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My memorable birthday at the Red Rock County, Sedona!

At an elevation of 4500 feet, in the midst of red rocks, canyons and creeks, Sedona was my 29th Birthday present. Personally I love growing older and the blessing of living in this beautiful world year after year gives me immense joy of its own. I am so so excited to enter into the 30th year of my life and I will strive my best to make my existence worthwhile.

We landed at Phoenix airport and made our way up the deserted mountains towards Sedona. About 2 hours away with a drive of giant cacti on both sides, we reached the red rock county at lunch time. Restaurant Hudson was a perfect lunch spot with magnificent views. The glass doors there opened to the view of huge red rocks. It all painted a beautiful picture of how delightful Sedona was going to be. After enjoying corn chowder soup and beet salad at the Hudson for lunch, we stepped into the art and crafts village of Tlaquepaque.

Tlaquepaque is an excellent outdoor traditional Mexican style market featuring art galleries, craft shops, cobblestone paths and decorative arches. We spotted a beautiful bohemian style chai spot where we enjoyed the hot chai listening to the tunes of bollywood music at their rooftop. After exploring a few shell shops and painting galleries, we reached to the corner where Santa arrived for Christmas celebrations. The joy of Holiday season was in the air and the carols sounded lovely.  We slowly made our way to check in to our hotel although I did not want to leave that market at all.

We stayed at the Poco Diablo resort on our first night in Sedona. Our room overlooked a huge golf course with a backdrop of the mountains. While the sun was setting, we enjoyed sipping hot green teas at our backyard of the room. After a good night sleep we were all set to hike and explore the West Fork trail. Sandy trail with 13 creek crossings of the West Fork Oak Creek and canyons all around made our hike both challenging and fun at the same time.

The most awaited part of our trip was our stay at the Enchantment resort on my birthday night which is one of the most finest resorts in Sedona. Standing up to my expectations, Enchantment resort was a very delightful sight to the eyes. With deers and javelinas frockling around the resort property, our golf cart ride to our red mud casitas was just spot on. The resort in sorrounded by Boynton Canyon and is world famous for its Miiamo spa facilities.

Through the back door of the spa facilities, we hiked to the top of Kachina Woman Vortex which is believed to radiate positive energy. The vortex found in Sedona are rare and signify the balance of masculine and feminine energy. There was a flute musician who played very soothing music on the top of the vortex. He also handed us heart shaped carved rocks and gave us his blessings. I still remember his message about how unconditional love can overcome negative energy in all forms. After resting for a while on the top , we made our way back to the resort facilities. I also vividly remember the lovely stars as it grew darker and colder. I enjoyed gazing at them during our golf cart ride for dinner.

Next morning was my 29th birthday and I couldn’t have asked for it to be more beautiful than this. As the sun shined, I practiced my first sun salutation and thanked mother nature for her blessings in all forms. We then hopped on to our golf cart to take a tour of the property and enjoy breakfast in the main lobby of the resort. Relaxing in the hot tub, eucalyptus steam room and sauna of the Miiamo spa was such a lovely experience.

My 29th birthday was like a dream come true I couldn’t have asked for more beautiful birthday. What has been your favourite Birthday so far. Do share, I would love to read!

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My Birthday in the tropical forest, Key Largo!

I always tend to find reasons to travel and my birthday was just a perfect reason for another travel adventure. Starting this year I have decided to travel to a new destination every year on my birthday and make some extraordinary memories every year. This time I spent my 27th Birthday in Key Largo, one of the islands in Florida. It is also called the diving capital of the world because of it numerous diving sites in the Atlantic Ocean.

To name a few, Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and Key West are a string of islands that stretch across Southern Florida also called the Florida Keys. After visiting Key West last year, I really wanted to explore the other islands and picked Key Largo since it was just a couple of hours from Miami. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo is very famous among divers for its shallow coral reefs which makes excellent snorkeling location. So we were really excited to take a snorkeling trip there. We were lucky that our guide decided to take us to the Christ of the abyss location for snorkeling. The bronze statue of Jesus Christ stands underwater and makes one of the favorite spots for snorkeling.

After spending the day snorkeling in the ocean, we then headed to our resort, which to my surprise this was by far the best place I have ever stayed during my travels. We stayed at Hilton Key Largo resort which had its own private hammock beach and huge tropical forest. Our room overlooked the forest area I enjoyed every moment of our stay at this resort. I celebrated my outdoor birthday dinner with live music at one of the local restaurants and it was like a dream come true to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather in the month of December. Now that is why Florida is one of my all time favorite destinations to travel. What’s yours?