Saturday, February 22, 2014

9/12/13 - Hoover Dam, NV

We began our last day in Vegas by checking out the awesome breakfast buffet at our hotel.  We thoroughly enjoyed the buffet AND dining with 2 of our friends from the trip, Leslie and Gordon, from England, who were not leaving until later in the day (here's a shout out to our pals across the pond!)

We changed our flight plans since Bob's aunt passed away earlier in our trip and the memorial service was planned for the morning we'd arrive home.  As a result, we flew home on an earlier flight so we could attend the services.  Unfortunately, the only thing available was the RED-EYE which meant leaving Las Vegas at 11:45 p.m. and arriving in Harrisburg, PA around 9:30 a.m.!! 

Since we had the entire day to do anything we wanted, we booked a Hoover Dam tour with Pink Jeep Tours.  Our driver/guide was super nice and quite knowledgeable about Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and all its history.

If you're ever in Vegas and want to take a tour, you HAVE to check out this company and its seriously cool pink Jeeps!
The driver picked us up from our hotel {Treasure Island} and we rode downtown to the old Vegas Strip and even cruised by the Pawn Stars location but didn't actually stop...
It wasn't quite like I had envisioned it.

We picked up our other passengers and headed for Hoover Dam, passing Lake Meade on our way.
What an incredibly beautiful body of water surrounded by just as much beauty in the gorgeous terrain!

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Hoover Dam; the trek several hundred feet below the Dam through the carved tunnels into the turbine area.  WOW, what an incredible engineering feat!
On our return trip back into Vegas, we stopped by a park where we saw some long horned rams doing their thing...

All in all it was a fabulous trip...even though we ended up having to take the red-eye home!  

I'm sure the airport is bustling during normal business hours but at 11:45 p.m., it's pretty empty.  Hmmm, must be all the smart people were catching zzzzz's in a bed and NOT on a plane!  

Whoa, now that's one thing I don't care to ever repeat...sleeping for hours on a plane is almost impossible!

YAY, I did it - I FINISHED all the entries from our vacay.  It was a trip of a lifetime and one that we'll always look back with such fond memories. I created a beautiful 12x12 coffee table book of our adventures which thoroughly warms our hearts as we leaf through, page by page, journeying back in time fondly remembering every little detail forever embedded into our hearts.  

This trip was truly a trip of a lifetime and we are incredibly blessed and thankful that we splurged and turned this dream into a reality. Many times in our lives when we look back, there's a tendency to have regrets about the missed or lost opportunities.  Thankfully, we have choices in life and with each new cross-road, we can choose to embrace a new path or remain on the same path forever wishing we'd have traveled the path of the unknown.  

We only have one life to live so choose to live it to the fullest!

The end.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

9/11/13 - Grand Canyon, AZ to Las Vegas, NV

We departed the Grand Canyon and headed west.

Destination - LAS VEGAS, NV! 
Our trip was coming to an end and what an amazing experience it was.  We met some truly wonderful people along the way who have become friends and we saw some unbelievably beautiful parks and canyons!
While this would be the last day for most of our group, we had planned an extra day in Vegas so that we could squeeze in one last tour - Hoover Dam.  

After all, you can't go to Vegas and NOT see Hoover Dam, right?

NEXT POST: 9/12/13 - Hoover Dam - NV

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

9/10/13 - Lake Powell, AZ to Grand Canyon (South Rim), AZ

We departed the cloudy, cool temps of Page, AZ and headed for what we hoped was a warmer, dryer Grand Canyon around 8:30 a.m.

Look, there's always hope, right?...

 You'd probably be surprised to hear how quickly the weather changed on our trip - it was unbelievable!

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, we were greeted with cool temps and cloudy skies that looked like they were ready to burst at the seams any moment!

We were able to grab a few pics (and lunch) before the skies opened up and DUMPED on us!

The rains brought the fog, the fog brought cool temps, the cool temps brought...well, you get the point!

In spite of the weather, the Grand Canyon was still an amazing site to see!  

Maybe someday we'll visit again...and pray for better weather!

NEXT POST: 9/11/13 - Grand Canyon, AZ to Las Vegas, NV

Monday, February 17, 2014

9/9/13 - Bryce Canyon, UT to Lake Powell, Page, AZ

We left the fog of Bryce Canyon and traveled to Zion National Park.
What a spectacular day with beautiful sunshine - YAY!

