We had a wonderful time on our trip. As usual, we packed in more activities than thought possible. We are not the kind of people who go on vacation to relax; we go to "see stuff!" We left our house at 5:30 Monday morning and arrived in Las Vegas at 8:30, their time. We got our rental van, loaded up, and headed to Red Rock Canyon, which was beautiful. Zach especially enjoyed hiking to a cave. That evening, we checked into our hotel, ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, and walked to the Bellagio to see the water show. By then, we were all so tired that we were miserable, so we took a taxi back to MGM, and went to bed.
Tuesday, we ate breakfast at the buffet and headed out to Hoover Dam. Due to security measures, it took a while to get there, but it was worth it! Lake Mead is beautiful, with unreal, green water. We toured the dam, visited the hot and crowded gift shop, and headed back toward the city. We ate dinner at one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants in our hotel, then went across the street to Monte Carlo to see Lance Burton, a magician, perform. Zach really enjoyed it, as did we, but Lance has an annoying voice, and doesn't seem to move his lips when he talks. After the show, we took a taxi to Fremont Street, and watched the light show there. Darren and I enjoyed seeing the old-time casinos down there.
Wednesday, we ate breakfast at the hotel buffet, then went north of town to Valley of Fire State Park. We drove out in the middle of nowhere to get there, but the rock formations were beautiful there. We climbed on some of the rocks, saw some petroglyphs, and hiked 1/4 of a mile to something called Mouse's Tank. That was in 115 degree heat, walking in sand. There were some interesting petroglyphs on that hike, but we got to the end, and Mouse's Tank was a small pool that you had to lean between rocks to see. We went back to the hotel that afternoon, where Mom and I lost $20 on the slot machines, and Darren and Dad took Zach to the pool. Darren and I went to dinner that night at Top of the World, which is on the 107th floor of the Stratosphere. That was really nice, but you have to walk through a crappy mall to get to the elevator, which I could have done without. The restaurant revolves, and they have a photographer who comes around taking pictures. The food was really expensive, but good, and we had a really good waiter. After dinner and dessert, which was a chocolate version of the Stratosphere, we went up to first the indoor observation deck, then the outdoor one. It was really windy up there, but there was good view of the city. You could also look up and see the four rides on top of the tower. We were not crazy enough to ride one of those! Darren and I took a taxi back to New York, New York. We planned on going to Coyote Ugly to get drinks, but were too full.
Thursday, we decided to spend the day on the Strip, looking at all of the hotels. We rode the monorail fron our hotel to the Sahara, went shopping at the Bonanza Gift Shop, and walked to Circus Circus. There, Zach rode some of the kiddie rides at the Adventuredome. We took a taxi to the Mirage, and walked through there. We saw one of Siegfried and Roy's white tigers, then walked to Caesar's Palace. We had lunch at a deli in there and saw the living statues perform. After that, we walked to the Venetian. We had margaritas at a restaurant in their mall, then went on a gondola ride. We had a female gondolier, who sang "O Sole Mio" to us. Zach especially enjoyed that, adding one of his songs. After the Venetian, we walked through Harrah's, and took the monorail to Bally's. We walked through there to Paris, which I really enjoyed. It didn't seem too authentic, though, because everyone working in there was Asian. We then went back toward the hotel, walking through Aladdin to the mall next door to MGM. We took Zach to the 4-story M&M store, which I enjoyed. You could buy anything M&M, from Christmas ornaments to clothing, there. They had a whole wall filled with different colors of candy, and you could make a blend of whatever colors you wanted. We went and watched people climbing on the rock wall at the arcade after that, then went back to our room. At about 11:30, Darren and I decided to go and get dinner. We didn't know what we wanted, so we decided to walk to New York, New York, to an Irish pub that was there. We ended up on the wrong walkway, and at Tropicana. We decided to go exploring, and walked through Excalibur to the Luxor, back through Excalibur, to NY,NY. When we finally got to the pub, I didn't have my ID with me, so they wouldn't let me in. We went back to MGM, waited in line, and ate at the cafe.
Friday, we packed up after breakfast, drove around for a while, and headed to the airport. We got there early because of the recent terrorist attacks, but our plane was delayed for three hours. When we finally boarded, everyone was given free alcohol, which was nice. Zach fell asleep on the plane, but my mom spilled her drink on his head, waking him up. Afterwards, he entertained the people around us with singing. We got back to Houston at 11:30, and home at 1:00.
It was a great trip, and I can't wait to go back! I just want the suitcases to unpack themselves, and all of the clothes to wash themselves and put themselves away. Is that too much to ask?