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Showing posts from April, 2015

Visiting the Grand Canyon: Part 3

Continued from Part 2.

Early on October 5th we got up, had a delicious breakfast at the B&B, and drove back in to Page to the Colorado River Discovery headquarters for the first half of our two-part all-day adventure: a Hummer ride to a slot canyon followed by a boat trip on the river.  The slot canyon tour was only four of us, plus the guide, who, after learning we were all from Northern California and Washington, spent half the time apologizing for the fact that we had to take a Hummer (there was a lot of off-roading and steep drops, and he demonstrated the full capacity of the vehicle in the process).   He used the other half of the time to point out where to take the best photos of the canyon, and what camera settings to use.  Apparently taking photos of the canyon is considered the primary reason to visit!  He also showed us the different types of native plants, which are surprisingly varied and interesting.




The canyon itself was beautiful and quiet, especially in the morning…

Visiting the Grand Canyon: Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

By late afternoon on Friday, October 3rd, we'd reached the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.  We checked in to the Yavapai Lodge, where we were staying, and headed over to the canyon rim to see what we could see.  The view was lovely; we managed to arrive just about at sunset.  We walked along the rim in the village area, looked into the El Tovar - the oldest hotel on the property - and had dinner at the Bright Angel Restaurant.  Then it was time for bed in preparation for our hike the next day.



If you know us, you know we are not morning people.  So on Saturday, we did the best we could, and managed to get out of the hotel, eat breakfast, gather some snacks, and get on the bus to the trailhead by around 10am.  In the parking lot we saw a huge elk wandering around, so be on the lookout for nature everywhere!  For our hike, we took the Bright Angel Trail, which starts right in the village.  And then it was a long walk down the side of the canyon, fortuna…

Visiting the Grand Canyon: Part 1

Five days.  Four nights.  Three states.  Two type-A personalities.  One really big canyon.

Last October we took our first "real" vacation ever, just the two of us.  I had been hoping to visiting the Grand Canyon ever since I took "The Dynamic Earth" (aka "Rocks for Jocks") in college, where the professor, Alex Glass, somehow convinced me that geology is awesome.  Let me tell you, that man can make rocks interesting.  (It helped that he included random Star Wars references in many of his lectures.)  Anyway, being the supportive spouse that he is, Justin agreed to visit the Grand Canyon with me, we picked a time that seemed like it would have good weather with fewer crowds, and off we went.
Since I had never been to Las Vegas, we decided to start there, spend a day and a night, then spend four days completing the "Grand Circle," a 700 mile, 12 hour drive around the canyon.  On our way we passed through three states, several Native American reserva…

Concert Review: Elton John

And now, a stream-of-consciousness style review of Elton John's "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" tour, at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, October 1st, 2014.

Almost arrived late due to insane traffic weirdness.  Audience appears to be mostly middle-aged women.  But I ended up seated behind a whole row of bros who stood up basically all the time.  What we all had in common - a great time.

John was a great performer, maybe not as virtuosic as Billy Joel, but very talented




He loved the crowd, at mid-point let people come right up to the stage, and high-fived a little boy.  People kept jumping onto the stage to try to give him a hug.  Got up from piano after every song to walk around the stage and wave specifically at each section of the audience.  At the end, signed autographs for the people next to the stage.

Someone brought him a flag.  ???




Sparkly.  So sparkly.

Terrible backdrops.  One of the best parts about my seat at the extreme edge of the arena was not having to l…