USA 2012

This is a selection of the photos from our trip to the West Coast. For the Cricklade Branch of the Edwards clan it was 3 holidays in one, the first week with daughter Steph and soon to be son in law Graham; a meander down from San Francisco via Yosemite, Death Valley and the winery at Pharump. A tale in itself as Pahrump on first impression is all the worst of tacky Nevada, the billboards for Fireworks, Gun Stores and bulk purchase of ammunition doing little to persuade you otherwise. The winery a real oasis of excellent food and wine.

The 2nd holiday was the 5 days in Vegas with 15 other friends and family. We made a really smart choice to rent a big house – private pool,  basketball court, bbq patio area as in the downtime between the shows and  other Las Vegas temptations we had  lots of fun and laughter and a few tears that will live long in the  memory. Thanks  Eileen, we hope  it was all you would have wished for.

The last week was a basically a road trip – mainly boys – up to Lake Powel where we visited the stunning Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Ghost  Town of Chloride and back to Vegas for a final night of drinking and gambling. And not to forget Meteor Crater, actually do forget meteor crater. Why this is such a tourist attraction baffled all of us, I am sure it’s a scientifically fascinating natural wonder but there is much more interesting scenery that doesn’t cost $16 a head !

I love the West Coast of the USA for its natural wonders, stunning scenery and fantastic national parks – Yosemite, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Death Valley to name just a few. On the other hand you do, very occasionally run into some of the most moronic jobs worth’s. One of nephews was refused (alcohol) service in a restaurant – he  does look much younger than his 21 years and no problem in being asked for “ID” what’s moronic is they wouldn’t accept his UK driving licence – which is Government issued, photo ID which is what you are advised to produce. Then the waitress gets upset because we leave (when we actually have no choice) just because she is “doing her job”. We had been to the same place the night before when he had his passport and there were staff present who had verified his age then, still no deal. Ho Hum.

The tin hat was back in Vegas a few of that generation wanted to go target shooting – because you can – I, as the alleged “responsible adult” insist they all bring passports as we don’t want any hassle with ID. We arrive at the Gun Store – no one is asked for ID,there is apparently  no minimum age as several children no older than 12 are shooting (with their parent),  the only paper we have to sign is a disclaimer that basically says if you get shot there are no circumstances in which they are responsible. The nephew refused a bottle of beer with his family at dinner is handed an AK47  – no questions asked. ……… Now explain to me again why there are so many firearms deaths each year in the USA.

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