Sunday, May 27, 2012

Addendum

Found some photos I forgot from earlier.
 Williams AZ
The new bridge over the Hoover Dam - or the canyon there I guess I should say

 All these flower photos are from the Conservatory at the Bellagio - it was free! Anything else you wanted to do in LV was usually always $19.95.....just like everywhere you went they wanted to take photos and sell you a package for $35...






 Not a very good photo - those are all glass flowers! Arent they beautiful! Well, they would be if I had taken a better photo!
 I am sure in the middle of summer this would be a very nice place to visit!
Had to include this because of the story behind it...not of Penn & Teller either. Our last visit we stayed at the Luxor and I heard that the Righteous Brothers - whom  I really really really wanted to see cause I had loved them forever (long before they became popular again after that movie with Patrick Swazey and Demi Moore) was playing at the Rio. Did I get to see them???? NOPE .... after all, the Rio was TOO FAR from the Luxor to go to.....and a couple weeks later one of the duo died.....so my life is full of nevers:
1. never got to see Elvis
2. never got to see
3. this time didnt get to the Cosmopolitan
4. didnt get to go see the Pawn Stars store
I know, I know, stop crying for me....

Day #8

And so, alas, our vacation is coming to an end and we are leaving Las Vegas. Sigh......I dont like LV.....too many people, too much constant noise, and way too mjuch cigarette smoke everywhere.....
 Look - we got to go see  Greyhound racing!!! (C'mon, by now you should be use to my sense of humor!)
 So long story short, hubby went to this place as a young boy and LOVED it. On our last trip to the Grand Canyon we just HAD to stop here.....can you spell d-i-s-a-p-p-o-i-n-t-e-d! He still can not get over how disappointing it was - and altho I asked him several times if he wanted to stop this time (hee hee hee) of course he said no.
 I guess someone is mad at Rockstar?
 Do you think they forgot to tell NV that Mervyns went bankrupt and closed?
 We thought it was windy on our way to LV - ha! It was crazy windy all the way home. We stopped in Barstow to use the facilities and top off our gas - and then 5 hours + later we arrived home without another stop! Snacked on the rest of the salami, cheese, and crackers, and drank our water.....
 Warnings about dust storms, but this was about as bad as it got - this was in CA... and a little later we were rained on several times briefly.
 Fitting end to a southwest adventure....tumblin' tumbleweeds....
 Close to home - looking out towards ... hmmm... not sure where, Patterson area??? Multiple dirt devils....
Just because I like this photo.

So got home before 5 PM and headed out to dinner. Wanted Mexican food so bad but no parking - and hubby tired, hungry and cranky. Went to Strings which took way too long cause they really messed up our order. But food revitilized us enough that we could stay awake until late enough to go to bed - and caught up on some programs we missed!

Would I like to go back to Sedona? Yes, sometime in the future I would like to  go back and go to some of the parks we missed - we heard that Slide Park or Rocks or whatever is great. Next time we will plan far enough in advance to say at the Grand Canyon too. And of course my deal would be to skip LV altogther but I think I will have to compromise on that once again.

Got all our double wrapped stuff unwrapped and put back. Trip to the grocery store and farmer's market restocked our larder. Hard to get use to how quiet the house is, especially at night. Hugged and patted some cute puppies and nice gentle dog at the TVAR place at the market - but they really didnt grab our hearts yet...

Day #7

I dont have a lot of photos from this day so included some of the awesome freeway art here.

 (At the Coca Cola store in LV - they dont give the free samples of Coke from around the world like they use to - that was a lot of fun!). And then we watched, of course, the FREE movie at the M&M store!
Son gave us tickets to see the Beatles Cirque de Soleil show at The Mirage - he covered it all, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and my birthday. So we started out about 1000 by going to the Mirage to pick up the tickets. And then we jsut kept walking down the strip. Now mind you, this is only the second time I have been to Las Vegas (which is pretty much 2x too many) and cannot remember the date when we were there last - somewhere between 12 - 15 years ago. Now to get from one side of the Strip to the other you have to walk over these walk ways up in the air.....but they dont have them every block....and sometimes you have to cross over one on the side street to get to the one to cross over the Strip. So you end up walking wayyyyyy more than you think. Plus Caesar's, which is on the other side of The Mirage, I swear covers at least 6 blocks! We ended up past the MGM - and by the time we got back to the room it was 4:30 PM!!! So I think I walked off my dessert(s) from the night before!


