Monday, 26 June 2017

Canada here we come.

Saturday the 17th saw us getting a cab to the airport, to catch our flight to Vancouver, the temperature in Las Vegas was 47 degrees, so very happy to leave.

 The flight was 2 1/2hrs, on arrival we caught a cab to our hotel and had a running commentary from our cab driver, about Vancouver and what is happening in Vancouver.
We sydneyites seem to have a lot in common with Vancouver, just to touch on a few gripes by our cab drivers, bike tracks being put in the inner city, foreign buyers, buying all the houses and leaving them empty.
There appears to be a lot of buildings demolished and new highrise being built in their place.
Vancouver does not appear to be preserving their heritage buildings.
The next morning we had a city tour and visited Stanley park, Granville Island and parts of the city.

The girl in the swimsuit in Stanley park, she is also a tidal marker.

Totem poles in Stanley park.

When we stopped at Granville Island we saw these painted concrete tanks.

My second quilt shop find on Granville Island, well actually I missed it, my kiwi buddies pointed it out, much to DH's dislike.
There was a light scatter of rain during the city tour, when we stopped at Granville Island for lunch,we were reassured that the rain would cease at 2pm.
We arrived back at our hotel at 1230 and left at 1320hrs to go to the Capilano suspension bridge and Grouse Mountain.
Entry to the suspension bridge, it is still raining.
DH and I walked across the bridge, very slippery.
View from the cliff walk, to the suspension bridge.
The cliff walk took about 10minutes.
View looking back from where we had walked.
After the bridge we were than driven to Grouse mountain, and it is still raining, but not cold.
We took the gondola up, and in 10mins we were up enjoying the sleet and light snow fall, I followed the bear tracks to see the grizzlys.
On the way we saw snow ploughs.
This is Grinder, the bigger of the two, Coola is the smallest, these bears were rescued as cubs and have been on Grouse mountain for 13 years
The bears weight charts.
As you can see it is still raining and light snow, the wood chopping event was entertaining, although it was wet we had a great day.

The next morning, it was all aboard for the Rocky Mountaineer, silver leaf as the gold leaf carriage was broken, money refunded, but I must say silver leaf was pretty special.

The Rocky Mountaineer was wonderful we had red carpet, bagpipes playing, three course meals, alcohol served from 10am and three delightful girls that kept us entertained. Our first day was 10 1/2hrs and we had an overnight stay in Kamloops.
Some of the sights from our train ride.
Inside the Rocky Mountaineer 

Our dessert at lunch time.

One of the first train stations, when the Canadian Pacific railway was built. Our second night was in Banff. We spent 14 1/2 hrs on the train travelling from Kamloops to Banff, this has been the only time that I have had to sew, as the touring has been at a frantic pace.
We arrived into Banff at 2100hrs, off loaded, said our goodbyes and checked into our hotel for the night. We were to spend two days in Banff, in the am, up to Sulpher Mountain.
More adventures to follow.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Las Vegas

After our grand canyon visit, where we stayed one night in Yavapai lodge, and saw the sunset, we all had a relaxing evening with wine and cheese. The next morning it was time to set off for Las Vegas.
This will be our third visit, but the first time coming in by road, we passed through Boulder City.
On our drive from the Grand Canyon we drove part of the way through Route 66, we had a stop over for an hour in Seligman, made famous by the local barber called Angelo, who was concerned about the new highway bypassing Seligman, so he went about making sure that passing traffic would stop and spend some money in the shops.

Angelo the barber

After our lunch stop, we arrived into Vegas at 4pm, and boy was it hot, stinking hot in fact. The
group was staying at Treasure Island. This was officilly the end of our national parks tour, so fond goodbyes and thank you's were relayed, friends made, until we meet again.

DH and I had three days in Vegas, we had our play prebooked for friday night, which we tried to see in 2012, but the show was having a break.

Treasure Island
The ship sinks on certain times.
After checking into our hotel, we went for a walk, the heat was very unpleasant,  so we decided to explore the hotels in the air conditioning.

When we visit Vegas we always go to the Bellagio to view what floral display that they have in their main foyer, this year did not disappoint, it was a tuscan theme.

Large topiary of lemons, the flowers are changed daily.

This plate was made of lentils and painted.

After visiting I felt like we were back in Sorrento again.
We also spent the day going out to old Las Vegas to enjoy the Freemont experience, never disappoints. There is a new container shipping yard with arty fart shops, boy did I have fun.

Freemont experience.

The fire spitting preying mantis.
Containers shipping yard.
Our Friday night show was circus Soleil "Zumanti", DH got more than he bargained for!

A great show
This concludes Vegas, onto Canada.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Salt lake city, Bryce Canyon, and Page

Salt Lake city is 70% Mormon , we arrived early afternoon and was met by two mormon sister's on their mission, who gave us a tour of Temple Square and demonstrated to us just how devout, they both are, with their religion and faith. Demonstration in the tabernacle of the great acoustics.

Walking around Temple Square was invigorating, and amazed at how clean and ordered everything was.
The mormon population, appears to be very strong in their beliefs.

That evening we dined in The Joseph Smith memorial centre,  on the rooftop, everyone had a great time and the food was excellent.

An afternoon and night was spent in Salt Lake city, after strolling around,  we both felt that there was not much to offer for tourists in this business city.

The next morning we were up early and set off for our long drive to Bryce Canyon.

ON the way we stopped at Red Canyon to view the salt and pepper grinders and the canyon and all its beauty. This night we will be staying at Rubys, after checking in we went into the canyon again to visit the amphitheater, the point and fairy castles, this canyon is rich red and very beautiful.

Next stop Zion national park.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Jackson, here we come.

After a leisurely drive from Yellowstone, stop for lunch at The Tetons and the onto a pioneer church, where we had a rest stop, we arrived into Jackson at 3.30pm. I could see that I was going to like Jackson.

Jackson has an Elk sanctuary and each year thousands of elks migrate to Jackson in the winter. This has seen the number of elk populate and there is now no fear of extinsion. Each year the buck sheds his antlers and then these are collected to sell, and make stuff with, as you can see this park has antler arches to each entry. Oh if only I could take some of these home.

Stage coach in the city centre.
We had two days in Jackson and this was my first op shop visit, got a few bargains.

Jackson has three great museums and we got to visit two of them, one about the pioneers and the other about the native americans.

Artifacts from the early pioneer days.
A crazy quilt, made from old shirts, blankets etc, finished off by tying.

This quilt from late 1800' is a log cabin design, but what was interesting was the beautiful hand made lace around the edge. 

Up close and personal with a moose.
Every afternoon at 6pm, Jackson has a shoot-out and nearly everyone that is in Jackson gathers to witness this event,  put on by the local theater company.

A fun time was had by all, even when we were attached by Indians. The next morning we head off to Salt Lake City. On the way we stopped at Bear Lake.

Afton, worlds largest Elk arch, more to follow