10.24.15 Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico

Update on Texas weather: It stormed constantly with lots of winds for the last 36 hours here. We are on a hill in the RV park but near a lake. The lake has overflowed but we are not in danger of it affecting us. We haven’t been out of our RV since we arrived here but it is slowing down now and hopefully by tomorrow we’ll see sun again!! We were in a rising water situation when we first left Louisiana this May and here we are returning to the area and again lots of water! We saw no rain whatsoever for about two months while on the west coast, what a difference!

They do not have the worship service here at Bishop’s Landing like they use to. We are enjoying TV worship this morning with First Methodist in Houston. The other choice was Joel Olsteen and if you know me well you know my feelings about his message and ministry, so that wasn’t going to be our choice. Thankful that we still can watch a worship service in the United States. Not the same as being in a church building but with the storms here this was today’s option.

Sunday, October 24, 2015 – You may remember what a hard time I had20151021_113820 the last time we toured a cave. I didn’t forget but chose to TRY touring Carlsbad Caverns since it’s such an amazing place. Roy has never been there and really wanted to go so we went! They have various types of tours and we chose one that worked best for us. We chose a self guided tour which is free for us since we have a Senior Pass. Not sure if there 20151021_123151 (Medium)is a charge for the self guided tour but there is a charge for the ones the rangers lead.

The tour we chose allowed us to take an elevator down the 750 feet to get to the Big Room. If we didn’t take the elevator it would have added too much difficulty to the tour for me or Roy. The self guided tour is an hour and a half long so it’s not easy but their pathways were very smooth, no stairs, nice railings and a much easier hike than other caves. There are also plenty of places to sit down and rest along the way!!

At the bottom of the photos is a couple of videos I hope you will enjoy!

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While this was a much easier hike it was still VERY long and my poor Honey was tuckered out at the end!20151021_134418 (Medium)

This is where Dora and Boots patiently awaited the Explorer’s return!20151021_141900 (Medium) 20151021_141903 (Medium)A couple more blog posts and we’ll be caught up! Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.23.15 Old Apple Barn, Cloudcroft NM,and McGinn’s Pistachio Ranch

Saturday, October 23, 2015 – One day we left the desert and drove up a mountain to Cloudcroft, NM.  It’s a quaint little town with lots of shopping opportunities! The amazing thing is that you leave the warmer desert at the bottom and as you drive up the trees become green, lush and taller all along the way.

Barn_exterior We stopped on our way up the mountain at the Old Apple Barn that had everything amazing in it! I tried some iced Apple Cider which was delicious! Tried some pumpkin spice fudge, also delicious! and picked up some other must have item including a bag of old time candies!

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While in Cloudcroft I was so focused on shopping that not many pictures were taken – yes that does happen!  The first photo is a panoramic photo that I grabbed off of the internet.

cloudcroft20151020_131644 20151020_134157The temperature in Cloudcroft was much colder than at the bottom of the mountain in Alamogordo.   On our way to Cloudcroft we saw a pistachio ranch, McGinn’s, and stopped there on our way back.  We love pistachios and walking through the door took us into Pistachio heaven!

348s (Medium)6a00d8341d171f53ef00e54f27f1a78834-800wi (Medium)The sampling station with a dozen or so flavors of pistachios A  N  D  the most wonderful pistachio brittle……..  We shopped and picked up some goodies for us as well as a two pound bag of pistachios for Chip!  20151020_142924 (Medium) 20151020_143309 (Medium) 20151020_143433 (Medium) 20151020_144105 (Medium) 20151020_144145 (Medium) 20151020_144154 (Medium) 20151020_144232 (Medium) That’s our Old Apple Barn, Cloudcroft NM, Pistachio adventure in a nutshell!!!!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear! 1ce20cf50a9f8ca5d9a77de98c898510cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

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10.23.15 White Sands National Monument

Saturday, October 23, 2015 – We’ve been traveling, had lots of adventures and I haven’t been20151019_170603 (Medium) able to spend much time on this blog.  I have decided to skip the Grand Canyon photos for now and when I have about a week of spare time to devote to that I’ll share.  It was absolutely the most amazing place we have ever visited.

The posts that are easiest to put together are the ones that will come out first!  I love documenting our travels for ourselves and sharing them with you all!  I normally try to keep things in chronological order but it just ain’t gonna happen right now!!