 Guess you wouldnt forget the name of your hotel if you were staying here!
Decided to eat at the buffet at The Mirage before the show (can you tell that hubby LOVES buffets? I never feel that I get my money's worth from them....but he does!). The food was much better but the dessert bar....well, bluntly, it sucked. There was not the variety as there was at TI, and the one piece of cake I tried was not only sugar free (gag!) but it was stale! So ended up with some strawberry gelato which, again, was not as good as most gelato I have had.

AWESOME show! Like any Cirque show - it is overwhelming, not only what they do, but how much is going on! We had awesome seats too - way up at the top so we could see EVERYTHING! I did get a (catty) giggle when the people sitting next to us came in late and proceeded to keep talking.....well, she then pulled out her phone and started taping the show - and got nailed!!!! YAY!!!!

And another late day comes to a close - got to bed after midnight cause we had to stop at the bar to use our 2/1 coupon! Boy drinks are EXPENSIVE in Vegas! Luckily I overheard some of the prices people were paying - hubby was quite taken aback when he asked if I wanted another and I said no way! after we left I told him the cost that some people were paying.....

Day #6

So again today hubby is playing golf and I am walking around Williams. Doing a little shopping and a lot of looking. Met a 'desert rat' as I was waiting for hubby to pick me up at the visitors center.
 We ate here on Routte 66, in Seligman AZ. Route 66 brings back so many memories. Altho I did travel it from Chicago to Texas with my parents a few times, I was too young. But we traveled from CA to TX about every other year to visit my mom's family. Why or why, did my parents let me buy the "Indian" junk instead of investing in Navajo rugs or GOOD turqouise jewelry....just because I was a little kid who wanted the junk is no excuse...!!!!
 This was the sign you saw as you went into the Cafe
 Ahhh......
 The one good thing to say about AZ is the cheap gas....yes folks, compared to what we pay in CA, this is cheap....never thought I would see the day when I would say $3++/gallon was cheap....you dont even want to know what I was paying when I first started driving!
 So guess there are no building codes out in the AZ desert????? LOL
 We originally planned to go here. I thought I would be able to do it altho my heart would be pounding the whole time. Then we started researching it and decided it just wasnt worth it. Apparently the road in is horrible and we were int he car which is too low to the ground...and you pay to get onto Indian land and then again to go onto this skywalk - I think it was around $50/person to go out there. And lots of no-nos - no cameras, no purses, etc. So we decided they could find other suckers to do it....
 Stopped here again. A whole new bridge goes over the dam - bypassing the one lane road which is what we took when we went on our Dam Tour. It was a great tour that they do not offer anymore....told hubby we should have taken our hard hats with us fromt hat tour....


And so on we went into Las Vegas. Took us a couple of tries to figure out how to get into the parking lot of Treasure Island where we were staying. That day was very windy - saw lots of dirt devils - and it was hot. After checking in and checking out the casino, we took a cab to Fremont Street AKA the Old Strip. Very ...hmmm, interesting? Trashy is more like it! All these wierdos dressed up in costumes (Minnie and Micky Mouse, a fat Batman, Spiderman, etc) that you have to tip to take a photo of - and why would you want a photo of them anyway??? At one end were some dancing girls in bikinis, and a boxing ring. Over head is a dome type of thing that every hour they have a music video on - that was interesting. I even saw Santa.....a pathetic old man in red pants, and a Santa suit type t shirt and cap, walking around. Sad.

Hubby did his gambling. I spent and lost $3 on the penny slots - but hat kept me occupied for about 2.5 hours.....then I pulled out my Kindle....

We ate at the buffet at TI - of course we did, we had a free coupon. The food was so-so. But the dessert bar was to DIE FOR!!! Chocolate covered strawberries and macaroons, mini hot out of the oil donuts.....just to name a couple of things.

About 11:30 P (way past our bed time) we called it a night....

Day #5

 Before the train ride they have a little cowboy/comic show. Mainly for the kids. We didnt watch it the last time, so we decided to watch it this time. See that "cowboy" there???? He is a dead ringer for a friend of hubby's - a long time friend, that he has known since, well whenever he started in Boy Scouts! He had a trick to make his horse laugh - it was cute!

