Thursday, October 17, 2013

64. North to the Grand Canyon

It was another weekend and this time, we decided to drive north to see the Grand Canyon. I love the American Southwest esp Arizona because there are so many sights and places to see. The drive up north was really beautiful and I could see the scenery changing from semi desert going up to higher ground with pine forests and as it was January, some places had snow. We took Route 17 from Phoenix and took a break halfway along the route at a rest area. We got out to stretch our legs and also to take in the beautiful view at the look-out point. The drive took us to Flagstaff where we had lunch and also walk along Route 66 which passes through the town of Flagstaff. I had to see the Old Route 66 and also get some souveniors.
Then it was on to the Grand Canyon. When we arrived, we were in awe at the beauty of the canyon with its beautiful colours created by the sunlight.

Taking a break at the rest area and
enjoying the view.

Took another break to walk in
the snow filled forest.

On Route 66 in Flagstaff. Just had
to take this pic.

Another part of the Old Route 66
with the snowcapped Humphrey's Peak
in the background.

At the entrance to The Grand Canyon.

At the Grand Canyon.

Me and my boys at the Grand Canyon.

Another pic of me and my wife
at the Grand Canyon.

A view of the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River can be seen down there.

Another view of the Grand Canyon.

A view of the Northern Rim. Getting there
will take a few hours but as the crow flies,
it will take just a few minutes.

The Southern Rim with the Northern Rim
in the background.

We had a great time at the Grand Canyon. On our way back, we stopped over in Williams to have another look at part of the Route 66. Williams is an old town just off Route 40 and also a gateway to the Grand Canyon. You can also get to experience a ride in an old western train with Red Indians on horses chasing after the train. Real cool !!! We did not have enough time so we decided to give it a skip. Another place that we had to skip was Sedona known for its red-rock formations and new age vibrations. Perhaps I will be able to make another trip back there one day.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

63. Tombstone - Town too tough to die

Tombstone is a town just next to the Mexican border and labelled as 'the town too tough to die'. It  is also the place where the famous gunfight between Wyatt Earp and his brothers together with Doc Holliday fought a gun battle with the Clanton and McLaury gang at the OK Corral.
It is not a very long drive from Phoenix and it was my dream to see what Tombstone looked like. We took the I.10 highway which is a very long highway which leads all the way through New Mexico to Texas. On the way, you will pass by Tucson another famous Western town. It is now a beautiful city with which has the famous Old Tucson Studios where many old western movies were filmed there including John Wayne movies such as Rio Lobo and Tombstone. Drive on till you reach a town called Benson and head off to Route 80 which will bring you to Tombstone. As you enter the tow of Tombstone, you will see the famous Boothill cemetery where the Clanton gang were burried. Immediately upon arrival, you will have the feel of a real Western town although you see lots of modern cars parked there.
I had to visit all the sites and I really enjoyed myself there. Here are some pics of places I took of Tombstone.

This is entrance to the famous gunfight site.

On the streets of Tombstone

The famous Tombstone Courthouse

The site of the gunfight

Tombstone Epitaph. Their local newspapers.

Standing with 'Wyatt Earp and brothers'

Actors posing as 'bargirls' at a bar

After the 'gunfight'  with the fake headstones

The actual 'gunfight lasted only a few minutes but Hollywood made it more exciting.  There is a seating galery for viewers to watch the 'gunfight' and it was awesome. After the show, it was time for me to catch the other sites of Tombstone. It was a desert town and though the sun was above us, the weather was still cool and depending on the breeze, it can get rather cold esp. during the winter months.
We left Tombstone and headed back to Phoenix enjoying the beautiful desert scenery and the Saguaro National Park and the snowcapped Tucson Mountain.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

62. Rawhide

When you see 'Rawhide', you will immediately think of the old TV series 'Rawhide'. When I checked it out and found that it was just north of Scottsdale in Phoenix, I had to go there.  When we arrived in Rawhide, I imagined I was in the old Wild West as it had a real cowboy town with dirt roads and horses and wagons. I was really excited. We spent a few hours there enjoying the wild west setting.
They have, however, relocated to another place, this time south of Phoenix. Its now called Rawhide Western Town at Wild Horse Pass.  If you're there, the address is 5700, West North Loop Road,  Chandler AZ.  You get the feel of a wild west town and you can even have chuck wagon cooking and with the Saguaro cactus all around.