In today’s post I’ll share with you White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.  White Sands is a spectacular landscape shaped by natural forces and is like no other place on earth.  Located 13  miles west of Alamogordo, it is the largest gypsum dune in the world.  It is over 275 square miles in size.  Only the top few inches of the gypsum dunes are made of loose sand. Rainwater falling on the dunes dissolves some of the gypsum and cements the sand grains together, creating a crude form of plaster of Paris. This makes the white sand dunes easy to walk on.

If you would like to learn more about White Sands here is a link to some interesting information:  White Sands Information

Our photos may look like just a whole lots of photos of white sand but they are different!!

This is a panoramic picture so blow it up and take a look!  A video is at the bottom!

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The seemingly never ending road that takes you through White Sands.  You stop wherever you want and climb a hill!

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This is where we parked Boots while we explored!

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That’s our day at White Sands!

We are currently at Bishop’s Landing RV Resort in Willis, TX which is a bit north of Houston.  We’ll be leaving here this coming Wednesday and arriving in Amite at our home on Thursday!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.14.15 From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

I am still in the process of getting use to my new responsibilities with RVillage and we are still at my boss’ house in Arizona. I had a couple of frees hours today so I thought I’d start the catch up of our journey!  We now plan to be back in Louisiana by October 29th so we can go to our church’s Family Fall Festival with Chip and Madisyn.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 – The drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon takes you from Nevada into Arizona then into Utah then back to Arizona. These mountains really make a straight drive any where unheard of. The scenery changed a lot along the way and here’s some photos of that journey. 20151002_085744 20151002_090058 20151002_090242 20151002_092030 20151002_100137 20151002_100239 20151002_100658 20151002_100857 20151002_101530 20151002_102019 20151002_111908 20151002_112214 20151002_112329 20151002_114531 20151002_114646 20151002_114920 20151002_114926 20151002_115252 20151002_120317 20151002_120605 20151002_122431 As we got closer to the North Rim there were more huge pine deep green trees and a lot of gold shimmering Aspen trees mixed in. Quite a difference from the desert look going on in before that in Nevada and Utah. 20151002_131632 20151002_131648 20151002_141134 20151002_141510 20151002_141632 20151002_143319

Here’s some videos showing our drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

Next comes the Grand Canyon North Rim and then Grand Canyon South Rim. Two totally different places in most all aspects.

The North Rim is much cooler, more beautiful tall trees along the roads, not any visible animals that we saw, and can be seen in 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace and for some reason it is not at all crowded.

The South Rim is still cool but not as cool as the North Rim, not nearly as many trees but lots of bushes with flowers, several elks were seen and we only saw a portion of it in about 5 hours at a brisk pace and it is crazy crowded! Several big shuttle buses travel several different routes to all the spots where you can see different parts of the canyon.

Roy developed a habit of saying “Yep another big hole” when we’d look down from a new location. He was affected by his beauty but that’s his sense of humor!

I did a lot of research on where to stay and other information about the Grand Canyon. While there is a lot out there, until you actually go there the published information just doesn’t connect.

I wouldn’t mind coming back here sometime and planning a week of short day outings to see more of it.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.06.15 Checking out for a bit

Tuesday, Octob er 6, 2015

Hi all!  Just wanted to share that I’m stepping back from posting our travel blog for a week or so.

I’ve been offered additional work time with RVillage during the week and I start tomorrow.  I want to devote my time to that so that I learn what I need to do and how to do it well.

My laptop screen broke (my fault) and Roy ordered a new one.  It came in and is not working correctly so Roy is working on it.  I’m using other computers and find that trying to keep track of RVillage work, blog posting and facebooking on different computers is more than I want to do right now!   Hopefully I can get a new DELL laptop ordered soon!

We had a fabulous time at the Grand Canyon which I will write about when I come back into this little blogging world.

We are currently parked at my boss Curtis’ house in Casa Grande, Arizona.  We’ve loved our time getting to know him in person and I don’t think we’ve scared him off!!  Always a good thing!   Curtis sang with the New Christy Minstrels years ago.  He just came in here and played a few songs for us.  What a treat!!!!  What a blessing his has been to get to meet him in person and get to know him better.

20151006_140834Curtis is leaving for an appointment out of state in a few hours and we offered to keep his little doggie Augie while he’s gone.  Don’t remember exactly what type of dog Augie is but he looks like white fox terrior.  He likes us and has 2 acres here to roam during the day so we’ll have fun and hopefully take excellent care of the boss’ dog while he’s gone!!!  It’s very nice here, he’s on a lake with a boat dock and an amazing house and he has RV hook ups we will use once he disconnects his Prevost bus from them.

