Last weekend was Nascar weekend in Las Vegas, so once again my family gathered for a fun little vacation. My parents were there, along with Ryan, his girlfriend (and her mom) for some of it, my uncle, and Josh and me. Here's how it went down:
Friday afternoon we flew out of Richmond. My mom was with us, because she'd been in Richmond all week. While we flew, Dad and my uncle drove from New Mexico, picking up Ryan and his girlfriend in Flagstaff. We were all in Vegas in time for dinner! Dinner coincided with a UNM basketball game (they won), so that was exciting for the Gray men. After dinner Ryan, Josh, and myself walked a good ways down the strip just for fun.
Saturday my parents went to the race and Ryan took off with his girlfriend and her mom (they went to the Price is Right, and Ryan told everyone he won a trampoline, but he didn't). So Josh and I walked from the Monte Carlo (our hotel) to some other casinos, including New York New York (where we played games in the arcade), Mandalay Bay, and Excalibur (where we played more games in their arcade). Then it was time for a nap.
Here we are in front of Mandalay Bay.
And here is Josh at New York New York.
After the nap Josh headed to the gym, but not me. I was hungry since we never ate lunch, so I went downstairs and treated myself to a sushi roll and glass of wine. After my parents and uncle got back from the race, we all met up and went to dinner at the MGM. After dinner we were gonna hang out with Ryan and his girlfriend, but Josh and I were pretty exhausted (I don't remember jet lag affecting me so badly ever before), so we just went to bed.
Sunday Ryan went to the race with Dad and my uncle, so Josh and I hung out with my mom. I had to drink two lattes that morning because I woke up and was still exhausted. My feet were also still sore from walking around the day before. (Much as I love them, my pink converse are not very good walking shoes.) We went to the Luxor, where Josh saw the Bodies exhibit while Mom and I played the penny slot machines. Then we went to Planet Hollywood in hopes of eating sushi for lunch, but we got there after the big sushi buffet closed so we had Mexican instead. That included delicious margaritas. After lunch Mom headed back to the hotel for a nap, and Josh and I spent the afternoon looking around the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood.
Mom and me at the Luxor.
Josh and his margarita.
Sunday night after the guys got back from the race we drove to Sam's Town, which is where we've stayed the last two times we've all been out there. We had a steak dinner and enjoyed their cheesy mountain scenery with the light show. After dinner I had to bail on any more fun evening plans because I was still tired.
Monday we went to the Red Rock Canyon, which was the one major "to-do" on my list for this Vegas trip. After checking out the visitor center we headed around the driving loop, and stopped a few times along the way. First we explored the red rocks, then the old stone quarry, and then the Ice Box Canyon.
I was disappointed in the lack of wildlife I saw. I was hoping to see wild burros, but all I saw was a lizard and some birds. So I made my own wildlife...
Hiking into the Ice Box Canyon was my favorite part. Ryan and Mom stayed in the car, so it was just Dad, Josh, and me. We walked across "open desert," then just a little into the canyon (where the temperature drops about ten degrees, hence the canyon's name).
Taking a break.
Making rock art.
A pistachio sighting in the canyon! (Josh spotted another one in the median on the Vegas strip, but we didn't stop to take a picture.)
After the canyon we drove back into town, stopping at the outlet mall for lunch and a little shopping. Then we freshened up at the hotel and headed back out, this time to the downtown area and Fremont Street. We were hoping to enjoy some shrimp cocktail, but the place we've always gone wasn't serving food anymore. Huge bummer. We got some pizza for dinner instead, and walked around.
Tuesday we all met for breakfast (which turned out to be lunch because it was after 11), then went to see the conservatory at the Bellagio. Then my parents went in their own directions while Ryan, Josh, and I headed to the pool at our hotel. They swam briefly in the the wave pool, I went around the lazy river with Josh a few times, and then we just lay in the sun for a little while. It was nice.
After the pool we headed back to Planet Hollywood for a little more wandering around and the sushi buffet for dinner. Then we went back to the hotel, where Ryan took a nap and Josh and I went out to see the Cirque du Soleil show KA at MGM. This was the first Cirque show either of us had ever seen, and it was pretty neat. After the show we hung out in the Monte Carlo casino for a while before bed.
Wednesday all we had time for was a breakfast buffet, then it was time to head to the airport. The whole family saw Josh and me off, then they headed back to Arizona and New Mexico.
It was a fun trip.