Last Day’s “Last Run” is Just Straight-up Fun.


Superman enjoying an earthling activity.

Superman enjoying an earthling activity.

Flagstaff, Arizona’s Snowbowl ski resort was able to keep their lifts open for just one more weekend thanks to Friday’s freshly fallen snow. Most ski resorts enjoy the tradition of getting a little crazy on the last day of the of the season, and Snowbowl was no different. From skiers dressed as Superman to EXTREME! snowboarding babes in bikinis, the Last Day’s Last Run, is a spectacle, and maybe even an event (if you’re not afraid to show some skin), you won’t want to miss next year. 


The vibe simply could not possibly be anything but  crazy when the chairlift guy is dressed as a pirate who has a steering wheel fastened to the fly of his knickers. “Aargh, yer drivin’ me nuts!” says he as he steers the wheel. My personal favorite as the eight foot banana snowboarding down the mountain. I can’t count how many times I heard different people sing “Peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time!” as he walked by.

As for the actual conditions of Snowbowl, they weren’t half bad for the first part of the day. What should we really expect for April in Arizona? In fact, I’m just grateful we had one more opportunity to get out there! The Agassiz was the only lift open and that is the one that goes up to the top of mountain, therefore the runs were decently long. You could find fresh snow off the trails in the woods that were pretty nice as well. While the chairlift lines were about  a ten minute wait, people didn’t seem to mind as everyone was happy and pretty entertained by each other. As they day went on, as expected, the runs were mostly icy, then very slushy towards the bottom, but by that point, it was time to sit back and enjoy the hilarious “Last Run” spectacle consisting of guys in their britches and ladies dropping trou, snowboarding with their pants around their knees, showing off their bikinis -welcoming spring.


In its story about Tough Times for the Travel Industry today, the TODAY Show on NBC featured the Westin Kierland Resort, right here in our own Scottsdale backyard.

While canceled meetings and scaled-back corporate events may be hurting this and other local Scottsdale resorts and hotels, the silver lining message for locals is that more hotel room inventory and the normally slower summer season here (Christmas has come early!) – which translates to super-great deals on backyard resort getaways and “staycations” that we Scottsdale locals have taken advantage of for years.

Support our Arizona hospitality industry and book your spring and summer “staycation” today.  Check out sites like our scottsdalephoenix.net for a terrific list of luxurious Scottsdale and Phoenix resorts that you can experience for sometimes less than half of their high-season rates.

Sedona for Kids

Photo credit: Shap2007 on flickr.com

Photo credit: Shap2007 on flickr.com

There’s no amusement park in Sedona.  But that doesn’t mean that Sedona’s not a great destination for families with kids.  There are all kinds of things to do in Sedona – especially in the spring and summer – that appeal to kids and parents alike.  Check out a quick rundown of great things to do in Sedona – or a quick 20 – 60 minute drive away – if you have a child or children under the age of 12:

1) JEEP TOURS – In town, a Sedona Jeep Tour is a great, classic “must-do” for Sedona visitors of all ages. Sedona Jeep tours routinely cater to families with young children. There are several companies to choose from that offer jeep tours in Sedona so visit each one’s website to see what fits your family best.

2) SEDONA TROLLEY – The Sedona Trolley will take your family all over Uptown Sedona for shopping and dining; and a visit up Oak Creek Canyon to Slide Rock State Park is fun for some natural summertime water-play.

Photo credit: kyle simourd on flickr.com

Photo credit: kyle simourd on flickr.com

3) STARGAZING – If the kids can stay up a little late, you might check out some Sedona astrological tours (“Sedona by Starlight” is presented by the Institute of Eco-Tourism) on Monday nights and take advantage of seeing Sedona’s beautifully dark skies filled with stars.  For tours any night of the week, check out Evening Sky Tours.  This is what you call family-friendly, natural Sedona entertainment and nightlife!

4) WILD ANIMAL PARK – Just a short 45-minute car ride, near Camp Verde, look for one of the best things to do in Prescott, AZ: Out of Africa wildlife park – a great zoo experience for the whole family.

Photo credit: cogdogblog on flickr.com

Photo credit: cogdogblog on flickr.com

5) RIDE THE RAILS – Just a bit south of Sedona, look for the Verde Canyon Railroad (about 20 min from Sedona) for an old-fashioned train ride and sightseeing experience including lots of wildlife

6) WILD WEST SHOOT-OUT – A great match-up with the Railroad ride is Blazin’ M Ranch – a cowboy cookout dinner & show.  Blazin’ M Ranch is also 20 min from Sedona in nearby Clarkdale and can be combined with a Verde Canyon rail ride for a full day of fun.

7) SPECIAL EVENTS – There are some really fantastic special events in Sedona happening year-round. See our Sedona event calendar. Depending on the dates of your visit, you may catch the Sedona Arts Festival, one of many music festivals like the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks, live theater like Shakespeare Sedona or the Sedona Film Festival. Several popular fall & winter holiday events like Fiesta de Tlaquepaque and the famous Sedona Luminarias are reason alone to take a family vacation to Sedona, AZ.  And anytime of year during your sightseeing in Sedona, be sure to look for all the “Javalinas on Parade,” a public art installation all around town. Kids love to use their “treasure” maps and go “hunting” for the Javalinas.

