I promised you'd get hammered with vacation pics and here they are. I broke them into 3 sets. Please click on the full screen option for the first two. The small version just does not do justice to the natural beauty before your eyes. My photo skills are lacking as well, but I tried my best to capture what nature had created.
First up is the Petrified Forest/Route 66/Meteor Crater and it's pretty long. I had all day to wander about the park and it's very auto friendly. I also became mesmerized by the wood and it's beauty. It had been thru an incredible journey starting as an equatorial rain forest. After floods, volcanic eruptions, continental drift and millions of years it wound up where it is today.
The second slideshow is the Grand Canyon. This set is much shorter for 2 reasons. I only had 3 hours to explore and it was all hiking along the canyon rim. I simply forgot to shoot more (I thought I had taken tons) because I was sucking some serious wind along the steep trail trying to hurry and make it back to the train on time.
The Visitor Center has some amazing presentations including a 3-D globe screen theater and a full screen theater. Both are not to be missed. They also have free shuttle buses to transport visitors throughout the park.
This final set is very short and were taken with my phone, but I wanted to share a bit of the best meal I've ever had in my life. Choosing Roy's on Flamingo for my Birthday dinner was an excellent decision. The Hawaiian fusion cuisine is out of this world. The staff was the best I've experienced as well. As the maître d' showed me to my seat a passing staff member that came from the other side of the restaurant casually greeted me by name as if I was a returning long time customer. She had never laid eyes on me before in her life. I was taken aback and thought that was a very nice touch. It set the tone for the evening.
I started with a vodka martini to clean my palate, then was treated to complimentary a sushi appetizer that I did not understand the name of and some edamame. Both were simply delicious. I ordered the crunchy golden lobster potstickers with togarashi misu butter sauce as my appetizer. Out of this world! I even managed to use my chopsticks without sending food flying thru the air or into my lap. I was quite proud of myself for accomplishing that. It was here I suddenly realized I needed to take some pics of this wonderful meal.
Next was the Lilikoi pear salad with candied macadamia nuts, smoked gouda cheese and Asian pears. The flavors that came together in that salad were magic. My main course was the Polenta dusted U-10 scallops served on a bed of mushroom risotto. This was the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. The scallops were huge and perfectly cooked. The first bite was sheer ecstasy. I chose a glass of Caymus Conundrum to go with this and it was a perfect pairing. I never knew food could taste this good.
For dessert I had a moist, delicious, fresh baked chocolate souffle' with homemade vanilla ice cream. To cap the meal off, a glass of 18 year old Macallan scotch.
Yeah, I went for the full Anthony Bourdain treatment and I don't regret it one bit. It was a foodie paradise.
Much to my surprise I learned Roy's has a location in Plano at 2840 Dallas Parkway. I will be visiting them and I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible.