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Day Five - Valley of Fire

Before I left Zion, I checked out the "neary by attractions" board since, why not? Maybe there was something cool we could stop at. One, Valley of fire, was near Vegas (and on our way), and looked pretty cool. I mentioned it to E, who also liked the idea. But then, we made it by so late that it was closed.

The next morning, though, we woke up early. We had two choices for the morning. Explore Vegas or explore Valley of  Fire. Guess which we chose? ^_^

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Day Four - Zion!

After several days of hiking, E was quite worn down. I wasn't and really wanted to check out the signature hike of Zion - Angel's Landing! (Well, that or the Narrows, but the Narrows weren't exactly doable since snow melt off had massive flash flood warnings. So there.)

I had this fantasy of checking out Angel's Landing at dawn, so decided I'd wake up early, head out there, catch the morning light, then head back and have breakfast with E. We can all guess how well this went...


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Grand Canyon and Zion - Day Three - Zion!

The nice part about the drive from the Grand Canyon to Zion is that it's almost all through national park. You head along the south rim, then wind further off until you cross Navajo Bridge (passing by Antelope Canyon and Lee's Ferry along the way). Then you're on the north rim and not far from Zion whatsoever. It's a very scenic drive.


E is hanging out at one of the many stops along the way.

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Grand Canyon - Day Two - Rim to River (to Rim)!

Anyway, let it never be known that I'm sane. Or sensible. Or any of these things. Ahem. E and I decided that we'd do the grand tour from South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel trail head. Because we're crazy like foxes. Or, um, people who randomly jump off buildings for no reason. Your choice.


(I advised getting cool scarves before the descent, because you just never know how hot the canyon will be. I swear, not a double entendre. Anyway, my Mom - mistress of desert hiking - recommended that we soak them over night. We did and...woah were those scarves erect! It's amazing what you find hilarious at 3:45 in the morning as you get ready to get on a bus to get to a trail head to hike. Just, um, saying.)
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Grand Canyon - Day One - The Rim

After getting into Vegas the night before, E and I woke up very early to buy groceries and make it out to the Grand Canyon. The drive was typical desert loveliness (I think I liked it better than E, although he got to appreciate it towards the end), but nothing too spectacular. It took about four hours, but after that, we made it to the Grand Canyon, parked, and went out to have lunch at Maher point.


(I've had far worse views at lunch, just saying.)

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REI!

So the REI garage sale was today! I hit Redmond first and was pretty disappointed. There were some crappy chairs, some sleeping pads that weren't especially discounted, and other junk I didn't want. I looked at it all, decided no, and was about to leave when I passed by the bikes. I've been wanting a bike for a while. Probably not an REI quality bike (more a beater that I could ride to and from work, or around town if I felt so inclined), but eh, I was here...

As it was, there just happened to be a returned bike for $300 (what I was looking to spend), marked down from $700. I did a test ride and it handled like a dream so...eh, I guess why not? I  mean, I wanted a $300 bike...why not get a *really awesome* $300 bike?

Met up with J later in the day to hit the Seattle garage sale. My hopes were none too high. There wasn't much in Redmond...then again, Seattle was the flagship.

J showed up just before I was let in. The place was picked pretty clean, but there were still Nordic skis (my preferred type to buy, since honestly, I kind of prefer Nordic to alpine) as well as boots. I got a set for $100...which is pretty good since rental is like $50/trip. (And buying the whole set new would be more like $400, I think.) J found nothing other than a pair of gloves, which kind of sucked for him.

And yes, I am slowly becoming the little old lady who endlessly searches for sales, but eh. Almost 40. Gotta go with what I've got.
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Ginea Pig Part 2

I am worried that I'm allergic to my new pet. Yesterday my eyes were red and itchy. I didn't worry much about it, since eh...whatever. But now it's up to two days and I'm hoping that my adorable new friend isn't the culprit, but it seems plausible he is.

As far as updates, he's now willing to leave his corner and run around the cage, so that's good. I've also observed him eating his hay (not his food, which is on the higher level) and drinking water, so I guess the hunger strike has ended. He still races away when I open the door and cowers from me, but I guess some progress is progress. (And he is adorable when he looks up at me expectantly. Yes, yes, I know he's probably expecting me to eat him, but it's still pretty cute.)

I still haven't named the guy. I'm considering "Boo" (from Minsk and Boo), because it would be pretty hilarious to call him a miniature giant space hamster (even if he's a guinea pig...) and scream, "Go for the eyes, Boo!" from time to time. But we'll see if something better comes to mind. We'll also see if I'm allergic to him. If I am, I may have to give him away, which would suck, but will suck less if I give him away in the next few weeks than it would if I get rid of him after bonding to the guy.
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Pets!

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed a pet. It would be nice to have company in the evenings and something to love and play with. With that said, ideally I'd like an *easy* pet. I'm only at home a few hours in the evening (if even for that long) and am gone many weekends. A dog isn't ideal, and since I've had mild allergies to cats in the past, I'd prefer not to have a cat, either. (The allergy thing is weird in that I've lived with cats and been okay, but did have problems once when I owned one. Unsure why, but it doesn't seem worth risking since I'd prefer not to feel like I have a mild cold at all times.)

Rabbits seemed like an okay idea, but they're a bit large. I eventually came to the conclusion that rats might be nice - they're smart, supposedly friendly, and very easy. Then I went to several pet stores, none of which had rats.

Boo.

Anyway, the last one I went to had one of the employees going on and on about a guinea pig. According to her, they were almost perfect - affectionate, sweet, very easy to manage. One in particular she thought was the sweetest thing ever. Okay, that sounded good - a vetted pet.

I bought the guinea pig, extra bedding, a kit for him (that included a cage, food, water bottle, hay, etc.), a ball to run around in, a few extra toys, and some treats. Then I carefully drove him home in a tiny carrier, assembled his cage, and put him in it.

He promptly ran to the back and hid in the corner. Okay, fine, he's scared. Today's been a long day for the poor guy. I'll have a pet *later* when he's had time to adjust.

I came back hourly to check on him. He remained huddled in a ball in the back of the cage. Had he died? Nope. When I stuck a hand back there, he shivered slightly, but otherwise didn't react.

I gave him another few hours. He was still in his corner. I returned again. The same. Eventually I went to sleep, woke up...and he's still in his corner.

I'm now kind of worried that I got my wish - a furry plant indeed! (I'm also rather worried that my new pet is on a hunger strike since I haven't seen him move towards either his hay or his food bowl. He's also ignored his treat.) Oh well...I suppose worse comes to worse, if he does insist on starving himself to death, I'll have learned my lesson and will get a pair of rats next.
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Being a Tourist, Hong Kong Style

While, yeah, sure, I lived in Hong Kong for a year (so have seen most of the stuff), it's still fun to do a bit of tourist-y stuff. Yeah, I didn't hit some of the supposed great things that either take a long time or are expensive (*cough, cough, the Peak and the gondola - I feel like the Peak is super over rated, although the gondola is pretty entertaining if you've got a day to do it and haven't done it before), I did revisit some of my old favorites. And yeah, Hong Kong is still a lot of fun to visit for a few days, and is a VERY accessible trip into Asia for those who want something sort of exotic, but not terrifyingly exotic. (That's Hong Kong for you. Asia-lite.)

My adventures in roughly chronological order...


(The Hong Kong skyline. Even with my crappy photography skills, it is stunning. I <3 Hong Kong. (Well, other than in the summer, when it is hotter than a diesel filled sauna.))
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