Photo credit: eyeliam on flickr.com

Photo credit: eyeliam on flickr.com

8) KIDS EAT FREE – For parents on a budget (read: ALL PARENTS) a Kids Eat Free deal is something to shout about.  Check out Sedona restaurants like Joey Bistro and Stakes & Sticks – both located at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa – where, starting March 29, 2009, Kids Eat Free  every Sunday. Please call Stakes & Sticks at 928-204-STIX (7849) or Joey Bistro at (928) 204-JOEY (5639) for more information.

Enjoy your Sedona family vacation!

Photo credit: hyperscholar on flickr.com

Photo credit: hyperscholar on flickr.com

March is one of my favorite months in Arizona.  The weather is darn-near guaranteed to be perfect for 31 straight days and it smells fantastic outside.  The lemon, orange and grapefruit trees in my yard and north Scottsdale neighborhood are in full bloom and the sweet, intoxicating smell drifts through my open windows.

The thought of opening the windows, airing out my house and engaging in some serious spring cleaning has been a hot topic amongst my friends this month.  But beyond removing dust from shelves and rotating my closet from winter boots and tights to flip flops and sundresses, we concur that spring also a season for clearing out emotional clutter, and replacing dark thoughts with visions of new life, healing and growth.

I can’t think of anyone better to discuss spring cleaning for the soul than Greg Drambour, our favorite spiritual blog contributor.  Greg is a cancer survivor and shamanic healer in Sedona, Arizona.  Here’s Greg’s How-To list on cleaning your  home so you can heal your body, mind and soul.


The Energy of Your Home

My understanding and knowledge of how important the energy of your home is has deepened in the last three and half years since the cure. You want to get the energy flowing in your home and office environment in a way that’s beneficial for your healing.

There are few steps to accomplishing this:

One, find someone who knows how to read the possible toxins that may be lurking in your home. I am referring to a healer that works on a subtler energy level. For example, the lead may have been removed from the house but the energy still exists at a deeper level. There are individuals who are experts at removing this. And, of course, a conventional toxin evaluation would also be wise.

Two, seek out a Feng Shui consultant; I would strongly recommend a person who is fluent in Form or Compass Feng Shui, which calculates your birth date and the Chinese calendar into the evaluation and recommendations. I find this style much more powerful than westernized Feng Shui or what is called Black Hat Feng Shui. On my property there were three dead trees that were literally in a straight line from one end of the house to the other. They were situated in the Health Section of my property-this was not good! I had them removed right away. I certainly did not want the energy blocked in that area. Whether you believe in this philosophy or not, I would do it anyway-it can’t hurt!

Thirdly, I would smudge or use aromatherapy in the house daily and open the windows. Lemon is what I use in my house and office. Get a state-of-the-art Air Cleaner. Keep the house clean, make it a priority, it will help you keep moving forward, feeling constructive. Remember the powerful words from the great book, Tuesdays With Morrie–“when you’re in bed you’re dead!”

Fourth, there are powerful people who can support you in removing any bad energy in the house. They specialize in extractions of entities or negative energy forms that don’t serve you. Seek them out – the right one will show up. You’re on the path to wellness. God will provide.

Fifth, make sure the polarity on the north and south sides of the house are positive as well as the ley lines. This is something you can fix yourself and will find instructions among the next few articles. I will include it along with some other helpful tips.

Soon after I got the big news that I was well, I rented a room in a house for a few months. The first day there I woke up sick and remained sick literally to the day I moved out two months later. The woman who owned it was a bit lacking on cleaning – the house was very moldy and dusty but the reason I got sick was that place was full of old pine needles from the Xmas tree she had up. My holistic doctor discovered that I was ultra-sensitive to old pine needles! Go figure!

Make your home a sanctuary-it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Go haunt garage sales or Good Will – this is always fun. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good, that inspire you. Don’t overlook the importance of a healthy environment – let your environment reflect how you want to look inside-model to your disease how you want it to look – healed. Heal your home not only inside but also outside.


For more information about healing the possible emotional contributors to illness, please go to Cancer Survivors or Spiritual Retreats .

Japanese Members to Experience Luxury Resort and World-Class Spa

photo credit: tinou bao - flickr.com

photo credit: tinou bao - flickr.com

Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa will host Japanese photographers from Through Each Others Eyes™ (TEOE), a not-for profit corporation that sponsors international photographer exchanges, on March 4, 2009. The visiting photographers are from Himeji, Japan, a sister city of Phoenix, Arizona.

“We are delighted that our resort will be their introduction to the Sedona experience,” said Edgar Lozoya, Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa General Manager. “In addition, our close proximity to the legendary Arizona red rocks and Coconino National Forest positions our top tier resort as the gateway to Sedona.”

Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa

Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa

Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa provides guests with beautiful red rock views and easy access to the best that Sedona has to offer. During their stay the photographers may take advantage of the resort’s knowledgeable Director of Adventure, who provides guests with an insider’s experience of Sedona such as tranquil trails through the Coconino National Forest. Additionally, the photographers will have access to the world-class Hilton Spa, which blends rejuvenating services for both mind and body.

During the group’s 10-day Arizona trip, the Japanese photographers will be capturing the beauty of Arizona, including the splendor of Sedona. The photographs collected during their visit will be on exhibit in Arizona and Himeji, Japan.

Through Each Others Eyes™ works closely with Sister Cities International chapters and local governments to promote international understanding by using the medium of photography.

About Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa
A part of Hilton Worldwide Resorts™, the 219-room property is located 90 minutes north of Phoenix and features two-room suites with separate living rooms and private patios or balconies, with breathtaking views of Sedona’s majestic red rocks or the Sedona Golf Resort. Guest room amenities include fireplace, flat screen televisions, minibar, high-speed Internet access, microwave oven, coffeemaker, and iron/ironing board. Guests can also enjoy three heated pools and two restaurants. The Hilton Sedona has the largest conference facilities in Northern Arizona with 20,500 square feet of meeting space. Complete meetings packages are available. The resort offers guests complimentary wireless internet access in all public spaces including the pool areas.  More at hiltonsedona.com.


mz4Along the curvy Route 17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix, tucked away are two architectural phenomenons. They are separated by 23 miles and approximately 800 years but brought together by their ideas of community, agriculture and respect for the land. I am talking about Montezuma Castle built by the Sinagua Indians in 1100ce and Arcosanti still under construction and the careful planning of Paolo Soleri.

Montezuma Castle was built into the cliff face using mud, sticks and the local stone. It along with an adjacent structure provided about 65 rooms for a year round farming community. A local nearby well was irrigated to create a lush farmland that remained clear and unobstructed by the Sinagua’s habitat.  But did they just build into the mountain for protection against attack? I would think this was not the main reason if all the surrounding tribes were also friendly Sinagua.  Could it be that they also had the same ideas that have been the basic building block for Arcosanti?

Arcosanti is an experimental city built on top of a small stone canyon using many local supplies. The object of this city is to create ways to improve the conditions of urban living while creating minimal impact on the earth.  To succeed and make Arcosanti sustainable Paolo Soleri, like the Sinagua, built into the mountain and controlled his local water supply to create and preserve the flat fertile lands for farming. Arcosanti is currently functions as a “company town” providing home to volunteers and employees. It is also a fabulous place to stop for a meal, baked goods, browse the gift shop or just sip coffee while admiring the view from modern castle built into the mountain.

Both Montezuma Castle and Arcosanti make for truly fantastic stop to stretch your legs and let your imagination be intrigued while traveling the 17 between Flagstaff and Scottsdale Phoenix.

Photo credit: harlequeen on flickr.com

Photo credit: harlequeen on flickr.com

Today, another post from guest blogger Gregory Drambour.

A Sedona Vortex Experience
The Day Of The Cougar

A few months ago, it was my honor to guide a very gifted writer on a Sedona Vortex Experience to the Healing Tree Vortex. As we headed down the trail, I felt something behind me. I turned around and saw a little cougar sitting about 30 feet away (clairvoyantly). I thought I would keep walking and see what she did. I felt her following us and so I stopped and let her catch up! I told my client what I was seeing and she was very open to these kind of happenings. The cougar stopped very close to us and sat back on her haunches and looked up at us and cocked her head. She had this beautiful vulnerability about her; her face was full of innocence. She seemed very present. I greeted her and invited her to join our journey. She followed right along with this! It was so amazing.

As we got deeper into the journey I noticed she edged closer to my client, brushing up against her once in a while. I asked the client is she felt and saw the cougar–“Oh yes!” What came up that day for this wonderful client was taking a closer look at some inner child issues. She had forgotten that special little girl that existed inside her, an issue that comes up on manySedona retreats.

We stopped at the Place of The Fairy People, which is just short of the Healing Tree. This is a very special place that always brings instant joy to my heart. There are dozens of little fairies that live under a Grandmother Juniper Tree. The Fairy People immediately tried to make friends with my client. I felt her resisting it and got a clairvoyant-hit that she should shape shift into her little girl. Well, what followed was an enormous breakthrough. You can read about it in her testimonial. I was truly honored to be there to witness it. As we were getting ready to leave, my client turned to me said,

“Where’s the cougar?”

Something suddenly dawned on me! I responded, “The cougar was your little girl!” Emotion overwhelmed me and I felt the tears trying to come. Once again, I was so deeply grateful to do this work. The little girl inside my client knew she was resistant to connect with her, to let her live again. So she shape-shifted into a cougar so she could get close to her adult-self; so she could get her adult-self use to her child-like innocence and openness.

A Ho, Old One, A Ho. Thank you, thank you.