Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bryce Canyon National Park - Day 7 (June 21)

Bryce was very different than Zion, but it was great in its own way. In Zion the cliffs were all around you, but in Bryce you had to hike out to be in the middle of them. Bryce had the coolest formations though that seemed to defy gravity. We went on several short hikes throughout the day, and here are some of my favorite pictures (okay, let's be honest. I'm including all of the pictures I took, even though they're crappy disposable camera shots):

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Conversation

While watching Berenstein Bears, whose theme song is sung by Dolly Parton:

Andy: Is that Dolly Parton?

Emma: Did you say Donny Parton?

Andy: Yes, dear. Donny Parton. The big-breasted, country music singing hermaphrodite. That's exactly what I said.

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon - Day 6 (June 20)

On our way out of town today, we stopped and hiked a trail that overlooks Zion. The hike was just over a mile, and there was a warning that you shouldn't go if you're afraid of heights, but it was spectacular. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Here are the highlights:

Danny and the girls from across the canyon (we were a bit ahead of them)

Funny story. Calvin has a small soccer ball that he has kept clutched in his fist at all times during our trip. When we were rounding a steep drop off, Calvin all of a sudden launched his arm back, and threw his ball as hard as he could. We watched it fly off the edge of the cliff, and he automatically started saying, "uh oh! Ball! Uh oh! Uh oh! Ball!" over and over and over again.

So we finished our hike with him whining about his ball, and then on the way down, Andy and I started talking about where exactly it had gone over. Andy remembered the spot, so I was looking around the edges thinking there was no chance we'd ever find it, when I saw it. It was lodged in a tree branch that was right on the edge of the drop off. I had barely pointed it out in the tree, when Andy ducked under the railing and shimmied down the side of the cliff. I wish I had a picture of him leaning over the side of the mountain, straining to grab a 33 cent ball that his little boy loved, but unfortunately I was too busy freaking out to remember to snap a shot. He grabbed the ball, and this is the picture of him climbing back up. There has never been such a hero.

After hiking the overlook, we headed further north to Bryce Canyon National Park where we checked into Ruby's Inn, grabbed dinner, and then hit the pool before checking out the trails tomorrow.

Zion National Park - Day 5 (June 19)

Today we spent the day on various hiking trails.

Shuttle to the Trails:
Calvin wearing Lindsey's sunglasses, thinking he was hot stuff.

Riverside Walk Trail:
Tough guys holding up the rocks.

There were chipmunks and squirrels everywhere and they had no fear of people. This one was in our backpack. Another one, Calvin bent down to pet, and the squirrel actually nibbled on his fingers (I always think of Carrie Bradshaw saying, squirrels are just rats in fancier dresses), and then the best encounter: Calvin bent down like he was going to pet a chipmunk, so the poor unsuspecting animal came right up to him like he was going to nibble on his fingers. The boy pulled his hand back a bit, and before anyone had a clue what he was doing, Whack! he smacked the chipmunk as hard as he could. Poor little thing ran off like the devil was after him.

Emerald Pools Trail:

This trail was gorgeous. Unfortunately, we started the hike a bit late, so we had to hurry to beat the dark, but there were lower, middle, and upper pools. You could hear bull frogs all through the woods. The trails were steep and had long drops, but we saw waterfalls and cool rock formations. My stupid disposable camera didn't work on most of the pics because it was dark, but it was by far my favorite hike of the day.

A few random shots of the canyons:

Las Vegas and Zion - Day 4 (June 18)

This morning we had breakfast at the hotel and the nice hotel man gave Calvin another bunch of lettuce to feed the swans. We checked out of our hotel, picked up Danny, the ladies, and all of their luggage, and then they all humored me as we went to back to the Venetian to ride on the gondolas. Our rower was named Aldo, and after his awkward singing of an Italian ballad, Calvin started to freak out because he wanted to jump into the water. Aldo was a great sport, and actually sang like 7 versus of Old MacDonald had a farm in his adorable accent, complete with animal noises.

Here are our gondola ride pictures:

After the boat ride, we grabbed some Subway, stocked up on soda, shampoo, and DVD's at Target, and then hit the road and headed north toward Zion National Park.

Our adorable little cabins at Zion Lodge, just inside the park. We were next door neighbors with D&A, with a door connecting our rooms. The boy was in heaven, running back and forth between our place and theirs.

Cute girls on the porch.

Our darling model Ariana. The insides of the cabins were cute and clean. They didn't have a tv, but God bless them, they did have wireless! (Thanks Annette for the pictures!)

The air was fresh and woodsy. I met a deer after dark that let me come right up to her and touch her nose. The sky was dark and the stars were gorgeous. It was all of the perks of camping, without any of the discomfort. We love it here!