Island of Kauai, Birthday Celebration and Family Vacation

On our way to Kauai, to celebrate my 70th birthday with the whole family, Kevin, Ericka, Harper, Austin and Eric, who flew in from Columbus. We boarded the plane on Saturday, May 26th at the San Diego Airport, and had a good 6 hour flight direct to Lihue, Kauai. We arrived around lunch time, so we stopped at Duke’s Kauai to eat, and begin our Hawaiian experience in style. We enjoyed this stunning beach setting with views out to the crystal blue waters of Nawiliwili Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains beyond. The kids loved playing on the beach and stretching our legs after the long plane ride. Then off to Costco to stock up on food for the week before heading out to Princeville to David’s house, our home for the week. This house is right out of an Architectural Digest magazine, the pictures hardly capture the elegance and simplicity of this home. The views of Hanalei Bay are outstanding, especially when the rainbow lights up across the sky in the morning. We spent the first day in the pool and hot tub, couldn’t get much better. Continue reading

Flagstaff, Arizona

Arrived in Flagstaff, AZ and staying at the J and H RV Park just north of Flagstaff for a few days. Spent a fabulous day driving to the Grand Canyon East Entrance from Cameron along the Desert View Scenic Drive. The views along the way were beautiful and we stopped at several lookouts before arriving at the historic Watchtower. The Indian Watchtower at Desert View, is a 70-foot high stone building, and the four-story structure was completed in 1932. The tower was designed to resemble an Ancient  Pueblo Peoples watchtower. The main space is the Kiva Room in the base structure, and features a fireplace with a large picture window directly above where the chimney would ordinarily go. The tower is decorated by bold murals by Fred Kabotie. The small windows in the tower’s shaft let beams of light into the space as we climbed up the small staircase. The upper floors serve as an observation deck from which we can view the eastern portions of the Grand Canyon. The views were spectacular from this vantage point. Click on thumbnail to view image Continue reading

Chaco Canyon National Monument, Arizona

From Albuquerque we drove to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, created in 1907 as Chaco Canyon National Monument, in 1980 became the Culture Center, and in 1987, a World Heritage Site. The Chaco people made this high desert valley the center of their world 1,100 to 1,200 years ago. They began to build here on a grand scale in the mid-800s, and ruins of the great houses of Pueblo Bonito, Una Vida, and Penasco Blanco are still  intact today. We started are tour at the Visitor Center then drove the loop road exploring the magnificent houses of Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Keti. We were fortunate to get on a guided tour of the Pueblo del Arroyo, Spanish for “village by the wash”. We crawled through tunnels and into small dark rooms where they stored the food. After the tour we did the Pueblo Alto Loop Trail hike, 5.4 miles R/T, where we had spectacular overlook views of Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Keti. We explored the sites of Pueblo Alto and New Alto and passed by the Chacoan stairways, the Chacoan “road” system. The roads linked the great houses in the core of Chaco Canyon to far-off communities. Whenever the Chacoan road builders encountered a cliff, stairways  or ramps were constructed to continue to straight road alignments. The panoramic views of the San Juan Basin was breathtaking. Chaco Canyon is well worth the visit as it is one of the most amazing places in the country and one day is not enough time to explore the entire Canyon and Culture. We hope to return and camp for a few nights Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading