Thursday, October 2, 2008

Idiots in Paradise





Mr. EDNurseasauras and I are vacationing in Sedona. It is beautiful and alien, so not like the East; we are fascinated by the formations and history.
"I could live here", I commented to my husband.
"Yeah, right".

The people are friendly and helpful. That is the people who live here. The assholes are obviously the same everywhere, driving like idiots, cutting people off, and generally happy to be the oblivious center of their own universe.

Mr. EDN and I took a trolley tour on our first day. It was great, our driver pointed out many interesting sights and bits of history. There were several brief stops for photo opportunities and a 15 minute stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built into the rocks. Regardless of any religious affiliation (or lack thereof) it is a pretty inspiring piece of architecture.

Our driver was clear that the trolley would be leaving in 15 minutes. My husband and I, as well as the rest of the group all managed to do our sight-seeing within this time restriction; two people were not.

We sat and waited. The driver did a head count. Counted again. Called the office to make sure that her numbers were correct. Asked passengers at the back of the bus if there had been another couple.

"Yep", I said. "There were. They are late. We were on time, as well as 90% of the group. Let's go".

The driver laughed uncertainly, not sure if I was kidding.
"No, really. We've voted them off the trolley for being tardy. Leave 'em"

"Yeah, she's right", remarked the man in the Red Sox cap at the back. Red Sox Nation is everywhere. "Leave them here to die. We shouldn't be punished for their tardiness"

Most of the passengers laughed and said "Yeah, let's go", and "C'mon, just go".

Pretty funny, actually. The boneheads showed up just as things were getting interesting, oblivious to the glares of my fellow disgruntled trolley-mates and unapologetic. Hey, thanks for coming.
La, la, la.

One night we went to a Chinese restaurant for some food to take back to our condo. There was a fountain adjacent to the restaurant, with a large bronze statue of Neptune. In the midst of this was a little pond with plants and flowers, and a large bronze chair.
As we emerged from the restaurand with our food, although it was poorly lit (no streetlights in Sedona), a man was getting up out of this chair. Another man, with a flowing grey hair and beard and wearing a bathrobe told him "You are in my chair". He had clearly just emerged from said pond. It is important to note that this little oasis was in the midst of group of shops and restaurants. My husband told me he had seen this gentleman earlier in the day walking along the main road. He was wearing the bathrobe at that time as well.

"I believe that man just bathed in that fountain", I observed.

"Let's go before they argue about the chair and it gets ugly", said my husband. The eccentric are everywhere too.

Mr. EDN and I went to the Grand Canyon, just one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights we have ever seen. We had some fun taking pictures of ourselves and using the timer on my camera to get some shots of us both. Mr. EDN is an avid hiker (something I am not) and he got into it, spying the perfect outlook or rock for "the picture". One particularly challenging
shot involved climbing down a fairly steep slope and rock-hopping. For me, with not-so-great knees, it was a challenge.
"This could well be the last photo of me ever taken. Getting here is only the half-way point", I huffed as my loving husband assisted me to our perfect photo spot. "I wonder if the National Park Service will recover my body?"

"You are being dramatic. You did it, and you will get back no problem"

"Okay, fine. Remember, I trust you. And I will haunt you forever if this adventure goes south"

We did get our picture, and it is sensational if I do say so myself. Another brave soul (whose well-dressed wife had remained at the rim) climbed down to join us and was happy to trade photo-taking with us. My husband will talk to anyone, anywhere, and engaged this gentleman in conversation. Turns out we would have been neighbors in our former Massachusetts home as he lives not far from where we lived. Very small world indeed.

On our walking tour along the Grand Canyon rim the idiots continued to mass, their individual orbits colliding with others. One guy on a motorcycle rode along the pedestrian path. On the motorcycle. Where there were kids and elderly people off tour busses by the hundreds. Where's the NPS police when you need them? Speaking of tour busses, many of these people seemed unaware that there were other people trying to walk. On the right side of the path. Hello? This is America, please follow the rules of the road where we drive and walk on the right.

I asked my husband to shoot me if I ever expressed an interest in:

1. wearing a fanny pack

2. using a walker with wheels that could fit a dune buggy.
3. any kind of group bus tour to anywhere.

4. wearing a scarf in 100 degree heat. Sheesh.

We met some lovely people, such as the couple from Scotland who fostered crack babies and other poor substance abuse victims. The were fun people. I was happy to see that the wife's view of the idiocy of the world was much the same as my own. Then there was Barbara, a retired high school teacher who traveled on her own, comfortable with her choices and happy to meet people along the way. She wound up in our rail car because hers was crowded with families who let their unruly children run up and down the aisles, spoiling the experience for others. I love kids, but I just wish that their parents would take responsibility for them.

"Welcome to the adult car", I said. "I saw a sign somewhere that said unattended children will be given an espresso and a puppy. That's almost as good as the guy on the Disney train that said unruly children would be tied up, taken to Small World and made to sing until they are 15". We had a good laugh over that one, and the Scots couple, Barbara and my husband and I became fast friends for the duration of the trip.

Yet, even the idiots couldn't dampen our enthusiasm and we had a truly great time. All vacations must come to an end and I will shortly be back in the real world. Sigh.

This was a great vacation.