~ John Legend
|Grand Canyon, Arizona.|
All good things must come to an end, and so did this wondrous summer.
But I sent it out with a bang. Last Wednesday morning, I boarded a Southwest jet, flew to Phoenix, rode the shuttle to my rental car, hopped in "my" Toyota Corolla, and drove to Sedona.
|Bell Rock, Sedona, Arizona|
As first sight of those famous red rock formations, I fell in love. I have always been drawn to the ocean and dreamed of living close to the water. But Sedona has its own special appeal. More than one person I met started out as a visitor there and ended up a permanent resident. I can see why.
A few miles down the road, I found the lovely Arabella Hotel, checked into my room, had a delicious meal at the nearby Elote Cafe, and got a good night's sleep. The next morning, I was greeted by this smiling face.
Tim is one of the dynamic tour guides who works for Grand Venture Tours. He took six other travelers and me on an fast-paced trip to the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, sharing lots of history and local wisdom as we went. I actually took notes, as there are many things I want to learn more about, and it was way too much to remember.
|Sunset Crater National Monument|
|Wapataki National Monument|
|Lunch and shopping at the Cameron Trading Post|
|The Grand Canyon. Pictures don't do it justice.|
All too soon, Tim dropped us off at our hotels. I spent one more night at the Arabella and had another delicious dinner, this one at The Hudson. Then it was time to check out and make way to my final destination, Piano Haven,
|Piano Haven, Sedona, Arizona|
where I spent the next two days recording and editing all the songs that will go on my soon-to-be-released solo piano album, Seashells in My Pocket.
|Shigeru Kawai, the king of pianos|
It was a delightful experience. The piano was amazing, hands-down my all-time favorite, and Joe was kind, patient and encouraging. I can hardly wait to get that finished CD in my hands.
* * *
I arrived back home late Sunday evening, just in time for back-to-school here in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and back to full-time piano teaching for me. But I couldn't have asked more from the summer of 2017. I forged new friendships, checked a few things off my bucket list, and turned some dreams into plans.
The way I see it now, every day is a new adventure.