TRAVEL THERE: ARTSY FARTSY MORNING
So, I admit I love shopping, but what I love best is buying bargain clothes and shoes. My favorite price is $9.99. It’s like a game with me to find gorgeous things that the stores want to give away at ridiculous prices. There are only a few people I buy for when I am traveling and while I enjoy that, I don’t usually hang out in retail establishments.
Bill is a lot more likely to shop on vacation. He loves consignment stores and will wander around a shopping mall just to see the architecture. Since we’re not going to buy anything, I sort of see it as a waste of time, but I accommodate his desires.
When we are in Sedona that all changes. We both love Tlaquepaque with a passion. We can’t afford most of it, but we want all of it. Come along with us.
What’s Not to Love?
So, to begin with, Tlaquepaque is in Sedona. We pretty much love everything in Sedona. Even when we have a pizza and think the crust was way too thin, we enjoy it and look back on it fondly. Maybe there is something to that whole vortex thing.
Next up, Tlaquepaque is visually appealing. You do not have to enter a single store to enjoy it. Wandering among the archways and courtyards, listening to the splashing fountains, smelling the delicious food cooking, people watching…it’s all good. The architecture is part Spanish colonial, part southwest – tile roofs, black rod iron ornamentation, brick walkways, desert foliage…all the stuff we like – all gorgeous.
But what’s more, the shopping in fun. It is perfectly OK to wander around for hours, stopping into shops, some multiple times and not buy a single thing. Maybe they’re lonely. Maybe they’re just nice. Whatever it is, everyone is thrilled to see you. They greet you and chat you up. They do not hover over you as if you are about to steal the whole store or try to sell you everything you linger at. They want your opinion on the goods they are unpacking or will ask you if a particular wall is a good place to hang something. They will let you try on every ring in the case without huffing or puffing and won’t be the merchandise monitor limiting you to one item at a time. Here – try them both on, go show your husband, step out in the courtyard to see it in the light.
Some of the stores are also studios, so you can watch someone do whatever they do. Or there’s a partially finished something that allows you to see how they arrive at finished products. You smell clay and leather and paints. You’re just as likely to smell magnolia blossom essential oil, patchouli perfume or burning incense.
How It Went This Time
Bill made friend in one of the first shops we entered. He didn’t so much love the merchandise as he discovered the proprietor goes to Egypt every year – so Bill being Egyptian, they had a lot to talk about. So much so that I had time to discover the bargain of the day – a pair of blue topaz earrings set in silver – but it was that blue topaz that is visually interchangeable with aquamarines, which are my birthstone. They were quite a bit more than my $9.99 price, but a steam nonetheless. So much so, that Bill bought them for me!
Then we wandered – for hours. We barely scratched the surface. We strolled without any particular pattern. We had a marvelous time enjoying all the things I just described to you above. About halfway through, I found a cute shop with unique hand-blown wine stoppers – not cheap, but reasonable. I’d found the gifts I wanted to buy.
The weather was a little gray and a little nippy, so it didn’t beg us to linger outside or take photos. Sorry about that. Bill did fall in love with these pieces in one of the galleries, but they didn’t come home with us.
We could have gone on for hours more, but we had a plane to catch. El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano was wafting amazing aromas into the courtyards. We followed our noses and had an amazing meal before heading out to the airport.
The drive back to Phoenix was without incident. We returned our rental car with ease and the shuttle bus delivered us to our terminal without a hassle. The Southwest plane was on time and the flight was fine. Our car was right where we left it and we got home with no trouble. See we can go on a trip without a single hassle.
What’s next? Right this minute I don’t know. It’s July as I blog about this February trip and our lives are dominated by the pandemic. I tried to plan another trip out west during December, but there are so many unknowns right now that I finally gave up. Stay tuned, though. You know I won’t be able to stay home!!