ButÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a Dry Heat!
I know what you are thinking. I thought the same thing. Who in their right mind would volunteer to go to the desert in the middle of AugustÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and pay for the privilege too? A group of 18 of us joining in with a gang of new friends on an Adventure by Disney.. thats who!
Even though I was basically in my own time zone (finally! More on that laterÃ¢â‚¬Â¦) I flew into the 112 degree heat in Phoenix the day prior to the actual start of the adventure. Friends Ann & George Freeman decided to say at the Residence In By Marriott as well and we enjoyed an hour or so together catching up at the complimentary managers dinner before returning to my room which had a full kitchen, sitting area, and yesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ free Wi-Fi internet access! The next morning we made our way back to the airport to meet our guides and the rest of the gang. I tagged along as Ann & George returned their rental car to the airport and we found part of the gang near baggage claim. At 1:30 we had the entire group together and met our adventure guides, Mike & Tiffany. They took our luggage and we loaded on the bus.
Picture 1: Deb, Linda, Ronia, Wanda
It would be about an hour and half drive to the first of three hotels and we were entertained by a couple of activities including a game and some great facts about the area and its residents both past and present. On the way we stopped for a visited to Montezuma Castle. A 5 story , 20 room dwelling built in the 1100s (CE) into the cliff side by the Sinagua farmers.
Picture 2: Mouse Fan Team & Clients
During our visit we also experienced our first taste of what the monsoon season can mean to a gang of tourists getting caught in a desert downpour. But the guides were ready with ponchos and good advice to get us out of the open area when lighting came a little close. We retuned to the visitors center and just as fast as the huge water droplets pummeled us, the clouds were gone and the pavement dry Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so we continued on.
It was on the way back to the bus that we encountered our first Ã¢â‚¬Å“desert hidden mickey!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Picture 3: Hidden Desert Mickey!
Back on the bus on on the way to Sedona and our first hotel Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Amara Resort & Spa. When we arrived we were handed keys and given a meet time for dinner. I opened the door to my very comfy room and found a nice welcome bag oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ goodies on the bed.
Picture 4: The Amara Resort and Spa
We met at 6 pm for a welcome dinner and live entertainment. But the highlight of the evening was making new friends. Not just the ones with 2 legsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ but one without any and another one with several more!!
Michelle, Anne, George and I both got up close and personal with a resident snake (I hope someone has a pic of me with my new friendÃ¢â‚¬Â¦) and Deb conquered a fear herself.
Picture 5: MichelleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new friend
Picture 6: Ann & Gorge make a friend
Picture 7: DebÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s friend has more legs
Tomorrow Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Hills of Sedona!