Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: A Mountain Top Experience...

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Mountain Top Experience...


Greetings, Scamps! I should probably come up with a scintillating topic for today's blog, but to tell you the truth, I am pooped. Just got in last night from a nine day road/air trip, and I am staring at piles of luggage just waiting to be unpacked. But if I start unzipping suitcases, I'll see the dirty laundry, and from there on out, it's a downward spiral! :)

So instead, I'll blog a bit...

My hubby had to go out west for some meetings, so I tagged along. His expenses were all covered, so I only had to buy my plane ticket and food. On Saturday the 25th, we drove to Cincinnati (you'll see why later) and got a direct flight to Vegas. By the time we made it to our room, we were so tired. That three-hour time change meant the folks in Vegas were still partying when we were brushing our teeth and tumbling into bed.

The next day, we explored the small city with the big reputation. Visual overload everywhere you go! Ate lunch at one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants... rode the monorail from one end of town to the other... peeked in the lobby of some of the fancy hotels... saw a Cirque du Soleil show that night.

Monday morning we checked out and hit the road, driving north and east toward Utah. Passed through a corner of Arizona on the way. Arrived at Zion National park about 2:30. Now we are on Mountain time which is only 2 hours different from Tennessee.

My hiker husband wanted to get out and explore the park ASAP, so we put on our boots and headed up the Angels Landing trail. It is rated "strenuous", and normally that word would make me say a big "no", but he really wanted to do it. You hike two miles pretty much straight up with an altitude gain of 1500 feet. That's the equivalent of a 150 story building!!

It was snowing and the wind was strong, but the views were phenomenal.

Got back down in time for dinner. His meeting started early the next morning. Tuesday was messy weather-wise, so I shopped a bit in the tiny town of Springdale at the park's entrance. Wednesday was clear but cold. I stayed in the room until after lunch and then decided to do that same trail again. (Am I crazy, or what?!?!?) But it was so amazing, and with the sun out, I thought I could get better pictures. Unfortunately, the hike was just as hard as it was the first time.

The trail is wide and very safe, but there are sheer drop offs. I respect heights, but am not really scared by them, so I was okay. Although I did pass a handful of other hikers, there was plenty of solitude and stunning vistas. The valley is surrounded by massive peaks, and from the vantage point of the steep trail, it was almost like being in church. In this picture, I was sitting with my back against the cliff face and looking out over the valley. (In truth, I was trying to catch my breath for the rest of the climb!!)

Thursday the meetings ended at noon, and we headed back toward Vegas. Took a detour on the way so I could see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Way cool!

Checked in at the Holiday Inn Express and took a shuttle to the Mandalay Bay Hotel for a Brad Paisley concert. My dh is NOT a country music fan, but he loved it. Brad is a phenomenal guitarist and puts on a kick butt show. Terrific fun. (We bought tickets at the last minute and lucked into a couple of seats that were in "spittin' distance" of good ole Brad.)

Up and out Friday to head to the airport...flew back to Cincinnati... losing three hours on the way.

Saturday, I was at the Barnes and Noble in Westchester for a booksigning with a bunch of other authors including LuAnn, Rosemary, Toni, Lori, Kay, Shiloh, J. C., and more. Great to see everybody!

Afterwards we caught a late afternoon matinee of The Santa Clause and had dinner at the Fish Market. Yum!

Sunday morning up bright and early to drive back to Knoxville. Stopped at our daughter's house... she was having a Christmas open house, so we had some yummy food.

At last, drove the final two hours home and crashed here about 6:30 last night.

Now you can wee why the suitcases are still waiting to be unpacked.

I have to get myself in gear and clean up the debris so I can get the house in shape, decorate, and start wrapping.

I missed all you guys while I was gone! Glad to be back in my own bed!

Janice

7 comments:

Stacy~ said...

Okay Janice, I'm tired just reading this! What a busy couple of weeks you've had. I love Brad Paisley - would have loved to have seen his show. I'm a terrible planner though - I'm lucky I remember to book a hotel.

Utah sounds gorgeous. My new favorite guy, anthropologist Josh Bernstein, has a home there - he's the CEO of BOSS - the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. Oh, and he hosts "Digging for the Truth" on the History Channel.

Welcome back Janice - we missed you too :)

Stacy~ said...

Okay Janice, I'm tired just reading this! What a busy couple of weeks you've had. I love Brad Paisley - would have loved to have seen his show. I'm a terrible planner though - I'm lucky I remember to book a hotel.

Utah sounds gorgeous. My new favorite guy, anthropologist Josh Bernstein, has a home there - he's the CEO of BOSS - the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. Oh, and he hosts "Digging for the Truth" on the History Channel.

Welcome back Janice - we missed you too :)

Anonymous said...

Janice it sounds like you had a great, but busy vacation. Hope you had fun and remember laundry will be there when you are ready to do it.

Cryna said...

Janice - It sounds like a busy time, but at the same time you saw one of my favorite country singers, Brad Paisley, that in itself would have been wonderful.

Glad to have you back and laundry is something that will wait for you......

Larissa said...

Sounds very busy...but gorgeous picture! I've been all over the U.S., but I think Utah is one of the few states I've not been through!

Judy F said...

phew I am tired to from reading it.
It was so great to see you Saturday... Hope you can stay home for a bit now...

Loretta said...

That part of Utah is pretty. I love going over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead is so pretty. I haven't been up that way in a long time. I live in sunny Arizona.