Posts tagged Samsung Galaxy S
In case you missed it, read this post about my epic adventure walking in (and out) of the Grand Canyon.
My legs still hurt when I look at the post.
The Grand Canyon defies words. As glorious as it looks in photographs, textbooks and PC desktop wallpapers around the world, nothing can effectively convey how spectacular that place is unless you see it in person.
It honestly and truly took my breath away the first time I looked into it.
I’ve seen a lot of amazing things in my life: pyramids, monuments, skyscrapers, mountains, oceans, and dozens of majestic sites in between. None of them compare to the size and scope of the Grand Canyon. Being so close to it, you get overwhelmed with the feeling of how small you (as a human) really are compared to the entire planet. Epic. Majestic. Grand. The place is everything everyone who went before you told you about and much much more.
When we made the decision to go, I knew that this would probably be a once in a lifetime trip – so I opted to make sure I did it right. The closest you can stay to the southern rim of the canyon is a place called the El Tovar. The El Tovar opened its doors in 1905 (over 100 years ago!) and has housed the likes of Albert Einstein and Teddy Roosevelt. How close is it? About twenty feet away. Check it out:
(Click here to see the larger version. That’s Shannon on the far right.)
Not one for just idly watching from the sidelines, I decided that we should trek down into the canyon to see it up close. We walked out of our hotel room at 6:30 AM to watch the sunrise over the canyon and, with latte in hand, we started the walk down the trail. It was 18°F and it had snowed the night before so OF COURSE I was wearing shorts. Along our way to the entrance of the trail, we ran into this:
Up until that moment, all of the elk we ran into were docile and just ignored the passing humans. This one, though, was not in the mood to put up with anything from anyone and would make noise and charge at you if you walked by on the trail. SO, I took that picture and we snuck around by entering and exiting the resort behind us. The photo doesn’t do justice to the fact that those things are HUGE.
So we walked six miles into the Grand Canyon by way of the Bright Angel Trial. I continued to get cell phone signal all the way in and, as a result, I managed to score a check in on Foursquare at the end of the trail at Plateau Point. (Kudos to Sprint and my Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G phone for pulling it off!)
Here we are looking around at the bottom:
It could babble on here for hours about it being a whole different world, connecting with nature, the peacefulness of you feel… or I could just tell you to do it yourself. No amount of grammatic gymnastics on my part will ever do the experience justice. This photo, though, is one of my favorite ones from the trip that kind of captures the “feel” of being there.
After the moment of Zen in the canyon, we started the hike back. Then I saw this:
(No, I didn’t see a red arrow; I added that to the photo.) I saw how far we had to walk back. The arrow is pointing to the small speck that was our resort – a six mile walk away. Refer to the post I mentioned at the beginning of this one for details after that.
THE EL TOVAR
The El Tovar is expensive and it sells out fairly quickly; if you ever plan on staying, make reservations months in advance. The money you pay for staying, though, isn’t for amenities or comfort. The rooms are small and, while they have been kept up well, they show their age. Every penny paid is the price for ambiance and location.
The place is as much an old museum as it is a hotel. We loved it. The lobby, aside from the addition of modern furniture, is almost identical to they way it was in 1905. After a cold evening in the canyon, nothing tops sipping hot chocolate next to the fireplace. It was all so, well, grand.
My only complaint was the food. The restaurant in the El Tovar is the top notch/reservations only class of eatery. This is great except when you’re lying half dead in your hotel room jonesing for room service. Room service to me means a burger of chicken fingers (neither of which are available there) – not roast duck. If you have kids, the El Tovar is DEFINITELY not the resort to stay at.
The mornings are just as amazing. This was the view outside our window:
You just don’t get much more “back to nature” than that.
Thus endeth the Vegas Vacation posts!
For those of you that know me, I have had a long standing boycott of the iPhone due to the fact that I need a physical keyboard on any texting or smart phone that I own. I have tried time and time again and I just can’t seem to get used to the whole touch screen keyboard thing.
Thus the Sprint version of the new Samsung phone was a total win for me since it includes the sliding keyboard. Buying this phone also introduced me to the world of Google’s Android OS. Previously, I owned a Palm Pre which used the WebOS platform… and even though I LOVE my new phone, there are still things that the Palm OS did just a little better.
Anyway, in playing with Android, I have found some pretty snazzy apps. If you like to suggest some others I should try, please let me know. Here’s the ten that I have been the most impressed with/enjoyed the most so far…
AndFTP - the best of the free FTP apps I could find.
Angry Birds – when is the full version coming out??!!! Even Palm’s WebOS has a full version already. Dammit!
Google Goggles – I am yet to actually use this app for anything practical, but there is something to be said about the fun involved in taking pictures of things and see what Google finds as a result.
Google Voice – the ability to call from my Google Voice account on a whim gets built into my phone via this app. This is extremely useful when using the phone for the business line (which is a Google Voice number.) Pure awesome.
gReader – I still keep track of websites via RSS, and this little app allows me to keep plugged in to my Google Reader and updates the articles. This is a great for when I want to keep caught up on reading and there isn’t a PC around.
Hootsuite – just like the online website, I can manage and play with a number of the Twitter accounts I manage. Now if they’d only get Facebook integration built into the Android app, too…
Mojo NES – old school Nintendo goodness that plays classic NES games on my phone. I am using the free one and it seems to work fine.
RockPlayer – this lets me play DivX files on my phone. With the extreme prettiness of the screen’s resolution, this is VERY important… and it looks DAMN GOOD.
WordPress – how awesome is it that I can make posts like this from anywhere?
ScanLife - an app that scans bar codes and then looks them up on the Internet for price comparison. I see this getting a lot of use this Christmas while shopping.
Yes, I said there were three parts in my last post.
No, I haven’t had time to finish them.
Yes, I will post them soon.
Yes, I still need to write the story of our visit to have chicken and waffles in Atlanta.
Yes, I need to add my Dragon*Con posts thanks to recent rantings I read on LiveJournal.
No, I don’t know when the posts are coming… exactly.
Yes, I have watched more Doctor Who and have reviews in the works.
Yes, I got a snazzy new cell phone I intend to write about (along with the Android apps I am enjoying).
Yes, I am also working on posts about releasing my retro-LiveJournal posts.
Yes, Wasabi Anime will be appearing at Super Anime Day at Past Present Future Comics & Games in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Finally: YES, I will be at Anime Weekend Atlanta this coming weekend. Come and say hi (here’s the schedule) if you are nearby.
More (hopefully) soon!