Monday, April 17, 2006
The Latest Journey
It's late at night and I just got back from a wonderful trip to visit my brother in Vegas. No, I didn't do any gambling, but I had a great time. There will be more later, but consider this a little taste of what's to come.
Recipe for a great, gambling-free trip to Vegas and the surrounding area: Take one vehicle and a couple of family members (including some gas money) and head out across Hoover Dam to Arizona. Go down Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona and wander through some shops. Head out of Sedona, enjoying views of some stunning rock formations along the way, to a Native American cliff dwelling known as Montezuma's Castle. From there, head into Prescott to spend the night at the very well-appointed vacation home of a friend or colleague. The next day, head out of Prescott, up and back down the very steep and winding road that is highway 89A to the little mining town of Jerome, perched rather precariously on the side of a steep hill. In Jerome, wander in and out of several shops featuring the work of local artisans, being sure to talk to some shopkeepers and learn some of the local lore. Upon leaving Jerome, make a bee-line for the Grand Canyon's south rim. The entrance fee to the national park is worth it. If you can, try to be there during a thunderstorm and sit on the edge of the canyon enjoying a little bit of rain and the endless echoes of the thunder reverberating through the canyon. If you have all sorts of time or are able to spend the night, hike down at least partway and enjoy a picnic. Otherwise, get back in your vehicle, drive back out the road you came in on, and head back toward Hoover Dam and on to Vegas. The next day, pamper yourself in Vegas (or better yet, let someone else pamper you). Sleep in, go to a spa and enjoy a massage, a facial, a haircut, and of course some time in the hot tub and sauna. In the evening, go to a show at one of the big casinos on the Strip, then head out to a late dinner at one of Vegas' top-notch restaurants. And whatever you do, at the end of this fabulous trip, don't try to fly through Chicago when they're having thunderstorms and all sorts of delays at O'Hare.
Effusive thanks to my brother and his girlfriend for hosting me and treating me to a really great vacation. Also to my mom for once again patiently putting up with my brother and I acting like siblings.
Later this week: some photos to inspire you to create your own wonderful trip to the great American Southwest.