I was catching up with a friend the other night over Sangria and she was telling me about her plans to travel to the US, visiting Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon later this year. This led me down the nostalgia road and brought back to the surface my short time in these amazing places. So what else to do but share them here!
Arriving at the airport in Las Vegas I was expecting to be greeted by slot machines and Bradley Cooper…unfortunately only half my movie based expectations where realised, so we put $5 in the slot machine, lost it and quietly went to find a cab.
My husband (then brand new fiancé) and I welcomed in 2013 standing on the strip in Las Vegas watching the world go by. Standing there even for 30 minutes every kind of person walked past, which definitely satisfied my interest in people watching! People were lined up through casinos waiting to get into clubs but I maintain the street was where the real party was! And Vegas with its love of drinking meant we could stand there, large super sipper of alcoholic slushy in hand and enjoy the huge firework display which erupted simultaneously off the roof of five different casinos along the strip.
It was definitely one of the highlights on our trip through America. We had started the day by going down to the end of the strip to the Stratosphere and slowly made our way, on a casino crawl, all the way back to our hotel which was the Paris. It was fun to see all of the different casinos as they transport you to another world, such as the Venetian with its river and Gondolas!
We also managed to see two shows; unfortunately they happened to be on the same night! We started at Aria to see Cirque du Solie then ran, through the crowds, across the road to Planet Hollywood where we had tickets to see A Perfect Circle. Somehow, and honestly it was an accident, we managed to entirely skip the line so we got in with time to spare!
What amazed me was the fact that you could literally drink everywhere, I mean everywhere including while shopping! I remember sitting at a restaurant having finished eating and my husband hadn’t yet finished his beer, no drama, he just picks it up and walks out – totally allowed!
One of the most awe-inspiring things that I have done in my life is visit the Grand Canyon. I had pre booked a tour that would take us out there from Vegas stopping along the way at Hoover Dam.
We got to walk most of the way across the dam in the time allowed to us so we could cross state lines and be in both Nevada and Arizona at the same time which was pretty cool. It was one of the most impressive sites I have seen and I could have handled staying a little longer, but it was time to get back on the bus and head onwards to the main attraction.
We arrived at Grand Canyon Ranch and got in a couple of horse drawn carts that took us to where the helicopters were waiting. This was the first and only time I have been in a helicopter and it was the only way to see the Canyon. We flew up then down, flying above the Colorado River with the canyon walls surrounding us. I was disappointed with my photos as they in no way capture the beauty that exists there; it is just something you have to see.
On our way home we found out the true crazy of our tour guide as he stopped off at many random places including a shooting range located on the side of the highway next to a petrol station…
On arrival in Vegas we began the drop offs, a couple got off and tipped only $10 for the both of them. Well, that sent him into a rage. Apparently he expected a lot more! We got a bit worried as we didn’t really have much money and already felt liked we paid a lot for the tour. I guess that is the ugly side of the tipping culture in America! We eventually got back safely to our hotel after a small road rage incident which saw our driver open the bus doors and throw a large drink filled with ice at a taxi driver who apparently cut him off. Slight over reaction…
Continuing the journey we travelled from Vegas to Los Angeles by bus.
Have you been to Vegas or the Grand Canyon? Have you had any story worthy tour guides?