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Cedar City - 23rd April, 2011


Today was a really good day. Steve, Amy, Rayls and I all went to Springdale where there was an earth day celebration. Springdale is around a 45 minute drive from Cedar City and is at the entrance to Zion National Park which has to be one of the most scenic national parks ever. I know I am raved about the scenery on this trip but wow!!!!! We checked out all the Earth Day stalls and walked up the main street of Springdale and lunch at a place called the Flying Monkey and just generally had a good time and enjoyed the sights as well as each others company - the 4 of us seem to get on so well together.

On the way back we called in at Grafton which is basically a ghost town but has so much history. Grafton is mostly known for the scene from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Paul Newman rode on a bike with Katherine Ross, accompanied by the Oscar-winning song Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. Really interesting place - we also checked out the near-by cemetery - some history there as well - in 1866 there was 13 deaths, a lot for a small community. 7 deaths were from diphtheria including 3 children from the same family (a 3 and 5 year old on the same day) and then also a mother and daughter on the same day with another daughter just a few days later. In the same month 13 and 14 year old girls were killed when a swing broke. In April a husband, wife and the husband's brother were killed by Indians and then later in the year there were deaths to scarlet fever. Tough times.

We were home just before 5pm and had a lovely dinner of salmon, rice and fruit salad and then watched the movie The Killers. Scott's Kings won game 5 and will play again in LA on Monday. Ryan's Blackhawks play soon.

A great day, sadly tomorrow we move on - we never seem to have enough time with Amy and Steve. Las Vegas tomorrow and 3 nights in the Venetian Hotel.

Cedar City 22nd April, 2011

Good Friday certainly does not appear to be any big deal in the USA. Steve went off to work as usual and all the shops are open for business.

Just a quiet day at home. We did go and check out Home Depot (similar to Bunnings) for ideas. Amy wanted some stuff from Wal-Mart, I had a short walk in the main street of Cedar City and ended up at Pizza Factory where I had a small pizza for lunch before meeting up with Amy and Rayls who had been to Jo-Annes. 

After lunch we went to Ace Hardware, the only place I know where Rayls can buy quilting fabric just a few metres from where they sell high powered firearms. Then you can also buy camping gear, clothes and even a screw driver.

Quiet afternoon, ended up having left overs for dinner and went to the movies to see Source Code which we all seemed to enjoy. $8 each for the movie and $4 for the largest drink which included a free re-fill.

Ryan tells me that there has been some sort of incident near home perhaps involving a petrol tanker and some fire.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Cedar City, Sunday we head on to Las Vegas.

Cedar City - 21st April, 2011

Here I am on my repaired Mac. It has been working for 4 hours now and all is still well. Amazing! The service from the guys at the Apple store in St George was second to none. They were friendly and efficient and to have my Mac back in a tad over 24 hours is a mighty effort even if I did have to pay $50 Express Fee to jump the queue.

I slept well last night, rare for me - might be the altitude here, not sure but I slept like an air traffic controller. 

This morning was Pickelball. Hard again on the knees but good fun.

At lunchtime I got the call from the Apple store and after Rayls and I had Arbys for lunch I headed off alone the 80 K's to St George and back - 75 mph speed limit all the way. Bit daunting to go on my own but I have driven from New York to Philadelphia on my own in the past so I guess CC to St George is no big deal. The driving on the opposite side of the road is no big deal anymore. I have become quite ambidextrous in my driving ability.

The Mac has a new hard drive so I have to start from scratch.

Rayls and Amy went shopping in my absence.

Tonight it was Chilis for dinner. Had Fajitas Trio which was nice enough. Rayls had the salmon.

Back in the house now, gonna watch a movie.

All is well, we like Utah. It has some strange things about it that make people from other states say that UTAH stands for U turn around here! We love it.

Been a great trip, one of the best - just 8 days to go and we head home.

Cedar City 20th April, 2011

A trip to St George took up most of today. We left CC around 9:00am and were waiting for the Apple Store to open at 10:00am. The people in the Apple store were very helpful. My Mac was bought at JB HiFi back in December and was still under warranty. They checked all the details on-line and I paid $50 to have my laptop treated as a priority. Turns out it is a hard drive problem and they will replace that under warranty, I am hoping to get it back tomorrow - another trip to St G, 45 minutes away which I might have to do on my own - fun times. I see the cops in unmarked cars today - there is a white Mustang and a charcoal coloured Charger, something else to watch out for.