20151006_094548 Roy and Augie bonding!  20151006_111930 I’ll say see ya later and leave you with some of the views we are enjoying here!

20151006_094553 20151006_094556 20151006_094641 20151006_094707 20151006_09475320151006_094753Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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10.17.15 The Grand Canyon North Rim

On Saturday and Sunday, two weeks ago, we saw the Grand Canyon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Our first view of the Grand Canyon!

That sentence deserved its own paragraph! Wow, wow, wow is what it looked like!! The absolute most amazing sight ever and a lifetime dream fulfilled! Everyone has raved so much about it that I almost thought I might be disappointed but I was absolutely NOT disappointed.

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Dora and Boots at the Grand Canyon!!

A little laying out of the land first. The entry to the Grand Canyon National Park is a good distance from the actual North Rim and there is a lot to see along the way including giant pines, Douglas firs and beautiful aspens with their golden leaves shimmering.  Some of the pictures near the end in my next blog post are from that beautiful sight!  The last video is from that area.

The night before there was a freeze warning in effect and the North Rim closes mid October so our timing was great.  I was dressed far from prepared for coldness but it felt wonderful after several 100 plus degree days.

Our GPS took us directly to the 20151002_145226North Rim which has its viewing area in one very large place.  The first photo in the photos post was our first view of the Grand Canyon.  I could go on and on and would never be able to explain how special this place is so I’ll let the photos and videos speak for themselves.

If you make only one trip during your life, I believe this one should be it!  See both rims if you can!

I’m going to share today several videos from the North Rim.  Photos will come soon. There are ONLY 8 videos and I have over 300 North Rim photos to go through!!!

The North and South Rim are only about 20 miles apart but the drive goes way around the side of the mountains and through some mountains to get to the other side about 200 miles away.  We drove about halfway and parked for the night in the Marble Canyon – A M A Z I N G!!!  I have always wanted to sleep way out in the desert and this really qualifies!  There is a sign that says you can walk out in the desert but to be careful of the baby cacti growing!  I thought that was so cute!

A bit of the drive leaving the North Rim

This is a video of Marble Canyon where Dora and the Explorers spent the night!

Travel update as of 10/17/15.  We are leaving Casa Grande, Arizona some time today headed for an overnight stop in Willcox, AZ (where we have a homemade apple pie waiting and free waffles and coffee for breakfast!!) and then on to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.  Our oldest son took me there several years ago and it is such an amazing place I knew Roy and I needed to stop there as we travel home to Louisiana.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.04.15 Flamingo Casino and Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sunday, October 4, 2015 – The next leg of our casino tour took us flam 1 (Medium)to the Flamingo Casino, then to Sprinkles Cupcakes.

On the strip there are several locations where escalators take you up and over then down a street which cuts down a lot on street crossings and helps gain access to second floor locations from outside.  Here’s one of the many

First up with lots of pictures is the Flamingo Casino.  The casino/hotel is known for their beautiful tropical gardens with flamingos,  black swan and beautiful Koi fish.  Here’s the outside first!

flam3 (Medium) flam 32 (Medium) flam2 (Medium) flan 29 (Medium)Here’s the tropical garden area, the gospel chapel, and a couple of videos.

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Here’s some pictures of the casino.

flam 5 (Medium) flam 10 (Medium) flam 6 (Medium) flam 4 (Medium) flam 27 (Medium) flam 28 (Medium)From the Flamingo Casino we went to Sprinkles Cupcakes an upscale cupcake, doughnut and soda shop where I got a root beer float and Roy got a coke.   Mostly we got to rest our legs for a bit in the shade.  It was 100 degrees all day which didn’t help our growing tiredness but since we were in the shade of the buildings a lot it didn’t feel 100.  Thank Goodness~

sprink 4 (Medium) sprink 1 (Medium) sprink 2 (Medium)sprink 3 (Medium)We were on to Caesar’s Palace from here.  It is the largest of the casinos we visited so it needs it’s own post! That will be shared next time!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.06.15 Caesar’s Palace Casino, Mirage Casino, Venetian Casino, and Circus Circus Casino

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Our wonderful New Orleans Saints won their first game! Yes I am happy even though they have an 1-3 start!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – I am about to burst wanting to share the Grand Canyon with ya’ll but first I need to wrap up all we saw in Las Vegas on the strip.

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I could never capture this in a photo so I got it from the internet. All of the buildings, except for the Mirage which is the building in the upper right hand corner, are all part of Caesar’s Palace.

