General, Travel

Las Vegas

There some days where you have huge plans, but unsumountable tiredness prevents you from carrying those plans through. There are some days where you are so prepared for the day that you accomplish everything you set out to do and enjoy the whole time. And there are some days where no matter how tired you are, you can’t bail on your plans, and no matter how good they seem to be, you doubt whether they are worth it.

We had been on buses, or waiting in the bus station since 4pm the day before. I didn’t sleep all night on the bus to Vegas, and were dropped off at the Greyhound bus station at 4:30am. Instead of checking into a room and getting some well earnt rest, we dropped our bags off at Circus Circus and went outside to wait for th ebus that would take us on our tour to the Grand Canyon. Our 14hr round trip tour.

They oicked us out and sorted us into groups depending on tour site, and how we were viewing the Canyon itself. When we got onto the bus that would take us all the way tot he canyon, the driver (from Guam) was a bit overenthusiastic, but lovely, and it was almost the last place I wanted to be. I couldn’t sleep, and I was trapped tired on a bus.

The first stop on the tour was at the Hoover Dam. We drove over it to get a grasp of the scale of the structure before stopping on the other side to take photos of the new bypass bridge, lake Mead, and of course the dam itself. Once we had spent a little time there, we got bac on the bus, recrossed the dam, and went over the bypass bridge. The view was insane.

It felt like we were on the road going through savannah for hours after that, until we stopped in a sleepy town that professed to be the birth place of route 66. Whether this is true or not, it was a cool place to stop, and was almost definitely the place that the Disney film Cars is based on. I’ve never really been to Route 66, so it was an unexpected bonus. The weather was also somewhat unexpected as it was raining. Yes, the dya we gi to Vegas and the canyon and it rains. It didn’t rain much and was off by the time we reached the Canyon itself, but didn’t warm up that much when we got there either.

Some people left the group to go on private jeep, or helicopter tours after lunch. We drove the remaining distance to the South rim of the canyon, and climbed off the bus. We had 2 and a bit hours to complete a 2.6m walk along the rim. The driver seemed insistant that it wasn’t enough time so not to dawdle, but we ignored him and race doff to the visitor centre for national park stamps before finally getting a view of the canyon itself.

Wow is the only word I can use to desrcibe the Canyon. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I genuinely felt a bit speechless. We took general picutreds with everyone else, before startin to walk along the rim. We found an area that didn’t have barriers and went to the edge to get some better, unbocked photos. The panoramic view was incredible, and was so still that it sometims felt like it had been green-screened in. It took nearly all our time to walk along the rim, go n the shops and buy a souvenir, and get back on the bus. No matter how tired I was, it was more than 100% worth the long bus ride.

The bus ride back was less stressful than on the way there. I had a small nap, and we crossed the bypass bridge at night, which afforded great views of the dam fully lit by spotlights. Instead of checking straight in and going to bed, we got changed and strolled round Circus Circus for a bit, before getting baths and calling family at home. It was a long day, so having two big beds to sleep properly in was most welcome.

The next morning, we checked out, put our bags in storage, and set out to get the deuce bus to the other end of the strip. We started at Mandalay Bay and basically explored the casinos a little, checked out the shops, and moved on to the next hotel. We did this through Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, until the MGM grand. When we arrived at the MGM, we walked along the front and checked out the shops, such as M&Ms world. By the time we reached Planet Hollywood and the mile of shops I had lost count how many times we had been asked if we wanted to see Calvin Harris that night.

Once we left Planet Hollywood, we were hitting the big hotels. The Bellagio was our first ganbling stop. We looked through the conservatory, before having a quick gamble. It has to be done in Vegas. We both lost a tiny amount of money, and discovered we could get $1 vouchers that were hotel specific, so bought one instead of a chip. We looked at the fountains briefly, but as we were returning later that night to see them in the dark, we went straight to Denny’s to get a big meal as we were both starving.

After Denny’s at the MGM grand, we hopped the Deuce all the way up to the Venetian. The grand canal in the hotel with gondolas and shops will always be an impressive site I think. We both wanted to gamble in the Venetian, and the starting bets were lower, so we had a go. We can both say we walked out of a Vegas casino with more money than we went in with. Not a bad thing eh? We repeated the gambling in the Mirage, ended up with 3 gambling vouchers fromt he 3 casinos we had played in, and hadn’t lost much money at all. I’d say that’s not too bad for Vegas.

After Vegas we had a brief stop in Caesar’s palace, both to check the casino and hotel out, and to utilise the charging ports in their toilets. A day’s photography all along the strip had killed Jade’s phone. We made it to the fountains in time to see them dance to the Beatles, before walking up to the Mirage and watching the volcano outside erupt. They really do think of crazy things to put in and outside their hotels in Vegas.

The deuce back to Circus Circus got us back in time to grab a quick bit of food prior to collecting our bags and getting to the Greyhound station. It wa sa deeply unpleasant walk, but we made it in time for our night bus back to LA before switching to a much longer than anticipated bus to San Francisco.

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