Well we are now home. TC (Joe the cat) is also back home.
The trip home had some excitement. We were delayed by about an hour travelling from Las Vegas to LA. On arrival in LA it took some considerable time to get to our departure gate where we needed to sort out our seating arrangements (which were resolved).
We boarded on time and were moving to take off – it then transpired that the plane had a faulty switch (the one you need if you are flying through clouds to stop the engines from freezing up) so we returned for the engineers to fix the switch – on the way back to the designated area another plane had broken down so there was a bank up of planes. We eventually got back had the switch repaired and were then told that the switch needed to stay on the whole time (couldn’t fix it completely) so in order to keep the switch on the plane required more fuel which in turn meant that some of the freight need to be unloaded in order to compensate for the extra fuel (these calculations had to be verified in Hong Kong). So we were late in departing by about 3 hours.
The flight was uneventful (a good thing) and about 3 hours from home we were advised that our luggage was in the freight left behind (about 75 passengers were in this position). They advised that it would arrive the next day and be sent out to us – so that is OK. We thought we would get straight through customs (no bags) but we advised that one of our bags had made it. We didn’t find it so hopefully it is with the other 2! We will find out.
So that now concludes our very excellent adventure. Again thank you for coming along and I will leave you with this video clip from the Grand Canyon.
Bye for now. Wendy and Norm.
Can you believe it? this is our last day!!!
W decided to start the day by trying to pack! Hmmmm……this proved a challenge which I am pleased to say we overcame (after a few expletives and much huffing and puffing).
We decided not to venture out into the strip but to explore the Palazzo and the Venetian. It is set up with waterways and gondolas and a false ceiling (95 feet up) to give the impression of dusk and romance.
We decided to take a ride on the gondola and take some photos. Roberto our Gondolier sang (he had a lovely voice – we found out that his father has been providing backing to Andrea Bocelli!).
It was lovely. We are now packed going to have lunch and will then be making our way to the airport. First stop Los Angeles and after a 3 hour stopover we will be flying directly to Melbourne!
So watch out we will be back home soon to drive you all mad again.
Hope you have enjoyed the trip. We have enjoyed having you with us.
Lots of Love – Norm and Wendy
Well today was a slower start. We decided to do some shopping (and that seemed to last for some time!).
We came back to the Hotel around 3:00pm and got changed as we had tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil performance of O. We had to take a hike to get to the venue (it was on at the Bellagio so we decided to get there early and look around).
The performance commenced at 7:30pm – I am at a loss on how to describe it – it was simply amazing!
The performance was acrobatic but based on a water theme with high diving and just a myriad of things to watch and absorb. I have never seen anything like it. It went for 1.5 hours and was brilliant
Have been bad with my updates since arriving here (sorry about that) but will rectify now.
Well this place is certainly an assault on your senses. I must say (but not necessarily in a bad way).
Today we were up at 5:00am to ready ourselves for our tour of the Grand Canyon. We went with a company called Pink Jeep Tours (and yes their vehicles were pink!!).
They picked us up at about 6:45am and off we went with 7 other people. The weather was clear (and yes very hot – not much humidity though thank goodness).
The Grand Canyon tour consisted of driving to an Indian run facility- as the land belongs to the native Indians – taking a helicopter ride to the base of the Canyon ( a drop of 4000 feet) and then taking a pontoon ride on the Colorado River.
It was absolutely fantastic. The scenery was spectacular (and whatever other adjective you want to use) – when you first drop over the edge of the mountains in the helicopter as you begin your decent to the base that certainly had the adrenaline pumping (I couldn’t bungee jump that’s for sure!).
We saw the skywalk on the West Rim of the Canyon but opted not to walk on it.
We had lunch at another area which provided 360 degree views of the mountains. On our return trip we saw the Hoover Dam (the weather was really hot by this time – so not much standing outside). Amazing structure.
We arrived back at the Hotel at around 5:00pm had a shower and went off to have dinner and a walk around the strip by the time we got back to our room it was close to midnight (I was not in the mood to do this update at that time).