Did shopping in St G, lunch at Applebees and were home around 4:00pm. Leftovers for dinner and here I am on Amy's MAC.

Tomorrow morning is pickle ball and hopefully to St G for the laptop, nothing else planned - nice.

Cedar City - 19th April, 2011

Sun out today but a little brisk, probably around 10C.

Afrer breakfast we headed over to the Southern Utah University and we played pickle ball with 3 other ladies. Pickle ball is sort of like tennis but on s smaller court and with paddles instead of a racquet. The ball is the same size as a tennis ball but is plastic and has many holes in it. We played on an indoor court and it was hard on my knee but I enjoyed it and we all did OK.

Later in the morning we went shopping - nothing bought but Rayls picked up another quilt shop.

For lunch we went to Market Grill, had just a toasted cheese and ham sandwich for desert had their famous banana cream pie. The best pie ever, yummo!

Quiet afternoon relaxing - we tried to do an Aussie barbie for dinner - went OK I guess. No prawns though!

We watched the movie Eagle Eye in the evening - good one!

Scott would be at the Staples Center watching his LA Kings play the Sharks in game 3 of the playoffs and I see they are 4-1 up in the second period. Ryan's Blackhawks are down in their series but had a good 7-2 win tonight.

Tomorrow down to St George, about 60 K's south, and take this Mac to the Apple store and see if they can do something with it.

Cedar City - 18th April, 2011

So here we are in Cedar City in southern Utah. We are staying with friends Amy and Steve for a few days.

We feel so comportable here - looking forward to some quiet time although I believe I am playing pickle ball tomorrow morning - never played it, know nothing about it but what the heck, I am up for a bit of exercise and fun.

So...... we left the hotel in Salt Lake City in fairly steady rain a few minutes after 9:00am. We had a list of 7 quilt shops none of which opened before 10:00am. They have pretty good hours in the USA in relation to shopping. Many of the Wal-Marts are even open 24 hours. Most of the major shops seem to stay open till 9:00pm 7 days a week. The only down side of this is that most of the shops don't open till 10:00am. Fair trade off I think for the later hours which are most convenient. Quilts shops usually open at 10:00am and close at either 5:00pm or at 6:00pm. Whilst on the subject of shops, it is a little sad to see some of the book shops closing down. A real sign of the times. We have seen many Borders shops with limited stock basically selling what they can at marked down prices. Book shops have always been a place I can spend hours looking around but as the owner of a Kindle I can't complain that they are on the way out. All the major department stores seem to be selling everything on special and have ridiculous prices for clearance stock, I have managed some real bargains so far and have restocked my clothing supplies pretty well.

We got the first quilt shop 10 minutes before opening time and waited till 5 minutes after scheduled opening time before we gave up and headed to store number 2. I hadn't had brekkie and was very pleased when this store turned out to be next to a McDonalds. So whilst Rayls shopped I had my usual Maccas breakfast of fruit and maple oatmeal, a yoghurt parfait and hot chocolate. The 3rd shop had a dog, an elderly female called Macy - bit of jack russell and a bit of something else, softest fur and loved to be held so I found myself wandering around the store holding Macey. A store dog for Carols might not be a bad idea, Rayls could bring Hunter!

The 4th store was one Rayls had been to before and had no Maccas or Macey so I snoozed in the car. After this we were tight for time, it was after noon and we still had a 4 hour drive to Cedar City ahead of us. So we skipped the 5th and 7th store and couldn't find the 6th store so on to the I15 we went and in continuing rain headed south towards Cedar City. Interstate 15 is a pretty long stretch of road. It starts at the Canadian border in Montana and comes down through Idaho and into Utah, through the middle of Salt Lake City and then for a few miles covers the very top north western tip of Arizona and then into Nevada where it goes through the middle of Las Vegas. Then down into California, just by passes Los Angeles and ends close to the Mexican border in San Diego. You can travel the whole way from Mexico to Canada and never see a traffic light. There is a minimum of 2 lanes and often many more and between Salt Lake City and Cedar City there are portions that have an 80 mph speed limit - 128 kph.

It rained nearly all the way today - cleared up 50 K's out of Cedar City. The road has a mountain range on one side, I assume it's the Rocky Mountains and is a scenic but tough drive.

We arrived in Cedar City around 5:15pm and it was great to be back. Amy made us a nice dinner and we chatted and watched some TV.

436 K's today, average speed 95 K's, top speed 145 's.