4 days in the desert.

ryan and i just got back from our vegas vacation.  we had a great time.  the trip was to celebrate our 5 years of marriage.  it was great.  my mom (sally) kept harper, so i had no worries at all.  ryan and i had a very laid-back, relaxing trip, and didn’t get sick of each other at all (except for the last night when we both admitted being a little annoyed with each other as we lost $80 in the casino).  for anyone interested, here’s what we did:

sunday:  arrived in las vegas around 9:30.  waited on our luggage for about an hour and then discovered we could have it delievered to our hotel when they finally found it.  took a taxi to the hotel (MGM Grand).  looked for an open food place in our hotel…the 24 hour restaraunt food looked good, but it was pricey so we ended up eating mcdonald’s (i usually detest it, but it was friggin delicious at the time).  got to bed around 12:30 (that’s THREE-thirty in florida)

monday:  neither of us could sleep in, since our bodies are used to eastern time.  we woke up around 7:30 and laid in bed watching tv until 9:00, when we had our suitcase brought up (it’d been delievered around 2 am…had a broken zipper and was in a plastic bag because all the clothes were falling out…hmmmm).  we spent most of the day just walking the strip, in and out of casinos, exploring.  we had lunch at the mirage buffet…crablegs, prime rib, chinese food, shrimp cocktail, salad, etc…  i give it an 8.  (side note: obviously it was very hot when we were walking around…you know, with it being summer in the desert.  i saw a 7-11 sign from about 5 blocks away, so we had to stop and get slurpees.  this 7-11 had TWELVE flavors of slurpees.  wow.  i was impressed.)  we headed back to the hotel sometime in mid-afternoon and headed down to the pool.  they have a lazy river which was fun.  we took about 10 trips around it, laid in the sun for a few minutes, and then went back up to the room to change.  we had dinner at wendy’s (disappointing, but cheap), and then set out to explore more of the strip.  we ended up riding the “manhattan express”, the roller coaster at New York New York (that place was my absolute favorite…anyone interested should google it for pictures…it was amazing).  the ride was really fun (not $12 fun, but what’re ya gonna do?), except that i told ryan afterwards that there were several seconds when i feared for my life.  the cars are made to look like ny taxi cabs and seemed really cumbersome.  i felt like i was in a car driving over a bridge of railroad tracks.  we only rode it once.  🙂

tuesday:  we’d decided that we were going to try to rent a car and drive to the hoover dam (about 40 minutes away).  there were no cars available that day, so we reserved one for the next (to drive to the grand canyon) and signed up for a tour that would take us to the dam.  the tour was fun.  our driver was cute…about 75, and you could tell he was lonely, but loved his job…couldn’t put down the microphone.  that night we decided to walk down to fremont street, which is “downtown” vegas…the other casino section of town, seperate from the strip.  i had looked at a map and didn’t think it was that far of a walk.  we walked for about two hours, every 15 minutes thinking it was right around the corner.  finally we got to the sahara (the north end of the strip, for those of you who know about vegas) and we were very hungry and ridiculously tired of walking and mad that we had walked that far and long for nothing.  we at the $10 dinner buffet that compared closely to golden corral.  sahara is ghetto.  we asked a valet how much further of a walk fremont street would be and he said, “whoa.  at least 20 minutes.”  no, we took a cab back to the MGM.  (later we’d discover that that was a very wise decision…downtown is NOT a good place to be after dark.)

wednesday: picked up the rental car around 8:30.  arrived at the entrance to grand canyon national park around 1:00.  (thank you satellite radio in the rental car!)  walked around the information center, took a long short-cut to the bus, then took the bus to a trailhead.  we hiked down a dusty trail about a mile, rested for a few minutes, then hiked back up…all in all, about 3 hours.  my family went to the grand canyon when i was a kid, but it was christmas and there was snow, so we couldn’t hike very far (plus, i’m sure we were complaining the whole time that we wanted to watch tv or get hot chocolate for something), so it was cool to actually be IN the grand canyon.  we got a workout and we got dirty.  stopped at a cracker barrel on the way back to LV…yummy breakfast for dinner.  we didn’t get back until around midnight, so it was a full day, but we both commented on being really glad that we made the drive and took the time to go.  hopefully it won’t be the last time we’re there.

thursday:  we slept in.  our bodies had just about adjusted to the time change…unfortunately.  on tuesday night, while trying to find fremont street, we had seen a ross on the strip (you know, ross dress for less…).  knowing that our suitcase wasn’t in service anymore, we went in and checked it out and they had a ton of suitcases.  thursday morning we bought a bus ticket and rode up to buy a new suitcase.  stopped at the bellagio on the way to try their lunch buffet.  it was a TEN.  SO good!!!  $20 for flank steak, salmon, shrimp, and all kinds of other fancy salads, pastas, desserts, and side dishes.  after we got the suitcase, it took us an HOUR to get a bus that wasn’t full (the bus system is really popular because you can ride it all day for $5).  we had to walk quite a bit before we finally found a stop where people were getting off (thank you fashion show mall).  we were exhausted when we finally got back to the room.  we (meaning I) ironed clothes for that night and packed up the new suitcase to have that out of the way.  we went down to the pool to have another go down the lazy river…i wish i had one of those at my house….sigh.  even though it was full of drunk adults and obnoxious kids, there’s something so relaxing and fun about floating along with a current while hanging onto a plastic doughnut (mmmm doughnuts…).  after the pool we went up to the room and it was time to get ready for the show that night.  we went to see “Ka”.  a cirque de soleil offering in our hotel.  it was absolutely astounding.  definitely one of the best shows i’ve ever seen.  i would highly recommend it.  they have a huge moving stage that cannot be explained and alot of the actors are hanging from the ceiling through most of the show, which is also hard to explain.  it was incredible!  after the show we went out to take the bus down to fremont street.  once again…what a friggin pain.  we had to walk about 10 blocks down to the bellagio, where we knew people would be getting off to see the fountain show (i haven’t mentioned it before, but holy crap it was amazing).  it took us an hour to get down to fremont st.  it was cool, but i think ryan and i were both a little sick of the crowds and the smoke by that time.  they have blocked off one of the oldest streets so that cars can’t drive on it anymore, and they installed a HUGE canopy.  the canopy makes up big tv screen and they do video shows on it every hour.  pretty impressive.  we gambled at the golden nugget for a while and then waited on the bus to take us back to our hotel, which took another hour.  back at the room, we had to finish packing and then set our alarm for 4:30 am…which just happened to be about 2 hours from then.  ew.

friday:  flew home.  gave harper about 100 kisses.  went to bed around 9:00…thanks to 2 hours of sleep the night before, we easily adjusted back to eastern time.

Afterthoughts:

Our hotel had a lion habitat.  The lions were tame (licked thier trainers and played ball with them and stuff).

Starbucks has an empire in Las Vegas.  There was at least one in every hotel/casino we went into…some were open 24 hours.  What is it about that little green circle?!  I resisted whatever it is.

Props to satellite radio.  Our rental car had it (Sirius), and that was definitely was sustained us during the 10 hours we spent in the car on Wednesday.  The Blue Collar Comedy channel was great.

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One Comment to “4 days in the desert.”

  1. I enjoyed reading about your adventure to Las Vegas. Congrats on your 5th wedding anniversary. Our 5th is next year and we are trying to decide where we plan to go. It looks like you all had lots of fun, even with some craziness included! 🙂 You write very well and are quite entertaining.

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