Thursday, September 3, 2015

Utah Vacation--Day Two

Today was our travel day from Las Vegas to Kanab, Utah. The trip usually takes about 3 1/2 hours which we did leisurely and expanded it to 7 hours. I think. We're never quite sure what time it is. We started in the Eastern time zone yesterday and have been going back and forth between Pacific and Mountain time zones. Some clocks automatically reset and some don't. Shouldn't be watching the clock anyway while on vacation, right? We've checked into our condo and it's really nice.

Here are a few highlights from today.

The other side of the famous Las Vegas sign. We stopped for pictures this morning on our way out of town.

After a couple of hours of driving, we decided to stretch our legs at the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area. Here we got to investigate the Joshua trees we had be seeing as we were driving through the desert. Boy, those leaves are REALLY spiky and can do a lot of damage. Don't ask me how I know. 

As long as we were there, we decided to take a short hike down to actually see the Virgin River. Water is a rare sight in this landscape.

The Virgin River. The hike to the river took longer than expected. Maybe it just seemed long because it was really HOT. 

Back on the road, some scenery we saw along the way.

After a lunch stop in St. George, we were back on the road.

By the time we got to Kanab, we had climbed 3000' and the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. With this cooler weather, we decided to visit the Little Hollywood Museum. Kanab has been the place that many western movies and TV shows have been filmed. This museum has gathered many of the sets together and you can wander around them. I grew up on westerns, so this was quite fun for me. And actually, everyone liked it. Below are some of the sets we saw. 

Utah Vacation--Day One

Travel and Vegas

Yesterday we flew into Las Vegas and were greeted with HEAT. I don't care what they say--109 is HOT even if it is dry heat. Today we drive to Kanab, UT, which will be our hub for the next few days. We should be able to get a fairly early start because our bodies still think we're on Eastern time.

Below are a few highlights from yesterday.

While arduous at times, travel went well yesterday. We all ended up at our destination with all of our bags. Win-win. I see an interesting trend developing for me with air travel. The last 5 out of 6 times I've been through security, I've gotten to go through the TSA Precheck line. That means the shoes stay on and the computer stays in the bag as I go through a very short line. I don't know why I keep getting "randomly" selected, but I like this trend. Also while I didn't get to sit with the rest of the family, I did get a window seat. :) 

Ward decided that the first thing we should do is give Wally and Theo a driving tour of the Strip and surrounding area. Look closely at the upper left of the picture and you'll see the picture of the famous Las Vegas sign that Wally took as we drove by.

No one was ready to join the crowds on the Strip, so we had lunch at this out-of-the way restaurant. Suspiciously, we were the only people in the place, but the food and service were quite good.

Still not ready to join the crowds (have I mentioned that we're a family who likes to stay away from the maddening crowds), we visited the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Park where once again, we were the only ones there. We learned that while the fort didn't play much of a role in things (it was abandoned after only 2 years), the location did. This was the spot where people (native and European) had centered from very early on. That was because it was the location of two natural springs--a welcome sight in the desert. Through a series of events including Mormon settlement, mining, and railroads, the original city of Las Vegas sprang up here. 

By evening, we were ready for a little more excitement, so we decided to have dinner at a casino. While this one was relatively small by Vegas standards, it was big enough to give Theo and Wally their first real feel of what a casino was like. Their reactions? Wally was pleasantly surprised that he was not overwhelmed by the noise and lights of the whole thing, and Theo was fascinated by the mirrors and cameras that were on the ceiling over each gaming table.

Theo was also kind of creeped out by this giant head that kept winking at him.