Las Vegas and Beyond – Mother and Son Trip

So typically when planning our trip I want it to be to someplace where we can see a natural wonder, our last trip was to Toronto, and we got close-up and personal to Niagara Falls. This time it was to the Grand Canyon. This was my first trip to “sin city”, we stayed at Planet Hollywood…but I am jumping ahead.

The trip to Vegas started out bumpy – literally there was a lot of turbulence that seemed to go on forever, but I guess 20 minutes out of the four hours wasn’t that bad. During the flight the pilot flew us over the Grand Canyon, luckily we had a window seat, and a couple of the passengers who were seated in the middle without a window, thought it was a good idea to hang out over our seats. I was gracious for the first ten minutes, but they overstayed their welcome, and I finally had to ask them to please leave, I wanted my personal space back…

Arrival at Planet Hollywood went very smoothly – we were allowed to check in early without the fees – Yeah. Our adventure began.

We hit the strip and our first stop – McDonalds, oh well not so glamorous but I am traveling with a teenage boy. Now our tour can begin. We headed to New York, New York so we could see the rollercoaster coming out of the building…

The statue of liberty replica looked great. I found all the walkways that went over the streets so that you could avoid traffic interesting. These were good and bad. Good because you can continue your walk without having to pause for traffic, and bad since oftentimes they take you on a less direct route to your planned destination. We then looked at Excalibur and MGM Grand, and of course I snapped pictures.

A lot of walking and gawking ensued. Okay, so I have to admit that I am very curious about how much one gets paid to hand out semi-nude cards of young ladies, is it minimum wage??? Why do people litter? I really didn’t want to see what I refused to accept. Hmm…that didn’t work out so well, since the cards were plastered up and down the streets. Finally it was time to eat, so back to the hotel for some R&R, and then we headed to PF Changs. After dinner we decided to check out the wax museum, We headed in the opposite direction we had taken earlier…The Eiffel Tower at Paris, Fountains at Bellagio, Volcano’s at the Mirage, and Jokers – the hotels are just amazing. At Madame Tussauds we were greeted by the Rock and Ms. Goldberg…it was bound to be an adventure. Inside were some pretty lifelike figures…

These are interesting:

And of course we had to be in the pictures…

And we did the Michael Jackson lean…

After the museum, we checked out the gondolas at the Venetian, and the Volcano at the Mirage…and after many photo stops in between we made it back to our hotel for the night – my feet hurt….



We rented a car so that we could head over to Hoover Dam, and then Lake Havasu. I watch the Food Network a lot and I’m a big fan of the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so I couldn’t resist heading to the Coffee Cup in Boulder City for breakfast. Boulder City is a small unassuming town, and it’s where the workers lived that built the Hoover Dam. So we arrived fresh faced and ready for a food adventure. I asked for what Guy had – the “Pork Chili Verde Omelette” it was delish…I took a picture of it, sorry about the ketchup, I have to have it with my hash browns J.

The terrain going toward the Dam was quite mountainous (is that a word) and I was afraid our rented Nissan Versa was not up to the task, but it made the trip just fine. The Hoover Dam is a modern miracle; I found it to be impressive to say the least. We passed on the “Dam Tour” I was not in the mood to go 500 feet down, just so I could view some generators. Going down is an issue for me, going up on the other hand, not a problem. So we checked out the museum, and the observation deck and then we walked across the Dam. We could also see Lake Meade…

The Dam Museum

The Dam Observation Deck

On the Dam

So my son wasn’t as amused as I was, and he felt we had already been here quite a while, and was ready to go…

I ignored him and took lots more pictures.

Lake Havasu Here We Come!!!

The day was not quite over; we continued our journey to Lake Havasu, since I was determined to see the London Bridge. I was not quite ready for the road signs – “Look out for Animals, next 20 miles” – what kind of animals, I kept my eyes peeled, didn’t see anything. The Nissan Versa also wasn’t ready, we got passed by every type of vehicle, including tractor trailers, but we travailed and ended up at Lake Havasu a couple of hours later. Lake Havasu was a small town, and the lake and the bridge were the main attractions. We took our photos, had some Italian ice, and headed back to Vegas.

The trip back to Vegas took us through the Mohave Desert and San Bernardino Valley California. This was great, a bonus state. It took us another 2 hours to get back to Vegas, and I must say I was tired of driving, but that didn’t stop us for heading to the famous Las Vegas sign…

Tired, hot and hungry, we headed back to the hotel for a much needed break. I’m pretty sure the picture taking and the site seeing was over for the day. We called it an early night; we had a big day planned for tomorrow – the Grand Canyon.


Day 3

This day started at 5:00 a.m. Our tour was scheduled to take off at 6:15 a.m. I was certain that we’d be walking in the dark to our pick-up point, the Monte Carlo, but it was already light outside when I got up. And to my surprise, it was hot when we stepped out onto the strip at 5:50. Hmm, I’m thinking it’s gonna be a hot day. The tour company was called Comedy on Deck. I was expecting a lot of comedy along the way, and although our tour guide Robert didn’t tell a lot of jokes, he was entertaining, and kept our attention during the drive. First stop Boulder City, Southwest Diner. The food was good, but we weren’t wasting any time, back on the bus and to our final destination all within 30 minutes. The trip to the Canyon was uneventful; we did see the famous Joshua trees, and a few cows along the side of the road, but no buffalos. There was an 8 mile dirt road that led to the West Rim of the Canyon, and during that time, the air conditioning on the bus had to be turned off – but my son didn’t mind too much, since he was asleep. I on the other hand, had my handy-dandy fan to keep me cool – thank goodness. After viewing a film on how they replaced the glass on the Skywalk, we were ready to walk (sit, lay) over the canyon.

I took a lot of pictures at Eagle Point, and at Guano Point. I won’t include all of them…

In that last photo, my son was at the very top of that view point; here he is on his way down:

We were impressed with the Grand Canyon to say the least, and then we headed back to Vegas, one more stop (a bonus) at the Hoover Dam Bridge. Several of us got off the bus for our 20 minute detour, my son stayed on the bus; he was asleep.

The strip later that night…


Day 4

So we didn’t have any tours planned for the day, so we thought we’d take in a couple of shows. I was tired of walking, so we got 24 hour bus passes so that we could ride up and down the strip. Did I mention it was hot? The heat emanated from the concrete sidewalk and worked its way up – I didn’t adjust, I just survived. We went to see the Mac King Magic Show, which was really entertaining and funny; went to see Men in Black III; road to the top of the Eiffel Tower and went to see Wayne Brady that night. I was tired of taking pictures (I took a total of 800 during our trip) and lugging the camera around, so I don’t have many from this day. These were taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower.


Day 5

Headed back to the ATL, goodbye Vegas. It was a fun and memorable trip, probably our last one since next year he’ll be a senior, and won’t think it’s cool to hang out with his mom.

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