As Elvis said, Viva Las Vegas.
We met Andrew’s cousins, Steve and Ash, at the airport and were swiftly ushered into an awaiting limousine complete with a bottle of champers and a rose. Certainly travelling in style compared with our usual journeys! After a ride down the strip we arrived at our hotel, the location of which had been kept top secret until now. It was…. (drumroll please)… the Luxor. A bit of sweet talking from Ash landed us with an upgrade to a suite with a view over the strip. After a spot of lunch we went for a quick walk, which turned into a 6 hour tour of the hotels and casinos, taking in the fountains of the Bellagio, the pirate ship battle at Treasure Island, and the Volcano at the Mirage, as well as a dash of shopping! By the time we were back it was gone 10 and seeing as we had been up at 6am in a different time zone, not to mentioned still pretty full from our lunch, we grabbed a few slices of pizza and headed back up to the room.
The next morning, feeling very rested in the most comfortable bed we’ve seen in a long time, we caught some rays by the pool, accompanied by a frozen margarita or two (11am is an acceptable time for one of those right?).
We wandered around a few more hotels, picked up a delicious pair of shoes for Abby (they weren’t actually delicious, I tried and they tasted like old leather – Andrew) and had a nice long leisurely lunch/dinner (linner?) at Wolfgang Pucks. That night we had tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show, Ka, so all four of us put on our glad rags and went down to the MGM Grand. The show was absolutely incredible, and Abby only squeaked a couple of times thinking they were going to die (it was close alright – Abby).
The next day we were up early to head to the Grand Canyon. On route we stopped at the Hoover Dam, which was already baking hot at 9am. It was BIG. And its slightly creepy knowing that there’s several people buried in it. But very impressive nonetheless.
Next stop was the Grand Canyon, via the exciting looking town of Dolan Springs, where we all prayed not to breakdown and have to go looking for help. And also 15 miles of incredibly rough gravel track, thank god for rental cars, wouldn’t have fancied doing it in either of ours. Arriving at the kilometer drop, we saw the most impressive view, even if Andrew and Steve did have to witness it from 1o feet back from the edge. (there’s no safety rails people, and that’s a long way to fall!! – Andrew). Admittedly watching little children dangle their feet over the edge was a little heart-stopping. We went along to a few view points and had a great BBQ lunch with a 360 degree view. Not bad.
That evening we split up. Steve and Ash went to see a show and we started out by the pool, with another frozen Margarita. Then we went for dinner and a couple of drinks before trying our luck. After realising that we had very little idea what we were doing on a slot machine, (press buttons, flashing lights, noises and money gone), we lost some money on roulette, made some back on blackjack and utilised enough free drinks vouchers that losing $5 here or there didn’t really matter.
Our last morning in Vegas we hit up the buffet! So much bacon! We can see why Vegas buffets are the stuff of legends and it certainly set us up for a long old day on the coach in Labor Day traffic. So we said goodbye to Steve and Ash, and to Vegas, and headed off on the next leg of the journey, coming soon to a blog near you.
Aces Tomkins and Andrew ‘Blackjack’ Stafford.