(no subject)
Sunday Evening/Monday (Monument Valley)
After getting unpacked and marvelling at the view from our hotel room, we went to the restaurant for dinner. Monument Valley is on a Navajo reservation, which is a dry nation so there was no alcohol with dinner - Jon had milk and i had an iced tea :-)
The restaurant shares the same amazing view of the valley, and has huge windows. While we ate there was a native Indian fellow playing the flute, it was really nice.
That morning we got up early and went out for the scenic drive round the valley floor. Jon took quite a bit of film, and I took a few pictures:


Then it was on to the drive to Zion Park, which couldn't be more different really! We went from elevation of 8000 feet, down to 2000 which both me and Jon thought you could actually feel. When we were up at Monument Valley and Grand Canyon, we both had to keep taking extra breaths every so often, and I kept getting a fluttery heartbeat.
This is a picture of the Valley we drove through to get to our motel, (I didn't take this picture, I didn't get many good ones but we did a lot of filming)

That cloud is pretty accurate too - with every twist of the road we got closer and closer to a huge black cloud, and the heavens opened just as we had checked into the hotel. I'd never seen rain like it, like a MONSOON.
I was so concerned I put all our luggage onto the spare bed in case the room flooded, which Jon found hilarious. Won't be laughing when there is a flood and I leave his stuff to float away..........
But I digress! I was right to be concerned, we turned the TV on to watch some Family Guy, and it was interrupted by this awful message thing., The screen went black with white text on, WARNING WARNING! FLASH FLOOD ALERT! SEVERE WEATHER! which looked and sounded like this:
(random example from Youtube)


Bloody horrible! Like something from a sci-fi disaster movie, that's the kind of thing noise and voice I expect to be telling me about impending nuclear doom or alien invasion! 

45 minutes later the weather was lovely, and we walked over the road for dinner to a place called Wildcat Willie's Saloon
The whole village (Springdale, Utah) was picturesque, an old southwestern mountain settlement. All the people look tanned, thin and muscular from climbing mountains. We even passed a meadow where buffalo roamed! home on the range.

We got up early again for the drive to Vegas, and I'm typing this entry from the Hard Rock Hotel. Very Very cool. Our room is massive, and I've already cooed over Stevie Nicks' dress from the Tusk tour, Pete Townsend's smashed guitar and Brian Setzer's leopard jacket :-D
We've nipped over to the Flamingo too for a photoshoot in the Wildlife enclosure, in my flamingo dress. 
A random photographer lady was walking past and begged to take my picture too, as I'm so damned cute. As Jon put it, he struggled to get my ego back into the challenger to drive back home......

(no subject)
Friday Night in Vegas:
We went across the road to Caesar's Palace to watch a show in the courtyard within a Speigeltent, "Absinthe"
It was a mixture of comedy, acrobatics, burlesque and balance! It was highly entertaining, Jon didn't stop laughing or going "wow!" the whole time we were there.
Highlights for me included:
- Guy stacking and balancing on 9 chairs, almost getting to the roof of the tent
- Polish/Russian bodyguard dudes who did the most amazing and graceful balance/strength thing. (these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wlAsZudpvk&feature=relmfu)
- This balloon pop burlesque http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LsCY3t5YN

It was well worth the admission price.

After that we went back to Bill's, and sat in the lounge with some beers and watched the band that was on - The Crashers http://www.thecrashersband.com/ who were really really good - they played everything from Foo Fighters to U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top, and did each one of them excellently.
We got chatting to the bass player in between sets and he sat with us for a while, nice guy, canadian, and he had the most amazing hot rod car!
We finally left the lounge at 2am (eek) which was a slight error, as we had to be up early the next day to drive to The Grand Canyon.....

Bleary eyed, we woke up, packed and went to Dennys for caffeine and carbs. O_o
On the way to Grand Canyon we hit this weather:

Not what we were expecting in the desert to be honest with you! It was like driving into a wall of rain, which disappeared just as quickly once we got through the other side of the cloud.
Note: Dodge Challenger RT NOT designed for the rain, aquaplaning and wiggling a-go-go!

Once we got to the Grand Canyon it was pretty cool (despite the lack of WiFi, tsk!) our lodge had been in existence in that spot since 1896 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright_Angel_Lodge

Even better, was our cute cabin:

Which was a literal stone's throw from the south canyon rim itself:

It almost doesn't look real, almost like a backdrop that's been painted in, crazy!

We drove from Grand Canyon, down to Meteor Crater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_Crater
Pretty amazing stuff, 
Hey Ma, look I'm in a crater!

Then was the drive to Monument Valley (we have done SO MANY MILES in the past 2 days!)
The approach is pretty amazing, and the actual place itself is a real wonder of the world.
Our hotel is on the reservation, and has it's own balcony that overlooks the Valley itself.
it's 11pm right now, and we've just been sat on the balcony in the dark, and you can make out the monuments against the night sky, see a million stars, hear crickets and see bats skittering past, and see lightning from hundreds of miles away reflecting against the clouds. (I didn't believe this when Jon pointed it out, I thought it was camera flashes). It is absolutely incredible.
And while all this happens, the hotel is projecting an old John Wayne movie that was filmed in the valley against one of the hotel walls outside.
This is the view from our room when we first arrived:

(no subject)
Just to make it clear exactly how hot it has been in Vegas these past two days: Jon has bought some shorts.

