December 1, 2014

travels| the western USA

I was about to recap our Thanksgiving weekend...then I realized that I completely missed writing about our trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. So, let's play a little catch up.

Peyton and I both travel for work, but definitely him more so than I. Every once in a while I get the chance to jump on a plane and travel with him to one of his speaking engagements or SkillsUSA trips.  A couple of weeks ago, Peyton was given the opportunity to speak outside of Las Vegas to a group of SkillsUSA students.  It was one of the first times I have been able to watch him speak, so it made for a great time. We got to cross three states off our list (one of them unintentionally...more on that later).

We arrived a little early to do some sight seeing and one of the major items on our bucket list was a picture in front of this sign.  Earlier this year I traveled to Las Vegas for work and didn't look for or take a picture in front of this sign, just so I could have it with my husband. Thankfully, while the polar vortex was visiting North Carolina...we enjoyed the wonderful warm weather and sunshine that Las Vegas offers.
While we were there, one of his good friends recommended that we go see the Ethel M Cactus Garden Lighting and it ended up being one of the most beautiful things we saw our entire trip. Prior to our visit, we had no idea what Ethel M Chocolate Factory was...but we ended up learning that Ethel M Chocolates are a the "fancy" chocolates of the Mars Company.  They have a beautiful cactus garden outside of their factory to help draw people in and at Christmas they decorate the entire garden in Christmas lights.  I would have never guessed that people actually decorate those prickly things.
After Peyton's speaking engagement, we saw a couple major US sights. We were able to see the Hoover Dam, Route 66, the Grand Canyon, and even CALIFORNIA! California definitely wasn't planned, but on our way back to Vegas we got singing in the car and completely missed our exit for a major highway that led to Vegas. we were singing and dancing, we both saw the sign that said "Welcome to California" and about died.  Our first concern was how far away we were from Vegas since we had a flight to catch that evening.  Thankfully, we had plenty of time to spare!
As expected, the Grand Canyon was absolutely beautiful.  It was freezing cold...but it was beautiful.  We stayed in the Canyon which was a real treat and woke up early both mornings to see the sunrise.  The grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list and I am so glad that I got to see it with my best friend. 
So far, we have been North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Only forty two more to go!