On Wednesday, Nov 23, we headed back to Uptown Sedona for a little shopping. Lots of interesting shops and we each bought the required Sedona labeled T-shirts. We had lunch at a restaurant specializing in wood fired Pizza and it was excellent, although, as most things in this town, a bit pricey.
While we were sitting there a family of about 7 walked in and was seated next to us. As they were perusing the menu they saw a notice written at the bottom of the menu. For parties of 5 or more a 20% gratuity will be automatically be added to the bill. The father asked the waitress if this could be waived explaining his understanding of tipping was to reward the staff for good food and service and not something to be automatically added to the bill. The waitress explained that it was the policy of the restaurant and it could not be waived. He asked to see the Manager and got the same response. She also told him that this same policy was applied at all the restaurants in town. A bit of collusion me thinks. Anyway he promptly packed up his family and headed out without ordering.
When we got our bill I noticed a suggested range of tips starting at 15% and going up to 25%. A tip of 25%, what the hell! I have never been much of a proponent for tipping as I worked in an industry where tipping was not even allowed. I do however understand that in the service industry salaries are usually paltry, although banking is not known for overpaying its staff either, thus the incentive to provide excellent service so as to receive a gratuity. Used to be 10%, then it was 12-15%, now its not unusual to see "recommended" gratuities of 20%. I understand inflation and all that and servers can't live on what they used to so they need a little more money. After all those iPhones are getting very expensive you know.
My problem is that the cost of a meal in a restaurant has increased significantly in the past few years so a 15% tips results in more cash in the servers jeans simply because it is based on a larger bill. I see little incentive to increase the percentage on top of an already increased bill.
Anyway, I added 12% on to the bill and left with no sense of guilt that my wait staff might not be able to afford a new iPhone 7 costing a grand, especially since I am making do with a 5 and Lori has a 4S. I better quit this rant now or I will start telling you about how far I had to walk to school, uphill both ways in a blinding snow storm. A story for another day perhaps.
We got up on Sunday to heavy rain with temps just above freezing so decided that it was time for another movie day. This time it was Dr Strange which was another predictable superhero movie although enjoyable if for no other reason than for its special effects. The computer generated special effects, as is the case in most of these movies, were fantastic. Really brings the comic book to life. We have come a long way since the original Dr Who or Lost in Space TV shows.
On Monday, Nov 28 we went on the Boynton Canyon Hike. Its rated as a moderate hike of about 2.5 miles with a 400 ft elevation gain, pretty much all of that gain right at the end. The day was pretty cool but it started out in the sunshine which made for a pleasant walk. As we climbed the canyon wall we started to remove our layers. Soon we were descending to the canyon floor and were surrounded by tall pine trees which totally blocked out the sun. The temperature started to plunge and we had to stop again to layer up as it felt like frostbite was a real possibility. The last few hundred yards was basically a climb up the end of the canyon to a ledge about half way up. A nice spot to stop for a rest and lunch. We met another couple from Santa Barbara and shared a rock with them as our table and had a lovely conversation. All that was missing was a bottle of wine.
At the beginning of the hike we took a little side trip up to a lookout which was supposed to be home to a Vortex. When we got to the top we met a rather interesting fellow. He approached us and handed us a couple of heart shaped rocks and wished love and peace. At the outset I was sure we were going to get a religious pitch or worse, another Time Share presentation. Turns out he was a left over hippie in search of the vortex and simply wishing people a great day along with his gift of a heart shaped rock. We saw him a little later sitting on top of one of the peaks playing a flute. A little strange perhaps but sure beats meeting up with those gun toting wackos that get all the press these days.
|On the left the start of the trail.|
|Pointleaf Manzanita, we think. Has the most interesting bark. |
Part of it looks old, grey and weathered.
But other parts of the bark are red and very smooth.
Almost like someone sanded it and applied a varnish finish.
|Looked like this one was ready to fall over so Charli and |
I held it in place till Lori passed by.
|So many colours in the rock.|
One more hike and then its packing up and a drive to warmer weather.