We loved our vacation this year. We flew from Providence to Las Vegas at 9:35 am on Southwest (direct flight) and arrived in 5 hours. I had packed some PB & J sandwiches, nuts and snacks to bring with us on the plane to eat. Got to our gate way too early and had to wait for the plane that was there loading to leave before we could get off. So much for arriving 25 minutes early.
Went to pick up our reserved car at Dollar Rental and they tried to talk us into upgrading but we said NO. Got over to where you pick up the cars and the guy in the garage says, "How would you guys like a brand new Town and Country Mini Van with only 5,000 miles on it as a free upgrade? hhmm, let me think for a second, heck YA!
So, off we go to drive 3 hours to Springdale which is our first stop for two nights. We stayed at the Desert Pearl Inn and it was gorgeous and the views were amazing (www.desertpearl.com). Nice large room and bathroom, comfy bed and linens, kitchen area, awesome pool and hot tub outside with breathtaking views.
Zion Park is amazing, once you are in the town of Springdale, you don't even have to use your car. They have free shuttle services that bring you to the park entrance and then shuttle busses that run every 8-10 minutes that bring you along the park road and they make all the stops at the different areas or trailheads.
We arrived in Springdale around 3 pm so we unpacked a little, put on our suits and hit the pool and hottub. After that we decided to change and walk around town and see where we wanted to have dinner. Found a small place to have dinner and then we walked around and checked out some of the shops and galleries. We came upon a photography gallery owned by David West (http://www.davidjwest.com) and went in to check out his work. Unknown to my husband, I had already seen Davids work on his internet site and had tried to see if he had any workshops going on while we were there but there were none scheduled.
David was in the gallery and we walked around and he talked to us about some of the different shots he had, where they were from and the filters he uses. I told him that I had checked out his website and his workshop schedule and was disappointed that he didn't have any scheduled while we were there. He then went into the the back room and came out about 2 minutes later and asked us what we were doing tomorrow morning at 5 am! My husband was THRILLED beyond belief and we arranged to meet him at his gallery at 5 am to go over some camera settings and techinques and then he would take us into Zion for the sunrise and some of his favoite spots...