Across The Great Western Plains

Do you know what I expect when I see a sign that reads “Automated Dinosaurs Ahead?”  Dinosaurs.  That are automated.  Shame on you, Stewarts Petrified Wood, for letting us down with your lies.  They did have petrified wood, though, along with an ostrich farm and a whole host of dinosaur statues featuring unlucky female mannequins.  So maybe they were only half-lying.  Such are the potential pitfalls of traveling along Route 66.  Things that are not a bait-and-switch include Crater National Park, which is breath-taking and features an exhibit featuring the sweet MIDI tunes of Nashville composer Frank Cicalese, and our current residence, the Motel Safari, which beats the hell out of the Circus Circus Manor in Las Vegas.  Note to potential customers: do not bring up how much the town of Tucumcari reminds you of Radiator Springs from Cars.  Apparently they find the comparison unfavorable.

Speaking of Circus Circus: the Adventuredome was devoid of adventure.  It was filled, instead, with screaming kids, and had all the charm (and odor) of an indoor public pool.  Oh well!  Next time we’ll stay somewhere that doesn’t think a free turn at the rubber chicken toss is a sweet perk.  Luckily Vegas has a lot more to offer, such as: a $36 yard-long Souza margarita from a stand in front of Harrah’s (which got us comments such as: “I thought mine was large!”  Score!), the hoe-tastic Treasure Island water show which featured classy lines such as “Why don’t you slip your schooner into my port?” and of course the new and ritzy Cosmopolitan hotel which features a sweet 3rd-story pool and apparently doesn’t mind giant-booze-container-carrying non-guests hanging out inside.  One disappointing note: there were no white bunnies.

The next morning we drove to Flagstaff, visiting on the way the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam, where apparently the villains in many action-adventure films could have easily hid from the do-gooders and FBI agents since nobody seems to want to film it.  I say it is handsome in its own right.  After that it was a race against the sun to catch a glimpse of the Grand Canyon where we were delighted to be let in for free due to it being Martin Luther King’s birthday.   It is indescribably awesome and way larger than can be captured at the wide-angle setting on my new Panasonic Lumix FZ-100.  Oops!  Product placement.  It is really a great camera.  Anyhow, I’m on vacation, so I’m going to leave you with this lovely photo of Penelope at the south rim.  How much beauty can one fit into one photo?  Honestly.

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