Ok, fun aside
. We had a great time in Las Vegas. We stayed at the Thousand Trails Las Vegas park, caught a show, and visited Hoover Dam, and otherwise just spent time being a tourist in the city. Exactly $20 was spent/lost gambling as it's no fun to gamble alone and the casinos won't let you play with kids in tow. Even the camper got a bath.
|Welcome to Las Vegas|
Thousand Trails Las Vegas is a decent place. You're really packed in, but we knew that going in. And, we're willing to deal with a bit of that as the price is right. We didn't have neighbors on our door-side for the first 10 of our nights there. After that, we had neighbors on and off until we left. Without neighbors, we had a decent site. With neighbors, it's pretty shocking how close the sites are.
About once a year, I pony up and have someone wash and wax the camper. It's not cheap, but it's certainly not work that I'm going to do myself. Heck, I've only washed this thing once and that was because Mandie's dad did most of the work. The campground's packet of information had the number for Red Rock RV Wash
. I called them on a Wednesday and they came out on Thursday. They did a nice job on the camper and a pretty good job on the truck. In hindsight, it was a bit expensive to have the truck done since they don't even vacuum out the inside. But the outside really needed it after the dusty conditions of the prior few weeks.
|Glad he doesn't mind being up there|
We explored the Strip
a few different nights. We didn't feel unsafe and there was only a little bit of public debauchery that wasn't prudent for little eyes. The same goes for heading over to the Freemont Street Experience
(though there, we did heed warnings and were out by 8pm or so). The first night, we didn't make it very far- just to Treasure Island to watch the pirate ship sinking... which was very disappointing because they stopped that a few years ago.
|Outside of Treasure Island|
We watched the volcano at the Mirage.
|Don't worry, Logan was not attacked|
|I do enjoy watching the volcano|
Even watched some street performers that supposedly were on America's Got Talent.
|Paying for our show|
And ended the night by checking out Caesar's Palace before we turned in for the evening.
It had been over 10 years since Mandie and I were in Vegas last. At the time, we were huge Cirque du Soleil fans and while we were there, we watched a couple of their shows. We loved Mystere and thought that Paige and Logan would enjoy it, also. It helped that Mandie found an online deal for about 1/2 price. Turns out, she somehow managed to get front row tickets-- not just front, front and center. While at the show, we learned a very important lesson- the people (cough, plants, cough) that get "picked" to be part of the show... yeah, they're real people. Turns out, the Big Baby from Mystere picked me to be his Papa! I even got to ride a golf cart and be taken back stage (where I was also dressed as a big baby, but we'll ignore that tidbit). Needless to say, we had a LOT of fun.
|Our seats - front and center!|
|The water literally stayed in my ear|
We took the kids to the Hoover Dam and did one of the tours. Paige did a great job with learning about the history of the dam and how it was built. I cannot imagine a government project existing like that today- they not only finished early, they finished well under budget, AND the dam itself has repaid the cost of building it many times over. Pretty amazing stuff.
|My little girl is growing up|
|Yep, we were there!|
We did the tour down into the dam itself.
We walked out on to the top of the dam and checked out the monument, the Winged Figures of the Republic.
|To honor those who died building the dam|
|Those kids who keep following us around|
Once we were done there, we drove across the top of the dam into Arizona- mostly to say that we did! The only thing that we didn't do that I would have liked is driven the super tall bypass that is nearby.
Instead, we headed up into Boulder City in search of somewhere for dinner. We ended up at Southwest Diner
and longest story shortest, it was very yummy! My favorite part was getting PEANUT BUTTER pie as an appetizer!
|Southwest Diner in Boulder City|
|The PB Pie, yum!|
After a few days of regular RV life (working, laundry-ing, etc.) we finally got back out for some more sight-seeing on the strip. This time we parked at the Bellagio and first checked out their fountains.
|Watching the Dancing Fountains|
We meandered around for a bit. The strip of sidewalk in front of the Bellagio was a madhouse with performers and gawkers.
We walked around a bit before stopping for snacks and whatnot at the largest CVS that I've ever been in... seriously, it had 2 floors!
|Icees are Paige's favorite|
Heading back into the Bellagio, we stopped and checked out their Conservatory and Botanical Garden
- it was all done up in Halloween/fall themes. Pretty neat stuff.
|Checking out the glass flowers|
|Botanical Garden at Bellagio|
We ended up the night doing a Fulltime Families favorite - "#wyff" (aka, "Where's your free Friday?").
|Our feet were in Las Vegas!|
Over the weekend, we went back to the Strip. First up, riding the High Roller at the Linq
. This was another one where we stood out front of it and searched the Internet for deals on tickets. We were able to save quite a bit of money by buying online first and carrying our phones in. We chose to do this during the day to avoid the crowds. The nighttime views may have been nicer, but having an entire pod to ourselves was worth it. Plus, I got to recreate my sister's engagement proposal.
|The High Roller|
|Marriage Proposal (she said YES!)|
|The pod and the view|
|I do love those girls|
Before the trip, we had heard that the parents of a good friend of mine (from Pennsylvania) were in Vegas at the same time as us. In a complete surprise, we literally almost walked into them as they were getting off of the monorail and we were getting on -- like door opened and we were face to face. We chatted and caught up for a bit. It was great seeing the Fentons!
We took a monorail and bus to the Freemont Street Experience. The covered ceiling video-board like thing is always enjoyable. They had a regular show (which was good) and then they had a Halloween show (which was weird
). While there, Paige did the zip line. She said it was pretty awesome. I wanted to but (ahem) I was a little big to go.
|Freemont Street Experience|
After Freemont Street, we headed to the Stratosphere to ride some rides
! Paige rode all 3 (Big Shot!, X-Scream, and Insanity). I joined her for the first two but opted out of the last one. And, of course- the views from the observation deck were very cool. We enjoyed the rides that we did. I really wanted to do the Sky Jump but again, too fat.
|Paige dangling out over the building|
|My fearless rider|
It was pushing 2am when we grabbed second dinner before our monorail ride back to the truck. The kids held out, I was pretty impressed.
We wrapped up our time in Vegas with one last night on the strip. We went into New York, New York for the roller coaster
. It was actually a pretty good coaster. Mandie and Logan hung out in the arcade where we caught up to them afterwards.
|Not us, but apparently you can park in the casino's garage|
|NY, NY's roller coaster|
|Good ole arcade time|
After the arcade, we headed over to the M&M store.
|Vegas M&M Store|
|Wall of M&Ms|
Back at the casino, Mandie split off to spend $20 at the slots while I took the kids out to the truck. Funny enough, we weren't that far ahead of her with my terrible sense of direction vs. her great sense of direction AND the quickness that slot machines eat money.
And finally, we wrapped up our visit with a stop out at the iconic sign. And with that, we were done.
|Leaving Las Vegas|
We needed a day or so to get ready for our trip back to Pennsylvania and Maryland to visit with family and friends. I'll blog about that next!
As is usual, there are a lot of pictures here, but even more on Flickr.
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