In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Sedona Then Las Vegas = Bad Idea

We left Sedona, sadly.  We drove the scenic route through Oak Creek Canyon on the way out and stopped at a couple of scenic view points to drink it in.  Once we were out of there, Flagstaff was approaching.  We were up high on the mountain and this time we stopped.  Several Indians had set up a bunch of tables at this one point and they had some of the coolest crafts for sale.  I’d packed my big jacket away and man I wished I’d had it for this stop and this stop only.

It was cold and it was windy.  And I had my camera and wanted to walk this long walk way of vista points.  I had on a t-shirt and jeans.  My friend had on capri pants and flip flops, but at least she had a jacket.  The Indians were bundled like Eskimos.  They knew what they were doing.  My friend purchased two beautiful Christmas ornaments made of white clay.  They’d been carved and decorated.  She gave me one for making all of the trip arrangements and using my credit card.  My ornament has a dream catcher inside it.  It’s pretty cool.

The kids had on shorts.  They decided to stay in the car with their iPods and their cell phones.  So we let them.  Don’t tell anyone we’re bad parents, OK?

Once back in the car I cranked the heater on high to thaw out my hands.  I’d shipped those fingerless gloves back in a huge box of dirty clothes the day before at the post office in Sedona.  Lighter luggage makes for happy travelers.  As we approached Las Vegas, I noticed a black Chrysler 300 in my rear view mirror.  I was doing the driving this time.  It was going way too fast and I thought to myself that I hoped he didn’t crash.  Well, about 20 minutes later he did.  I saw a cloud of dust in the median and a black hood in the air.  I pulled over and the driver was lying on his back in the middle of the highway on the opposite side of the road.  Welcome to Las Vegas.  There were a lot of people stopped by now and since this was a one car accident and we didn’t actually see what happened, I decided to keep us on track.  I knew the highway would probably be closed if we hung around for long and we all needed to pee.  We said a little prayer for that guy on the highway and drove onward.

I booked us the Stratosphere from my phone in Sedona and I’m glad I did.  I thought about finding a place to stay when we arrived but then I remembered. 

Oh, we’ll be in Las Vegas. 

Our friends had never been there and I don’t think they want to go back.  Too much noise, too much commotion, too much everything.  Not the ideal place to land after Sedona that’s for sure.  My friend’s daughter wanted to ride the rides on top of the Stratosphere, so that’s the reason we were there.  My kid would never ride a ride like that, or any others actually. 

The wind was blowing so hard that day that one of the three rides were closed down. The daredevil child decided to ride anyways and her mom wouldn’t watch her.  I went outside on top of the building to shoot photos.  A few times I thought that I was going to get blown off the landing.  I’m not kidding it was that windy.  She rode the two rides and they lasted about 3 minutes each.  I’m not kidding, these were the shortest rides I’ve ever seen in my lifetime that’s for sure. 

The hotel also has a mall inside of it so if you’ve been to Vegas, you know you can pretty much spend a week there and never leave your hotel.  The show that the hotel was hosting was called Bitten or something like that.  The girls cracked up at the huge video monitors that were located everywhere with advertising for the show.  It was pretty risque’ if I must say so myself.  The previews featured topless chicks with vampire teeth wearing leather collars with studs and toting whips and sporting hot shorts and thongs.  The girls made several comments about how that did not look like Twilight at all.  I cracked up and told them to quit laughing about it because I’d got us all tickets for that tonight.  The girls responded with an “Oh mom, you’re way gross.”  We didn’t go to the show.  My mom had given me a speech about how we’d better not leave the kids in the hotel room alone.  Please.  Like we would do that.

We had to rise around 3:45 a.m. to catch a plane in the morning.  A plane home that is.  I don’t think we slept much at all.  The change of atmosphere and the stimulation of Vegas is enough to keep anyone awake for days.  That’s why people go there I suppose.  I know, I’ve been there a few times myself for work and play combined.

