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Old 10-15-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
Claire L
Enjoys a good broadway show
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Cool 3 states, 3 weeks and 2000 miles in a Jeep - Day 18

Monday July 3rd 2006

We woke around 7.30am and slowly got up with a cup of tea and some cereal. By 9.15am we were packed and ready to go. After packing the car and settling up we quickly took a look in the Hopi House right opposite the El Tovar, it had some lovely pottery but much too delicate to get home. So we were off on the open road again! As we left the Grand Canyon we stopped for one quick picture.



We had to stop for fuel in Tusayan and as we hadnít had brekkie we popped into the McDonalds which was next door for a Sausage and Egg McMuffin with hash brown Feeling suitably fuelled up it was then time to cover about 150 miles we had already driven only 3 days ago, until we got to the 93 to head north to Las Vegas via the Hoover Dam. As we approached the 93 huge signs warned of long delays and to take alternative route through Laughlin and up the 95 but we ignored this as we wanted to see the Hoover Dam. Again the roads we straight and to be honest there was little to no traffic so we were a bit confused about the warnings!



Anyway we kept going and going and suddenly we were nearly at the Hoover Dam, with not a queue in sight. We then had a quick stop at the security checkpoint, we had to wind down the rear windows so that the Official could see there was the two of us, we were off. It was clear that the new road was going in, slowly and it wasnít due to be completed for a few years yet. At present no goods vehicles are allowed across the Hoover Dam only private motor cars and tour buses so having a new bridge is likely to save a lot of time for truckers travelling west through Arizona for Las Vegas.



As we went over the brow of the hill we then saw the Hoover Dam in front of us and the road winding down towards it. We stopped briefly at a parking area to take in the view from above.



It was then time to drive across the bridge and as we did I took pictures of the two water towers showing the time in Arizona and Nevada, as Arizona generally doesnít observe Daylight Saving Time in winter they would be one hour ahead of Nevada but being as it was summer they were the same.





I must say that the Hoover Dam has changed since I lat visited in 1995 and the car park I remember on the Nevada side is now for employees of the Dam only and visitor parking is in a huge multi storey car park built into the hillside! It was now lunchtime and we stopped and parked and had a wander over the Dam, looking at how huge it was and imagining the engineering feat that it must have been to construct some 70 years ago. There is also a little plaque showing the stateline which is quite interesting as it is the dead centre of the Dam!



Lake Mead which feeds the Dam was looking very very low and the mark on the side of the cliffs showed how full it usually is.



Wow was it hot walking along the Dam but considering it is so enclosed from any breeze and is full of rock I guess that is no surprise. It was amazing to see how tall the Dam actually was and all the buildings at the bottom.





It was then time to head off to Las Vegas. As we left we then found out what they meant by long delays but it was for people going from Nevada to Arizona and the queue must have been 5 miles long at least! It was nice then to see the Nevada sign and know that we were nearly at our final stop.

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Old 10-15-2008, 08:16 AM   #2
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Getting into Las Vegas was easy but as soon as we turned off the freeway to get onto the strip we hit bumper to bumper traffic! We arrived onto the Strip down by the MGM Grand and as we looked up towards the Bellagio we thought it looked rather small compared to how it appeared on the TV in say Ocean’s 11! Soon we were driving up the road into the Bellagio and debating whether to go for valet parking or not as we didn’t know how much it cost. Due to the amount of luggage we decided to opt for valet for the first night and as we got out we were informed as we were guests valet was complimentary, great news we thought As we went towards the lobby we could see huge queues at the checkin desks but as I ahd booked through Virgin Holidays we were able to use the preferred guest checkin desks As it was still mid afternoon there were no non-smoking rooms ready but we were assured all rooms were thoroughly cleaned and if we didn’t like the room it could be changed so we accepted the room as went up to it. It was on the 20th floor and first impressions were WOW! The room looked and smelt fine so we arranged for the luggage to be brought up.













The room was huge and very nicely furnished, we also had fun with the electronically operated drapes But the view from the room was fab, very very impressive







The bathroom was also very large and had a lovely double sized shower, but I was disappointed that there was only a single sink.








After settling in we went out and decided to head off to the Premium Outlets at the North end of the Strip as Nathan wanted to see if the Lacoste shirts were on offer!! It was still very warm out and we had a wander round the Mall was very similar to the Orlando Premium Outlets and had some good shops. I ended up buying a pair of beige Skechers along with a pair of black Skechers slip on flip flop type shoes. It was now gone 6.30pm so we started to head back to the hotel. Once back we thought it was time to to get a bit to eat, easier said than done on July 3rd as the place was heaving most of the buffets had 2 hour queues and we were disappointed hotel guests didn’t get a quicker seatting than non hotel guests. So we went off up the strip, our main aim was to get tickets to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 as soon possible after midnight on Friday, as we were flying home later that day. Prior to arriving I had checked out where the nearest cinema was and it was up towards the MGM so off we went. We soon found the cinema and the tickets were purchased and placed in a safe place!! It was then time to find something to eat and we eventually found the buffet at the MGM and started eating. The selection was huge and the cokes were refilled time and time again. Feeling full we left the MGM and stopped for some piccies before we wandered back down to the Bellagio.



It was a slow wander as the side walks were packed and to be honest the amount of people drinking from beer bottles was amazing, not to mention the number of people handing out flyers for various off the Strip shows and call girls, it gave a very sleazy impression of Las Vegas at night. Soon we were back in our room and ready for a good nights sleep.

Claire
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
irongirlof12
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wow, what a fab day, that hotel rooms looks bigger than my whole house! love the views.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:23 PM   #4
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Great photos, lovely views from the room
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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Wow!!!! I so want to go there, great day
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:50 PM   #6
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WOW what a room!
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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Interesting contrast between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Didn't you have a good view from your hotel room?! Can't wait to read about your adventures in Sin City (Oh Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Disney anymore!)
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:42 PM   #8
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Great day...brings back so many memories! The hotel room looks fab.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:25 AM   #9
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What a great day and how lucky to see the Hoover Dam - it is on my list of "must sees"

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #10
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That's my kind of hotel - what a gorgeous room .
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:57 AM   #11
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like the view of Paris


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Old 10-24-2008, 05:27 AM   #12
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Another great day. Loved the room you had
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