..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We helped Charlie celebrate her 97th birthday last week.  Dinner out at Cool Hand Luke's, with her favorite, prime rib, kicked off the festivities!  Cool Hand Luke's not only presented her with a birthday sundae, but comped her entire meal!!!  ( Don't try this unless you're at least 97! )   Then a little get-together at Round Table Pizza the next evening with neighbors, complete with a cake, completed the birthday celebrations.

Mom treated her self to a Barnes and Noble ColorNook, which she is really enjoying.  Now I'm trying to learn how to get ebooks from the library onto the nook!  (I'm having absolutely no problem with purchasing e-books from Barnes and Noble!)   

Monday, April 25, 2011

Home from Utah

We decided to go through Zion National Park on our way home - it's a beautiful drive, and April is a perfect time to travel through the windy 2 lane road. 

The Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel connects Zion Canyon to the east side of the park.  It's over a mile in length, with "windows" cut out of the rock to view the magnificient scenery outside.  Since it was built in the 1920's, large vehicles  require one-lane traffic control through the tunnel, which can tie up traffic, but we were lucky not to have to wait this trip.  The fee for a car to drive through the park is now up to $25.00, but we have our handy dandy  "Golden Age Passport", which allows us free admission to any National Park or Monument!  What a wonderful deal!  I paid $10.00 for mine several years ago - mom's was actually free many years ago!  One of the few perks for growing older - you must be 62 to acquire your senior pass, and it gives you free admission to all federal fee areas for life! 

The park is famous for big wall climbs on the sandstone cliffs, and hiking in the canyons.  Some of the hikes involve walking in the streams, and I just saw that 2 hikers were rescued recently when they were unable to navigate through the deep water in one of the slot canyons.  The last time I visited Zion it was in July and was about 100 degrees, so this trip was much more pleasant! 

Once out of Zion, we continued on through St. George, Utah; Mesquite, Nevada; Las Vegas, Nevada, and spent the night in Barstow, California, finishing up our trip the next day.

Blogger is giving me some trouble loading photos, so I'll try to add some more later.  In the mean time, if you want to view more photos of Zion, check out:  www.flickr.com/photos/zionnps

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Did you know that the motel concept originated with the Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo, constructed in 1925 - the original buildings are still standing along side 101 on the outskirts of town.  As the United States highway system began to develop in the 1920's, road journeys became more common and the need for inexpensive, easily accessible overnight accommodations led to the growth of the motel concept.  The word itself is a combination of "motor" and "hotel".

While these small "mom and pop" businesses are being gradually replaced by the larger chains such as Motel 6, Holiday Inn, Ramada Inn, Quality Inn, etc., you can still find these small motels in smaller towns throughout the country.  Particularly intriquing to me are the colorful, descriptive signs that are found in front of the establishments.

Some are delapidated and closed, others open but in sad disrepair, and a few have been lovingly restored.

Golden Hills Motel in Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah

Grand Canyon Motel in Fredonia, Arizona

The Quail Park Lodge in Kanab, Utah, has been lovingly restored and is a great place to stay!

 The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona is still a popular spot to stay.

Keep your eyes open for these disappearing icons of American travel.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada and is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.  The park is noted for it's beautiful red sandstone formations.

April is a good time to visit this park, as the weather is lovely, there aren't as many visitors, and the wildflowers are blooming.

Quite a contrast from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On the Road Again

Templeton, California to Kanab, Utah - about 600 miles.  Lots of high desert scenery - miles and miles of highway stretching out in straight lines.  First night in Henderson, Nevada (a suburb of Las Vegas).  The wind was blowing so hard we couldn't even see the skyline of Vegas.  On day 2 we took a back road around the northshore of Lake Mead on State Highway 167, which runs through a spectacular area of layered cliffs, desert basins and occasional views of the blue waters of Lake Mead. 

The reason for taking the "road less traveled" was to see Valley of Fire State Park, and it was well worth the detour.

Next entry....Valley of Fire State Park

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick Trip to Denver

Last Friday I drove down to Santa Barbara, leaving the house around 3:00 a.m. to catch a 6:40 a.m. plane to visit my daughter in Denver.

Lots of snow still on the mountains. 

Denver International Airport

I attended my first ever roller derby bout at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver - the Sugar Kill Gang vs. The Red Ridin' Hoods! 

It was colorful!  It was noisy! It was exciting!  It was fast-paced!

#1968 - Pixie Yerbattles.....AKA my daughter

And a lot of fun! 

Made me wish I knew how to skate!  And was 40 years younger!

Back in California now - getting ready for another little adventure next week - a trip to Kanab, Utah!