Art and I bought a timeshare week at the Arroyo Roble Resort in Sedona in 2006. We already had a timeshare at Whistler, British Columbia, and we weren't going to use it one year, so we traded it for a week in Sedona. We had such a fine time there that we bought a week. If you buy in the after-market (an owner no longer wants their unit and offers it for sale) you can get much better prices.
We like Arroyo Roble because it's not part of a chain, it's well maintained and well staffed. From our base on Oak Creek, we can explore the surrounding areas in this part of the state: Native American ruins, mining towns, even the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly.
When we first bought our week, Art and I were both still working, and we used our Sedona timeshare in the winter, to get away from dark and gloomy Seattle. Each January or February you can combine your weeks from the prior year and the current one, so we'd come for two weeks every other year.
We did a lot of hiking in those first years. In a two-week period we'd take probably half a dozen hikes. There are over a hundred well-documented hikes, so we pretty much knew what we'd be getting into when we started off.
Sometimes we'd invite friends to join us. One year an old college roommate of mine, Ann and her husband, Larry - they live in Toronto but spend several months in the winter at the Voyager RV Resort in Tucson - came up for a few days. Ann suggested that we stop by at the Voyager for a couple of hours before our flight home. We did. We were delighted with the place and spent two months there the next winter in a park model we rented, then bought a year later. We're currently in our eighth season at Voyager, spending more and more time there each year.
Once we began spending our winter time in Tucson, we didn't need the gloomy weather break, so we reserved only one winter week and invited our adult children to join us for a few days. A different combination of kids turned up each year: Laura has been here four times, Melissa three, Peter three, Greg one and, this year, Jason and his family came down. Seems like once they come to Sedona, they want to come back. This year we reserved two units for four days each, and there are nine of us. Laura arrived on Thursday and left on Sunday; Jason and his wife and son arrived on Friday and left on Monday; Melissa, Peter and his girlfriend arrived on Saturday and leave on Tuesday.
|Art and Laura at dinner|
During these times in Sedona with family, everyone has their own schedule during the day and we meet up for dinner. That gives the more adventuresome ones time to do challenging hikes or Jeep tours or mountain biking, while others relax, swim or spend time in the hot tub or sauna or browsing the many shops in town. Art and I are less active these days, so we get to sleep extra long and read in the quiet and enjoy the family when they arrive home from their outings. And maybe take a short hike.
It's a generational thing. We see ourselves in our offspring as they are still active explorers. There were many years when we paid for meals, and now they are picking up the checks. They are renting their own cars and buying their own plane tickets. It feels good to be passing the torch of responsibility and expenses to them. But it's bittersweet as well, as we look back and remember it was us doing that a decade or so ago.
As it should be.