September 22, Tuesday – our cousins had a few more goodies before we left that evening. We went to the Philadelphia Art Museum, before which are the famous “Rocky steps”—the steps the boxer Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) ran up in the movie series “Rocky.”
There was also a nice view of Center City, the historical part of Philly.
Said goodbye to our cousins, and boarded our red eye flight to Las Vegas.
City lights from plane window
Once we landed, we embarked on another adventure as we needed to be in Idaho for my dad’s business meeting the next morning. We rented a car and my dad drove through the night to get there on time. We took a break for a few hours to sleep, but it was tiring!
September 23, Wednesday – We reached Idaho. It’s an underestimated state! It’s really pretty—green and farms everywhere, besides mountains and prairies.
After our meeting at lunchtime, we decided on the spur of the moment to go see Yellowstone National Park. That’s the way we roll :) We glimpsed the Great Tetons on the way there.
Once inside Yellowstone, it was great to just be surrounded by nature: the Old West kind of nature.
And there were buffalo. Lots of buffalo. We’d only seen buffalo once before, when we went to Utah this May. So it was real fun to see them again. Here, as there, the buffalo weren’t afraid of or spooked by humans. We’d see some grazing by the side of the road, and stop to take pictures.
Buffalo grazing beside the meandering river,
fishers wading in knee-deep in said river,
beaver dams, rolling hills, glimpses of mountains behind, sun flashing behind the trees…
…it was a beautiful drive. :) We didn’t go very far into the park (didn’t realize till we got there and got a map how big it is!) but we went to see Old Faithful. Unfortunately, it’s going off its steady rhythm because of all the junk people are throwing in. But about 40 minutes after the previous eruption, it erupted again. It was steaming quite a bit, then suddenly-
Fwoosh! The water shot up in a steaming flume.
It didn’t last very long, but it was so cool. Then we drove to our hotel just across the border in Nevada.
September 24, Thursday – We explored the somewhat remote Nevada town we’d stayed in the night before. It was small and quaint, the kind of place where everyone knows each other and people are friendly. At the same time, with the big open spaces, dusty roads, and mountains around, it had a very Western feel.
The feeling was definitely that of a small group of people who’d banded together to make a good living for themselves in the desert. Besides, of course, the couple of flashy casinos that were there ripping people off because it was, after all, Nevada. ;) Then we drove into Utah to stay with our friends who hosted us when we visited there in May.
September 25, Friday – Spent time with our friends in the morning, then had a leisurely drive to our hotel in Las Vegas. On the way, we were treated to a veritable light show in the heavens! First came a gorgeous sunset, as the sky flashed with gold.
Then—we saw it farther off and soon we were driving through it—rain! That was followed by a stunning double rainbow.
But it wasn’t over yet! That night we were treated to a lightning storm! We could see the clouds lighting up, and sometimes the lightning flashing. There were some big bolts! I didn’t get any pictures because we were driving, but it was really spectacular! So, four sky wonders in one day—it was a magnificent day in the West. :D
September 26, Saturday- My dad had a meeting in the morning, so I hung around the hotel. Then we had lunch in the hotel (it was one of those big deals with hotel, restaurants, and gambling in one). Vegas has cheap food to bring people in to gamble: we just come and enjoy the cheap good food ;)
And finally our trip was at an end. We got to the bus stop and the bus took us home to California. It had been an exciting trip, but we were glad to be home.