First and foremost, do not travel anywhere without booking a hotel – period.
Now that I’ve emphasized that, I have to tell you that Sedona, Arizona is a highly sought after destination for everyone around the world. I heard people speaking Korean, Japanese, and heard a few Aussie and Kiwi accents throughout the day yesterday.
This is the ultimate travel destination for those crazy enthusiasts who love hiking/trekking and even the uber rock climbers. The paved “pinkish” sidewalks, the rocks that match them, the red rocks looking over the town, the unbelievable smiles and super delicious food (not even mentioning the best weather I’ve been in the last four years) all makes for an unforgettable trip.
There are bars and places placed conveniently throughout Sedona and these places have the most delicious cuisine that’s perfectly seasoned, wonderful drinks that aren’t oversaturated with alcohol, and wonderful service (for the most part) that you can’t get anywhere else. Sedona Hotel, which we stayed at by a narrow margin (worse case was the Holiday Inn which was a staggering $229 USD a night), was right in the epicenter of it all. This place was $150 bucks walking-in and had a heater in the restroom (speaking a restroom, don’t say “toilet” to Americans…they’ll think you’re crazy), gorgeous flat-screen TV, and ultra-comfomty beds.
Folks standing by waiting to get their picture taken from someone across the gorge.
This is a trail a highly recommend for everyone. What’s really convenient about this trail is you can take a buggie, ATV, or any type of quad (some of them looking like the ones in the first Jurassic Park movie), through the dirt road instead of walking. The trail itself takes about 20 minutes to go up and another 20 back down. For those of you who have bad knees, I wouldn’t recommend it because the last 10 minutes is a bit steep and involves high-stepping galore.
Anyways, the views are unbelievably spectacular. The people who actually go up it are openly friendly. I, and a few other people, initiated conversations so easily. The kids of parents were blown away and in awe when they got to the top. It was a feely of pure serenity….especially hearing the wind blow through the trees that were a bit higher up (wish I had gone up more).
The Ugly – Beware of Information Centers
So, my friend and I walked into an ex-KFC place that had a bunch of travel brochures and things to do. There were two representatives there and I asked one about places to hike. He went from talking about places to hike, to talking about helicopter rides while throwing in odd questions throughout the conversation which my friend and I didn’t pick up so easily. He said he was willing to offer a place to stay for $40 dollars a night, plus a helicopter ticket for $100 dollars (although it’s unknown if it was total or per person). We needed to use a credit card instead of debit red flag and always remember that. He asked us about what we did for work yellow flag, and salaries per year red flag. We had to sign a contract whereas we had to deposit $220 dollars orange flag for a “gift” purchase. Um……what’s the f’ing gift?
“Ask for the DVD when you get to the resort.”
Ummm…..why? Orange flag.
The helicopter ride was in the evening barely can see the mountains = a dumb flag, and we had to do a 1.5 hour tour of a timeshare the next day biggest red flag ever. So, there were hidden fees just about everywhere, people. It was suppose to be a total of $360, but he never said it with his own words. The figures just weren’t adding up. After thoroughly looking through the “contract” (after my friend’s card denied the entire transaction which was a gift), there was an additional $100 gift. So that would’ve amounted to a staggering $320 deposit (with $100 of it non-refundable) and he never said “this is $140 total”….therefore, my bet was it was $140 per person.
The entire cost would’ve been $600 dollars (although he said $360 dollars initially).
This is the ugly nature of going into tourist spots. In Thailand, you have to ask for the price before you get on a moped taxi, tuk-tuk (three wheel trolley essentially), and a few other things. If they give an outrageous price, don’t haggle him. Simply walk away because what they’ll do is drop the price before asking for the original price again when you’re on it. These things happens quite often in Thailand because there’s no regulation or laws.
Conversely, seeing it happen in my own neck of the woods is disheartening and seeing how places like this still operate is quite unacceptable. So, I wanted to warn everyone. A place that has these things on the window are no-go grounds.
If it’s a small shop and doesn’t say anything on the window, boom! If it’s a place that says “clean restrooms,” that’s the niche for luring in people. I EXPECT YOU TO HAVE CLEAN RESTROOMS! Duh!
To close this timeshare out, I heard the women next to us get very adamant and say, “no, I’m going to stop you right there. We don’t want this and we’re going to walk out.” They stayed to pay cash for a dirt bike ride. When I heard that, I knew something was bad.
So that’s the rundown, people. Beware of scam artists and companies like this because once you’re in and sign a contract, the damage is done and the months long process and angry phone calls with your credit card companies will ensue.
Nonetheless, this was a magnificent trip. LOL
Honorable Mention – Bose
Bose in America has the best customer service on the planet. My earmuffs were having some wear n’ tear, and while I was falling asleep, my friend said, “is that the place where Bose is?” I quickly woke up and saw that there was a Bose store and had her make a U-Turn immediately. I walked in and told showed them my headphones. He said, “you can pop them right off and put new ones on for $35 dollars!” I didn’t have a warranty, but he simply fixed my earmuffs in less than 3 minutes and I went on with my day. This saved me a massive $350 for some new ones. BOOM!
Podcast if you want to hear more about what happened during the trip:)