Category Archives: Vacations

Civic Centre Park, California

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.

026 Civic Park(He’s not real!)025 Park

030 Civic Park - Heron  027 Civic Park

028a Civic ParkFor some reason this little Heron came running towards us, and then stood in front of us for ages. 034 Civic Park - Heron

032Civic Park - Heron

033 Civic Park - Heron

Our last stop at the park was the Desert Holocaust Memorial which we both found really interesting.035 Desert Holocaust Memorial

036 Desert Holocaust Memorial   039 Desert Holocaust MemorialThese are replicas of the posts that carried electrified barbed wire around the camps.

040 Desert Holocaust Memorial


Las Vegas – November 2014

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.  001 1125 High Roller Vegas

002 1125 High Roller Vegas

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!016 1125 High roller tickets

003 1125 High Roller Vegas

004 1125 High Roller Vegas

005 1125 High Roller Vegas

007 1125 High Roller Vegas

008 1125 High Roller Vegas

009 1125 High Roller Vegas

010 1125 High Roller Vegas

011 1125 High Roller VegasAfter the wheel we spent some time shopping and sightseeing along the Strip.  Below is this years Christmas display at the Venetian.

012 1125 The VenetianAfter 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!012 1125 Guy Fieri Restaurant

015 Vegas at nightAnother special day in Vegas!


Gilbert, AZ

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.

201 Gilbert

202 Gilbert

203 Gilbert

204 GilbertThis is where and what they are starting to build, we wonder how it will have changed if we go back next year!

206 Gilbert


Apacheland, Tortilla Flat, Superstition Mountain & Goldfield Ghost Town

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” 142 Apache Land Chapel

143 Apache Land Chapel  145 Apache Land ChapelIn the gift shop, there is a small museum to have a look around.

146 Museum

147 Museum

148 Museum

149 Museum

150 MuseumAfter 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 HERE151 Apache JunctionWe carried on to Superstition Mountain, which had some very scenic views.159 Superstition Mountain162 Superstition Mountain163 Superstition Mountain DriveIt was also quite unusual in Arizona to come across a large lake

160 Superstition Mountain    164 Superstition Mountain DriveAnd even more odd to see cactai happily growing by the side of the lake!165 Superstition Mountain Drive

166 Superstition Mountain Drive

167 Superstition Mountain Drive

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  170 Goldfield Ghost Town

171 Goldfield Ghost Town

172 Goldfield Ghost Town

173 Goldfield Ghost Town

All in all quite a pleasant day out, seeing new things and being outdoors in the lovely weather.


Christmas Day at South Mountain Park

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!

110 South Mountain Park

111 South Mountain Park

116 South Mountain Park

Here is the Mystery Castle, where we were the other day!

112 South Mountain Park

And here we are – looking a little super-imposed!

113 South Mountain Park

114 South Mountain Park

I just can’t help myself!

115 South Mountain Park  117 South Mountain Park

By the entrance (or exit) are a few old stone buildings.

118 South Mountain Park

120 South Mountain Park

121 South Mountain Park

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.

125 Fairmont Christmas Night

128 Fairmont Christmas Night

126 Fairmont Christmas Night    129 Fairmont Christmas Night 130 Fairmont Christmas Night

It was a very relaxing and pleasant Christmas Day.


The Town Of Fountain, Arizona

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!

070 Fountain

071 Fountain

072 Fountain

It was quite pleasant to sit and watch!

073 Fountain

075 Fountain

074 Fountain

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!

081 Duck

What was surprising though was the sheer number coots – we are not sure we have ever seen so many in one place!080 Coots

081 Coots

We saw some stunning scenery

079 FountainAnd a memorial monument.

078 Fountain

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.

085 Horse Statue

Some of the items include pram wheels, whisk, wing mirrors, pans and pan lids, nappy pins – to name but a few!  086 Horse Statue

We also saw this cute Eagle on a Nest statue.      087 Eagles Nest Statue

088 Eagles Nest Statue

A small boy drinking from a hose fountain.

090 Boy drinking from hose statue

We just love seeing oranges growing in the street.089 Oranges And of course, the town clock. 091 Fountain Hills ClockThere is quite a bit to see, especially when the weather is so nice.  We think we might me back!