There is a politician in our Federal Parliament who not so long ago was found to be abusing her travel perks by using helicopters for short trips instead of more economical means.
After a great deal of media outcry, she lost her high level position in the government and was the butt of a lot of Facebook jokes and memes.
And after having already had a helicopter ride in NYC, a second one in the Grand Canyon made me feel more than a little self indulgent.
But really, what better way to get a true feeling for the grandeur of this natural wonder than by air?
(Has anyone else noticed that while I managed to get all of NYC into just two posts and Arizona seems to require a whole lot more detail?)
Before leaving Australia, I had actually booked this tour. At 40 minutes long, it was touted as a really great experience, taking in both the south and north rims and so I was really looking forward to it.
Short on time and not really optimistic that the coming storm would fizzle out quickly, we went the 30 minute trip which still covered the south and promised great views of the Colorado River. It delivered. Complete with dramatic music and commentary in both German and English.
Safely back on the ground, it was decided that with the weather becoming a little dodgy, and having had a pretty good look and all the pretty rocks and cliffs, we would continue our adventuring and head to Bearizona.
Where we got bears, howling wolves, an assortment of other critters,
Which surprisingly, was just an added bonus to an awesome day.
We saw the Flintstones campground, although we didn’t go much further into it than the gift shop, which was dark, crowded and smelled a little weird.
The day ended back in Williams, a late late lunch of burgers and fries, (or a very early dinner) followed by some wandering, shopping and chilling.
Big breakfast and late lunch meant that dinner was not required, although it was actually that day that the world famous best ever pie was consumed. (see previous post for pic)
Possible snow was forecast for overnight but Day three arrived snow free and soon we were back on the road with Las Vegas our final destination.
We stopped briefly in Seligman, not that anything was open but it had some interesting cars and buildings.
And this was where I finally tried a Twinkie.
I can only think that this was some sort of payback for Vegemite, because that white goo inside, omg…what the hell is that???
By the time we arrived at the Hoover Dam, we were ready for a walk to stretch our legs and it was definitely worth the stop.
From there it was straight to Vegas. From empty desert and mountain ranges, suddenly we had freeways and buildings and signs.
And bumper to bumper traffic.
Hotel located. Car parked. Lunch found and then back to check in.
As promised, a beautiful room with a fabulous view located after a bit of navigating through the casino.
We finished the evening with a wander down the Strip, pausing to watch the Mirage Volcano explode and the water show at the Bellagio.
After such an amazing few days, it was terribly hard to say goodbye to our incredibly cheap but totally amazing tour guide Patty (who very kindly allowed us to keep our kidneys).
She was only stopping the one night with us in Vegas, and she had to go home and back to her family and reality.
We were so blessed that she joined us on this part of the adventure and without her offer of the road trip, we would never have seen all the amazing and quirky things that we did.
She left first thing the next morning, leaving us to discover more of Vegas on our own.
Yes, there is still more….