My last day in Arizona

It’s that time again. Packing the bags ready to board another plane and head north west to Seattle, Washington. The laundry is done, photos cleared from the camera onto USB for organisation purposes, postcards posted and journal open for writing. I have a lot to put down – the last 3 days. Grand Canyon trip, Sedona and today’s Sunrise Trailhead hike or as I like to say Cactus Hill.
The hike may only be 2 miles or just over 4k but it is such a good workout, some flat spots, some good climbing and steep areas. But the view you get from the top is totally worth it. You feel like you’re on top of the world.
I saved all my picture taking for the trip down so I could concentrate of the job at hand, seeing as it takes an hour, and we weren’t walking overly slowly.

After lunch we went into town and did some shopping, where I picked up some cool little souvenirs and then picking up the best hamburgers for dinner.
I am now obsessed with cactus and have my own little glass family of them to bring home. I love cactus!!
After dinner we took a walk to see the sunset which was incredible. The desert certainly knows how to do a sunset. Unfortunately I haven’t got any handy to prove exactly how good it was. Another day for sure.
And I’m including a picture of what kept me going on the trip back from the GC on Thursday, so I didn’t fall asleep in the car. Caffeine and chocolate!

I have an early flight and by lunch time will be with in Seattle ready for the next instalment.

Sedona, Az

Today’s trip was only a 2 hr drive north, this time to Sedona. Deciding to take a different route in we were up for a surprise or two. The good part, we saw views of this amazing place that you just don’t get to when coming in directly off the highway but the bad part. The road said 12 miles of rough. That was the longest 12 miles when it was more like a 4WD track, and while the car had just enough height, 4WD it is not.
We came and we conquered Schnebly Hill!
We stopped at all the places we wanted to on the trip down the mountain collecting many gorgeous photos.
Even though the clouds were out this morning, they were soon gone and had a beautiful blue sky to contrast with the red/orange rock and the lunch greenery.

Just a note.
I have been so busy, and taken so many pictures but they will all need a proper sort out and dealing with. I have a travel journal I am writing in to keep all my thoughts, postcards and other travel paraphernalia in and so I can empty my head of what I’ve done each day.
These short posts will be extended on at a later date maybe, or extra pictures simply put up on my photo blog.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I am loving being here and taking them.

Grand Canyon day trip

Ok, so this will be a super quick post as I am seriously tired, having had barely 10hrs sleep since I left Sydney.
We took a trip to the Grand Canyon today – if you haven’t been you really have to make the time to get there.
In a few words, because I cannot even begin to describe it in much less than a dictionary’s worth.
Wow. Beautiful. Incredible. Breath takingingly amazing.
At every turn there was a new vista to see, a new angle on the scene before you. As the day wore on, and the sun moved, the play of shadows on the rocks was just stunning.

And then the sunset as we were coming home. It was like fire in the trees.

A day of Decadence

It started this morning with a gorgeous coffee full of cream – I mean, what were we supposed to do while waiting for the bead shop to open? Rich, hot coffee with sugar and cream.
After the bead trip we heady to Newtown where we wandered window shopping before hitting Sushi train for lunch. I like my sushi, but wow! What a selection and how cool is that concept?

Dessert was Gelato Blue directly next door where the choices were mind boggling.
All items are made on the premises, with real flavour. Like really full on flavour. The baked Apple pie, it was like I had eaten a slice, pastry and all. Pavlova, fruit, after dinner mint, banana pancake… I tried them all before deciding on cappuccino, Argentinian Caramel and American peanut butter brownie.

Then came the beauty treatment and stopping for a well earned coffee break. The best Vienna I’ve had yet.

The day didn’t finish there. For my last night with my brother (and in Australia) we went out for dinner at the local rowing club. Just beautiful. Even with winds and overcast weather the view is still pretty good.

I’m now waiting for washing and finishing the re packing of my bags ready for tomorrow.
The next post will be coming from the US, most likely Arizona. I’m getting super excited now, and it can’t come quick enough. There will be plenty of pictures to share with you, so I hope you hang around a little bit longer.

And if my boss is reading, I have posted two postcards already.

Here’s a look at what we did today.

Sydney City

This morning I woke to the happy sounds of my niece and nephew having breakfast and getting distracted from the school routine. I left them be and got my coffee, pondering what we (my brother was today’s chaperone) would do today.

Although I have been to Sydney before, going up the tower hasn’t been part of that, so it was something I really wanted to do.
For a cheap, and definitely easier trip we took the ferry to Darling Harbour and walked through the city.
I had decided that I would skip the whole photo taking frenzy I normally do, and simply enjoy the moment. Keep my memories in check to write as I could, and not be a total tourist*

As part of my quest to face my fear of heights I wanted to do the tour where you walk around the outside edge, but we were too late for one, and weren’t going to be around for the next. So, the observation deck it was, and seeing the whole of the harbour, and city from above is pretty cool, by anyone’s standards.

Sushi was our preferred lunch choice and afterwards walked through the Botanical gardens, and around past the Opera House to Circular Quay for the ferry home.

The first time I was in Sydney was 11 years ago, and it is still as impressive now as it was that first time on the top of the Spirit of Tasmania, coming in under the bridge. There is a certain beauty about the city on the waterfront.

The old melding with the new. The classic arches, pillars and sandstone architecture contrasting with the contemporary glass walls and concrete blocks of the new.
The smells, the sounds. Bustling, busy, always on the go.
Weird I know, but I found a certain peaceful, almost unhurried, quality about the people while we wandered the streets. Everything is busy, but there wasn’t the urgency to it like I’ve felt when in Brisbane.

On the way home we took a drive through tour of Olympic Park. The very same place thousands of people converged on back in 2000 when we held the Olympics here.
It is a gorgeous area – wide tree and flag lined streets – and the buildings are simply amazing. The aesthetics appear to have been well thought out, and the whole area fits together very nicely. Far from being a ghost town, it is well utilised with most of the arenas in use – swimming, hockey, tennis, athletics – plus convention halls, stadium for concerts and the Royal Easter Show being held close by each year.

And as I write this, the weather has turned, and there’s a thunder storm rumbling around outside.
Jen