This time we went to the Grand Canyon via First Class - much more comfortable than coach! and you get nibbles going and coming home which was nice.
 One of the mule trains. I would love - I think - to do the mule ride down the canyon. Although I dont know - with my fear of falling, if I really could do it. Anyway, have to weigh less than 200 lbs so hubby and I cant do it together and I dont think nI would do it alone. I heard that they do the mule train 365 days/year. Have special shoes/bootees for them to wear when the trail is icy -???????? OH HELL NO!!!!!
 This is the trail that leads down into the Canyon. I forget how long they say to get down 3 - 4 hours? And double or triple that to get back up.
 This is the view from rocking chairs on the El Tovar porch. Can you imagine waking up and going to sleep to this? That is one thing about this area that I remember from our stay - when it gets dark, it is DARK! Lots of beautiful stars. We walked a little bit around the rim - was looking at photos I took the other time we were here when we did the bus rides around....
 The walk around the rim that we did doesnt really get near the edge. But some of the other places you can stop and look do. The 'joke' that hubby kept making over and over last time was about me falling over (as you all know, I am as graceful as a.......) and my joke back was that he wouldnt let it happen cause I was carrying the backpack with the money and the car keys....which I carried this time too! Anyway, they have a book about all the fatalities at the park...I was tempted to get it but it is pretty big with fine print....forgot to check and make sure my name wasnt in there!

 We saw antelope several times. This was one of two antelopes that were jsut racing each other across the fields....hard to get a great photo cause it was on the other side of the train and they are FAST!!!!!!
The perks of the observation car on the way back is your choice of champagne or sparkling cider! Can you guess which one I chose? And it was a California sparkling wine.....and the car wasnt packed so we got several refills! And it wasnt just a taste either - she filled those glasses up!

Forgot to add the photo of lunch. After hubby finished playing golf, we stopped by the same bakery - for the same lunch. Only we saved 1/2 our sandwiches (they are so big that the day before we ended up snacking on crackers, cheese, and salami for dinner!) and packed them in with us on the train. Am very glad we did - not only were they good - but the lines were really long at all the snack places in the Canyon - and the prices were crazy!

Day #4

This AM we checked out and hubster is playing golf. He wanted to check out a course that was recommended to him - Seven Canyons - supposedly beautiful altho the whole community has undergone bankruptcy a couple of times. We checked it out yesterday - well, tried to. They wouldnt let us in the gate "This is a gated community" without having a tee time. Told us to call the golf course to get permission - but had no server out there. So he decided to go ahead and play at Oak Creek where he had a tee time already - he said it was a beautiful course and friendly people and was very glad he played there.

So I got to go shopping and playing. Got some souveniers; visited the yarn shop after all - lovely place with some beautiful local yarns. Back up plan was to visit the library but didnt really have time. Visited a thrift shop and was very very sad we did not have the truck! They had some great things there. Got a glass pitcher for daughter who collects pitchers - loved the shape of it - tempted to keep it myself! Also a new hankie for my collection - lady there was funny, said $2.50 was too much to charge for a hankie (she apparently hasnt seen them in antique stores lately!) so she only charged me $1!!!! also got a book and a plant stand - and yes I did get the grumbles from hubby that I expected when he saw the plant stand (it was small!)

 Altho there are apparently specially bred prickly pears that come in different colors - our guide yesterday told us that this beautiful color means it was frost bit!
 This is the highway in and out of Sedona (coming from the north). Beautiful - reminds me of Big Sur a bit (no ocean obviously!) as well as up in the foothills! Lots of parks that would have been interesting to visit - maybe another time???
And then we made it to Williams. We will be going into the Grand Canyon tomorrow via the train (hubby said he did not remember that I said there is no steam train right now). We tried to get reservations earlier this year, but the places we wanted to stay were all booked - one time at the Miswak Lodge was enough for us - little did we know that they were all booked because of the Solar eclipse!

Stayed at a place called Canyon Country Inn. I was worried about it - you know you never can trust websites! But it was nice. Close to downtown - well, almost everything is in Williams, and to the train - in fact I was a little worreid cause you could hear trains very well from the room, but none woke us up in the night. Very clean and bright and roomy (well, the bathroom was a little small). But the most disappointing thing??? The so-called continental breakfast. Bread to toast - Safeway muffins - fruit - yogurt, and that was it. And the place was full because of a French group doing a Harley tour of the Southwest....so of course, most was gone by the time we got there at 0715 (breakfast was 0700 - 0900)....and the only replenish on the hour! Needless to say, the next morning we found a restuarant to eat at!


 Never hiked to any of the vortexes while in Sedona - but while hubby was playing golf, I did some shopping - stopped at this very eclectic store - and finally got close to a vortex in Sedona!
Speaking of the restuarant - we ate at the same one for dinner tonight - Pine Country restaurant. Pretty good food.....but oh you should have seen the pies! According to the waiter the pecan pie was perfect - no chocolate and they do NOT heat it unless you ask for it to be heated - but he came back to tell me they were all out. Darn it! So I ordered lemon merangue - oh my gosh!!!!!!!!! I really wish I had taken a photo of it! I swear the merangue was at least 4" tall!!!!! and light as a feather! The lemon part was thin, solid, tartly sweet - just perfect!!!!!