What can I tell you about our Sunday in Vegas? Well, nothing much that I’d like to admit to, that’s for sure. I was…well, hmmm… I was…incredibly hungover. Spectacularly hungover. Not much at all took place during the day except I stayed in bed and drank a lot of water.
So, yeah. Avoid alcohol, kids, it’s BAD FOR YOU!!
Sunday night, however, we had tickets booked to go and see The Rat Pack is Back – dinner and a show! I have nothing bad to say about this excursion. Except the whole Marilyn Monroe thing was a little over the top. But the atmosphere was light-hearted and fun, the steak dinner was delicious (being the only thing I ate that day…again – alcohol is bad for you!), and the music was fantastic. I have to say, in my opinion, the guy playing Dean Martin was the best, although they all had their parts down pat. It was funny and irreverent and nostalgic and we really enjoyed ourselves.
After that we did an in-and-out tour of a lot of the casinos. Why? Well, we wanted to say we’d seen them, we wanted to scope out where we’d like to stay if we ever went back and (I can’t stress this enough) so that I could get a free pen from as many casinos as possible. It was a good laugh. We did not stay to gamble in any of the casinos, just wandered around briefly then moved on to the next one on the list.
When we did gamble we played the Roulette. We did not win big money but we did end up profiting overall. Take that, casino conglomerate people! HA! We played early in the morning and kept to the quieter casinos so that the limits were low. I know, we’re such risk-takers, right?
Twice I was overcome by a strange feeling that I should bet heavily on Red 14. Twice I won “big” (big for us, which is, in reality, rather small!). Hence the name: Red14Photography of the shop where I sell my pictures. So, yeah, there’s that.
Two further notes on Vegas: 1) I was offended by the guys handing out photographic business cards for call girls on the street corners. They are very incessant. I was starting to get really irritated by it and starting to plan routes so I could avoid them all (impossible) until Sarah (see previous post) mentioned that she’d seen two college-age guys playing Top Trumps with the cards. This made me laugh A LOT and after that, I wasn’t quite as offended. 2) The fountain at the Bellagio is phenomenal. I could have stayed there and watched it all weekend. In fact, I did spend quite a lot of time begging S to take me back there to see it again (and again, and again). More than just the music and the lights and the water show, I liked how the fountain sounded. If you’re in Vegas, don’t miss it. Especially at night.
On Monday morning we left quite early and headed East into the desert. En route to the Hoover Dam we stopped in Boulder City for breakfast at The World Famous Coffee Cup. This was the first of a few Diners Drive-Ins and Dives restaurants I’d found along our route. It was delicious, charming and everything you would expect from somewhere that gets a thumbs-up from Guy Fieri.
We then continued on to the Hoover Dam. What can I say? It’s an engineering masterpiece. Totally stunning in both scope and execution. Plus, it’s HUGE. Don’t forget that part. Really, seriously gigantic.
Also, it’s a pretty scary place for someone (me) who is terrified of things that are underwater (including all types of pumps, generators, intake valves, etc). I know I wasn’t close enough to anything to really be afraid – but that didn’t stop me being frightened. I may not have been able to see the inner workings of the dam, but I knew they were there….
(Also, if someone could please, PLEASE, explain to me the mystery of why the rocks below the waterline are completely white?, that would be a huge help. Thanks!)
The view of the new road bridge was also quite wonderful. Although it only served to emphasise jut how high up we were…
After seeing the Hoover Dam we drove over the new road bridge (where, sadly, it is almost impossible to see the dam!) and headed further east and further still into the desert. Our destination was the Grand Canyon, but the drive was well worth it. We had debated, before we left, booking one of those day-tripper things where you spend the day on a bus – – I am SO glad we did not do that! It gave us a chance to explore Arizona ourselves. It gave us a chance to drive some sections of Route 66 (swoon) as well, which I was desperate to do!
Of course the Grand Canyon was amazing. How could it not be?! I mean, there isn’t much I can tell you except it’s something you really need to see for yourself. In real life. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Having said that, looking back over your own photos of the event is kind of anti-climatic. The drama and majesty of the place simply does not come alive through photographs.
Having said THAT, have a look at some of the ones we took!!:
The view from every single overlook is completely different – it seems as though if you blink the scene before your eyes changes. I know there are sections where the rock face opposite is so far in the distance that your brain can’t process the images as 3D, and that is incredibly cool. The fact that it was partly cloudy also helped to bathe the canyon meandering patches of darkness and light which enhanced the drama of the place.
It was an amazing day. There was a funny incident which involved a small rock (higher vantage point) from which I wanted to take pictures. I was about to clamber to the top when a Japanese tourist jumped in front of me and right to the top of the rock, which was only big enough for one person. He then proceeded to take panoramic photos. With six different cameras. Which took forever, but I waited. When he started over with the first of his six cameras and started taking panoramic video I gave the rock up as a bad job and moved on. When S and I left the viewing platform nearly fifteen minutes later the man was still on top of the rock taking videos. I am sure I would have found it impressive if I hadn’t been so annoyed.
Also, if you’re like S and I and are playing the License Plate game during your road trip, definitely go to the Grand Canyon. Cars from every state. And Canada. And Mexico. And Europe. It’s like a great, big watering hole in the middle of the Arizona desert – everyone is there.
We drove back to Las Vegas after our day at the Grand Canyon. On our cross-country trip we would eventually cross the Arizona state line 10 times. More than any other state. There is a LOT to see in Arizona and, if you can handle the heat, you should definitely go there. It really is very impressive. Grand, really.