Friday 13th July
This morning we got up & went to Dennys for breakfast. I love Dennys. You can't go wrong, and they have free wifi ;-)
After that we went to http://www.americanshooters.com/ gun range. I shot a Glock 19 9mm semi automatic, and Jon had a Sig Saur 1911 .45
It was a really good gun range, they take your ID, give you a quick instructional (if you need it) and send you into the range on your own and leave you to it!
I was left to loading my gun myself, a bit hard with false nails on I've got to admit but there was no stopping me once that was done ;-)
I'll post a picture of our targets later, needless to say I don't think mine would be getting back up after the injuries he would have received.

This afternoon Jon went to the Atomic Testing Museum, and I went for a walk round Planet Hollywood and Caesar's Palace shops. I also popped into the Flamingo:


Tonight we're going to see a show at Caesars, "Absinthe" which is inside a Spiegeltent!
"Absinthe has been hailed as “the most inventive and daring show to open on the strip in years!” (Las Vegas Sun) Absinthe features outrageous comedy and a cast of wild and outlandish acts performing amazing feats of virtuosity within mere feet of the audience. As the Huffington Post declares, “It happens five feet away from you, and it’s awesome!”

Thursday 12th July
I had The.Most.Amazing.Pancakes for breakfast this morning.
We drove off strip (only way to find good food at a decent price) and went to a place called Babystacks that specialises in pancakes. I have a picture of my pancakes but I can't upload it via the wifi here at Bill's so I will leave you with the description from their website:
Red Velvet Pancakes
Topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate crumbles. Served with cream cheese syrup.


Anyway, after that enormous breakfast we went to Target for some bits & bobs we'd forgotten from home, and then it was on to the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum for me. It's a tiny museum, but it's absolutely fantastic and it was great chatting to Laura (one of the directors of the museum) and meeting someone with such an obvious passion for what they do. She also gave me some hot tips on shopping for burlesque stuff in Vegas ;-)

We also went to the Mob Museum which is close by, and housed in Las Vegas' old courthouse.

After an afternoon snack at Taco Bell, we've now retired to the hotel room to chill out, as it's been another ridiculously hot day, topping over 100 degrees again.

Tuesday evening/Wednesday 11th July
Tuesday Evening in Santa Monica:
We went to Finn McCool's Irish Bar, which is just across the road from the Motel. Apparently the owner had the actual bar (wooden bit) shipped over from Ireland after her father died and his pub was going to be demolished. All I'm saying is she must've paid a lot of freight fees as that bar is BIG.
There was a proper irish band playing, they were pretty good & even played "Fairytale of New York" (excellent version with a harmonica solo even if it was massively unseasonal)

Breakfast at Denny's and a walk along Santa Monica Pier before the drive to Las Vegas. There was a lot of traffic on the freeway for no apparent reason today, and I just kept seeing the thermometer go up, and up.... and up. Highs today of 47 degrees! 47! Opening the car door when we stopped for In N Out burger at lunchtime was like leaving a cool fridge and walking into a fan oven. Unreal.

We arrived in Vegas at around 530pm, and the heat here is unreal. It's now 9:12pm and it's still 40 degrees outside. CRAZY. I've told Jon I'm not going anywhere that's not air conditioned!!

Tuesday 10th July

Today we got up early for the 6-7am special at the local Omelette Parlour! (http://theomeletteparlor.com/)
All Omelettes half price ;-)
This is a picture from our table, it made me laugh as there was no telephone

Me & Jon both had the "Alice the Wonder" - Ham, Cheese, Peppers on onion omelette, served with a side of amazing fried potato onion stuff, and a brown english muffin with apple butter. Nice. I couldn't finish mine.

After that we went to Target in search of aftersun cream (yesterday's walk round Venice left us both a little pink, and left me feeling rather stupid. I know better than to get sunburnt!)

We've also been for a walk round Hollywood, Griffith observatory, and to Pink's Hot dogs!


Monday 9th July

Jon & I both very much like our hire car!

This morning I woke up & made the obligatory trip to Peet's coffee for the BEST COFFEE EVER.
After that we went to Denny's for breakfast, then on to downtown Santa Monica for some strollin' and shoppin'!
I wanted to go to Venice Beach too, so we parked up and walked the ocean front road where all the crazy street vendors, performers, weed dispensaries and tshirt shops are.
After fulfilling our daily dose of crazy californians (a dog on a full siz surfboard on wheels? why not) we're just chillling before heading back out to Santa Monica Pier.
This evenings plans contain Baby Blues BBQ and Finn McCools Irish bar :)

Virgin Atlantic
I'm sat in the exec lounge at Heathrow, making use of the free wifi, tea, coffee & juice :-D

(no subject)
 Today we went here for lunch:


It was featured on Man Vs Food (watch video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGH46rIuRZc&feature=related it kicks in after 2 minutes and feature's Phillipes)

All I have to say is OM NOM NOM NOM. best thing I have eaten.


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