As we were driving around yesterday, familiarising ourselves with the area, we came across Civic Centre Park. It is not somewhere we have been before, so we thought we would have a stroll around it today…it was really nice. We have since learned that it is the largest of Palm Deserts parks.
(He’s not real!)
For some reason this little Heron came running towards us, and then stood in front of us for ages.
Our last stop at the park was the Desert Holocaust Memorial which we both found really interesting.
These are replicas of the posts that carried electrified barbed wire around the camps.
Heading down to Palm Springs for our winter break, we had to make the obligatory stop off in Vegas.
Last year we saw this wheel being built. It is very odd seeing something so similar to the London Eye in the middle of Vegas. However, at more than 100 ft taller than the London Eye, this is currently the worlds tallest ferris wheel.
This year though it was up and running so we decided to take a trip on it. The pictures aren’t great due to the reflections, but you get the idea!
After the wheel we spent some time shopping and sightseeing along the Strip. Below is this years Christmas display at the Venetian.
After all that walking we needed some food and a sit down. We thought we would give Guy Fieri’s place a go – what a burger! Because it was Guy’s we felt justified in squashing it down and shoving it our faces!
Another special day in Vegas!
As we are heading back home tomorrow, we thought a visit to the zoo might be a nice way to round off our holiday.
As ever, these guys where hilarious and have to take the prize for the most entertaining of the day!
Gilbert is a small town, with what looks like a historic High Street. To be honest there isn’t that much here, but it looks as though there are plans to grow the town considerably and they seem to be building a new university campus as well as a number of new restaurants and shops. We like to have a stroll around in the sunshine though and it entertained us for a while.
This is where and what they are starting to build, we wonder how it will have changed if we go back next year!
We liked Fountain so much that we decided to go back and have another little walk around!
The park also home to the Professional Disc Golf Association – which seems to involve throwing discs into a bucket type receptacles – we would imagine it is actually quite difficult.
Desert Breeze is one of our favourite parks to spend a few hours. We often take our lunch to eat here and then have a little stroll afterwards.
It has hummingbirds too!
Today we took a drive out to Apacheland Movie Ranch. Since 1959 Apacheland has hosted many western movies and TV shows. A number of Hollywood stars filmed here including John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Jack Nicholson, Ronald Reagan and many others. For a list of actors and films CLICK HERE.
This is the Elvis Presley Chapel from the film “Charro”
In the gift shop, there is a small museum to have a look around.
After Apacheland we took a drive towards Superstition mountain, stopping briefly on the way at Tortilla Flat, which apparently has a population of six! There is a Saloon bar, which we since read have real saddles as bar stools and the wallpaper is made from real dollar bills! There was a live country band playing too. Perhaps next time we might have to pop in for a swift one. For more on Tortilla Flat CLICK HEREWe carried on to Superstition Mountain, which had some very scenic views.It was also quite unusual in Arizona to come across a large lake
And even more odd to see cactai happily growing by the side of the lake!
Our final stop on the way home was Goldfiled Ghost Town, where you can take a mine tour if you so desire! Again here you will find shops, saloons and of course the obligatory gun fight. For more information CLICK HERE
All in all quite a pleasant day out, seeing new things and being outdoors in the lovely weather.
Happy Christmas! As it is Christmas day or options were a bit limited. However, South Mountain Park was open, so we took a drive up to the top where you get fantastic panoramic views – we weren’t the only one who thought to do this on Christmas Day – it was pretty busy up there!
Here is the Mystery Castle, where we were the other day!
And here we are – looking a little super-imposed!
I just can’t help myself!
By the entrance (or exit) are a few old stone buildings.
That evening we went to La Hacienda (thanks for the recommendation Linda & Andrew) where we had a lovely evening meal. The restaurant is located in the Fairmont Hotel which had some beautiful grounds.
It was a very relaxing and pleasant Christmas Day.
Today is Christmas eve so we decided to keep it simple and have a short walk up to the Hole in Rock in Papago Park.
You get some quite nice views from up there.
Another first for us was the town of Fountain. It is a very pretty place to while away a few hours.
Fountain Hills was named after the towering man-made fountain in the centre of town. It is now the world’s fourth tallest fountain. When it was built in 1970, it was the world’s tallest fountain and it held that record for over 10 years. The fountain sprays water for about 15 minutes every hour between 9am and 9pm. It has three pumps and when all are in use, the fountain reaches 560 feet (170m) in height however, normal operation only uses two pumps and the fountain reaches a height of around 300 feet (91m) – we assume this is what we saw.
As we arrived near the lake, we had some time for a short stroll around and a spot of lunch before the fountain started started doing its thing!
It was quite pleasant to sit and watch!
After that we decided to do a circuit of the lake to see what else was hiding in the pretty park. Well you can’t have so much water without the odd duck!
What was surprising though was the sheer number coots – we are not sure we have ever seen so many in one place!
We saw some stunning scenery
And a memorial monument.
We then went to check out a few of the local shops. We saw this beautiful horse made from all sorts of bits and pieces. The more you look the more you see.
Some of the items include pram wheels, whisk, wing mirrors, pans and pan lids, nappy pins – to name but a few!
We also saw this cute Eagle on a Nest statue.
A small boy drinking from a hose fountain.
We just love seeing oranges growing in the street. And of course, the town clock. There is quite a bit to see, especially when the weather is so nice. We think we might me back!