Viva Las Vegas!!! Hi guys Helen taking over here!
Karen and Dennis took us to the airport for our flight to Las Vegas and this is where our problems began! Karen and Dennis's friend Stephanie works for a airline and managed to get us two super cheap flights - the only thing was that they were standby tickets. We had just got through security checks when we heard our names over the tannoy. We then went back to the check in desk to be told all the seats had been taken for the flight!!!! Argh!!!! However we did manage to get on the flight just and after a bit of a delay and a short flight we arrived in Las Vegas. Just when you think things can't go wrong, someone had picked up our suitcase by mistake and left! We spent the next hour filling in a report to claim our bag back should the person return it. We then had to wait even longer for our hostel pick up from the airport. So by the time we reached the hostel (it was now rush hour in Las Vegas)it was late and we had had enough! We did venture up to the Stratosphere Casino and put a dollar in the slots but didn't win :o( things did briefly look up though when our suitcase turnt up as we got back to the hostel.
The next day things went from bad to worse though! We were booking all our hostels, travel etc for the rest of our time in the USA but our debit card was declined!!!! We really freaked at this point!!! But one phone call to the bank had it sorted although we couldnt use it for the next 24 hours, luckly we had the credit card and some cash to keep us going. So we spent the evening walking along the strip taking in some of the casinos that line it such as the Imperial, Caesers Palace, Wynn, Circus Circus etc.
Sunday we were up and out early as we were being picked up at 6 am for our overnight trip to the Grand Canyon. Poor Gavin ralphed on the way there - I don't know how he did it but it came out of his nose as well!!!! The coach took us over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on its way there. We eventually arrived at the Grand Canyon about 2 pm and got our first glimpse of the No.1 thing you have to see before you die! Now before I go into how impressive it was I just like to mention how niave Gavin and I had been. We were thinking that the Grand Canyon being in the middle of the desert in Arizona it was going to be pretty hot we only wore a t-shirt and jumper each- it was bloody freezing and windy!!! There was even snow here!!! However we braved the cold and snapped away with our cameras. It is huge and we only saw 1/4 of it - the more you look the more it goes on forever. We were the only overnighters and were dropped of at our lodge. We were glad we decided to stay overnight as the day tours only got to spend hour and a half there! That evening we cauht the free shuttle bus up to Hopi point just in time to watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon - what a sight! We then went back to the Bright Angel Lodge hotel and treated ourselves to a slap up meal - I had steak with a jacket potato and Gavin had fajitas - we are classy!
The next day the sun was out and the wind had died down so we headed out to see some more of the Canyon. The free shuttle bus takes you along the rim and you can hop on and off and any of the stops which is really handy. It is so amazing the sheer depth and how wide the canyon is. You really have to see it to believe it. We then returned to the village and walked the rim trail. After all that fresh air we went back to the lodge for lunch and then it was time to be picked up by the bus. We didn't arrive back in Las Vegas for another 6 hours so we just wanted to go to bed after this.
Tuesday we spent the day with Reese (one of the guys that works at the hostel) and Dion (another fellow english backpacker). The first part of the day we went to Red Rock Canyon which is just outside Vegas. Reese got us to climb to the top which gave us a perfect (if what smoggy) look over Las Vegas. We then took the 13 mile drive through the area and then headed to the Hoover Dam (we didn't actually see the front of it from the bus on the way to the Grand Canyon). Looking over the side of the Hoover Dam is awesome, it's a pretty impressive piece of construction. Back at the hostel we got ready to head out on the town and see the rest of the strip. We went for a meal at a mexican restaurant in Planet Hollywood which was yum! Then we ran over to the Balegio to watch the water show. About every hour they have this amazing water fountain show which goes off in time with the music, we were speechless it was that good! We the caught the Deuce bus up to the Luxor Casino which is the pyramid with the sphynx out the front. We then continued down the strip strolling in and out of the casinos. We were really impressed with the inside of the Balegio and the venetian - they were top class and dripping with money! We also saw the 'Sirens of TI' show at Treasure Island which was like an outside strip show - so Gavin had a good gawp at that. I'm sure the girls were loosing clothes as the show went on, shame the blokes didn't do the same! We ended the night in the Wynn which is the newest casino built there. We both went on the 1 cent (0.5p) slot machines and Gavin being jammy won $70! About 35 pounds to you guys back home! As we were up overall we decided to call it a night and headed home.
Wednesday morning we caught the bus back to LA for a couple of days before heading to NY, but we'll update you of those two days later in the week.
Lots of Love and we'll be seeing you all real soon!
Helen and Gavin x