Sunday, November 27, 2011

A road trip journal… the Grand Canyon and a birthday

The night at the Grand Canyon hotel was long and frequently interrupted due to my cold, so I was up at 6:30am and consequently so was Mike.  He decided this was great we could get some much needed laundry done and get out early!
drawing in my sketchbook...



The laundry part went ok. As I waited for the wash I drew strange pictures in my sketchbook that attracted the hotel employee's attention.

My cat had other ideas about getting out early.  We finished the laundry. Woke the kids and loaded the car and the cat was.... missing.
Panic ensued.  My hysterical kids wandered the huge hotel searching.  My husband alerted the front desk and I continued to search the room.  Finally.. a tiny squeak. My cat, who talks nonstop about nothing when at home, trapped herself under a bed that is walled off on all sides, and could only manage a little squeak.  20 minutes later after a call to maintenance,we were on our way!


We picked up donuts for breakfast and sat in front of this...
 What can be said about the Grand Canyon that hasn't been said a million times by better writers.
A balancing rock.
Can you see the tiny tree out on the edge of this rock peninsula?

We hiked along the trails that meandered along the rim.

We posed for a mediocre picture (the canyon made it better!)

The sky was perfectly clear and the sun was bright... so the pictures were high contrast and dull compared to a cloudy day.  The canyon is still a sight to see in any light though.

Mike and I came here together before we had kids and before we were married.  Our lives have changed so much since then, but the canyon is the same.  The entry fee however is now $25.00!
At least this time we got a picture together. :)

After hiking for hours we headed down to Cottonwood to Mike's one year old cousin's birthday party.
Seeing family was a great way to end our epic journey.  After one night in Phoenix we finally drove home to San Diego, to our own beds.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A road trip journal…through Monument Valley

We left Boulder at night and wound our way around the Rocky Mountains in the dark.  We got as far as Grand Junction and spent the night. The next morning my sore throat was a full blown cold and Chloe's throat was aching.

It was Thanksgiving morning and our day was set  We were to get to the Grand Canyon by nightfall.   We wove our way around the mountains back into Utah. 
    The scenery was majestic...
 ...and awesome.
 ....So awesome!
Mike mastered digital photography thru the window of our grimy, well traveled, moving vehicle.
The region was called Monument Valley.

Finally it was so amazing we just had to stop and walk around.

We got some great photos and stretched our legs.
Then we were back in the car, but we kept taking pictures. 

It was a beautiful and isolated place.  At the base of these mountains were the Navajos in dingy trailers and run down little houses. Near the side of the road ran  a skeletal black dog, and we began to worry about finding lunch in this desolate place on Thanksgiving day. Finally we spotted an open convenience store run by the Navajos.  It was a bit dark and dreary but they had the most important thing… coffee!  They also had some bread and cheese and mayonnaise. So using the sterilized hotel key card that I'd lost as we checked out of the last hotel, I cut the cheddar cheese  and slapped together some Thanksgiving sandwiches. 

 We continued our drive the rest of the day and as the sunset we entered the Grand Canyon National Park. We checked into our hotel in Grand Canyon Village and drove past this natural wonder of the world in pitch black darkness. The canyon would have to wait for morning, tonight we were ready for pizza.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A road trip journal... finally, Boulder, Co

This was the fantastic and heated hotel pool in Boulder, Colorado.  My kids loved it. They also loved the hot, hot, hot tub and the climbing area. Which is good because by the time we arrived here it was clear that I was really coming down with something and needed some rest. So Mike took them here while I conked out.
After we checked out we headed over to Pearl St. to get some lunch.
We also did some shopping.
Naomi liked the bears.
After lunch we met up with Sofia.  Sofia is Phoebe's friend from Argentina, who then became friends with us all.  She is now an exchange student in Boulder. In this photo we're posing in front of her host family's house.  
One of her hosts, Bob immediately told me the story of his house.  He said that one day a man in Atlanta chartered a plane and as he flew he decided to commit suicide by flying into the Rocky Mountains.  He missed the mountains and hit the house.  Bob lived a couple blocks away at the time, and came running in time to see the giant fireball that consumed this house.  He and his wife bought the new building that is here now.


We took Sofia out for frozen yogurt and went to the Scott Carpenter Park nearby. Scott Carpenter was an astronaut so there is a spaceship here.  Mike lived in Boulder as a child and remembers playing on this very spaceship.
And here he is on it again!

We really enjoyed seeing Sofia and she is adjusting to life here in the U.S. The three things she noticed right away as being very different from Argentina are:
1. Everyone has a really nice car and there are so many!
2. There are American flags everywhere.
3 Everyone speaks English really fast!

I have finally finished with all of my hand turkeys on my art blog.
Today was the last one.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A road trip journal...travels through Utah

On Monday we drove and drove...

Passing beautiful scenery all the way.

This is the girls at a gas station in Utah. Moments before Chloe brushed against a succulent plant and her leg was spurting blood.  Then it swelled a bit.  I stopped the bleeding and gave her a claritin, and...crisis averted.

Before our big day of driving I checked Roadside America's websiteand discovered we'd be passing "Big Rock Candy Mountain" famous for the song that just happens to be Phoebe's favorite song ever since she was four.  Unfortunately we arrived after dark, but we took a picture anyway.
We stayed in Moab, Ut and this sign for Chinese food by the scoop was right outside. We didn't go for it.

Our hotel had some choice bathroom reading...
As we left Moab to go to Arches National Park we came across the incredible spider mural!
It was a perfect day to explore the park....

The hikes were incredible!

The shadow on this cliff face looked like a man.

We were seeing things in all these rock formations though...

There was so much to see.

And so much to climb!
That's Naomi!

There was so much to explore...

The kids loved this place!
Mike seemed to like it too.

It was pretty awesome!  Next stop.... Boulder, Colorado.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A road trip journal....Visiting Vegas

I'm writing this as we drive through the majestic mountains of Utah.  Arcing over our car is an amazing rainbow that we are driving under like a tunnel.  Up ahead dark clouds of a threatening storm gather in the midst of the stunning view. I can see the rain streaking across the distant landscape and falling on a farmhouse in the plains.


Last night we were in Las Vegas for my first ever visit.  We set out early and arrived by late afternoon. After checking into our hotel and settling in our frazzled cat we headed off to the Vegas strip.


Here we are on the pedestrian bridge over the strip.


We went in to the MGM casino and took a look at the lions habitat.


There was an incredible view of the NY, NY casino from the bridge.


Then we headed over to the Hawaiian Marketplace.  The girls found this odd looking Spiderman who appears to have over done it at the buffet.


They also found these interesting superhero knockoffs, which were only slightly off....


We stayed for the show, and this fire dancer was riveting to watch.


The girls took a hula lesson.

Then they posed with their new friends...


The girls and Mike stopped for photo on the pedestrian bridge (a different bridge)by Cesar Palace. There were so many pedestrian bridges it was amazing! (I seriously love pedestrian bridges).


And we headed over to the Forum shops for dinner.


 So many amazing fountains…


Naomi posed by the volcano at the mystic.

 This was a great show at the top of every hour.


In an attempt to find the monorail we wandered into the Venetian. There was no monorail, but the ceiling was worth the visit!
 There were even gondola rides inside with men singing Italian love songs.

 In the end we found the monorail near Hara's…

 Which we took to the shuttle, which we took back to the hotel and…. collapsed.


On a side note my "little" Phoebe turned 10 on Saturday. Here she is with her friends at the Children's museum.
 And this was the red velvet cake she made for her party (yes she made it herself -Those cooking lessons have paid off!). 


"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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