We wanted to stop at Vail on our way to Denver today and since it was already a 5.5 hr journey we were on the road early. The temp was dropping like crazy the closer we got and just on the outskirts of town, it started to snow! We were all so excited to arrive and have a play. We headed into Vail village. It looks like a little town in countryside Switzerland with Bavarian cafes and decorative buildings. We wandered around in the snow before stopping for a hearty German lunch. The snow was heavier when we emerged and it was snow fight time! There was a Christmas tree roundabout in the middle of the square and that’s where it all went down! I felt sorry for the passersby as they were ducking snow bombs left right and center! Needless to say, the hour we were supposed to spend here turned into three, all the while the snow was getting heavier and we were all loving it.

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Back to the car and out we go, first roundabout….. ohhhh, did the back wheels just spin a bit…. put the traction control on….. take the freeway corner……. ohhhh, did we just slide a bit? ……. no one has chains on, must be ok…… 20 min later….. pure chaos!!! Traffic was down to 15k’s. That was just for the cars still driving! It was more like an ice skating rink for cars than a freeway! Doh! We didn’t think of the downside to a snow storm ๐Ÿ˜ณ. Only trucks had to have chains on which was good, because the car company didn’t give us any and bad because we probably needed them but couldn’t stop to put them on! If you didn’t keep moving, you got stuck in snow and would slide to much to move. At one point in the 3 lane freeway, there was 10 lanes of cars with parked and spinning tires everywhere. We were very happy we had the beast car then let me tell you.

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The 1hr 20 min drive to Denver ended up taking us 5 and we were more than a little relieved to have made it! After re packing all the bags for tomorrow’s flight to Orlando it was bed for a couple of hours shut eye.

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Late last night we realized that we only had one night in Moab and not two! ๐Ÿ˜ณ. That meant we needed to head off super early as we wanted to visit both the dinosaur park and Arches National Park. It was a long 3 hr drive as the scenery wasn’t that great except for Mexican Hat Rock. We did happen across an old historical village in Bluff tho where the kids were able to earn another award. We walked through the village built in the 1800’s. The kids decided they much prefer our time! The staff were dressed in period costume which really added to the feel of the place and after filling in their worksheets the kids could choose two stones from a tub.

Arriving in Moab around 12.30 pm we headed straight for the Arches. While there, the ranger rang the dinosaur park to find out it was closed. Looks like we have all afternoon to check out the park now. Lucky too as the first ‘short little track’ took us nearly two hours! That left us rushed to finish the rest. Double hole arch was a definite favorite and we could have spent a good hour there. It was quite magical. The kids were stoked too as they were able to earn their third Junior Ranger Badge!

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We are staying at the Quality Suites Moab and the room is a great size. It has a heated pool and gym. Next door is a micro brewery where we head for dinner. Yum, yum, yum! We have a Jack Daniels pasta and slow roasted rib eye. Whole baked apples wrapped in pastry and chocolate brownie Sundaes tops off the night. (Along with a few beer samplers of course)

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We have a big day of driving to do tomorrow so it’s an early night for us.

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First up this morning we visited Glen Canyon Dam for our tour. It’s the second largest dam in the US. It supplies power to 8 states. We were able to walk along the top then travel the 58 stories down to the bottom to see the turbines. The kids were also able to earn their second junior ranger badge.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon traveling to Monument Valley. The countryside definitely became more arid and flat. We are staying at the View hotel, run by the Native Americans. It’s the only hotel in the park and sits right on the cliff overlooking Monument Valley.

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Antelope Canyon was our first adventure today and believe me it didn’t disappoint. We decided on Ken’s Lower Antelope tours aside supposed to be quieter than the upper canyon. Being winter also worked in our favor as there were not too many tourists. We were soooo lucky with our guide Tyrone as he let the two tours behind us go through and we were able to walk through the Canyon by ourselves. Completely unheard of from what I’ve read! We captured some beautiful images and I can’t wait to print them big for the walls!

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We then headed down to the lake to see our new friends from last night. (Lower Antelope Canyon boat tours) we went to pay only to find out Catherine had paid for that for us too!! We were very honoured. The boat tour went up to the lower Canyon. It was stunning being on the water in the middle of these towing walls. So contrasting to Australia as where there is water we have trees. Here, it’s just the Colorado river cutting straight through rock.MummynmephotographyMummynmephotographyMummynmephotography

 

Somehow, when leaving Zion yesterday, I left the cable that connects the camera to the lap top there so we headed to Wallmart to see if we could get a replacement. Even in this tiny town it was a massive store. We re-supplied our lunches, grabbed the cable and it only took us 1.5 hrs ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Dinner was a quick pizza from Pizza Hut (couldn’t believe they do gluten free bases for Benjamin) before another last dip in the spa.

Up early tomorrow to pack, checkout before heading to our Glen Canyon Dam tour and the kids second junior ranger badge.

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