This was the view as we traveled through the mile long tunnel. It was really neat with "windows" carved into the side of the mountain.
We had a wonderful time at Zion and grabbed lunch before we departed for AZ.  I had the most amazing bean burger e.v.e.r.!  I've tried to recreate it but can't quite figure it out - I think I may need another trip back just for the burger!  I was craving this burger so much so that I recently called the restaurant where we had that fabulous burger and they shared the brand name of it with me!  Turns out, Giant and Target both carry the specific brand...Garden Burger!  We've already purchased a couple of boxes and enjoyed a couple of burgers.

Unfortunately, the weather started to change within an hour of leaving Zion National Park.  Thankfully we made it out of the park before the sky decided to open up!

The change in the terrain was simply amazing as we traveled from the majestic canyons of UT to the flat lands of AZ...

We arrived in Page, AZ at Lake Powell where we were excited to take the boat excursion on the lake.  Sadly, the weather remained somewhat ugly and cool so the excursion was a little chilly but still nice.

This was our hotel.  It was really beautiful and looked out onto the gorgeous Lake Powell...

NEXT POST: 9/10/13 - Lake Powell, AZ to Grand Canyon (South Rim)

Friday, February 14, 2014

9/8/13 - SLC, UT to Bryce Canyon, UT

We traveled about 313 miles on this day which started as a disappointingly foggy day.  
This is what we saw when we arrived at Bryce Canyon...(actually, it was even worse than this - you could barely see in front of you!).  We prayed and prayed and prayed for the fog to lift!

Thankfully, our prayers were answered and the fog dissipated shortly after we arrived at Bryce Canyon.
There were TONS of gorgeous photos from Bryce Canyon - too many to post here and bore you!  

NEXT POST: 9/9/13 - Bryce Canyon, UT to Lake Powell, Page, AZ

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

9/7/13 - Jackson, WY to Salt Lake City, UT

We left all the beauty of Jackson, WY and headed for Salt Lake City (SLC), UT which was the halfway point of the trip.  

From that point on, our bus would be half as full (cause I'm a 'glass half full' kinda gal!) since some folks decided for whatever reason NOT to continue on for the remainder of the tour.

SLC is a beautiful, beautiful city and home of the Mormon Temple.  It was quite interesting to see it in person and hear the history behind its creation.

What fun it was to see the new brides at Temple Square... 

We finished out the day with an unbelievable dining experience at the famous Roof Restaurant that overlooks downtown SLC.  

Unfortunately, it rained the entire evening so the view wasn't nearly as beautiful but the meal certainly made up for was the most fabulous buffet we've ever had! 

NEXT POST: 9/8/13 - SLC, UT to Bryce Canyon, UT

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

9/6/13 - Snake River, Jackson, WY - Rafting Trip

On this exciting day of our trip, we decided to live on the edge a little and take a rafting trip down the Snake River!

It was spectacular and we shared our raft with some pretty incredible people as well! Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of our group as a whole but here we are waiting anxiously in line to hop in our raft.
 Checking for messages from the Snake River?  Nah, probably looking for her camera app!

Check that one off the bucket list!

NEXT POST: 9/7/13 - Jackson, WY to Salt Lake City, UT

Monday, February 10, 2014

9/5/13 - Old Faithful to Jackson, WY

Old Faithful at dawn...
 The lobby of  our hotel - The Old Faithful Inn...

We departed Old Faithful at 9:00 a.m.  Unfortunately we drove out of the parking lot as the Old Faithful show began...right on time and just as predicted.

We stopped at West Thumb Geyser Basin and what an amazing experience...and awesome photo op!

How about this for up-close and personal??!

Never in a million years did we think we'd go from an elk siting to a moose siting (all in the SAME day) but that's exactly what happened when we stopped for lunch at the Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson, WY.

We were told that there hadn't been such a large moose on the grounds for about 5 years.  Needless to say, we were thrilled to have witnessed this amazing siting!
When we left the lodge, we made a couple of quick stops before arriving in Jackson Hole, WY.  This is Jenny Lake, surrounded by the was breath-taking!

 This was another amazing stop along the way - The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, looking out onto the Grand Teton Mountains...simply beautiful!

NEXT POST: 9/6/13 - Snake River, Jackson, WY

Thursday, February 6, 2014

9/4/13 Mammoth to Old Faithful

We departed Mammoth Hot Springs and traveled approximately 83 miles to Old Faithful.  

We took a short detour on our way and crossed over into Montana for some lunch and then continued on, stopping by the Painted Pots.


Old Faithful - view from the boardwalk at sunset...

NEXT POST: 9/5/13 - Old Faithful to Jackson, WY