Category Archives: Nevada

Death Valley and Rainbows

Death Valley and Rainbows

If you are not from Texas you probably will not understand why I am packing chips and salsa in my luggage.  But if you have ever tried Mexican food in Utah (where Julie lives)  you will understand.  I had to check my bag but I knew my daughter would be grateful and since I didn’t have to pay to check my luggage, since we are flying on Southwest, and that made it even better. Julie had a conference in Las Vegas and we decided to meet her there.  I think she ate all the chips that first day.


Las Vegas is not my favorite city but we have a full schedule of things that we want to see.  Some I have seen before and some will be new on my list.

I talk my sister and my daughters into a day trip to Death Valley National Park.   It will be my first trip to California.

I have heard a lot of stories about how hot it is in Death Valley but today that is not the case.  It is raining and it is cold enough to wear a jacket.  We didn’t know it at the time but it was going to be a day full of glorious rainbows.On the way to Death Valley NP

Our first view of Death Valley National Park is the Badlands.  These are some of the views from Zabriskie Point.IMG_4083 IMG_4066

Our main purpose for this journey is Badwater Basin to see the salt flats and to stand below sea level.  IMG_4100

In this first photo you can see a small white spot on the side of the mountain.  It is a sign that says sea level!

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It starts to rain and we need to make it back to Las Vegas before dark.  On our way out of the National Park we saw the most amazing thing, flowers growing amidst the rocks.

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What we didn’t know at the time was that we were seeing something very rare in Death Valley National Park.  It was the beginning of the “Super Bloom”  the last one was 11 years ago and we only saw the beginning of this one.  Pretty amazing.

On our drive back to Vegas we see more rainbows and some beautiful scenery.


Life is good.








Day 6 – Homeward bound!

Day 6 – Homeward bound!

Theresa, Katy and I headed out early to eat breakfast and check out other parts of Vegas. We ate breakfast at the Omelet House in Henderson. We were greeted with a cheery hello about my Texas Ranger Shirt! Go Rangers! We all ordered, you guessed it, omelets. They were really good except for the fact that no one told us that each omelet was made out of six eggs! We could have shared one! The food was great and the staff very friendly.

Ethel M’s is our next stop and we get there the same time as about six tour busses. But we go in anyway. Theresa and I buy some pecan brittle, Katy gets some time of really rich chocolate, strawberry shake and we buy Joanne a caramel-chocolate covered apple. She loves those things. Ethel M’s has a really nice cactus garden that you can walk through so we did!

The Las Vegas Sign is our next stop. It became a Historical Landmark in 1959.


Next we take Katy down to Freemont Street. Vegas in the daylight sure is different than Vegas at night. Lynda decided that she really liked it on Freemont Street, and she might want to stay there the next time (IF) she goes back to Vegas! lol….I told you I’d get her to change her mind about Vegas! Katy got to play a few slot machines. We found some old style slot machines that still payout in quarters. We decided we really like them better than the new style slots! Something about hearing those coins drop when you hit the cash out button! Cha-Ching!

We found a couple of wedding chapels, cute!

We found the PAWN STARS Silver & Gold Pawn Shop and a mural for Theresa.


Wanda, Deniece and Joanne pick us up and off we go to the airport!

All in all, we had a pretty awesome trip!

Lynda and Theresa

Day 5: Higher Elevations and back down

Day 5: Higher Elevations and back down

Did you know if you are over the age of 62, you can get a lifetime National Park Pass for $10? Did you know that at most National Parks that gets your whole vehicle in for free? If you are not over age 62, you can get a yearly pass for $80.

We are now entering Bryce Canyon. It is hazy because of a wildfire that is burning somewhere in Arizona or Colorado or Utah. They are all having issues with wildfires but Utah’s are mainly caused from target practice. I thought that was interesting.

Bryce Canyon is famous for its hoodoos. What is a hoodoo? Evidently it is a tall, thin rock that comes up from the bottom of a basin. There are a whole lot of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

Gambling fever has hit Wanda, Deniece and Joanne pretty bad and they are ready to head back to Vegas but on our way we climb even higher in elevation to Cedar Breaks National Monument. The canyon-rim visitor center sits at 10,350 feet above sea level. It was beautiful! The road was pretty curvy and I was riding shotgun so needless to say I said slow down on more than one occasion. But the view was worth it. The flowers were beautiful, in looked more like spring than summer in July!

