Sorry for the long delay since posts, I’ve been travelling and it’s been fabulous so brace yourself for lots of pictures!
For the last two weeks Sarah and I have been doing a road trip around the Southwestern US, something that I’ve been really wanting to do ever since we got here. There are lots of national parks in the US, and the few we’ve seen so far were stunning so we were excited to check off more!
We went hardcore on route planning, because sleep is for the weak:
The first stop was Moab, somewhere we have been a few times before but is so beautiful we couldn’t resist stopping by again. It’s home to the Arches national park, which is just stunning. We managed to get there just as the sun was setting, and it was so very gorgeous!
We walked around a little and watched the sun set, before heading to our hotel and the local brewery for the night!
The next morning we got up to do some daytime hiking along Devil’s Garden, which has several beautiful arches that I haven’t seen before. It was a very long hike in very hot sun, made longer and hoter by us getting slightly lost on the primitive trail…
Still, very beautiful!
It was really stunning, it’s very hard to capture the scale in the pictures. Also as always in the US personal safety is very much your own responsibility, so there was lots of standing near steep cliffs and scrambling over loose rocks, great stuff!
Once we eventually found our way back to the car and rehydrated vigorously we went on to Bryce Canyon, the next stop on our road trip. We had booked a very cute looking Wooden Cabin that totally lived up to expectations, and we were very relieved when we got to go to sleep after our long day 🙂
Awake and full of coffee we headed off to our second long day of hiking, at Bryce Canyon National Park! This is probably the park I was most excited to see, since our friends who are living in Utah said it is their absolute favorite place in the US. It absolutey did not disappoint!
And that was just the view from the car park! We went on a long hike that took us down through the rock spikes, which are called Hoodoos. There were lots of up and downs, but we had lots of water and clear signage this time so we had a great hike! So, so many beautiful views:
Go visit Bryce Canyon, is what I’m saying. It was honestly just breathtaking the whole time, and we only got to do one of several hikes.
After these two whole days of healthy hiking we had arranged to switch gears, so it was time for our two day stop-over in Las Vegas! We had to cross two state lines to get there, so got to do lots of fun posing by signs 🙂
I was actually really impressed with Las Vegas – we mostly included it as something that everyone should see once and a chance to do something different mid-trip, but it wasn’t as tacky as I was expecting. We stayed at the Excalibur which was really nice, as well as being on the main strip:
We arrived quite late so basically just had dinner and went to sleep on the first night, so we were ready nice and early the next day for some more walking, this time up and down the strip!
It was really lovely walking along and looking in all the hotels, they were so varied and just stunning. My definite favorite was the Venetian, which was amazing. The interior was decorated like the streets of Venice at sunset so every store has an exterior design and the ceiling is painted to look like the sky, and the whole place is softly lit.
It was awesome. Although close runners up are the Bellagio, which was full of live flowers and a terrifying giant squirrel:
The Luxor, which is just ridiculous. The Sphinx is on the front, and the main building is a giant black pyramid that shoots a powerful beam of light into the sky.
We even made some exciting friends along the way!
As well as checking out the many amazing sights, we also tried our hand at one of the top things to do in Vegas – shooting big guns! We booked a visit to the not-reassuringly named Battlefield Vegas to do some heavily supervised firing of guns, which was excellent fun despite the alarming decor:
We fired big guns and little guns surprisingly well, and then had a great time playing around with the extremely big guns that for some reason they choose not to keep loaded:
It was a ridiculous place, I guess is my point.
Anyway, much fun was had and we spent the final night enjoying cocktails in the Mandalay Bay bar that overlooks the strip. Amazing views and $16 cocktails, woo!
I’ll give you some time to absorb the madness above, and will do my best to get Part Two out as soon as I can!!