The following pictures came from Elise's camera and show the trip from her perspective.
The view over the pool area from our apartment deck in an evening rainstorm. This pool area and the adjacent waterslide was a MAJOR draw on this trip. We made an effort to swim midday if the weather was even remotely warm enough. I shivered through a few rather brutal swim sessions.
Her beloved "B.K." in our apartment. Can't leave home without him!
She's really getting into self portraits. Here she poses in the apartment with the door to the deck behind her.
Another self portrait. This time riding in the car. Note the sun visor and fish lips.
Her prized possessions from the Zion gift shop: a flashlight and an "Angel's Landing" coin commemorating her effort on the hike. I though the flashlight was a ridiculous choice, until we ended up hiking out from the cliff at dusk a few days later and she lit the way!
Elise and Pam visited a museum which housed fossilized dinosaur tracks found in the area. Elise really enjoyed this activity and dearly wanted to take me back there to see it with her. Alas, we moved on before having the chance.
Having a lunch break at the parking area for Lime Kiln Canyon. Mom took this.
I'm trying to coach Elise a bit on the nuances of finer photography. Here, I suggested she zoom in on the detail of the prickly pear to show the spines. I think she did well.
On our many hikes, Elise like to go first and be on "lizard patrol". She spotted many and managed to capture this one on film! No easy task.
Her barbies kept her busy in the back seat. Here they are riding shotgun in the car door pocket. I need to help her get better focus on these close-ups.
Indian paintbrush at the petroglyph site. This picture turned out quite well, I think!
Elise's photo of the "falling man" petroglyph, the most intriguing petroglyph I've ever seen. Tears were shed shortly after this photo was taken. The batteries in Elise's camera died and she was devastated. Between sobs she said, "I really wanted to be the first to find a good petroglyph and take a nice photo to show you". My heart melted at her sentiment.
The stupidest thing I did on the trip was grab the fallen lobe of a beaver tail cactus and break it in half with my bare hands to show Elise the interior. What I thought was a spineless lobe, turned out to have hundreds of little needle-like hairs, which I then spent 20 minutes extracting from my palms. Here Elise and I recreate the moment of doom.
There were a lot of free range cattle roaming the desert near the cliffs. We saw this bull near the car one evening and Elise excitedly started taking pictures. She got closer and closer, much to my dismay, but the cow seemed uninterested. I stayed close by, nonetheless.
The screech owl we discovered in the cave. Her picture turned out well!
Our final days were spent at a motel on a ranch just outside Vegas. There was a replica of an old western town and a petting zoo, which was another MAJOR highlight of the trip. Peacocks freely roamed the area.
Pam took this.
The petting zoo. We were the first there, and this deer walked right up to us and let us pet it. Bingo!
This one made me cringe. It's a beautiful Canadian lynx spending it's life in a cage in the Vegas desert. Elise loved getting so close to the animals, but it sure left us with mixed feelings afterward.
My mother and her sister Anne, made a surprise overnight visit and came bearing gifts. Elise loved this shoulder bag (she called it her "satchel") and proceeded to carry it everywhere we went. She used it to store her special items she collected on the trip (various rocks, feathers, etc).
Spring break is officially over and it's back to the grind (and the rain). Enjoy the start of spring!