Weekend getaway to Utah and Vegas

Trip Start Apr 10, 2009
Trip End Apr 12, 2009

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Where I stayed
Victoria's Bed & Breakfast

Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Earlier this year I reconnected with "Jerlin", an old friend from high school, through Facebook (www.facebook.com). It has been 22 years (10th grade) since we last had seen or spoken to one another. We eventually decided it would be nice to see one another again so I agreed to fly out to Las Vegas where she lives. We had a fun filled weekend planned: snowmobiling in Utah and a Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas. All of this would be done in under 24 hours. Crazy huh....so allow me now to recap my weekend.

I took Southwest Airlines (http://www.southwest.com) from the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (http://www.airport-fll.com) to Las Vegas (http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov) with a change of planes in Jacksonville (http://www.coj.net/default.htm). My flight departed Fort Lauderdale on Friday, April 10th at 10:50am. On arrival in Jacksonville I had a two hour layover before my connecting flight, which got me into Las Vegas at 4:30pm. Southwest Airlines is the original LCC (Low Cost Carrier) with an all Boeing 737 aircraft fleet (http://www.boeing.com/commercial/737family). Their onboard service is great. Check out the following link for a taste of what you can sometimes expect when you fly with them ......  http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=0a4bae05b8237b63f5f5.

Jerlin was there to meet me on my arrival in Las Vegas and I immediatelly recongnized her. 22 years ??? Seemed more like 22 weeks. No sooner had we greeted each other and we were off on the road headed to Parowan, Utah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parowan,_Utah), where we would spend the night at Victoria's Bed and Brekfast (http://www.utahretreat.com). This is a very nice "victorian" styled B&B, which I later found out is supposedly haunted by a little girl wearing a pink dress. Or so the story goes according to Jerlin and Lisa Marie (the property manager) who told me about this during breakfast on Saturday morning. Can you already hear the "Twilight Zone" music playing in the back of your head (http://frogstar.com/files/wav/twilzone.wav)?  :o)

Parowan is southern Utah's first settlement (Iron County), which was founded on January 13, 1851. Parowan City blends a rich historical past with present-day, small-town hospitality. It serves as a year-round gateway to Brian Head Resort (http://www.brianhead.com) and Cedar Breaks National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/cebr). Its elevation is 5,970 feet and its population in 1990 was 1,873. Fremont and Anasazi Indians were the first known inhabitants of Parowan. Petroglyphs, pithouses, arrowheads, pottery, and manos dating from A.D. 750 to 1250 found in the area are evidence that it was on a major thoroughfare of early Native Americans.

The drive from Parowan to Brian Head took no more than 20 minutes. We rented our snowmobiles from Thunder Mountain Motorsports (http://www.brianheadthunder.com/index.aspx) where Jerlin had a 3 hour guided tour reserved for us. We set off at around 9:30am with "Brian", our tour guide (go figure, and "no" his last name was not Head). This was my first time on a snowmobile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowmobile) and I have to admit that it was like riding a bicycle for me (it felt very natural). It feels very much like a Jet Ski (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_Ski) in that it maneuvers very much the same. Brian, our guide, was excellent.

The first 15 minutes was "get aquainted" time with my machine and after that we were hauling butt through Dixie National Forest (http://www.utah.com/nationalsites/dixie.htm). There were moments that we experienced "whiteout" conditions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteout_(weather)), which is when your visibility and contrast are severely reduced by snow. In other words everything is white; every way you look all you see is white, and that was a little frightening when you are speeding along on an iron snow horse. After about 2 hours we made it all the way up to Point Supreme at an altitude of 10,350 feet. We had a breathtaking view of Ceaders Break and how good it felt to breath in that fresh mountain air. I had to stop and think that only a day earlier I was in Miami, and would be again the following day. Wow !!!  :o) 

On the way back down Jerlin had a small encounter with two pine trees that jumped right out in front of her. I swear, it was just as if they were stalking her. As she jumped a not so small hill, at just the wrong angle, and going just a wee bit too fast, and then while she was flying in the air holding on to her machine in a pose that is reminiscent of superman flying   :o)   the trees jumped out at her, and with only what I can describe as extreme handling skills she managed to out-maneuver those darn trees and was able to wedge herself in between the trees rather than harm them. What were those trees thinking? Well Jerlin experienced a few bumps and bruises, but luckily we were all able to ride away from there and laugh about this incident later in the day. We turned in our snowmobiles right around 12:30pm, paid our very reasonable rental dues, and were on the road once again heading back to Las Vegas already.

In the evening (by the way - this is still Saturday incase you were wondering) we went for dinner at the newly opened Texas De Brazil (http://www.texasdebrazil.com/) at the Town Square Shopping Center, where we enjoyed some fine meats and adult beverages. Thereafter I checked into the Riviera hotel (http://www.rivierahotel.com/), which I have to say I was most dissapointed with. For the price I paid I would have preferred staying at a Holiday Inn Express. The hotel is an older property and I felt like a mouse in a maze just trying to find my way in and out of the place. Lets just say that I had expected more "wow" from this property. Well, no sooner had I checked in and were off again .... this time to the Treasure Island hotel where we watched the Cirque Du Soleil show "Mystere" (http://www.treasureisland.com/pages/ent_mystere.asp). There are only a few words that come to mind anytime I have seen a Cirque Du Soleil show: "Wow", "Amazing", "Incredible", and so on. The show was "phenomenal".

The next morning I was up at 5:30am and made my way back to McCarran International Airport (http://www.mccarran.com) where I boarded an 8am departure flight that would take me back to Fort Lauderdale via (get this) Omaha, Nebraska, St. Louis, Missouri, and Orlando, Florida, where I had a two hour layover, before finally getting me into Fort Lauderdale at around 10:15pm.

So, that was another fun packed and memorable weekend getaway. I reconnected with a long lost friend, visited a new destination, went snowmobiling, had a great dinner and watched an "outstanding" show. "Wow" - lucky me !!!

Where and when will I be off to next?
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