Thursday, 28 May 2015

Hoover Dam and Southern Utah - 1st April

In the morning I went to Scott's room and he had managed to secure another people carrier for us with our same car company! He then went off to Las Vegas airport to swap cars. No more Chevy Suburban!
I spent some time editing photos and hated my new Windows 8 laptop a lot less when I started using the wireless mouse that came with it. I still can't believe though that all the extra moving around the screen and 'clicks' it takes to do stuff could be seen as an improvement by anyone.
I also had some messages that left me feeling stressed, including one from a friend in England saying our bedroom window was wide open again. (She'd messaged before about it, and got a local builder to close it for us, bless her! The handle on it was broken.)
Anyway, Scott came back and went with the kids to the pool (here they are in the pool, as seen from my hotel room window!) and I made decisions about the messages I'd had and got everything sorted out. Luckily we didn't have to check out till noon.

Jack had reluctantly decided not to go on the roof top rides, because it would use too much of his holiday money. I was glad!!!
We packed up and lugged our stuff down to the car area, while they bought round our car. We were pretty nervous about the size of it and fitting everything in.
While we were waiting, Scott and I chatted and acknowledged that of course there would be stresses and things crop up with the size of our undertaking! Also in any 3 week span, I would feel stressed/a bit sad at times. I felt better anyway, but glad to be leaving Las Vegas. It's an interesting place to see, but I don't really like being there.

When the car came, we just chucked everything in - extremely cramped! - and drove off. We had to lean one of the back row seats forwards to make room for the luggage, plus there was stuff crammed everywhere!
Tom was pretty sad about the arrangement and near to tears. We were only driving 20 or so minutes though to a casino and eat all you want  place called East Cannery, on the outskirts of Vegas.
We traipsed through the casino, and joked about it being like the pleasure place in the Percy Jackson book where you lose track of time and become disorientated!
The buffet was great though! $8 each (less for Harry), and loads of nice food to choose from. Everyone cheered up immensely and ate loads!

Afterwards in the car park we sorted out the car a bit better, and folded down 2 of the back seats. Lucy went in the back on her own, with all the suitcases next to her, and the three boys went in the middle. Harry wasn't very happy to start with about being in between Tom and Jack, but we showed him a little storage compartment he had, and the boys all had good leg room, and were OK with it after not too long. Getting better at adapting!

We then drove for about half an hour to Hoover Dam. I was a bit disorientated at first because we were coming in from a different way than we did 5 years ago. First we drove to the new bridge.

We parked and walked a little way, then out onto the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It's ridiculously high up!! A bit scary, but with an incredible view of Hoover Dam! We walked about half-way over it, then went back to the car, and drove to the new car park down near the Dam.

The boys racing us down the ramps while we took the stairs back to the car.

Lucy chilling out in the toilets of the multi-story car park next to the Dam!
We were all very cheerful and in good spirits. Also we named the new car 'Stanley Yelnats' (from 'Holes')!

We walked over the Dam and back along the other side. One of my very favourite places!! The whole thing is totally vast and incredible. It was really hot and lovely too - 86 degrees.

View of the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

This was my photo of the bridge being built in April 2010.

The water level has dropped again too, since 2010.

I liked the memorial by the Dam, to those who had the vision for it and built it. I'm staggered by what people can do.

We then drove 2-3 hours to Springdale in Southern Utah - near Zion National Park.
Me trying one of the kids' sweets!

Lots more long straight roads and desert, plus big rocks on the drive to Utah!

We had to pass right by St. George, Utah, so drove up and parked right next to the St. George Temple, which was opened in 1877. We went for a pleasant walk around the Temple block.
St. George is funny! Nice neat houses everywhere, and massively wide roads, which take ages to get across!

We also stopped off at a Walmart and stocked up on lunchy stuff. I could tell we were in Utah by the book stand!!

We reached our motel in Springdale after dark, so had hardly any idea of what the surrounding area looked like, though it felt fairly mountainy. The boys were happy to see another outdoor swimming pool, though I said they's have to wait till morning. Scott took a while to check in, so the kids and I filled up water bottles from some massive big baby water bottles (just the cheapest water at the supermarket!) and got the car organised. I felt happy at how smoothly we had got the packing and unpacking of the car each day and how organised we managed to keep everything!

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