argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
The main gallery is here. Everything is divided into one of four subgalleries: Flagstaff and Lowell Observatory, which includes photos taken during the drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff; the Grand Canyon; the Phoenix Area, which includes photos of the house we stayed at (these are the photos you'll see first), the Challenger Space Center, my grandma's house, and (even though they're not in the Phoenix area) the drive to Prescott and airplane photos near Newark; and Sedona and Montezuma Well, which includes the photos taken during the drive between Flagstaff and Sedona. The Phoenix Area also has two side galleries -- Cabela's and Rockin' R Ranch and Arizona Temple.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Since we spent the large part of Thanksgiving Day on various airplanes, we just had our traditional meal of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, and pie last night.

Arizona was very nice, although that's a rather bland expression. Pleasantly relaxing, with good company and lovely weather, would be a more apt description. As usual with my travels, I kept a list of quick notes of each day's events. However, unlike some of my other journeys - especially those in Europe - we mostly stayed around my grandma's area and didn't do a great deal of sightseeing. My dad wanted to visit more places, including Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, but Arizona is a deceptively large state with a surprisingly wide range of temperatures (at least to my Mid-West and East Coast preconceptions) and driving three hours each way to reach a location becomes tiresome.

In the end, we visited five attractions. My dad's always liked Westerns and was eager to do something involving cowboys, so we went to dinner with entertainment and a staged gun fight at a place roughly forty minutes from my grandma's called the Rockin' R Ranch. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, although it wasn't devoid of it's own brand of cheesiness.

As for my mum, several people from her work had recommended going to Sedona, a tourist city popular for its red rock formations. They especially insisted we be there for sunset; we assumed it had something to do with how the rocks would look in the light of the setting sun, but discovered it was more that actual sunsets there are particularly spectacular and colourful. My mum said afterward that Sedona was her favourite of all the places we visited, so it was mission successful for her.

My choices both revolved around space exploration. The first was less than half an hour from my grandma's house – the Challenger Space Center. Unfortunately, what we didn't know was that it was largely geared toward elementary-age children and relatively small; we all left disappointed. The second was Lowell Observatory, which happened to be located in between Sedona and our last attraction. While also relatively small (London museums have ruined my expectations of size), it was quite interesting. The only downside is that we weren't able to attend any night viewings through their telescopes due to weather conditions.

Our last visit was to the Grand Canyon. You don't realise how immense it is until you're there; in the eight hours we spent there, we barely saw 1% of the Canyon. I greatly preferred it to Sedona for it's greater sense of isolation and wilderness, although I'm sure not being there during the height of the tourist season helped.

The rest of the time we spent around the house – playing cards, fixing things for my grandma, going for walks, visiting the local recreation centres, chatting, and relaxing. Coincidentally, we happened to be there during a warm spell; daytime temperatures were in the mid-80s [high 20s Celsius] around the Phoenix area (we were about half an hour northwest from downtown Phoenix) and it was sunny until our last few days. While my presumptions had informed me to expect this, the entire state of Arizona does not, in fact, have weather of this kind. Case in point: while we were at the Lowell Observatory up in Flagstaff (about three hours north of Phoenix), it was unusually warm in the mid-60s [high 10s Celsius] and had snowed the previous weekend.

That's the basics. To save your eyes, everything else is under LJ cuts. Photos will be up soon.

A bit more about the area we were staying in. )

The chronology: the first week [5 - 11 November] (includes Rockin' R Ranch and the Challenger Space Center) )

Week the second [12 - 19 November] (includes the Lowell Observatory, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon) )

Final week [20 - 27 November] )


argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)

March 2016



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