Outside Rawhide.

Whats the Sheriff up to?

Taking a stroll in Rawhide

Part of the town of Rawhide

Another part of Rawhide

A typical street scene of the wild west

The covered wagons

The above pics show the old Rawhide north of Scottsdale.  The new Rawhide has moved to Wild Horse Pass on the Gila River Indian Community. Lots of wild west entertainment and shopping too.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

61. Universal Studios

After spending the whole day in Disneyland and also visiting some relatives in LA, we headed over to Universal Studios feeling fresh after a good night's sleep. It was not very far from our hotel and it was exciting to be driving in LA. Universal Studios is just along Route 101 and easy to locate.  This will also be another full day of excitement.

A beautiful morning in front of
Universal Studios.

Outside the Terminator 2 studio.

I can't resist being in a Western shoot-out

Taking a ride on a tram for the
studio tour. A street scene setting.

This building has been used for many movies
and the tour guide showed us some of those
movies. Cool !!!

One of the trams going on the Studio tour.

Going past the 'wreckage' of the
Jurassic Park setting.

Watching 'Flood Water' gushing down
towards our tram. So REAL!!! We were also
taken to see JAWS and King Kong.

A setting for Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'

Checking out 'Magnum PI's car

Frankenstein Parking anyone???

Universal Studios Hollywood.  I had to take
this pic!!!

These are only some of the pics I took in Universal Studios. We had a great time and our weekend in LA was well spent. These memories I will always treasure. Now it was time to head back to our hotel and get a good night's sleep before heading back to Phoenix tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

60. More pics of Disneyland

Yes, here are a few more pics of Disneyland. I took lots of pics when we were there but I'm posting only some of them. We really had a great time there with the perfect weather and being able to see all the sights.

Standing on Main Street

Westward Ho!!!

Watching the parade on Main Street

A beautiful float with Mickey
and Pinnochio

Another float on Main Street

Part of the huge crowd.

Watching the Dwarfs

Pinnochio waving to the crowd

The parade is held in the evening and everyone looks forward to watching it.  In Anaheim, there is another great place to visit and that is Knotts Berry Farm. We couldn't make it in our itenary as we had spent the whole day at Disneyland and tomorrow will be another exciting day as we will be visiting Universal Studios. Look out for more pics.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

59. Disneyland, Anaheim

Yes, we are in Disneyland, Anaheim after the long drive from Phoenix AZ. It was a very enjoyable drive and still fresh and ready to take in the excitement of Disneyland.  It was early in the morning and the crowd was there already. The weather was perfect and the COFFEE was good.
We started along Main Street which had a carnival atmosphere and being Christmas day made it even better.
As it was the X'mas holidays, Disneyland was exceptionally crowded and there were long queues everywhere so in order to beat the queue, it is advisable to get the 'Fast Pass'. That way you will spend less time at the queue and be able to move on to other places. My sons went on to the Indiana Jones Ride and Tomorrowland while my wife and I went on to see other attractions.

At the Magic Kingdom

At the Magic Kingdom

Visiting Chip & Dale

At Toontown

On the Riverboat Cruise in Frontierland
'The Mark Twain Steamboat'

A mock Native American camp

Taking the gondola into the Whale's mouth
at 'Small World'

Inside the Whale and with the music 'Its a
Small World After All'

Along Main Street before taking the tram ride


Its Mickey!!!

Everybody's having a great time

Still inside the Whale

Exiting the Whale. It was a really fun ride.