Just call me Bronwyn

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?

20151029_065951 So after our breakfast and opportunity to thaw at El Tovar, and after a walk to see a bit more of the cliffs and park, it was off to the airport to check in. 20151029_082318

(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.

20151029_102908 But Mother nature had other ideas and we were asked to choose between a shorter option or taking our chances and hoping the weather would improve later in the day.

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. 20151029_101753

20151029_101848 It was perfectly timed, as we could see the storm coming through from the north as rain spotted the front window of the chopper. 20151029_100649

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,

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and hail. 20151029_130032

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.

20151029_105609 There was a cool place across the highway from it though, that had life size metal sculpture of horses and wagons and that was certainly worth a look. 20151029_110320

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.

20151030_090407 There was a comfort stop required at a servo.  And of course, the mandatory purchase of snacks and drinks.

And this was where I finally tried a Twinkie.

The one and only time I will ever eat one. FB_IMG_1446228165217

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.

20151030_115437 It was enough for us to walk from one side to the other and back.  Especially as the weather had warmed considerably from what it had been in Williams. 20151030_115630

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.

There it was, the Strip.  With all those casino hotels with the famous names.
20151030_131059   Massive complexes, with huge billboards.  Neon and spotlights and LED screens.

People.

Everywhere. 20151030_131711

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.

20151031_085840_LLS You can seriously get very lost in those places. Chill time.

Then back downstairs for a flutter on the pokies before dinner and then the Cirque show “Love”. 20151030_170312_LLS

We finished the evening with a wander down the Strip, pausing to watch the Mirage Volcano explode and the water show at the Bellagio.

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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….

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Just call me Bronwyn

  1. I have to side with your ousted politician. Why travel by car when you have the opportunity to travel by helicopter!?! It would be unethical to NOT travel by helicopter to your intended destination.
    When I went to the Hoover Dam, our guide would not shut up about how many people died during the making and are buried in the dam itself. Later learned, nah, that’s all b.s.

  2. cwmartin13

    What’s wrong with the goo in Twinkies? It’s sweet, and it lasts forever!

    I wonder if I would be able to go on the copter ride. I did once when I was four and not afraid of heights yet. Now, I’d prolly close my eyes the whole time…

    1. I found the New York helicopter scarier than the Grand Canyon. It moved faster and the windows were bigger so you felt like you had nothing underneath. I am not crazy about heights but I actually felt ok while we were flying

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