We arrived in Vegas on Monday afternoon. Vegas was my son’s dream city – he’s wanted to come here for years (NO idea why). When we drove down the Strip and he saw the crazy buildings, his eyes popped out on stalks!
Our hotel, the Jockey Club Suites, was a bargain. Nestled in between the elegant Bellagio and the cool Cosmopolitan, it seems tiny – you can’t even see it from the strip – but the location is second to none, our mini-suite was perfect and the price was very reasonable! We also got free access to the 14th floor roof-top pool at the Cosmopolitan which made me feel both super-fancy and very frumpy and middle-aged.
It’s quite hard (in a first world sense, of course) being in Las Vegas when you’re on a road-trip. Other people swanned around in excellent outfits, looking beautiful. Having lost my decent flipflops, I had to wear my dirty old Tevas out for cocktails one night. It’s a miracle they let me in 🙂
The Husband wasn’t particularly well during our days here, so he spent a lot of the time asleep and I took the boys out to explore. We visited a few of the bigger, crazier hotels…
…we ate at Cafe Rio, a fantastic chain of restaurants that we don’t get in California. The food is amazing and I was especially weepy when my son asked me to dance to one of our favourite songs when it came on…..
One evening, we drove to the Glow Zone, a fantastic indoor amusement place. We originally planned to play black light mini-golf but there was a special deal on so we signed up for the two hour unlimited play. It was SO much fun. We did indeed do mini-golf…
…the Husband tried his hand at their American Ninja Warrior course and did pretty decently…
…we did a fantastic ropes course high above the ground. I have talked before about being a bit of a chicken at heart, and on this trip I am purposefully practising being brave. So up I went. On the whole I really enjoyed it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone a few times, including the zipline. I nearly didn’t do it, I couldn’t quite step off the platform into thin air, but finally did it and of course, it was amazing.
They also had this intriguing thing where you get roped up and then climb up these poles before jumping off. I wanted to do it so badly but couldn’t quite pluck up the courage. Having done the ropes course, I knew I could handle it so off I went. Not only did I do it, I also loved it. Slowly getting a little braver!
The other fun thing we did was the Slotzilla zipline at Fremont Street. Despite it being significantly higher than we’d expected, once we got up there, I was so chuffed that I wasn’t freaked out at all. We did the zipline and it was amazing. We all fancied doing the higher one, but they had no availability and frankly we couldn’t afford it either!
However after a week of Disneyland, Legoland and Vegasland, the Husband and I were more than ready to get out of man-made wonders (the boys less so) so we headed over to Red Rock Canyon to hike. We ran a half-marathon there two years ago and loved it, so we were keen to hike. Unfortunately we were late leaving the hotel (for a good reason, more in a few minutes) and by the time we got there it was crazy hot. So we did a bit of clambering around and exploring before we admitted defeat and came home! We learned a big lesson that, in the desert, we need to get out EARLY if we want to do anything outdoors!
I did get some running in though this week. Twice I ran on the treadmill at our hotel. I could only handle half an hour both times, so I threw in some speedwork to make it go faster and it wasn’t too awful, especially as I got to watch my boys playing table-tennis.
On the last morning, I ran down the strip to see the famous Las Vegas sign. Running down the strip is not fun – it was seriously hot by 6am, there was little shade and no water fountains and simply heading south involved running in and out of casinos to access road-crossings, plus many stairs up and down to get to them. It wasn’t the most fun but I was excited to get to the sign and get my photo taken! All in all, I managed 11 miles over the three days, so I’ll take that.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know the reason we were so late heading to Red Rock Canyon…we have bought a house in the UK! (We were busy transferring funds, which took forever). It’s not a completed deal yet, we’ve just exchanged, but we’re now fairly confident it’ll happen. We haven’t seen our new home – we sent my observant, hard-to-please mum to see it for us – but we are completely thrilled with it and can’t wait to settle there after the end of our trip. It’s in a village surrounded by countryside just a few miles from the lovely market town of Marlborough in the beautiful county of Wiltshire where I grew up. It’s 20 miles from my parents and a few hours from my husband’s. We are beside ourselves with excitement!
But we won’t be there until late August/early September, because we have a long way to go yet. Today we left Las Vegas and driving into Arizona. We stopped on the way at the Hoover Dam (and nearly melted from the heat) before driving across the border!
These next ten days are the bit of this trip that I am most excited about. We are heading into the desert to see some of the most spectacular outdoor scenery that God created. There will be much hiking, running and general outdoorsy-ness and I am super-stoked!
Vegas, you’ve been…unique. Arizona, here we are!