Monday, April 1, 2013

Grand Canyon & Vegas: Las Vegas

After a super-boring drive and some really bad food (in my humble opinion) at Sonic Burger, we made it from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas in around 4 hours.   Passed by Hoover Dam, which Matt really wanted to see, but could not see it at all from the highway (next time, I guess).    Found our hotel, the Red Rock, which is around 10 miles from the strip in the upscale suburb of Summerlin.   Even though it still has a huge casino, it is a little more modern, and a lot less cheese-y, than the other Vegas Casinos.   Rooms are really big and we got two at a good price, so everyone got their own bed for a change!    Had to run out after check-in to go to the last tour of the day at the Neon Museum in downtown Vegas, which is in the boneyard, where old neon signs go to rest.  So cool, just to see all the old signs lying next to each other and our tour guide gave us great facts about Vegas History.  Fun Story #1:  the Moulin Rouge was the first casino to open to both blacks and whites in 1955 when Vegas was called the "Mississippi of the West" because of its strict segregation policy.  It became a big after-hours hangout for all the cool performers until it went bankrupt after six months.  Fun Story #2:  The Stardust casino used to hold "atomic parties" while the US military was testing nuclear weapons out in the Vegas desert.  They had special drinks and people used to book their spots at the pool so they could look up at the sky during the testing!   Girls used to wear outfits shaped like mushroom clouds.  Too weird!  

 After the museum we went to Fremont Street, which was the old location of all the original casinos.  It suffered in the 80s and 90s and was just revived with a big overhead canopy for an LED light show, a zip line, and all these tacky performers.  Matt promised us that the Las Vegas strip would be classier than what we saw there.   We came back  to the hotel and had dinner at the Yard House, which is an LA chain with hundreds of beers on tap and a pretty good menu.  Our waiter was a young army vet who served in Afghanistan, recently arrived to get a fresh start out here.  Food and service were really great (fish tacos, sliders, 'smores brownie and salted caramel butterscotch pudding for dessert).

On our last full day of vacation, we woke up late and went out for breakfast to the and came back to the hotel to sit by the pool.  When the boys got bored, they went to bowl a couple games in the Red Rock lanes, Yamini made a friend in the pool, then went to the "Kids Quest" for an hour.  Around 4pm, we headed over to "the strip" and parked at the Bellagio - the lobby there looked super tacky to me, until we visited all the other casinos, which made me like the Bellagio the best.  The boys liked the Luxor, which I will admit is kinda cool, and we all hated the Excalibur, which looks like a giant, ugly, lego castle.  We started and ended our walk with the water show Fountains of the Bellagio on the mini-lake in front of the property, which is much better when it gets dark.   We stopped at Pinkberry for some great frozen yogurt, Walgreens to buy a few souvenirs, and the "Sugar" shop in the Paris, so the kids could pick out some dessert for after dinner.   For dinner, we went off the strip to a highly rated Thai restaurant in a run-down strip mall. Lotus of Siam, and it was amazing!!   A good place for our last big meal, and everyone is now looking forward to getting home and getting back in gear for work and school.

No comments:

Post a Comment