Sunday, 2 May 2010

Holiday (The first bit)

The adventure begins... John & Hannah turned up at our house, and in spite of good intentions to get to bed early, we were still packing and messing around till about midnight. I think we got up at 5.30 the next morning, and then drove to Heathrow. Scott had booked a company to collect our car and park and store it for us, so that was nice and easy.Thought we had better start our holiday off the right way - with a big American breakfast at Heathrow airport! I had no idea of time, and we ended up being the last ones to get on our flight! John and Scott spent a lot of the flight playing Settlers of Catan game on John's phone. I watched a couple of films, and read a bit. The flight didn't seem too bad. Getting some sleep at our stop over in New York.
We then got another flight to Salt Lake City. Scott and I sat with a guy who was also a member of our church, and we had a really good chat. Played the in-flight quiz, which Scott was the overall flight champion of...
When we arrived at the airport, a lady John had met on his mission picked us up and took us to another family's home in Holladay - the Varners - who John also met on his mission. The Varners had Scott and I for our first two nights, and made us feel so totally at home - they were wonderful and welcoming - I loved being there, and their home was amazing! We stayed in their son(a keen hunter!)'s room. I was pretty glad to get to bed - we had been up for 26 hours!Our first morning in America! I loved the view from the room we stayed in - I hadn't realised how in the mountains we were because it was dark when we arrived.Ross Varner gave us all a ride into Salt Lake to our car hire place, then we picked up our tickets for Conference, then took John & Hannah to the airport to get their hire car too. We split up then, and Scott and I wandered around various places near Temple Square.The beautiful decor and stained glass of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building Salt Lake City Temple, which took the pioneers 40 years to build.
We visited This is the Place Heritage Park, then Scott patiently waited in the car while I did some shopping in a couple of craft shops!
In the evening we drove up to Snowbird, before returning to the Varner's house. The snow was incredible, with whole cars covered, and it started snowing while we were up there, which was wonderful... I had not visualised this holiday with snow in it - an added extra!On Saturday 2nd April, we went to the Conference Centre and attended two sessions of 180th General Semi-Annual Conference of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The conference centre itself is really something amazing - vast and beautiful, but the talks and music were the best bit. In the 2 sessions, there were 4 talks on raising children, and having strong families and relationships with your kids. These really struck me, and have given me a lot to ponder on. I also got to hear the Tabernacle Choir sing my favourite hymn How Firm A Foundation.
It was great outside too, being among such a huge throng of Church members. We also bumped into a few people we knew!
After the afternoon session of Conference was over, we headed straight off, out of the Salt Lake Valley to our first hotel in Green River (the Melon Capital of somewhere-or-other, apparently)On 3rd April (Easter Sunday), we went first to see the view from Dead Horse Point, then carried on to Arches National Park. This was a fabulous place, and I didn't know looking at big rocks could make you so happy!
Lunch at Denny's!!
More Arches.
The chapel in Monticello.I was so glad I was able to snap this picture from the car - I love it!
Driving into Monument Valley.High winds at the Utah border.
We then had a long drive to Cameron, Arizona, not too far from the Grand Canyon. This was the view from the balcony of our hotel room. The next morning - 4th April - we went to Grand Canyon.The Little Colorado River before in enters the Grand Canyon.
Inside the watchtower that overlooks the Grand Canyon.
We were in a traffic jam for ages leading up to Hoover Dam. I was anxious to get there before the sun set, and luckily we made it in time.
I could just look and look at Hoover Dam all day. It's wonderful!After Hoover Dam, we drove to our hotel in Las Vegas.
Our room - overlooking the gardens - with the Flamingos!
We spent the day of 6th April driving from Las Vegas to Death Valley and back again. I love Death Valley! It is definitely one of my favourite places - just such a wholy different landscape. We played on the sand dunes, and it was HOT!
Death Valley is popular this time of year for its spring flowers.
Salt!That night we wandered from our hotel up the strip to the MGM (for their grand buffet!) Probably Scott's favourite bit of Las Vegas - about 70 TV screens all showing sport...
Probably my favourite thing about Las Vegas... the musical fountains outside the Bellagio


Mateo said...

Your trip sounds amazing. Out of respect for the US of A I would request that you refer to it as the "Conference Center" rather than Centre.

Jo Waters said...

I was wondering where part 1 was! It looks like you had a fabulous time - I am so jealous