Monday, 24 May 2010

Grand Canyon

Next stop on our road trip was the Grand Canyon. We'd left a full day to drive to Tusayan from Boulder city, so when we saw a sign that said 'SkyWalk, next exit, 49 miles' we decided 'why not?'... The reason why not is that the last 25 miles or so are down a dirt road - a very twisty and bumpy dirt road... we got there at about lunch time. Being a captive audience we were happy to pay the many $$ to get onto the Hualapai Nation, and to walk the skywalk (did I ever say I am absolutely dreadful with heights. Can barely change a light bulb... hmm, this could have gone very wrong, very quickly!).

The SkyWalk

As we were waiting someone told me the glass was German - for some reason that seemed like a GOOD THING, and so I carefully shuffled out onto the glass, carefully looking UP. The view on the flat was ASTOUNDING. So CAREFULLY (and holding onto Eddy with all my might) I crossed over to the outside edge. The photographers were great - getting us to pose really made me forget the height. In the end I even LOOKED DOWN... THROUGH THE GLASS... and walked without holding on for dear life :)

To be honest I didn't need to go on the skywalk to enjoy the wonderful views... but I'm really pleased I did.

Grand Canyon West - near the sky walk

It was a really fun detour but we didn't get to our next hotel until about 10pm. the next morning we went to Grand Canyon Village and the South Rim... OMG, the views here were even more stupendous...

We hiked around the south rim for most of the day... until the sole fell off Eddy's walking boot. It was a bit like a cross between a boot and a flip flop... We took the bus as far as we could get but it really put paid to our exploration. That night we ate at the El Tovar hotel, right on the edge of the canyon. We had a canyon view table, but at 9pm all you can see is black! The food was excellent though.

When we left to drive back to our hotel, it was really, really quiet and still. It was just starting to snow and as we went around the side of the hotel we saw a mule deer just a few yards away - a totally magical moment! One of my favourite memories ever.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Holiday stitching

I thought I ought to share some stitching...

This is the La-D-Da dragonfly I bought on holiday, and stitched while we were away - it was a freebie pattern, but they sold a little pack with everything needed to make up the pin cushion, apart form the stuffung. Needless to say I've not done the finishing yet!!

I took the Michael Powell kit with me on holiday... and I've done a little since we got back, I've now done all the xs, just need to do the half stitch sky and the bs. *just* :)

Now back to the holiday - we had an amazing day at Hoover Dam, and I have to say the full $30 dollar tour was well worth it!

View of the Colorado River. Taken through one of the vents half way up the dam!!!

I loved these signs...

Lake Mead

Eddy, with the new road bridge in the background

Hoover Dam

I'll try and add some more photos tomorrow!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Long time no see!!!

I haven't totally disappeared off the face of the earth... so where have I been?

Over the back end of March I was frantically trying to get things done at work before I went on holiday on the 1st April. It left me with little time for stitching and no time for blogging, beyond reading the occasional post...

On 1st April we flew to Las Vegas for an amazing 12 day holiday, followed by a week-long conference in Albuquerque fr me. Cue volcanic eruption... we got delayed by another week, and finally got back to the UK on the 26th April. Of course at that point I'd not been in work for almost a month, plus I had a meeting in Dundee to get to, and an interview in London last week... not to mention a weekend away in the middle! Shall we just say I've been a little busy since I got back? My personal highlight was working so late one night I got locked into the building by security, and set off the burglar alarms when I tried to leave....

So what have I been up to? I think I'll start at the beginning :)

So on 1st April we got up at 3am to get to the airport. The cheap tickets flying from our local airport (Leeds/Bradford) via Amsterdam seemed like not such a good idea when we flew over Bradford again 5 hours after we'd left... Hmmm. We got to Vegas and to our hotel in time for a quick meal out, then crashed out around 10.30... The next morning I had a lovely swim in the outdoor pool while Eddy slept in. We checked out of the Holiday Inn, picked up the hire car - and upgraded to a Dodge Charger (definitely a good idea) - then did my number one Vegas priority... stash shopping, at Stitcher's Paradise. Eddy was definitely acting as an enabler...

I bought:
7 Blackbird Designs charts (Bird in Hand, Rites of Spring, Merry Christmas Ella Vaughn, Peacock Pinkeep, Summer Basket, Sunflower charms, and Red Reindeer)
La-D-Da's spring needlekeep and fob kit, plus a little kit for Dragonfly Pin Keep
M Design's Las Vegas tree ornament
10 skeins of Weeks
4 crescent colours
13 skeins GAST
5 skeins GAST wool
2 skeins Belle Soie silk
Mill Hill beads and treasures
some Estaz glissen gloss
some Sweetheart tree charms
Some just another button company buttons
Some just another button company pins


(I did a little more stash shopping later on in the trip - this was just for STARTERS!!!)

After lunch we went to the Bellagio and checked in:

Bellagio Lobby - behind the reception desk

We'd paid extra for a view of the fountains. It was pretty stunning without the fountains on:

View from hotel room, Bellagio

It was STUNNING when the fountains were on:

View from hotel room, Bellagio, at night

Overall I have to say Vegas wasn't really my kind of place, but I did love the luxury of the Bellagio. I don't really gamble I did lose $1 in the slot machines, but as I don't get them and found it boring I stopped there!). The following morning I had a wonderful swim in the Bellagio pool, followed by pancakes in the poolside cafe for breakfast:

Bellagio pool

Sculpture, by Bellagio pool

Afterwards we checked out and headed off to the Hoover Dam... at which point I'll sign off!