Sunday, May 11, 2008

Zion, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon

The first weekend in April when Brett got back from California we had another fun weekend of travels. Brett was hosting a guy from Costa Rica (Jose) for work and he had never been here before. So over the weekend Brett wanted to show him around. So since he had been away from the family for the past 10 days he wanted to be with the kids too. So we packed up and headed out for a 4 day adventure!
We left Friday and headed north. We drove through Sedona and showed him the “red” rocks. Then up through Page and the Glen Canyon Dam and we ended up at our cabin that night around 10pm. It was a long drive but the girls watched movies along the way and that kept them happy. Allden on the other hand is not so happy about being in his car seat for that many hours!

Saturday morning we got up and headed to Zion National Park it’s about 45 minutes from our cabin. We packed a picnic lunch and spent the day there. What a beautiful place! We went to the visitors center and enjoyed a video about Zion and then we rode on a shuttle bus on a scenic route that had various stops along the way. We did the river side walk which ends at the beginning of the Narrows (a beautiful hike through the river and the canyon) The water was 45 degrees and people had to hike up to their chests in the water so they were wearing drysuits. Maybe someday I would like to do that hike, in the summer and without the kids. The hike was beautiful along the river and canyon, the girls are pretty good hikers but we had to take turns carrying Allden since we forgot to bring the hiking pack and the stroller. The weather was gorgeous and the scenery beautiful!

Sunday we got up early, cleaned up, packed up and headed to Las Vegas. We arrived around 3 in the afternoon and checked into our hotel on the strip. We stayed in a giant pyramid called the Luxor, it’s all Egyptian themed. The hotel was giant with a huge casino in it. After we checked into the hotel we headed out for the night. We walked over to Mandalay Bay and went to the big aquarium in the hotel. The kids really enjoyed looking at all the fish and sharks. After that we pigged out at a nice buffet at the Mandalay Bay….they had so much food! After dinner we walked and walked and walked the strip. We were so tired at the end of that night. We forgot to bring Allden’s stroller so we had to switch off carrying him. I liked the Bellagio and seeing the big water show.

We also walked through Ceasar’s Palace. It looked just like the places we saw in Rome, Italy with the Trevi Fountain and all the pillars. It was a fun night on the town but I think I would get tired of all the noise and lights all the time.

We drove home Monday and on the way home we stopped by the Grand Canyon….we couldn’t let Jose come to AZ without seeing the Grand Canyon! I wish we had one more day to explore the canyon. It really is amazing and beautiful! I haven’t been there since I was a young teenager, and you don’t appreciate it as much then. The kids didn’t really care too much about it either. What a fun and whirlwind of a weekend!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Romantic Getaway to California

In March we celebrated our 9yr anniversary. My parents and Brett’s parents watched the kids for the weekend and I flew over to meet Brett in California where he had to work for 10 days. I left on Friday morning and Brett picked me up at the airport and we exchanged rental cars for the weekend. We got a Nissan 350Z. Since we didn’t have the kids we went for the 2 seater sports car!
Then we went to the new Sacramento Temple. It was beautiful inside! We did sealings, it was a great way to remember our marriage vows and blessings from 9 yrs ago. Then we headed to Yosemite National Park. We made several stops along the way so we didn’t get in until about 1 am. We rented a nice cabin in Yosemite it was a 3 bedroom cabin but we just used the downstairs room. It had a big family room and kitchen with a fireplace and a big balcony. We were in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees.Saturday morning we spent the day enjoying the beautiful scenery around Yosemite National Park. We did a few little hikes. We went to Bridal Veil falls, Yosemite Falls and Vernal Falls. The waterfalls were really flowing this time of year because all the snow is melting off. There was still quite a bit of snow around and the park was beautiful. We really enjoyed the day! We met up with some of the guys Brett works with from Ireland and England, I love to hear their Irish/English accents! I love to travel, it is so much fun to see new beautiful places and meet new people and new cultures. Sunday morning we looked out the window and had a fresh coat of snow on everything. It was really beautiful. We packed up and headed back to Sacramento. The drive was beautiful with lots of windy roads, Brett had too much fun driving that sports car! He made me a little car sick! On the way back we went the the Big Trees National Park and walked around and saw the Giant Redwood trees. They are huge, they are as old as dinosaurs (well maybe not quite that old I think the oldest one recorded was 2200 yrs old so the oldest living thing on earth) and grow up to 325 feet tall and as big across as 35 feet! We made it back to the airport on time, Brett dropped me off because he had to stay to work another couple days. We had so much fun! It was nice to have an anniversary getaway without the kids and I hope we can do it more often!

This was a huge tree stump I was standing on....big enough for a bowling alley! These trees are amazingly huge!