Saturday, October 2, 2010

4hours, 6000 feet and 60 degrees. and no room????

Day 4: Tuesday, July 20, 2010... 4hours, 6000 feet and 60 degrees.  and no room????
Okay so we got up packed up all of our stuff and had breakfast in the Tropical Breeze Cafe in the Flamingo.  Then we went to the UPS store in the hotel and miracle of miracles, hubby's CPAP (breathing machine) arrived!!! yay.  He'll be able to sleep and breath!!!!  We packed up the car and headed out toward the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  When we left Las Vegas, temperature was 118 degrees.  The trip was fantabulous.  Different scenery the whole way.  We never knew what was around the next corner.  We went via the Valley of Fire State Park in through the south entrance, out through the north entrance.  Beautiful scenery.  Our route took us briefly through the state of Utah.  Finally we entered the Kabib National Forest... but there were no trees... How can there be a forest with no trees?  Just lots of rocks.  
Wait... We went around another curve in the road and poof... trees!!! Okay now we were in a forest and getting close to the Grand Canyon North Rim.  
We finally reached the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park North Rim.  We still a little bit of driving left before reaching the lodge.  Lovely scenery.  lots of trees and meadows (and signs warning people not to drive in the meadows, must be a problem).  As we were driving, we came across a herd of Bison in a meadow.  Magnificent animals.  We stopped and took pictures.  We reached the North Rim and the Grand Canyon lodge and guess what the temperature was??? 58 degrees.  Yup.  We dropped 60 degrees in just 4 hours between Las Vegas and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which has an elevation of the North Rim is over 8000 feet above sea level compared to the 2028 feet above sea level of Las Vegas. so we went 4 hours, 6000 feet up and dropped 60 degrees....Cool!!! (literally) We tried to check into the lodge. They had no record of our reservation.  I had a copy of the reservation, but they still didn't have a room for us in the motel where we were planning on staying.  They did have a nice cabin with a view of the rim (and was really close to the main lodge building) so we took that. Good thing they had something, because, they are the only place to stay on the north rim, and that wouldn't have been good.  We would have been sleeping in our car.  So we made a dinner reservation in the main dining room and gathered up our stuff out of the car and got settled in to our cabin.  We then went to the lodge and walked around taking in the view of the rim.  The lodge has paths and over looks of the canyon.  Beautiful and there were rainbows over the canyon.  We then went to a ranger talk in the lodge about bats.  It was very interesting it was time for dinner.  We ate at the lodge dining room very good. We were next to the window overlooking the canyon, but it was dark, so it didn't matter anyway. The food was delicious.  Then back to the cabin No tv and no internet, not a single luxury, like Robinson Caruso... wait that's Gilligan's Island.  We did have a gas fireplace and hot water.  It was rustic, but really nice. Early to bed.  

Freedom and Red (hot as fire) Rocks

Day 3: Monday July 19, 2010  Freedom and Red (hot as fire) Rocks
We dropped off my darling son at the airport for his flight home.  Then... freedom!!! We had breakfast at an Atlanta Bread Co. near the airport.  We drove out to Red Rock.  I think they are red because it is as hot as FIRE out there.  The ranger said no hiking, too hot.  Darn, I so wanted to hike out into the desert and die of heat exhaustion...  We toured the exhibit area, which was really nicely put together, very informative.  It's a fairly new exhibit with lookouts over the desert and red rocks.  Then we took the drive through the red rocks.  It was a nice drive through the desert.  We then headed back to Las Vegas and more touristy sightseeing. Lunch at the Mandalay Bay buffet.  Not as large as some of the other buffets, but the food was very good. After lunch we took the monorail and went to Luxor (pyramid shaped) and then to Excalbur.  It was very interesting walking through these hotels.  We then took the shuttle back to the Mandalay Bay where our car was parked. We went back to our hotel and went to the famous Flamingo hotel pool.  It's a pool and it's famous and we did swim in it.  After our refreshing swim we washed up and went down to the Venetian.  We walked through the mall area and had dinner at a quaint, family run Italian restaurant.  Very nice.  We then walked around the Venetian some more and then went to Walgreens... Oooh, Walgreens... bought a couple of things we needed and 1 souvenir.  Oooh, souvenir!!!  Then we walked across the bridge over Las Vegas Blvd.  We could see the Treasure Island show from the bridge and the Mirage volcano a little from the bridge.  We walked down to the Mirage and walked through the hotel.  We tried to find the volcano, but couldn't (no, I don't know how we could have missed a volcano, but we did) and we were too tired to keep looking.  We walked back to the Flamingo and that is the end of day 3.  Oh, by the way.  If you are wondering if we gambled. Yes we did.  When we were tired, we would look for some place to sit.  But, Las Vegas has no place to sit.  So we would sit at the penny slots and play for a little while and rest and cool off.  We didn't win anything.   We didn't spend too much money on our "sit and cool off fee"  People have told me that they bring you free drinks when you sit at the slots, but I was never offered any and didn't see anyone else get one either.  I guess we didn't sit and play long enough in one spot to partake of the free drinks.