So I decided to ride in the middle of the back seat on the way down but Wanda decides to take a right turn and head up even higher to Brian Head Peak (elevation 11,307 feet). Katy got a little too close to the edge and that Sagitarius aunt of hers got a little worried this time. It was really windy! It was worth it, thanks Wanda for taking the scenic route!

We stop in Cedar City to eat at the Little Brick House, which is not only a sandwich shop but also a gift/oddities/antiques shop. We had the Monday special which was buy one sandwich get another for half price. This was not only the least expensive meal we had but also the best lunch we had on the whole trip! That Chocolate Silk Pie was mmmmmm good! Be sure and stop in at The Little Brick House (50 West 400 South).

We make it to Vegas in record time. I enjoyed the scenery as the landscape changed continuously. I didn’t like our first night in Vegas so I am determined to see some of the things that Vegas is famous for. First stop after we check in at TI is the Bellagio.

It was beautiful! I loved the interior, the decorations and the flowers.

And of course we ate at the famous Bellagio Buffett. I had never seen so much food in my life. As Theresa pointed out “It had more food than Vance Godbey’s”! We stood in line for an hour and then agreed to sample things that we hadn’t had before and some things that we loved eating. The list included: pesto mashed potatoes, Kobe beef, banana’s foster, crème brulee, panna cotta, bread pudding, crab legs, macaroons, beef bourguignon and the list goest on!

We walk out just in time to get a spot to watch the water fountains outside the hotel.

We had back to TI to take a break, change our shoes and head over to Fremont Street to ride the zip line. But weariness caught up with me as I layed my head down for 5 minutes and was out for the night. Tomorrow is a new day!

See you on the road!


Day 1 – Dam Skywalkers!

Day 1 – Dam Skywalkers!

We arrived in Vegas, a little late, but NEVER too late to see the sights (or play the slots!) Lynda said she would NEVER go back to Vegas – she says it smelled bad. However, Monday night we’ll be back in Vegas before we fly back, and I’m taking her to Freemont Street for some fun!

Lynda and Katy were the first to turn in, I wasn’t too far behind them, but Jo (or as Lynda says “Mo”), she loved those slot machines! She came in right before Deniece did, and we aren’t real sure what time that was. All I know is that Lynda said we were leaving at 6am because we had a full day scheduled….and Deniece had to call Wanda in from the casino so we could leave! Good times!

We treaked over to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. Thank goodness Lynda didn’t make us go on the dam tour! However, we did walk across the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial bridge. It was a beautiful spot to overlook the dam.


As we drive through the dry, arid terrain, Lynda pulls out our trip music, all of the #1 hits of the 70s. How cool is that?!! Of course, I’m not really old enough to remember all those songs! (hee hee!) And yes, that’s the ONLY music we are going to listen to for the entire trip! Lol

On down the road, we come upon a Joshua Tree forest. Katy was in hog heaven! We stopped and snapped a few pics for the tree hugger!

Tree Hugger

We finally arrive at our main destination for the day at the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the South Rim. And being a GC first timer… I must say WOW!The Skywalk tour is a little pricy, but we decided it was well worth it!


Moving on down the road, we head out on Route 66, stopping along the way to admire various scenic views as well as some unusual art. At Walapai, we found the Giganticus Headicus at a place that reminded us of a bad motel in a scary movie! Onward to the Hackberry General Store with it’s treasure trove of Route 66 memorabilia, and finally stopping to eat dinner at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap in Seligman. We pile back in to find our final destination for the night at the Yavapai Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. No AC in the room but it was cooling off so with the windows open and the fans circling, we dozed off…but not for long!

Route 66




Vegas, a dam, and a canyon

Vegas, a dam, and a canyon

Greetings from the way back seat!

We are on the road as of 6:40am this morning. Arrived in Vegas last night and with me being a Vegas Virgin it doesn’t take much to make me immediately blush. As we head to the baggage claim I observe a billboard of shirtless Austrailian men: THUNDER FROM UNDER! Damn! Nobody told me about this! wish my BFFs were here to help me indulge my curiosity. Too bad I am here with a group of middle aged women. LOL

For those of you who haven’t met me, I am Katy,sister of the younger sister gang. I am sister solo this trip. The rest of the crew includes sisters Lynda (mom) and Theresa (aunt); Wanda and Deniece (adopted family); and fellow solo sister Joann (family friend of Lynda and me).

First impressions of Vegas: With the exception of the shirtless buff men, it’s stinky and smokey. Saving my gambling until when we come back on Monday, don’t need aspeeding ticket like my last gambling adventure.

First Stop: Hoover dam…impressive.

Next stop: thc glass ledge at the south rim.