Incredible Monument Valley in the U.S....Deals for Hawaii at Outrigger, Hualalai
Thanks to Star Entertainment reporter Linda Barnard for the following report. Nicely done. And what great pictures!
MONUMENT VALLEY, ARIZONA/UTAH - There are places you dream about, either because the setting creeps into your mind as a part of a fantasy while dreaming or because they actually exist but you never think you'll set foot there.
That's what Monument Valley was like for us. We had a long day of driving behind us and were planning to overnight at Mexican Hat - named for the rock formation outside town and do Monument Valley the next day. But suddenly there it was, rising up in the distance, the setting of so many movies from John Ford westerns to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It was nearing sunset when we drove by and we pulled over to just stare at the sight. We booked a tour with a local Navajo outfitters and it was a smart move because we got deep inside the valley and into restricted areas. There's a 26 km. scenic drive but the road is not very good and I wouldn't do it in a rental car.
For me, the highlight was John Ford Point, the place where the director did his favourite shots in his westerns. We stood out there for photos and for $5, a Navajo rides his horse out to pose for the classic western shot.
Later we did the back of the valley and explored hidden arches and "eyes" in the rock, startling some wild horses and walking in the red sand. A magical place and one I'll never forget.
Thanks, Linda. I've always meant to make it down that way. Not yet, but soon, I hope.
It reminds me of a "conversation" I overheard on Facebook last fall. A friend from junior high school was lamenting how she hated the desert as there was nothing to see. Well, one look at these pictures and you know that's simply not true. There aren't any pine trees or flowering orchids, but there's an awful lot to love and to appreciate when you see something as stark and old and striking as Monument Valley.
Speaking of flowering orchids, there are some great deals and extra services to be had this week for anyone heading to Hawaii.
Outrigger is offering complimentary "vow renewal" ceremonies for all Outrigger condominium guests on the island of Maui. Couples can celebrate their love at an ocean-side service at fabulous Merriman's Kapalua every Wednesday at 2 p.m. Merriman's is a killer restaurant with a great wine list and it's RIGHT on the ocean with superb views of the Napili-Kapalua area and of Molokai across the water.
I've been around a fair bit and it's still my favourite view in the world. The sunsets are amazing.
Here's what the press release said: The island-style ceremony is led by a non-denominational officiate as the couples exchange a Hawaiian lei symbolizing the unbroken circle of love. The ceremony begins with the ceremonial blowing of a conch shell. While an ukulele serenades couples, a kahu (Hawaiian officiant) performs a special Hawaiian chant, including an English translation to help participants understand the spirit of the ceremony. Following the ceremony, guests are presented with certificates to commemorate their vow renewal. Attendees have the opportunity to purchase additional services such as a champagne toast, small wedding cake, flower bouquet, photographer or videographer.
Nice. The Outrigger Condominium Collection has a variety of properties that offer the privacy of a vacation rental with the guest services of a traditional hotel, all in the loveliest state in the U.S.
Got a lot more coin in your pocket? Check out this offer:
· Four Bedroom Custom Home with private pool and spa
· Daily Golf for one foursome on the exclusive Hualalai Golf Course
· One Stand-up Paddleboard Lesson and Daily Paddleboard Use for up to 8 people
· One 1-hour Outrigger Canoe Experience for up to 5 people
· Up to Eight 50-minute Swedish Massage Treatments at the Hualalai Spa
· One 4-course Private Dinner in the residence for up to 8 people
For more information on "The Hualalai Experience" contact Hualalai Villas & Homes at (888) 477-8187 or view more details at: http://www.hualalaivillasandhomes.com/hualalai-villas-and-homes-specials.php. Occupancy is through December 31, 2011 and subject to availability and black-out dates. Rates do not include applicable taxes or Daily Resort Guest Fee.