Here are some photos from the day. W
Today we had an early start. Bob drove us to the airport as we commenced our travels to Las Vegas.
We flew to Atlanta and after a 2 hour stop over we were winging our way to Las Vegas. Today is a public holiday in the US (Labor Day).
We gain some time but it took over 8 hours to arrive. Again it is hot (but not humid) the temperature is around 38 degrees. We are staying at this very large hotel called the Palazzo on the main strip. The room is huge.
We hadn’t eaten much so we fond a lovely restaurant (once we had settled in) and then ventured out to see some of the town. As we are going on a tour of the Grand Canyon in the morning the sightseeing was brief (we will d this in the coming days).
Today was another one of those days when I didn’t take any photos so nothing to show you today but I am sure I will have some tomorrow. Am off to bed now as we have an early start tomorrow (I think we are being collected at 6:45am!) so will give you an update tomorrow. Cheers. W.
Well these last few days have been very relaxing. I have had limited internet access so I have been slow in making posts to my blog (sorry about that!). I am now back online and able to update you on where we are at.
Today is our last day with Bob in Gainesville. It has been a wonderful opportunity to catch up and fill in the blanks of the last 6 years.
As I may have mentioned Gainesville is best know as the home of the University of Florida. The Haile Plantation where Bob lives is actually a subdivided plantation with around 10,000 homes built on it. The homes are set in a rural style environment and is managed though a body corporate arrangement. There are strict restrictions on development and the type and style of houses that can be built.
We finished today with dinner at the local (village) pub which is trying to base itself on a UK Pub. It is called the Queen’s Arms. The meal was very good and it was a great way to finish off the day.
Tomorrow we leave Bob and move to the final leg of our trip (it has certainly gone quickly).
Will fill you in on that later. W
Today we began by taking a walk around Bob’s neighbourhood. It is really pretty here and quiet. The walk was about 3.2 miles (basically around the golf course) and is surrounded by lots of trees.
Apart from the golf course, there is a community area where there are shops and cafes (it is actually like a little village) and there are many of these dotted around Gainesville (quiet little estates all around the place).
More talking today. We are going out for dinner tonight (last night we went to a restaurant chain called Outback which seeks to bring Australia to the USA).
I did take some photos today but I don’t have access to put the photos up – so will do this on Monday. Currently checking out the football and baseball!!! So many TV stations covering all of this (the tennis is getting coverage too).
More news tomorrow. W
Well I am a bit slow in updating the blog since arriving in Gainesville.
We arrived at lunchtime and were a little concerned as we had not heard from our friend Bob. I had emailed a few times but had not heard back. Anyway we arrived and sure enough Bob was waiting for us. But it had not been without its problems for Bob – he had been on holidays in Peru and was due to return home on Monday in advance of our arrival on Friday. With cyclone Isaac he was delayed in Peru for an additional 3 days which meant he didn’t get home until late Thursday (and we were arriving on Friday!).
Since arriving we have been talking non-stop. You name it we have (or are) discussing it – politics, religion, sports (we are getting a lesson in football and baseball in particular plus checking out the US Open and some golf).
We have had a tour of Gainesville (population of around 200,000). Gainesville is the home of Florida State University – home of the College football team the Gators (it is also where the drink Gatorade was created). The University is the major employer in Gainesville with about 50,000 students attending the University.
This weekend is the Labor Day weekend (Monday is the holiday) and the start of the College football season – this is a really big deal for the town.
Bob lives in an estate called Haile Plantation and his house backs onto a golf course. His house is like a museum – he collects so many things. A conversation in itself.
No photos today. Maybe tomorrow. Bye. W
We have finally found something that has slowed us down (apart from poor Internet speed!) – humidity.
Have spent a slow day – went walking at lunchtime but decided to return to the Hotel in the afternoon.
I have decided to have a massage and relax. Will look to do something late this evening (when it cools down). We are travelling to Gainsville tomorrow to catch up with our friend Bob.
I have not taken any photos at this stage today (may take some later tonight. So a brief post as we take refuge from the heat. Will sign in tomorrow. W