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Thursday, February 21, 2013

One Big Bad Bird

After walking the dog this morning I saw what I thought was an owl high up on the top of an electrical pole. A few nights ago there had been two owls sitting on that same pole hooting away. I wondered why an owl would be out this late in the morning. Maybe he had a bad night of hunting.

 Then it turned its head towards me and I saw it was a huge hawk of some kind. He was watching mostly in the direction of the road, probably in hopes of getting an easy meal from road kill.

 I had to be patient and wait for him to look my way so I could get a good photo of his face. I had to be ready and quick because he would only look my way for a few seconds then turn back towards the road.
(You might want to click on the photos so you can see a larger view)
 I don't have any idea what kind of a hawk it is but it sure made my morning walk a little bit more exciting.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birthday Celebration Vegas Style

We just got back from a mini vacation in Vegas because
our daughter turned 21 and wanted to celebrate her birthday in Vegas.

Here are some of the photos of the fun time we had:

Instead of a cake we decided on a yummy, giant chocolate chip cookie with frosting. Thought it would travel easier than a cake and besides we wouldn't have been able to eat a whole cake in two days.

We stayed at the Riviera Hotel and Casino. It has been around since 1955 and Liberace was their first entertainer. Elvis, Sinatra and the Rat Pack are just a few of the top stars that put on shows at the Riviera.
The pool is original. Wish the picture had turned out better of the pool.

This next set of photos is inside the Wynn Hotel and Casino. It was at night so the photos are a bit darker.

I believe these beautiful hanging lanterns are also the Wynn Hotel but were taken during the day time. They were so gorgeous and unlike any lanterns from the other hotels.
The waterfall outside of the Wynn Hotel.
These next photos are of the conservatory at the Ballagio. This is always a must see when we visit Vegas. It is always decorated so beautifully.
Everything is pretty much made with flowers.

This picture frame always has something new in it and is made entirely with flowers.
These lanterns were hanging with fire crackers which had twinkling lights to look like sparks. Very awesome.
I guess it is the year of the snake. YUCK!

A couple of night photos.
At Circus Circus we watched these amazing guys do their stunts.

Here we are at the beautiful Venetian! This is another hotel that we love to visit and wander through the Canal shops.

Amber wanted to eat at the Irish Pub in New York, New York.
We had Shepherds Pie and...
Chicken pot pie. Both were served in these cast iron pots with handles. Sooo delicious!
The waitress was so nice and when she found out it was Amber's 21st birthday she gave her a shot (can't remember what was in it except for the Bailey's and Cream which you can see on top). Guess it was pretty good.
Here is Amber with her winnings. She was lucky this time and came away with money in her pocket. We were laughing at ourselves when we found us getting so excited when we would win a just a few bucks!!
We saw the show KA at MGM Grand and then the last night we just stayed at the Riviera and went to their comedy show where laughed our heads off. To finish off our last night we did a bit of gambling.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tuscon, AZ

I am now skipping back to day one and day two of our trip. Hope I am not confusing anyone by skipping around. If you want to see the other days of our trip just scroll down to the next to posts.

We spent the first two days in Tuscon with some friends who have a beautiful home in the mountains where they enjoy the wildlife that live in the mountains. While we were there a bobcat jumped up on the wall around their pool to check things out on the second morning. That was pretty cool!

 This was the sunset the first evening we were there.

 These little hummers were all over the feeder but they also would settle on a plant and just sit there so I was able to get a fairly good picture of one.

 Awe! Here we are relaxing by the pool and enjoying the sunshine and the view.

We visited  Sabino Canyon where we took a tram ride through it.

 There are an abundance of these saguaro cactus in the canyon.

 A beautiful view of the canyon.

 There was a beautiful river flowing through the canyon.

 The river is a popular place in the canyon as all the animals come to drink its refreshing water. In fact just that day a cougar was seen and even made it on the news that night. Wish we could have seen it while we were there instead of on TV.

 I thought this was a stately saguaro. 

Here is a bit of trivia on the saguaro for you:
They can live to be over 150 years old.
Can have over 25 arms.
It takes about 30 years before they grow their first arm.
They have beautiful white flowers in the spring.

We visited the golf course and saw this giant saguaro. I think it has over 25 arms! Pretty amazing.
 We enjoyed margaritas one the veranda in the evening. A very fitting drink to have while in Tuscon don't you think?
 And a beautiful sunset to end the day.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

On our five day trip through Arizona, Texas and New Mexico we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
If you would like to see more photos of where we stopped go to 

You can view the photos better if you click on them and view them larger. Since there are quite a few pictures I'm not going to comment on all of them.

I believe this part was called Room of Giants.

This is called Fairyland it is full of Popcorn covered Stalagmites.

This formation is called Temple of the Sun and is Columns, Stalagmites and Stalactites.

I thought this looks like a big dome or white tent.

This rickety old ladder was in earlier times. Most of the rungs towards the bottom are missing. When I looked down into the hole my stomach was queasy. I could never climb a ladder like that even when it was new.

This feature is called Crystal Spring Dome. You can read more about it in the photo below.

Here is a close up of Crystal Spring Dome. It looks like it is covered in snow it is so white.

They call this Column Rock of Ages.

This area is called Doll Theater and is made up of Soda Straws and small Columns.

This is called Chinese Theater and is filled with Columns, Stalactites, and Stalagmites.

This picture shows how the first visitors toured the cave. It took them five hours to take the tour using the wooden stairs.

Now you can see we had a paved path and it only took us 21/2 hours and we took our time.

This photo shows a crystal that formed on this piece. You might have to click on the photo to see the crystal better.

This formation is called Whales Mouth and is made up of what they called draperies and flowstone.

This lovely formation surrounded by a pool of water is called Devils Spring. The photo below explains about the water.

This is so much prettier in real life. You can see a bit of the columns reflection in the water.

After walking up about 30 switchbacks we finally saw the opening to the cave.

It has like a double opening. You can just see a part of the second opening down below. If you would like in the evening you can watch the thousands of bats fly out of the entrance. There is a sign that says please sit still and be quiet. Well I would not be able to do that. I would be screaming and running to the truck as fast as I could. :}.

This show what the surrounding area around the entrance of the cave. I would recommend taking the elevator down to the cave. It takes you 800 feet down and only takes a few minutes. I would not recommend walking out unless you want a good workout ;)
If you have been to the Cavern before let me know about your visit and if you were brave enough to watch the bats come out.