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Uvas Canyon, Morgan Hill, California , USA

If you’re looking for a hike to escape a hot day near Silicon Valley, Uvas Canyon is the place for you. Uvas Canyon offered us a tree canopy that kept us well-shaded and the sounds of gently falling water alongside most of our hike. Waterfall Loop Trail offers a short ~1 mile trail past 3 of the park's named waterfalls, over and alongside many rocks and trees covered in bright green moss.

Houston, Texas, USA

Space Center Houston

If you are interested in space and space exploration, Space Center Houston is a  must-see.  Where else can you see "Mission Control" of so many of our flights into space.  As we arrived at the parking lot of the Space Center, we spotted an exhibit being built.  A Space Shuttle was being placed on the back of a 747. It made for a pretty cool picture.  Online tickets to the Space Center saved us $3 per person and a wait in line to purchase tickets.  Parking was readily available when we arrived around 10:30am.  Parking cost was around $6, if I remember correctly. 

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - Attractions on the Strip

The Las Vegas Strip itself offers free and inexpensive entertainment for families and adults alike.  One thing I've always loved about Las Vegas is that it gives you an opportunity to pretend that you are in a different place.  Many hotels offer replicas of European buildings and monuments.

Austria

Salzburg

Overlooking the city of Salzburg is a fortress called Hohensalzburg. Its building began in the 1000s, although back then it very much looked like a farmhouse with fencing. As the years passed, and its function change, it began taking on a fortress appearance. Don't miss the audio guide included with the tickets, we found it very informative.  We found some stairs that climbed up to the fortress.  It was a nice way to see this part of Salzburg, as we passed by countless gelato shops, peoples' open windows and balconies, on a cobblestone path up to the fortress.

Berchtesgaden, Germany - Summer Luge Ride

Berchtesgaden sits on the border between Germany and Austria. There is both a town and a National Park by the same name. The attraction for us in Berchtesgaden is the summer luge ride (sommerrodelbahn - link is in German, I used Google Translate). At 2.50 EU per ride, it is hard to resist. There is a family ticket that allows 10 rides for 16 EU, which would have been our ticket of choice had we had more time. The old cable car ride (Obersalzbergbahn), though a little scary, (spoken by an acrophobe), afforded us beautiful views of Alps, as did the luge ride. You can hike or take the cable car to top for 10 EU both ways. 13 EU buys a person a cable car ride both ways, and 3 rides on the luge. Highly recommend getting the 13 EU package, because one ride is not enough. The only unfortunate thing is that they didn't allow bags on the luge, so we had to leave our bags in an unsecured place at top of luge run - which unfortunately prevented us from taking pictures of us actualy on the luge. Prices above as of July 2015.