Friday, June 16, 2006

Greetings from Arizona!

Hi everyone. I hope you are having a good summer vacation.

This week, my friend Kristin asked me if I wanted to take a break from my summer vacation to travel with her to Arizona. Of course I said YES right away!

Kristin told me she and several of the people she works with that I haven't met are going to be in a place called Sedona, Arizona attending a conference. See if you can find Sedona on the map.

I always have great adventures with Kristin and so far, I have not been disappointed.

Kristin was supposed to fly from Cedar Rapids to Chicago yesterday. But, while she was driving to Cedar Rapids she got a message on her cell phone that our flight was cancelled. Oh NO! Kristin immediately called United and before I realized what was going on, Kristin turned her car around and started driving to Moline. I guess Kristin was able to get us a seat on a flight from Moline to Chicago but she had to hurry to make it on time. I'm so glad Kristin is a good driver!

Once we got to the airport, Kristin saw her friend Matt. Matt works with Kristin at the Stanley Foundation and is one of the people going to Arizona. Guess what? He was on out flight too! Here you can see me watching the workers get our plane ready in Moline.

Once we got on the plane to Chicago, the rest of the trip to Arizona went smoothly. We actually landed at the airport in Phoenix. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona. See if you can find it on the map.

Once we landed in Phoenix, Kristin and Matt found another one of their friends from work. His name is Jeff. Kristin says he is one of the "big bosses" at the Stanley Foundation. I think that means he is really important.

I thought we were going to take a cab to get to Sedona but it turns out that Sedona is more than TWO hours away from Phoenix. So Kristin said we were going to have a special ride to Sedona. It sure was special! It was the biggest truck I have ever seen!

Kristin says this truck is a very large limousine or limo. I say it is AWESOME! And if you think the outside is should have seen the inside! It has a HUGE of the largest couches I have ever seen! There was also a few small televisions and a refrigerator in the floor that was filled with cold drinks. How cool is that!!! Here you can see me sitting on the couch.

I have never been to Arizona so I didn't know what it would be like. Guess what? It is mostly desert just like Egypt, Qatar and Dubai. I had no idea!

It was cool to see the desert as our limo drove us toward Sedona. At first the land was very flat. But then I started to see mountains like the ones I saw in Luxor. In fact, at one point I thought I was in Egypt. The view from the car looked very similar to the Valley of the Kings with one small exception. The sand was covered with lots of twig-like green bushes.

Just before we got off the big highway to head toward Sedona, the mountains started to look like someone took a paintbrush to them. Instead of being just sand colored, there are BIG lines of red and gold. It is really neat! Kristin called the mountains "red rocks." She says the red color is the result of thousands of years of wind and water hitting the mountains. Who knew?

When we finally made it to the hotel, more people that work with Kristin at the Stanley Foundation met us in the lobby. Once Kristin had her room keys, one of the hotel workers loaded her bags onto a super-sized golf cart (it had THREE rows of seats) and took us to her room. I got to ride in the second row with Kristin. I really liked the golf cart. There are many here at the place we are staying so I bet I get to ride in one again before I leave.

We are staying at a place called Enchantment Resort. All of the rooms are in buildings that look like small houses that look sort of like sand castles. They are painted the same color as the rocks near the resort. Kristin's room has a living room area, two TVs, and a really cool deck. Here you can see me sitting outside on the deck. Check out the cool rocks behind me.

Kristin tells me she will be in meetings most of the time while I am here. I think she is worried I will be bored. But, this resort is huge. There are lots of trails to walk on and there are NINE swimming pools. They even have a camp for kids like me during the day. So I think I will spend some time outside on the deck and at the pool with other kids who are staying here. There will be plenty to keep me busy while Kristin is working.

Until next time....