Twelve days in the southwest of the US revealed breath taking views and created many, many memories.
We began our trip with Adventures by Disney. Traveling with a tour group we learned the joyous feeling of not having to think about anything! Itineraries were set up for eat day, we knew about them the day before and each day was well balanced with activities and personal down time. We barely had to lift a finger! This is something we will definitely do again, I can assure you!!!
We started off the trip by being picked up in Phoenix, Arizona. A quick motorcoach ride to Sedona took us to a lovely resort hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. The red rocks in the area are stunning! We also saw Montezuma Castle where cliff dwellers lived. We took an open jeep ride into the back country with a bunch of cowboys complete with whips, spurs and “Yee Haw”s! It poured rain while we were in the jeep but each time we got out the sun came out and shone bright. We laughed so much our sides hurt!!
Then we went to the Grand Canyon and stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge right in the Park. As we were going around a bend to enter the area, the collective gasp of everyone on the coach at the first site of the Canyon was really cool! The huster shed many tears as he viewed the Canyon from the South Rim’s rail. I got to sit in the co-pilot seat of a helicopter as we flew over the Canyon. My first ride in one. Whew! Talk about nervous, especially after the pilot said, “Don’t touch anything – especially the stick in the middle!” YIKES!!
The view…simply breathtaking! A moonlight walk showed stars too numerous to count, a couple of moose elk (12 points!), mule deer and their babies. I smelled them before I saw them. They are HUGE!!!! We also got a private tour around the park into areas not permitted by tourists.
Then we took an off-road tour of Monument Valley, Utah which was hilarious! We laughed and oohhed and aahhhed so much we were hoarse by the end. We stayed at Red Cliffs Lodge until Friday, nestled in the valley of the Red Cliffs in Moab, Utah. We were right smack next to the Colorado River. The night sky was so clear I could see the Milky Way AND shooting stars! Unbelievable!!
We took a horseback riding tour into the back country one morning – I could barely walk when I got off!! LOL! That afternoon, after lunch, the group went down the Colorado in a raft. Thanks be to God the water was as smooth as glass for the 7 miles trek. We hit a few bumps and got wet which made it fun! We also toured Arches National Park where most of our group (me included) hiked to Delicate Arch. One part of the climb was 400 feet in elevation in a 1/4 mile! Well worth the sweat equity and breathless climb.
A week ago Saturday ended the tour so, after getting dropped off at the airport in Grand Junction, Colorado, the hubster and I rented a car so we could spend 3 days in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There we wandered around the area, shopped, soaked ourselves limp in the natural hot springs pool (talk about relaxing!!!) and took long, slow drives through the Rockies and various national parks.
Tuesday we took the long route to Denver so we could drive over Independence Pass and stop at the Continental Divide (12,095 feet) for picture taking in the snow! Breath taking views!! The hubster and I must have stopped every 100 feet to take a picture!
In Denver we spent the night at the Hyatt Regency where the Head Concierge is a childhood friend of the hubsters. We were spoiled by the great company and a delicious dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant.
We had so much fun!!! It was a wonderful way to celebrate this momentous year – college graduation, 25 years of marriage and 50th birthday. Now we are back in ‘reality’ and adjusting to the east coast’s rain and chill. <smile>
It was fun to go away. it was nice to come home too. AND I am soooo glad I cleaned the house before I left! How nice it was to come home to clean stuff, fresh sheets and towels and NO dishes!
Now on to plan the next adventure!
Pictures to come on the blog once the hubster is done editing them.