I’m back! On the internet that is.

I’ve been out of touch for the last week for a variety of reasons.  My camera packed up and when I was searching for a fix in the internet a virus ate my computer.  Had that fixed by the Geek Squad (who were great I might add) then the free wireless in the hotel was down for 2 days.   As the temp in Las Vegas was over 100F every day and some times as over 110F  if there was no free wifi in the hotel, then I wasn’t going looking for it on the strip.  Frankly I’m not that interesting and the world wasn’t going to stop spinning if I didn’t report on my life for a couple of days.  Also at some stage during the week I found out that there was no power to my house and an electrician was needed.  (Current status – we have 75% power points, no lights but fridge/freezer & hot water all work) And dad had a seizure.  Personally I think this is the last time we will xome to Vegas = everytime we come here there is just one  drama after another, and they are just getting systemattically worse.
 
So what have we done?   5 July -As well as wandering around Las Vegas Hotels, drove out to Zion Valley one day, and the Grand Canyon.  Both were spectacular.  Completely different too each other.   As it turned out we didn’t actually see Zion Valley as you had to catch a (NON AIRCONDITIONED) shuttle bus to get there.   Let me see 100F+ wth air con or not?    No brainer really.  So we drove around along the bypass road which was spectacular in itself and then had a walk to the Canyon Head before heading home.  
 
6 July – had a quieter day today, wandered around the Town Square – which is a bus ride out of Las Vegas, but has some good shops.   Why are all the shopping malls in the USA open aired?   No shade in the middle of the desert.   They do have a fantastic misting system that is used every where.  Jets of micromisted water blown out by big fans, very cooling.
 
7 July – the Grand Canyon!  Finally.  We went to the north rim as it was the shorter drive.   We had been planning to go on the sky walk but is was another $35-ish on top of the $50 + that we had to pay to get into the national park.  And we weren’t allowed to take our own camera’s on the sky walk, so that was that decision  Will just add that entry to the Grand Canyon does include a cooked lunch.    There is no fencing at the Grand Canyon so you can literally stand or sit on the edge of the rim.  Makes my toes curl just thinking about it. And the parents that let there kids run around to see who can get closest to the edge before stopping just astounded me,   Even standing there looking at the Canyon it is hard to fathom the size and distance of it.   It is when you see helicopters flying through it and they are so far away they  barely show in photos that you get some sense of perspective. 
 
8 July – Factory outlet shopping frenzy.  Very successful for the guys.  I’m as bad at shopping in the States as I am at home.  Had to return the Jeep today to the Bellagio.  Wouldn’t you know it Obama is in town, traffic stopped, roads closed everywhere, pain in the butt.
 
9 July – up at 6.00 to head to Dallas for a BBQ.  Situation normal, hopped on the plane and sat.  Problem with the plane while we were on the run way.  For an hour we sat.  Finally got the all clear to leave started to taxi and then stopped.  Obama again – had to wait until he left, there has to be a 30 minute window around his plane leaving or something.  Finally got into the air after the worst departure on record, even flying the plane felt awful.  Next thing you know the pilot is in the air apologising as he wasn’t happy with the plane either and we were returning – to Las Vegas.  All good.   Next announcement – change of plan prepare for an emergency landing!  Airhostesses making sure people near the doors knew how to open them and taking peoples high heeled shoes.   Didn’t come near the people over the wings with the removable windows.   Don’t take anything with you was the instruction – yeah in your dreams!  I filled my pockets immediately with mobile phones and wallets with ID and cash, I was prepared to sacrifice the back-up camera.  Sent text messages. The whole senario took about 30 minutes, time to freak out and think too much.  Made our plans for evacuating, not using the windows infront of us as those guys hadn’t made a plan but the guys opposite had.   I know – I asked them if they had made a plan and they looked at me like I was mad!  Then told me what they thought they might do – I suggested they read the instructions as it was the complete opposite of what the pictures showed.  Spent the next 5 minutes circling in the "Brace – Keep down" position.   Did a fly past the control tower for them to look at the problem and then finally landed.  Quietest flight I have ever been on, no hysterical screaming from anyone. I have to say I wasn’t  convinced I was going to die, but was convinced i wasn’t either.  Talk about adreneline overload.  Could feel it surging for the next 4 hours.  Finally got a flight to Dallas at 4.45pm same day – landed at 9.55 pm – held up by storms.  Exhausted.  Note to self – Vegas will kill you if you go back!
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