The last post ended with enjoying our time at Sprinkles Cupcakes.  From there we went to Caesar’s Palace which is the largest, grandest place on the strip.  Big gawks at this one!  Here’s some pictures of SOME of the outside which covers at least three city blocks.

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Another aerial photo from the internet of the swimming areas!

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Interior videos and photos!

20150930_150535 (Medium)20150930_150712 (Medium)cp i cp i2 cp i3 cp i4MIRAGE CASINO AND HOTEL

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Panoramic photo of the aquarium behind the check in desk!  Click on it to see it full size!20150930_154721 20150930_154956 20150930_155401 20150930_155614 20150930_155730VENETIAN  CASINO AND HOTEL – Delightful place!!!  Indoor and outdoor waterways with gondola’s going up and down the waterway singing songs and delighting their passengers!  There are living statues that look like stone statues (until they move, blink, flinch or whatever and scare the dickens out of you), costumed musical troupes while strolling down the hallways, beautiful shops and just a carefree Venetian atmosphere.  The photos below are just a tiny representation of this casino.

Inside some of the casinos look just like you are outside.  The skies here outside are usually blue with maybe a few clouds so it’s hard to tell sometimes in a photograph which is inside and which is outside!

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CIRCUS CIRCUS CASINO AND HOTEL  We were pretty worn out by this time so we saw a lot but didn’t get many pictures.  There is a short circus show on the second floor every hour or so.  We made our way there and rested while we watched the show.  Really cool show!

circus circus front20150930_191721 20150930_191944We ate at Circus Circus’ buffet which was pretty good.  Not as great as the one at Hard Rock Cafe Casino on the Gulf Coast but the price was good and it filled us up.

The sign below is what we saw when we left.  Kind of appropriate since we were exiting the Strip for the last time!20150930_200203This concludes our stay in Las Vegas.  Now that we’ve also seen the Grand Canyon I have to say that I doubt God’s hand was involved in creating any of Las Vegas and the Strip but I know for sure His hands created every square inch of the Grand Canyon!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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10.02.15 Bellagio Casino and Paris Casino

las20vegas20welcomeFriday, October 2, 2015 – We parked at the Bellagio Casino and Hotel for our second day of Vegas Strip gawking!  Parking is free at the casinos and was very easy to get in and out of plus we parked on the first floor!

The Bellagio is a magnificently beautiful place where everywhere you look you’ll see top quality everything.  Something to remember when looking at the pictures of any of the casinos is that it is somewhat a little dark inside so photos may not be their highest quality.  We enjoyed walking through the Bellagio and seeing its beauty but mostly liked the multi colored glass flowered ceiling and the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

bel1a (Medium)bel1b (Medium)bel1 (Medium)20150930_114326 bel8 (Medium) bel9 (Medium) bel10 (Medium) bel11 (Medium) bel12 (Medium) bel13 (Medium)The three well known shops were just a tiny smidgen of the total well known high class shops in the Bellagio.  It was the second largest casino we visited.bel14 (Medium) bel15 (Medium)bdl13 (Medium)The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden is currently decorated for fall and was a really beautiful area in the middle of the casino/hotel.  The giant pumpkin you’ll see below is real.  The others in the photo are not.  belcom2 (Medium)belcon8 (Medium) belcon7 (Medium) belcon1 (Medium) belcom7 (Medium) belcom3 (Medium) belcom4 (Medium) belcom6 (Medium)Next on today’s adventure was the Paris Casino and Hotel.  Outside of the Paris Casino and Hotel are some of Paris’ greatest landmarks right on the Las Vegas Strip.  Replicas of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, the Parish Opera House, and the Hotel de Ville. Here are some of the outside photos.

paris 5 (Medium) paris 7 (Medium) paris 2 (Medium) paris 6 (Medium) paris 1 (Medium) paris 3 (Medium) paris 4 (Medium)The interior was very much like walking through the streets of Paris with tons of slots and other gambling games mixed in.  The ceiling is painted like a blue sky with white clouds which is really neat.

paris 8 (Medium) paris 11 (Medium) paris 10 (Medium) paris 18 (Medium) paris 15 (Medium) paris 19 (Medium) paris 12 (Medium) paris 9 (Medium) paris 14 (Medium) paris 22 (Medium)Roy bet $1 in the penny slots and came away with $6!!!!!

Well that’s enough casinos for today.  Several more to come!  Remember you’re walking the 5 mile walk plus walking around inside with us!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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