Tlaquepaque and Grand Canyon

Day 12, November 10, 2016
Start: Sedona, Arizona
Destination: Page, Arizona
Total miles for the day: 210 miles
Total miles from day 1 start: 3,300 miles

Tlaquepaque (Sedona)

We checked out the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in the morning. The village was founded by Abe Miller in the 1970s (I read all about this beautiful history in the spa waiting room the day before.) He loved Mexico and traveled there frequently. When Miller arrived in Sedona, he knew this was where his dream of creating an arts community in the spirit of Old Mexico could work. He called it Tlaquepaque after a colorful Mexican city on the outskirts of Guadalajara by the same name. Tlaquepaque is a word from the Nahuatl Native Indian language, the ancient language of the Aztecs meaning the “best of everything.”  Miller and his architect studied the design and materials of Mexico to understand how this community was built and came back to Sedona to create this space. Once word of this development spread, artists began flocking to Sedona.

It’s such a unique and charming community. I instantly fell in love with it! I wanted to spend all day shopping in each store and talking to all these passionate and friendly people/shopkeepers. Over the last few days in the Southwest, I had developed an obsession for the region’s art, specifically the pottery. There was this one piece I saw in Santa Fe made by Judy Lewis, Acoma Pueblo artist and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was this little white clay bowl with two Publoan kids climbing into it and a dog in the middle of it, with little tiny butterflies, blue birds, and ladybugs around it. (Each piece is so unique, I can’t even find a picture of something similar online.) I never ended up buyding it though because it was around $200+ (which in hindsight isn’t so crazy when you realize it’s the only one in the world). When I got to Sedona, we found another gallery with another set of Acoma pottery and they had a collection by Judy Lewis! I ended up buying the traditional Puebloan wedding vase with a new couple and little birds, a lady bug, and a blue bird around the handle. This is definitely my favorite souvenir.

I then spent a ton of money buying Christmas gifts. There is honestly no where else you can find such a vast collection of unique, Southwestern art. I could’ve spent hours here. I really wish we had time. I’ll definitely have to come back. So long Sedona!

Grand Canyon

After lunch at the brewery, we headed to the Grand Canyon! When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we were greeted by two elks drinking water at the public fountain. They weren’t scared of people at all.

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The Grand Canyon really is the perfect name. It’s incredible how this immense valley just keeps going. Apparently, the bottom of the canyon has some of the oldest rocks on the planet. With little time, we stayed at the top of the canyon on the South Rim and watched the rocks change colors as the dessert sun slowly disappeared. As the sun sets, you can see the moon and the stars rise on the other side. There’s a dramatic contrast in the sky as the soft orange light turns into darkness. The amazing things you can see thanks to the never ending, vast space above the canyon.

So, at 6:00p, we drove into the darkness to Page, Arizona (it was so dark driving through the mountain roads around the canyon, it was really scary actually!). I’m so glad we cancelled our campground reservation in Page that night. It would’ve been a pain having to setup camp in the night. It’s just too hard to go camping during a road trip. When you’re done driving at the end of the day, you just want to relax.

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