As a local, I do not go to Uptown Seodna that often. Few locals make the trip into Uptown, unless they are trick-or-treating on Halloween, or watching the St. Patrick's Day parade down Jordan Road. It tends to be crowded and serves as the tourist center for the town. It sits at the northern edge of Sedona, greeting you as you enter town heading south on 89A.
Beginning in Flagstaff 89A starts out with 7 miles of Ponderosa Pine forest. The Coconino National Forest is actually the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. At what seems like the edge of this forest, you suddenly descend downward on switchbacks. The elevation changes about 1,000 ft in a matter of miles. It can be intimidating the first time you go down into Oak Creek Canyon on 89A; intimidating, yet breath taking. The pine forest rises above you, and slowly, the deciduous trees take over. Leaving the Colorado Plateau behind you, Oak Creek Canyon opens its arms wide in greeting.
The scenic drive winds down through the canyon. With so many twists and turns, you might begin to wonder if you will ever get to Sedona. But then, Cathedral Rock can be viewed in the distance, framed on both sides by rocks much closer, and then it's gone. You know you must be close. About a minute later, you come to the edge of civilization; the Sedona City Limits, Uptown Sedona.
Tourists, shops, cafes, psychics, art galleries, jeep tours and trolleys all vie for space in this cramped, scenic and historic part of town. Sometimes, it gets so crowded that traffic backs up into the canyon. With only two lanes to satisfy traffic, the cars can pile up several miles back on holiday weekends.
But on a cool and cloudy Wednesday in September, there is ample room for parking and shopping in Uptown Sedona. Uptown looks like a remnant from the days of the Wild West. The restaurant known as the Cowboy Club used to be one of those old-timey saloons. Many of the buildings here still boast the old architecture from when this town was young. While there are newer additions, much of this area keeps its historic grandeur.
One of the newer-looking areas in Uptown is the Sinagua Plaza. I went to the Sinagua Plaza several weeks ago with my parents when they were in town. We all decided to "play tourist". It had been almost a year since I had shopped in these stores, and I was surprised to see that the chocolate shop had closed. It had been replaced by a store called, "Little Tibet". How fitting, since the Colorado Plateau, which lies to the north, is the second largest plateau in the world only to the Tibetan Plateau.
When I went into this store with my mom, I came across something that I knew had to be a Christmas present. I saw something that shouted "This is my sister-in-law", without question. I've had this gift on my mind ever since then. So to kick off my Christmas Countdown, I went straight to Little Tibet, and bought her this present.
Since Carrick was in school, it was just Lily and me out shopping. I didn't just want to buy the Christmas present and head home. So, we stopped by the Canyon Breeze, an open-air cafeteria, and ordered a plate of french fries to split. We sat on the back patio, dipping fries in ketchup and staring at the Red Rocks.
When we were done, I put her back in the stroller and took a swing through Earthbound Trading Co., adjacent to the cafeteria. I walked in the back entrance and went straight to the clearance tables. There I found a 2 ft. tall purple Christmas tree made out of tinsel. I looked at the price tag: $2.50!!
The sign on the table said that everything on clearance was buy anything and get something of equal or lesser value free! So I also snagged a box of 6 white taper candles for the holidays.
What a way to kick off the Christmas Countdown.
Surprise Christmas gift at Little Tibet- $38.00
Plate of french fries at Canyon Breeze- $6.00
tinsel tree and taper candles at Earthbound Trading Co.-$3.00
Money set aside for New Year's Fun Dollars Giveaway- $10.00
Balance this pay cycle- $32.00