Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Break October 2014

My parents came to visit me in Arizona over my 4 day weekend (Fall Break) in earlier this month (October) since I hadn't seen them since last February. We did a lot while they were here. They arrived Thursday about the time I got done with school, so I introduced them to fellow staff. Then, we went and dropped some of their stuff off and they got to see my new place. After that we went downtown to Beale Street Gallery, so that I could show them some art and where I bought a couple of their gifts. After that we went to Boston Antiques and looked around. I have gotten some awesome antique oriental furniture from Boston Antiques, so I wanted to show them that place. On Friday morning we got up and I took them out to Colbaugh Processing, so they could see the showroom of the local Turquoise mine. They also have some other neat gemstone beads. After that we headed towards Flagstaff. We stopped in Seligman and Williams and did some looking around.
We didn't travel up to the Grand Canyon from there because by that time it was late afternoon. We did check out the train ride information to maybe do on a future visit. My dad made us a hotel reservation at Twin Arrows Casino and resort because he thought it was up by the Grand Canyon, but it was actually past Flagstaff and on the corner of the Indian Reservation. We don't gamble, but it was still a really nice hotel. We ate there for dinner. The next morning, Saturday, we got up and drove down to Sedona. On the way into Sedona we stopped at the Native American roadside stands as a friend recommended we do that. They had lots of different things to sell. Then we continued down into Sedona. They were having an art festival at the high school, so we went to that. They had lots and lots of booths and lots of great art. I enjoyed just walking around and admiring it all. Next we went to one of the vortexes.

Amitabha Stupa

Sedona has a few, but my Mom's knee was bothering her, so I didn't want to do one that was going to be a super long hike. So, we went to the Amitabha Stupa. It was pretty awesome after having lived in Asia to see a stupa in the United States. It was pretty easy to get to and we stayed for a little while. I think I would have liked to have stayed longer but it was hot out and so we probably only stayed half an hour. I definitely want to go back though. After that we drove down through Cottonwood and Camp Verde. I wanted to stop at Montezuma Castle and Well, but by the time we got down there they were both closed for the day. We decided to just drive back up to Flagstaff where we were staying. We ate dinner at Salsa Brava. I had blackened Salmon fish tacos with mango salsa. So delicious. It was worth the wait. On Sunday we got up and drove up to the Grand Canyon. My parents were last there in 1976 on their honeymoon. It was my first time going there. We stopped in Cameron, Arizona as I have a brother named Cameron. We stopped at the Cameron Trading Post. I got my brother a postcard and I wanted to mail it to him from the Cameron post office, but since it was Sunday they were closed and I had no way to get any stamps. I was kind of bummed about that. I took a picture of my parents in front of the Cameron, Arizona post office.

Cameron Trading Post 

After that we drove over to the Grand Canyon and stopped at lots of spots along the way to look down into the Canyon. We did go to the Mary Coulter, Desertview Watchtower. We went up into the tower and were able to look way down into the Canyon and way into the distance. We didn't do everything there was to do as there was more than we could do in one day, but we made notes of things that we would like to do the next time we go to the Grand Canyon.  We also stopped at the Tusayan museum and ruins. My dad really wanted to stop there and look around. We drove down through Tusayan (the town) and stopped at the IMAX to watch a film on the mysteries of the Grand Canyon.

It was very enjoyable. We ate at a pizza and pasta place before driving back to Flagstaff. On the way back it was dark out and my dad was driving. We saw a huge elk that was thinking about crossing the road. My dad still has good reflexes and neither the elk or us was hurt. On Monday morning we got up and did a little bit of looking around Flagstaff. There was a photographer I met about 5 years ago at an art festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He now has a studio in Flagstaff, so I went to visit his studio. Shane Knight has a great gallery. He has this one photograph of the Tetons that I hope someday I have enough money to buy. The Tetons are very special to me and it is the only photograph that has really stood out to me enough that I would like to have it. We ate lunch at Cuvee 928. It was a delicious lunch and I was full enough that I didn't have room for Cold Stone. After that we headed back towards the Grand Canyon Caverns and took a tour. I was there last January and really enjoyed it. I thought my parents would like to go and they did. After that we headed back to my place because I had to get groceries and some things ready for the next day since I had to go back to work. It was an enjoyable trip and I am glad I got to see and spend some time with my parents.

Grand Canyon West 26th Anniversary

Eagle Point 
I was invited to go to the 26th Anniversary celebration of Grand Canyon West. It was Saturday April 26, 2014. I went with another co-worker and then we met up with another co-worker, her husband, their daughter and a nephew. It was raining on the way up and then snowing when we got up there. I had gotten out a sweatshirt, but then left it thinking that I was taking too much stuff with my rain/wind jacket and hat. I ended up buying a sweatshirt at the gift shop there because it was too cold for just my light jacket. After I did that we went and got in line to take the bus to the Skywalk. My co-workers husband picked up the shirt they were giving out to everyone for each of us. We rode the bus to the Skywalk and Eagle Point. We took pictures of the Eagle in the rock, why it is named Eagle Point and looking down into the canyon.It was kind of scary because this little kid was running around with no parents around and we were afraid she was going to take too big of a risk and fall. We walked around and looked at the different examples of houses: teepees, and huts. After that the co-worker, that I rode up with and I got in line for the Skywalk. I am not afraid of heights, but am afraid of falling, so I thought being up on the Skywalk where I could look down below me would make me freak me out.


We aren’t allowed to take cameras or cell phones up there. They say that it is to preserve the glass by preventing those items being dropped on it. We had to put all of our stuff in the complementary lockers. It was a long line, but the wait wasn’t too bad. Fog started coming in while we were waiting. Once we got up there we could see that they had rugs laid on the one side to walk on so that people wouldn’t slip and fall on the glass since it had been raining and snowing. I actually wasn’t afraid at all. There was a photographer assigned to our group to take pictures, so we would walk a little bit and then he would stop us to take pictures. You don’t really get to spend a long time up there but kind of get herded along. After that we went back into the main building to look at our pictures and decide which ones we wanted to purchase. Since we had these purple wristbands it was not as expensive as normal, which was a good thing for me since I didn’t have much money to spend. I was able to get three pictures. I got one by myself, a nice one of my co-worker and I and a silly one of the two of us. After that we went through the line and got the free lunch, another deal with the purple bands. They were doing a presentation for the Anniversary. It was a nice and informative presentation. After that we went to look for our other co-worker and her family but we couldn’t find them and the cell service was non-existent. So, we hopped on the bus and went to the next point, Guano point, and walked out a ways almost to the historic tram and looked there. The sun was starting to come out so we decided to head back to see if we could get the helicopter ride. We rode the bus back to the starting point and went and got tickets for the helicopter and boat ride. It was also discounted because of the purple wristbands, which was nice because I definitely would not have been able to afford it otherwise. The timing was perfect and we didn’t have to wait at all. I was a little nervous since it was windy. I hate turbulence in planes and so wasn’t sure how I would handle being in a helicopter.

 When we took off I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to laugh or cry. I really enjoy it though and loved getting to see out of the helicopter. We flew to the bottom and took a short boat ride up and down the Colorado River. Then we ended up having to wait for awhile until the helicopter came back, but I didn’t mind as I was thoroughly enjoying being there. After that we flew back up and got in the vehicle and headed back to down. We went out to sushi for dinner and one of the choices I had was the Grand Canyon roll, as I thought it was fitting. It was a great day and I am glad I had the opportunity to go.