Subject: Southwest USA Trip Report
Hello fellow Ziners,

We just got back from our family trip to the American Southwest late Wednesday night. We had a great time! We had our two children (10 and 14 years) and our sister in law with us. We flew into Albuquerque and stayed at La Posada de Albuquerque, a historic hotel built by Conrad Hilton and where he spent his honeymoon many years ago. We visited the old town square and the Museum of History and Natural Science ( had a superb dinosaur exhibit with a recreation of the fate of the dinosaurs). We then headed to Gallup for an overnight stay, just in time, it turns out, since they closed the highway out of ABQ due to a raging fire. The next day, we headed to Kayenta in order to visit Monument Valley. Enroute, we visisted the Canyon de Chelly and stopped along the rim to enjoy the magnificent views. Kayenta is located on a Navajo Indian reserve and is "dry". We ordered wine with our dinner then cancelled the wine when we found out it was non-alcoholic!! We stayed at a very nice Hampton Inn there for two nights. Their outdoor pool was closed the first night because sandstorms(!!) had clogged the pool's filters, much to my girls' disappointment. We even considered switching to the other hotel, but found out their outdoor pool had the same problem.T The next day, we toured Monument Valley and saw the huge buttes and terrain that is the site of many old western films.My husband got himself an authentic cowboy hat and fit right in!! (His sparse scalp was getting really burnt!)

The next day, it was on to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at various points on the South Rim during the hottest part of the day, and enjoyed some glorious views. After we checked into The Grand Hotel just south of the park entrance and had a swim, we toured the Grand Canyon Village then saw the sunset over the Canyon. Amateur astronomers had set up displays near the canyon and were offering views of the stars to visitors. We were able to see Jupiter through their powerful microscopes. At the edge of the canyon, people perched close to the edge with their children to view the setting sun, and we didn't stay too long since my husband was getting the "willies", as we were sure someone would fall to their death and he would be required to try to descend to help them (he is a family doctor). We visited the El Tovar Hotel which is a grand historic hotel right on the edge of the canyon.

Then, it was on to Hoover Dam and 110 degree temperatures!! I just wanted to stay in our air conditioned car!! Then we headed to Las Vegas. My daughters were fascinated with Las Vegas. We visited several of the most beautiful hotels: the Venetian to show them the gondolas being poled down the canal located inside the hotel complex by the opera singing gondolier, the Bellagio to see the fountains that have the water dancing to the music, FAO Schwartz and the tigers in the Mirage and Caesar's, the marketplace in the Aladdin, the Luxor imax films and simulation rides, etc etc. We had our most memorable meals in Las Vegas: lots of seafood and fish and incredible salads. The desserts were to die for, but I abstained except for 2 leeeetle bowls of rice pudding (served warm...pure ambrosia for a sweets deprived dieter!!). If you are in Las Vegas, don't miss the Bellagio is worth every penny of the $24.95 they charge for all the seafood etc etc We flew home from Las Vegas and had pretty well decided that this was a trip the kids won't soon forget. It was really great!!

If anyone has any questions about Vegas, ask away and I'll do my best to answer you. Helen from Ottawa, Canada