Las Vegas Rocks!

Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
Trip End Jan 04, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Monday the 25th October was somewhat surreal...we left the Grand Canyon submerged in low cloud at a temperature of 43 degrees and drove into Las Vegas boulevards lined with palm trees a few hours later in brilliant sunshine and 75 degrees. We checked into the Stratosphere Casino hotel, the most noticeable landmark in Las Vegas.  It's got a 1000 foot high tower with an observation deck and if the fancy takes you, for only $99 plus tax you can attach yourself to a scarily thin cable and jump off - we decided to give it a miss.

Our room was very plush, although because we opted for the cheap deal (only 38 a night, including tax) it was on the 5th floor, which meant the view from our window was a flat roof with maintenance buildings on it -we kept the curtains closed.  However, we did get to go up to the observation deck on the 107th floor for free and the view from there at sunset was amazing.  One of the weirdest things about staying in a casino hotel is that you walk through thousands of slot machines, blackjack, craps and roulette tables on the ground floor to get to the elevators to go to your room - and there are people drinking and gambling there at all times of the day.  Darrell was very disappointed that slot machines nowadays don't take coins - you can feed in dollar bills or swipe your credit card - so you don't hear that lovely k'ching, k'ching, k'ching of coins pouring out when somebody wins.

We stayed there for 2 nights.  On the Monday night, we walked down Las Vegas Boulevard, aka 'The Strip' and saw a few of the free spectacles - a circus act, a cheesy swashbuckling pirates and lasses drama, and an incredible water fountain display with music (might sound strange, but it was like watching a firework display).  It was all a bit overwhelming - so many people, so much noise and light - not what we've been used to with our usual evening entertainment in front of a campfire!




On the Tuesday night we headed north up Las Vegas Boulevard, to 'Downtown' and the Fremont Street Experience.  It's 4 blocks of a street that are covered with an arched roof that has a zillion lights in it, and every hour they have a music and light show that defies description.  We saw two of them, but the best was the full 6 minutes of American Pie with stunning graphics that keep changing and moving overhead.  There were also street performers, people in fancy dress, scantily clad women and numerous Elvis impersonators. 



In fact, scantily clad women (or less well clothed) are a common theme in Las Vegas.  From the vans advertising "Hot Babes Direct to Your Room" to the hordes of people in T-shirts proclaiming "Girls, Girls, Girls" thrusting cards with phone numbers at you (and thrusting them at both men and women!), you can't escape it.

On Wednesday, we headed back for the life we're more comfortable with - camping out at Red Rock Canyon, just outside Las Vegas.  We had 3 days climbing there on what can only be described rock!  It's a beautiful sandstone outcrop - some of it is just red, and some of it is pink and white striped - and then there are bigger mountains beyond, as well.  From one of the higher points, we had a view back down over Las Vegas - if you look carefully at the photo, you can just make out the Stratosphere.  Talk about worlds apart!

Once again, thanks so much for all your comments - we really love reading them.  Whenever we've just published a new entry, we can’t wait to get internet access again so we can see what comments we’ve got.  It’s great to hear that you’re enjoying our blog (we’re really enjoying doing it) and we like your anecdotes, even the corny jokes.  Keep it coming!
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Graham on

All those high spots in LV - did pig get to "sow" any wild oats??

Graham on

As always, your blog is great. Some really lovely photos of the countryside OUTSIDE Las Vegas - what a sunset!!! Sounds like a good time was had by both - I think I am like you - I would have preferred the outback.. I'm seriously disappointed you did'nt do the bungee jump though - I thought that was your speciality? Keep 'em coming and enjoy the rest of the trip out that way! I assume you will be "hamming" it up, as usual!! Har har.

Graham on

I just realised you were climbing red rocks - reminds me of that joke you guys had as kids (Amanda) - what's big and red and eats rocks? I also just noticed the pic of the "hi-speed hitching post" - did you know that Iain and Eve got married in LV and had the full-blown Elvis wedding with the limo and the honeymoon suite ... it happens!!! Can you still receive emails, or is this the best way to communicate to you? Have more fun - oh, by the way, what do you call a pig who is a member of the NRA?

Caroline on

And meanwhile in Ambridge... Alice Aldridge and Christopher Carter got hitched in Las Vegas this summer, to the delight of Chris's mum, the social climbing Susan, and to the horror of Alice's mother, Jennifer (who climbed socially decades ago, despite having been brought up in a pub with an alcoholic father...)

Whaddya mean, you don't know what I'm talking about...?

There's more to life than gadding about the USA, you know. Some of us have to hold the fort and keep up with 'The Archers' .

We're having an unexpected and unseasonal Indian Summer here in Bugstown. Temperatures in the high 60s, clear blue skies, gentle south westerly breezes. Graham is swinging in his hammock with a book and a cold beer as I type. Tonight we'll light a camp fire in the garden and eat supper under the stars, and as we gaze into the clear night sky above us, one of us wll probably remark, "Is that a pig I see flying overhead?"

Great photos AGAIN. It's a shame you didn't manage to get one of Pig doing the bungy jump though. By the way, Tiny Amanda seems to be getting tinier. Does everything else grow bigger as you go further west?

Lots and lots of love,

Ca and Gra xxxx

PS It's grey, wet and very Novembral here - but do we care? No. We've got an Aga.

Sam on

Hey guys, the pictures are amazing!
Recognise some of the points from the Grand Canyon! just a few months separated us at the big hole. Did you get to check out much of monument valley or was it a fleeting visit? Really enjoying the reading from you two, keep it coming


Sue Ridler on

Wow Love reading your blogs and looking at the photos :)

Ray on

I really enjoyed your latest blog (as I do all of them). Great photos. Quite a contrast between Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon, but worth the experience. You are definitely in a better temperature zone than us - we are having our first frosts at night now. Next will be the snow - so enjoy the weather. Look forward to your next installment. Have fun.

shirley---mum on

I guess old age has really got me . Las vegas looks like a nightmare! but at least you can say you've been! I really hope Amanda that you were sympathetic when you made Darrell turn out his pockets in your suite when Oh Dear he had lost your every cent when your back was turned. Never mind tAt least the gynourmoussales of your book takes place.--i a great idea! a way to rake in the shekels so glad you are having such a great time. it is chilly and wet here but we don't grumble, tons of love mum xxxx

Mum Brenda on

I am makig cards, so I have to clear my desk in order to write a comment! It's worth it though. What can I say? I am spellbound looking at your wonderful photos.Here we are stuck in li'l ole England--but we have had some glorious weather here in Taunton recently.
You really are having some fantastic experiences visiting so many places I have only read about.You willb be giving talks and slide shows at your local WI's when you return!! The ladies would love it!
Take care and keep well
Lots of love Mum.

amandarrell on

Hi Sam - thanks for your comment! The Grand Canyon was....grand! No, we didn't visti Monument Valley because it was a cold, grey, rainy day - not inspiring! But we're generally getting good weather...and no snow yet!

amandarrell on

Hi Graham - your razor sharp wittiness never fails to amaze us! How do you think them up? Good thing we're wearing corsets when we read your comments! Yes, we get emails too, when we manage to find internet access, but it's also nice having the comments on the blog for other people to see!

Graham (Oz) on

Just as long as I don't get "boaring"!!!!! Had one cataract done - one to go (I think?) ... blue suddenly got brighter and I'm begining to believe that I won't need glasses once it's all done - whoopee!! Looking forward to your next blog and the pics!! Go safe guys. LOL xx

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