Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beautiful Sedona

The window in the Las Vegas Motel 6 room was not the kind that opened. I thought it was creepy that one could not open a window and get fresh air. Las Vegas is not the place to go for appreciation of nature, that’s for sure. Well, I need fresh air when I sleep, and I’m certainly not going to breathe the air that has traveled through the unclean filters of the in-room air conditioning system. Anytime I’ve actually turned one on, within moments I can feel the back of my throat protesting.

So I connected the latch on the door, which allows it to be left ajar and yet secure and was able to sleep with access to real air. I’m glad we weren’t in mosquito country.

We took a walk all around the motel grounds first thing in the morning. I was amazed at how different Las Vegas is in the morning compared to the night before. Without all the glitzy flashing lights, it’s really a drab, barren place.

We got in the car and got the heck out of there.

Driving through this arid desert part of the country, there’s no moisture, no shade, very little evidence of life at all,.. when I come across a large region of undeveloped land, I imagine the first people who came here and saw this, and I wonder what made them think, “Hey, we should build a city here!” 

It wasn’t long after leaving Las Vegas that we crossed into Arizona. And almost immediate the terrain changed to look like I was on the set of the Coyote and Road Runner cartoons.
Arizona

We stopped a vista point overlooking Lake Mead (I think). I remember that we had stopped at this same vista point last summer, during a long, excruciating heat wave and the pavement was so blistering hot that we couldn’t enjoy the view without burning River’s feet. This time we got to enjoy it a bit more.

Along the highway, I noticed signs for Gus's Jerky advertising fresh jerky from Buffalo, Elk and Cow. I gave only perfunctory notice to the first one. The second one reminded me of it. The third one made my mouth start watering and by the time I actually approached Gus's Jerky, I had to stop. I got some teriyaki beef jerky and some pickled vegetables and some dried cranberries. Lunch!



We had to get back on the highway and drive for a little while longer before finding a spot that was appropriate enough to pull off and eat. We ended up at a truck stop and sat inside the car to eat as a dust storm raged outside the windows.

We got to Flagstaff and my jaw dropped on the ride from there to Sedona! I felt like I was driving through a painting; like it couldn’t actually be real. People had told me to prepare for some gorgeous scenery, and I had seen pictures, but as usual, pictures don’t actually capture the experience. I think the depth of field is important for appreciating the grand scale of these artistic sculptures. And it was so nice to see green trees mixed in with the pink/orange rock formations.



We arrived at the home of Alba in Sedona. She had contacted me out of the blue a couple of months ago because she was interested in getting Nia started in Sedona and discovered that I was doing this trip and was planning to be nearby in Flagstaff and Phoenix.  We worked together to put together a nice Intro to Nia in Sedona presentation and she also offered to put River and I up for the night.

She took such good care of us. She fed me breakfast, lunch and dinner. Healthy stuff, too, like probiotic sauerkraut, homemade kefir, fresh avocado on delicious bread and an omelette. She explained how she believed that guests in the home were the presence of God and it was an honor to respect and cater to them as divine.
Here we are, making ourselves at home in Sedona
Before heading off to the studio, I put on my contact lenses. And they were taking a long time to settle in. Sometimes, when I put them in, my vision will be blurred while they find their place on my eyeball, but half an hour later, they were still not improving my eyesight, but in fact, making it worse.

When we got to the studio, I visiting the restroom and took them out, inspected them, reinserted them making sure to carefully place them right, but still terrible vision. I mean, I’m not legally blind or anything, but I like to see the expression on the faces of my students, even in the back row, but today I couldn’t even see the first row. 

I couldn’t see the clock and I couldn’t see the words on my iPhone display. I had to ask Siri to play my playlist and Alba had to help me locate certain tracks. And my 15 minute talk to start off the event, ended up being closer to 40 minutes as I got lost in the subject and couldn’t see the clock.

But we did have a great time, once we started moving. I taught a song from Soul (using Native American music), Alba taught a groovy song called Calling and then I taught a rock and roll song. We wanted to demonstrate how much variety there was in Nia, since I was about to present a themed class and didn’t want people leaving the Intro to Nia thinking “Oh, Nia is all about James Bond music.”

To compensate for my over-talking, I removed a few songs from my Goldfinger routine and we were able to end on time. Based on the exciting talk-back after the routine, I’m confident that Sedona will soon have a flourishing Nia class and community.

Such a stark contrast to Las Vegas last night, it gets so dark here. The sky was full of stars. It is such a gorgeous, natural place. I’m grateful to Alba for contacting me, working patiently with me as we formulated our plan, and for being such a generous host and producer. 

She fell in love with the Goldfinger routine, and hired me to teach it to her, so I’m so excited that this routine will find life in the Mountain Time Zone.

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