"....I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~James 10:10~

Friday, May 13, 2011

{Viva Las Vegas: Part 1!}

Welcome to.....FABULOUS LAS VEGAS!!!

Please excuse the next two pics but hey...It's VEGAS...and this was right in front of our hotel---LOL!
My turn.....
Bahahahaha! So 80's and yes-so trashy!
The Riv! It turned out to be a perfect place to stay...on the strip, not too expensive, and directly behind a bus stop:)

The first night we got checked in around 11 pm and were famished so we walked down a block for all you can eat Sushi...YUM!

The next morning we got up around 6:30 for our Grand Canyon Tour! Our tour was on a van that picked us up right in front of our hotel. There were three other couples and one guide. It included an all you can eat McDonald"s breakfast, a stop at Hoover Dam and Route 66, the four hour ride to the Canyon, a lunch of turkey and roast beef sandwiches, grapes, cheese, crackers, and cookies, a tour through the canyon, and the four hour ride back to Vegas. It was a FULL but WONDERFUL day!!!
First we stopped at the Hoover Dam---Interesting fact: it's the ONLY government project to ever be completed under budget and earlier than expected.

If you're afraid of heights...this trip is NOT for you!

We thought it was pretty neat that the new bypass bridge (built after 9-11 to protect the dam) was named after Pat Tillman.
After about an hour at the Dam, we got our KICKS....
...on Historic Route 66!
I loved how it seemed so retro and nostalgic. It was once the "happenin'" place----for a summary of the story watch the Pixar movie "Cars" :) We learned that the "Cars" characters were named after real residents of the town, according to their personality traits. Neato!:)

This is the original barber shop that is still open today:)
A token of thanks from the Pixar animation team!

Getting an ice cream cone from the snack bar:)
Isn't that cute?!
After exploring for a little while it was time to head for the Canyon! It was a long (and VERY bumpy!) ride and nothing but desert the entire drive but it was SO worth it! We were in awe when we arrived and saw how majestic it really is! No wonder it's one of the seven wonders of the world!
The entire width of the canyon totals more miles than our four hour trip down...isn't that incredible!?
This little fellow here is actually the most dangerous creature in the canyon----they will eat out of your hand and then get REALLY MAD if you run out of food and try to bite your finger off! Seriously, the park ranger said they sew up about 40 fingers a week...YIKES!
Our new French Canadian Friends:)
Leave it to Trav to climb over the safety wall for a kodak moment:) He scared me to death!That's a California Condor and they were endangered until recently. The population has gone from about 27 to over 200! Yay for the Condors!
This is our tour guide, Robin, who we affectionately dubbed "Rockin' Robin":) He was a fantastic tour guide and he had an answer for every question we asked. He also carried all of our food, snacks, and water in his pack so we didn't have to do any of the work.
This is one of the VERY FEW flowers I saw there. It stuck out amongst all the limestone and shells (Yep, the Canyon has been an ocean five different times in history!).
Another daring move by Trav....I'm so glad he survived this trip without a stop in the ER! This tree was actually dead and wobbly and hanging over a big cliff. If you look closely, you can see the Colorado River running through the Canyon. The only reason it's visible is because the swells are actually about 25-30 feet high! Kayak? NO THANKS!
Soakin' in all the beauty

As the day went on, Trav's adventurous spirit started rubbing off on me...
...and we braved some treacherous cliffs and ledges for some great pics!

Our new friends from Hong Kong:)
I can't imagine a more perfect person to spend such a perfect day with! We settled down with our blanket for a beautiful sunset:)
and relished every last second!
It just doesn't get much better than this!
Our first day was PERFECT and we fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow---after all, a new day to explore VEGAS was right around the corner!

Stay tuned for PART TWO!



Ansley said...

The pics of Travis in trees and on the other side of the safety wall, made me a little nervous - Looks like ya'll had a great time!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Laura! Jeff left his Facebook up on my IPAD and I happened to see your pictures. I have looked for your blogspot so many times, and I have never been able to find it. Loved your pictures. My dad is from Idaho, and we spent our summer vacations roaming around in the West. I have seen many of those places. God seems so close when the sky is so big and clear, doesn't he? You are a beautiful young lady, inside and out. So glad you and Travis had such a good time. Ms. Cindi

Kristi's Space said...

The pictures are absolutely breathtaking. You are just so gorgeous and talented! I liked the heights disclaimer because I am terrified of heights. The info about the cars movie was really cool as well! Can't wait for part two:-)

J and SE said...

Jeff and I soooo want to make a trip to the Grand Canyon. This just made me want to go tomorrow!