We got to the airport the next morning to find the Allegiant Air check in line 6 miles long.  I mentioned to an airline  worker there that there was no way we were going to make our flight.  She informed us that they’d call our flight number and pull us out of line when it was our turn.  She was correct.  That did happen.  But only after we stood in line for a tad over one hour.  We still had to hit security and we did with flying colors.  We got to our gate just as the plane was boarding.  We had a great tail wind and made it home almost 40 minutes early.  When I got home my husband had put the hickory bead board on the front of our counter in our kitchen that we tore apart in 2007.  Every time I take a trip he finishes something.  I’m trying to figure out how I can afford to take a week long trip once a month.  I have several other projects here I’d love to see completed.  In time and in patience.  All is well.

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Las Vegas For Thirty Minutes

Our all girl vacation was awesome.  We flew into Las Vegas and retrieved our luggage quick-like.  Then we headed to the car rental counter and were out of there.  Thank God.  I don’t like that city but it was cheap to fly in there, so we did.  Plus one of the girls would want to ride the rides on top of the Stratosphere on the way home.  We made that happen.  I’ll try to stay on track here.  Those of you who know me well know that I tend to talk in circles and hey, I might write the same way on occasion.  Bear with me the photos are worth it if the words aren’t.

We immediately drove to Flagstaff which is a beautiful place.  I’m glad we drove.  I really enoyed the ever changing landscape from Nevada to Arizona.  One minute we were viewing deserts and canyons.  The next minute huge piles of rocks were rising up from the ground in sporadic Stonehenge-like fashion.  The next moment we were checking out pine trees and mountains.  Flagstaff actually reminded me a little bit of Minnesota believe it or not.  There were mountains, tons of pine trees and lots of trains in the area where we stayed for one night.  And for one night only we crashed, at the Holiday Inn Express on Lucky Lane that was NOT marked.  Just in case you go there.

The next morning we drove to the Grand Canyon to tour the south rim.  It was a cold and cloudy 38 degrees.  I had a sleeveless vest with a hood to wear and I was glad.  Lauren stole my fingerless gloves my mom had bought me in New Zealand.  Good for cold weather camera toting, that’s for sure.  I love this photo of Lauren shooting a picture at the edge of the canyon. 

The Grand Canyon is just huge.  Ginormously huge.  Vast.  You just can’t even imagine how large it really is until you are actually standing there looking at it.  We had clouds all day long so it didn’t make for the best photos.  But of course I shot several anyways.

We spent the day there at the south rim, loaded up on souveniers and headed out.  Sedona was our main destination and we couldn’t wait to get there.  I drove this stretch from Flagstaff to Sedona.  We took the scenic route of 89-A which took us through Oak Creek Canyon.  This is the part where I wish I wouldn’t have been driving.  It was spectacular eye candy.  Once we arrived a little more deeply into the mountains, we had red rocks on one side and white mountains with pine trees on the other.  As we drove further, we hit Oak Creek with its massive round boulders in the water.  I wanted to just camp there and forget Sedona.  For a minute anyways.

We checked into our hotel which was thankfully located away from the touristy shopping district (looked like Branson…yikes) and we got settled in.  My friend took a walk down to Le Rouge Spa and Hotel to make her massage appointment for Monday.  It was supposed to rain on Monday.  And it did.  And it snowed for most of the day as well.  What did we do?  We cruised the touristy shopping district and devoured an over priced lunch at a joint with an exceptional view.  But that’s the norm.  The view that is.  Every direction you choose to turn your head allows for an amazing vista.  I found it distracting to even drive the car because the views are fantastic no matter where you are.

At first I was somewhat disappointed that we had rain and snow the first day.  The second day we had clouds most of the day.  The third day, we had bright blue sky and sunshine.  I found myself actually being thankful for nature.  We were able to experience Sedona in different weather during the four days we were there.  On Tuesday we would hook up with Akul for a tour of some Medicine Wheels.  Read on.