The week before Christmas we went on a trip starting in Las Vegas where we met up with our friends from England. When we walked into the terminal building at the airport I burst out laughing - it was a sea of cowboy hats! Turns out it wasn't my imagination, it was rodeo week!
We had a great couple of days in LV culminating in an evening at The Wynn to which we travelled in style in a stretched limo. We ate at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie and had the best dinner I have had for ages. I wasn't expecting much from Pumpkin Soup but ordered it anyway and it was so tasty - brought to mind the Butternut Squash soup at the Juhlhaus deli in Salt Lake that sadly closed down last year. I followed with some delicious crispy duck and we finished by sharing the panna cotta with lemongrass sauce - again a delicious combination of flavours.
The real reason we went to the Wynn was to see Spamalot which was very funny - not least because of the actors attempts at British accents. There were some topical references which kept the script fresh.
After the performance we had cocktails outside and then headed back to the Luxor - in a regular taxi this time.
We arrived at the Grand Canyon in time for dinner. It was very,very cold indeed and the next morning we woke up to a dusitng of snow and icy conditions. We walked along the rim trail for a couple of hours. Once the clouds had cleared a little we could see just how enormous the Grand Canyon is and it is very, very enormous! We got so cold that I got to wondering whether the fat on your thighs (if you should happen to be blessed with any) gets harder and softer with the temperature like butter or lard does? It was our friend's birthday so we had a very nice dinner in the poshest hotel that night and I have developed a taste for cocktails.
The next morning we packed up the car again and set off for our final destination - Moab - before returning to SLC. Just before we set off though we noticed we had a flat tyre/tire. Luckily they have a garage where they maintain all the Grand Canyon park vehicles and they were able to fix it for us - the culprit was a screw that we must have run over at some stage.
In Moab we stayed in a friend's condo which was very nice. We unloaded the car and went in search of food. Can anyone tell me what's the deal with Eddie McStiff's? When we went last spring it was closed despite all the ads in the local papers proclaiming its openness and it was the same this time except there was a sign outside saying the business was for sale. Their online store is still open too.
The next day we went to Arches National Park but the weather was a bit unpredictable to say the least so we didn't venture far from the road. It was icy in places and I managed to slip over and bang my knee on one short excursion. We did manage the hike up the viewpoint for Delicate Arch without incident and it was well worth it. The weather got steadily worse so we decided to return to Moab and look around the shops which I haven't really had the chance to do before. I visited a lovely bead shop where I bought some very special beads for my stitchmarkers. I also bought a gorgeous fairy decoration for the Christmas tree and some gorgeous yarn from the Desert Thread Yarn Store I got some Alpaca with a Twist Baby Alpaca - are these colours not divine together? And some Manos Del Uruguay in another exquisite colour combo. I have no idea what to make with either but they were "just have to haves".
We stopped for coffee in the bookshop and then went back to the condo to regroup before going out for dinner again. We had pizza at Pasta Jay's which was great. We returned to the condo and finished the evening by watching Love Actually again - still love it!
The next morning it was time to return to SLC. We drove via the Navajo Nation and Monument Valley. Once we were home it was a big rush to get all the food and last minute gift shopping done in time for Christmas day. The first supermarket I went in didn't have a single turkey left, fresh, frozen or otherwise so I was in a bit of a panic, but luckily the next one had loads!