Brian and Lynn Tonkin's seven week vacation tour commencing 13th March 2010

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We get ourselves to Miami Airport and after al the usual hassles find it's necessary to walk at least a mile to our gate lounge. This airport must comprise one only giant long finger. In due course we are seated in the aircraft but it becomes increasingly evident that the Captain hasn't arrived. Finally and announcement.... "American Airlines thanks you for your patience but our captain has been held up. We're hoping he'll be here within another 30 minutes". Kid that that doesn't get tongues wagging. Within minutes a number of male loud mouths are telling the cabin crew and fellow passengers that the Captain has slept in after a night on the piss and shouldn't be allowed to fly. In the end the crew get fed up with this and tell passengers to either sit down and shut up or leave the aircraft. A couple do in fact leave.

The Captain finally does arrive, apologises for getting his schedule mixed up and promises to do everything in his power to make up time on our flight to Las Vegas. In fact he's in so much of a  hurry that he misses the designated take-off tarmac and partly does his 90 degree turn on the grass!!. I just can't believe all this and simply resolve to just blank my mind and pray.

It seems the prayers worked because although we left 40 minutes late we arrived in Las Vegas only 10 minutes late. Everything went smoothly at the Hertz desk, we got the Cadillac GTS we'd ordered and were soon driving into Vegas at dusk with the lights coming on along the strip.

"Welcome" indeed! We're lucky to have even GOT here!

In the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel. MGM lion in rear.

A great view from our $90 special rate hotel window!

Artificial Venice indoors with an artificial sky as well!

Las Vegas is definitely not our "cup of tea". Lynn has been here once before and I used to come every second year to attend the SEMA trade show. Anyhow, we got moving early next day and headed off to Williams Arizona where we has a reservation in a B & B. Next day we drove to the Grand Canyon, another place each of us had visited before. The weather was sunny but it was extremely cold on the canyon rim and we were not dressed appropriately. After a couple of hours at the rim we made our way to the IMAX theatre and saw an superb large format movie about the Grand Canyon which was better than anything we'd seen in real time.

We opted to buy a National Parks season ticket

The canyon is so large that haze tends to spoil photos

From Williams AZ we drove to Page UT which is right by the massive Lake Powell which is in turn within the Glen Canyon National Park. It was a neat tidy town and we had a cheap but extremely comfortable self contained hotel room in a nice elevated position. Next day we took an interesting trip on a Lake Powell cruise boat. We marvelled at the colourful rock cliffs, many of which had very interesting striations and laminations.

Jumping off point for our cruise on Lake Powell

Listening to the cruise commentary

Facial wind chill was the order of this early April day

There's almost no vegetation around much of the lake

Lots of rich pink stone is great for photography

Does this look like something out of a western movie?