pry my white knuckles off the steering wheel long enough to do so!

After such a cold and dreary day on Sunday, the weather in Sedona on Monday was perfect, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s.  This provided the perfect ambiance for admiring the art around town…

…for taking in a delicious lunch al fresco (with a glass of wine!)…

…and, of course, the amazing surroundings…the hills and mesas, and the famous Sedona “red rocks.”

One interesting thing about Sedona that those who have visited will recall: there are few to no stoplights in Sedona.  After we got past the “touristy” area northwest of town where there was one traffic light, I believe all the other traffic control in the city was done via “roundabout”—you know, those traffic circles like they have in Europe…or downtown New Braunfels!  There’s been talk of one in Corpus Christi near the Louisiana / Ocean intersection, and there was one in Robstown when I grew up.

I know people get all up in arms about them, claiming that they are confusing and there must be dozens of collisions a day—not true in Sedona, from what I could see.  Traffic moved smoothly, the roundabouts served to slow traffic through the city, and there were no fingers thrown or other gesticulations.  It did occur to me, though—a community which relies on roundabouts for traffic control is a place where there is an implicit agreement among the citizens to be both responsible and accountable.  When you enter that traffic circle, you better be responsible for following the rules, for doing your part of the process…and you better hold everyone else accountable for doing the same.  It’s amazingly civilized!


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