Friday, May 30, 2008

Lady Luck

So, the journey continues....

Chris and I were leaving the Grand Canyon, when we decided to pop into the airport, just to see about a flip over the canyon in a helicopter. Before I could say boo, I was all strapped up with head phones on and sitting next to the pilot. HOW AMAZING!!!!!

The chopper which we flew over the Canyon in.

The 7th Wonder of the World from the air

Chris and I were flown over the Grand Canyon, seeing this amazing Wonder of the World from above. This was also my first trip in a helicopter, so I was really excited! It was a perfect clear day, blue sky's, no wind, so as the pilot said, the perfect day to see the canyon from the sky's.

After my adrenaline rush for the day, Chris and I hit the road again, on our way to LAS VEGAS!!
What amazes me about this country, is that every hour the scenery changes. One minute you could be forgiven for thinking that you were driving through Namibia, and then suddenly, part of the E.Cape. We also drove along the famous "Route 66" for a while, one day we will hopefully get to do the whole route.

About 30 miles from Las Vegas, we drove over the Hoover Dam. Wow, what an amazing site. This Engineering feat shows that what seems impossible, is possible. They are busy building an massive bridge over the dam, that takes your breath away. The pics do not do any justice to what it actually looks like.

Hoover Dam

We arrived in Las Vegas in the late afternoon, and it was strange seeing this Gambling Mecha in real life after seeing so many movies about it. We drove down the famous strip, passing famous Hotel such as Circus, Circus, The Flamingo, Belagio, The Wynn, Caesars Palace, New York New York, MGM Grand until we finally reached our hotel, The Excalibur. The Excalibur is a Castle themed hotel, with towers and Knights etc. We were on the 17th floor, overlooking the MGM Grand and Tropicana Hotel.View of the MGM Grand and Tropicana from our room at night

View of New York, New York Hotel

Las Vegas during the day is interesting but almost ordinary looking, BUT at NIGHT, it all comes alive. Light, Lights and more Lights light up the street, people everywhere and a buzz in the air. It's as if you were in a totally different city.

The first evening we walked the strip up and down, looking at all the Hotels and sites. Then the most spectacular and famous Water Fountains of Belagio came alive. In front of the Belagio Hotel, they put on an amazing show of water to music, and hundreds of people stand around watching in awe.

The Fountains at the Belagio

We finally got to bed at 1:30am the next morning. The next evening Chris and I got a real great deal, where, after visiting the new Marriott hotel, we were given tickets to madam Toussards, a ride on the gondola at the Venetian hotel and dinner. I had to pinch myself to remind myself that I was not in Venice but in the middle of Las Vegas. Incredible! What an amazing day. Unfortunately Lady Luck was not on my side and after trying my hand at some gambling, gave up after a loosing streak.

Chris and I enjoying a romantic gondola ride in "Venice"

Cameron and I at our photo shoot

We left Vegas this morning, and again continued our trip to Phoenix. We are staying in Scottsdale for the weekend, and will meet up with a friend and see what Phoenix has to offer.

The temps here are high, driving in the car, it reached 95F, about 36'C. Tomorrow they have forecasted 102'F, HOT, HOT HOT!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Road Trip - Durango to Grand Canyon

Day 2 - Tuesday 27th May - Durango to Grand Canyon

Today was a long and tiring day driving from Durango to Grand Canyon.

We left Durango just before 8am, and ventured towards the famous 4 corners, this is where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona all meet up. The area is also famous for old Indian ruins and reserves.

Barren, desert landscape

Near The Four Corners and old Indian Ruins

The Four Corners - Standing with a foot in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

Me being silly and bored in the car

We drove approx 6.5 hours of which most was through a dry desert landscape, with a beauty of it's own. All entirely worth it when we reached the mighty Grand Canyon, truly one of the 7 wonders of the world. We entered the Park in the North, and left via the South exit.
The views were spectacular!!!
Chris and I are keen to do a paddle/ river raft down the mighty Colorado River down in the Canyon.

Amazing Views of the Grand Canyon!!!!

At the Edge!

You can notice that it's summer and everyone seems to be on holiday, tourists everywhere, and prices rather high.
Chris and I then drove down to Tusayan and found a place for the night at the Best Western.

It's been a long day, tomorrow we are off to Las vegas where Chris and I are staying in the Excalibur Hotel on the strip. Can not wait!!!

Road Trip - Denver to Durango....

Road trip Day One - Monday 26th May - Denver to Durango...

You know that the States is big, no,.. huge, na... *&^%% Ginormous..when you have travelled for a whole day and you have only covered a small corner of 1 page in the 125 pg map book and you have seen 10 different kinds of scenery, it starts sinking in.

Pit stop just outside Aspen

Chris and I set off on our way to Durango through the mountain on the I70 West. We drove past many ski resorts incl. Veil and Aspen, who are all closed now for spring, but there is still sooooo much snow. Driving through stunning mountain passes, with the strong Colorado River flowing next to the highway in full force was an experience.

View from the car of the road through the mountains

Next we were driving through a semi-arr ed farming area, and almost like desert type landscape, then, without warning, you are next driving through a green farming area, with many rivers flowing strongly with all the snow melt.

At Palisade - Wine and Fruit Country

Today is also Memorial Day, and as you drive along, you see all the Cemetery's with flowers and Flags, remembering those who died in the War. Very sad to see.

The drive really got interesting from Ouray onwards. Steep cliffs and waterfalls, with snow now turned into ice made for and at times nerve wrecking driving.

Little Town of Ouray

The scary mountain pass road on the right - narrow and scary

As we drove into Durango, we were welcomed by the Durango/Silverton Stream Engine train. Durango feels like a real Wild West town, complete with Saloons. Chris and I had a drink at the Palisade Saloon where they were had a live band. The main street is quaint and you feel like you have gone back in time.

Palisade Saloon in Durango

What busy and exciting 1st day! Tomorrow we are off to the Grand Canyon, awesome!