Last Day in AZ

Our time I Arizona is quickly coming to an end.

Tina and I took a yoga class at the Sedona resort before leaving town. We came back to Scottsdale and Tina did some shopping and we had lunch. We have unloaded our rental car and are currently lounging at a nice resort hotel before ubering to our hotel near the airport.

It has been a fun trip from beginning to end.

An observation is that businesses, municipalities and states have found ways to tack on fees and taxes to every transaction with an insatiable lust. Gouging the visitor is OK because you don’t have to answer to a voter. It’s ok but it seems unbecoming.

A Day on Sedona

Hiking is the big thing in Sedona. And, it is a beautiful place to hike. First, we hiked up a short canyon, Fay Canyon.

The scenery and the weather are delightful

We then went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. After visiting the chapel we hiked the Chapel Trail.

Evidently Sedona is a New Age kind of place. There are a lot of places that sell crystals and give spiritual readings. I heard people talking about a spiritual vortex. Being a committed Calvinist, I believe they may have been experiencing the result of a questionable choice at a Mexican Restaurant.

On Our Own

We started our first day on our own with a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. It is truly an amazing place. Unfortunately, we had a marginal tour guide. We learned more about her than we did about Wright.

Taliesin is a beautiful place in a beautiful setting.


Unlike Falling Water, you can actually set in the Wright designed chairs. This will likely change soon.

I noticed an Indian basket on a shelf that is identical to one we have from my mother’s collection. We use it as a place to dump mail.

Frank doesn’t dump mail in his

After leaving Scottsdale we spent the evening with my cousin in Buckeye. Seeing Pat was great, I had not seen her in years. We had dinner at one golf club and breakfast at another.

In the morning we traveled to Sedona. First impressions were pretty negative. Anticipating rugged unspoiled beauty, we found ourselves in a typical tourist trap. My tourist trap barometer is fudge shops. It reminded me of going to Lake George, NY in the summer.

After a great lunch at a really nice Mexican Restaurant, a short hike in the foothills and finding our hotel much nicer than anticipated, I am dialing back my negative thoughts.

The landscape is beautiful.

The thing that has amazed me most on our first day in Sedona is the dog menu at the restaurant we went to for dinner, incredible. If I go again I want to order from the doggie menu. However, my shrimp and grits were great.

Is steak tartar for a dog decadent?

I believe my impression of Sedona is changing.

Second Day

This, as well, will be a short post. Completed the second day. Long and intense but, very enlightening as to the fundamental investment process. Greg, our coach, is on his way to Atlanta to meet his family. Tina and I are going to crash. One photo.

Unfortunately this photo does not capture the reproduction of the Bernini David.

This one is in bronze where the original is marble. I was taken by the difference between this and the Michelangelo David. This guy is really mad.

First Seminar Day

The central purpose of our visit to Arizona is to attend a seminar at an organization called Matson Money. The goal is to align our financial goals with our life goals. The first day has been phenomenal. Although a lot of work. Don’t really have a lot to pass on now as Tina and I have a bunch of homework to do before an early start tomorrow. However, a couple photos:

Tina with Rob Lowe who is also attending.

Me with our coach for the seminar, Greg. We are truly blessed to have him.

We’re Off

Uber was at our house as scheduled. Typical for Bill we are early at the airport. This was partly due to a really fast Uber driver.

We really are not as frightened as we look. This is the same backdrop that Bob Baker and I used when we went to Ireland. Could become a tradition.

Made to Scottsdale and to the hotel (marginal hotel, sometimes booking on line has its limitations). 64 degrees F seems like a nice spring day in New England but probably cold to the natives. Looking forward to the seminar with Greg H, touring Taliesin West, seeing cousin Pat and hiking in Sedona.

Met up with Greg for dinner in Old Town Scottsdale. Went to a great BBQ place then walked around Old Town.

Thoughtful Moment

Recently we learned that our long term neighbor had passed away. She was one of the originals in the neighborhood. She was widowed by the time we moved in. She was a retired kindergarten teacher, a dosen’t at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, an avid world traveler and active with her church, Church of Christ Scientist. She was physically active and still drove her red Volvo. She was an avid reader and continually expanded her knowledge.

She was one of the most beloved individuals I have known. Whenever Tina and I took her someplace there would be someone recognizing her fondly, usually from the time she was a teacher. One time Tina and I took her to see Jim perform in a school play. A couple from Chicago were thrilled to see her as she was their son’s teacher from some twenty years earlier. This was a common occurrence.

She passed in a Church of Christ Scientist facility in Boston. A friend who had seen her hours before she passed said that she had no clue that she was near the end. She was cheerful, alert and sharp as ever. When I heard that she had passed, I came very close to making a judgement regarding her eschewing modern medicine due to her faith. How could I considering the long and active life she lived. Did I say how old she was? No, and neither would she. However, I do have a clue. Several years ago we celebrated another neighbor’s 90th birthday. She was several years older than he. She was a very private person in many ways and would not discuss her faith or private life. Because she was so private, I am not using her name in this blog.

One cannot be a neighbor for so long and not have an issue. She and I had an issue with a tree on her property that leaned over my house. She was famous for not wanting to take down trees. The dialogue went on for years. Our tree guy would say that the tree should come down. Her tree guy would say that it was OK. Other neighbors (not prompted by me) would point out the dead tree. I finally named the tree “Elvis”. When she asked why, I said that it was deader than Elvis Presley. She finally hired an arborist to take the tree down. Their equipment broke down as they started. She had the tree successfully removed a couple years later. It never fell on my house.

I will from time to time pray for those in my life that have passed. Remembering Psalm 23, I will hope that they dwell in the house of the Lord. 23 is meaningful to me because it is inscribed on the back of my parents stone in Washington. In her case the preceding lines also apply. Surely goodness and mercy followed her all the days of her life and she dwells in the house of the Lord forever.

Off to Arizona

We will be leaving in the morning for Arizona. A flurry of packing and last minute details that seem so much greater in significance than they really are.

To Uber or not to Uber, that is the question. To Uber gets the nod. I just hope there is one in the morning. We may reserve one.

Bills rule for packing: don’t worry if you forget something, that’s what credit cards are for.


Tina and I have planned a trip to Arizona. We will be spending a few days in Scottsdale at a seminar. We are planning to visit my cousin Pat then travel to Sedona for a couple days. A short trip but it should be a good break from the cold of New England. However, the weather has been unseasonably warm.