We arrived in Las Vegas knowing it would be very hot after seeing the news. Even the airport in Vegas had slot machines! Stepping out of the air conditioned airport was like walking into a sauna, it was 114F which is over 45C! To make matters worse the airport shuttle dropped us off at the wrong Travelodge. There are 3 in the city and he dropped us off at the one in the middle, i even tipped the b******! He drove off before we could catch him, and we couldnt find a cab anywhere. So we walked with our bags in unbearable heat. Luckily the Travelodge was only about 1km away but it was enough to have us both dripping in sweat. Las Vegas hotels drop their prices massively from Sun-Thurs, and as luck would have it that was when we were there. So we went for a room with a queen size bed, air-con, TV, fridge and bathroom 2 blocks off the strip for just over half the amount we paid in San Francisco for a double bed in a hostel! After we cooled off in our room we went out to book our trip to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon for the coming wednesday. We also had a quick look at the various casinos. Just walking up the strip itself is an experience, most of the casinos have a theme. The Luxor for example is a pyramid with a huge sphynx outside (eygyptian theme obviously), New York New York is an ode to the Big Apple with the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge outside, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, The Venitian has canal boat rides etc etc. So we ambled on down the strip til we were too tired and hot to continue and then went back to our room and whacked the air-con on full blast. The weatherman on TV told us it would be around 110F for the rest of the week, and even at night it would only just get below a 100F, it was 99F at 11pm. In anyones book that is ridiculous.
On our first day after a lie-in we thought we'd check out some of the casinos! We started off at the MGM Grand where we had a look at the lions playing in the Lion Habitat before playing on the slots. Hannah playing the one-armed bandits became a familiar sight and she enjoyed it much more than she thought she would! We then went onto Excalibur (a knights and castle type theme), New York New York and Planet Hollywood. Each casino has shops as well as the slots and card tables so we had a look around those too, and pretty much spent the whole day without losing too much money! At night the strip looks even better with each casino seemingly trying to out-do each other with its lights.
On tuesday we hit the casinos and shops again. We went to the Belagio, the huge Ceasers Palace, Paris (where we took a trip up the Eiffel Tower) and Flamingos. We also did more shopping at Everything Coca-Cola and M&M World. We then headed back for an early-ish night as we had a 6.30am pick-up the next day for our Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam trip.
The Hoover Dam was little more than a stop off on the way back from the Grand Canyon which was a little disappointing, but we weren't too bothered as we were pretty tired by then anyway. The Grand Canyon was amazing. First off we visited a Cowboy Ranch where we had a Horse & Cart Ride, then we made for Eagle Point. This was one of the prime lookout spots but unfortunately someone has ruined it. This is the location of the newly opened Skywalk, a glass platform sticking right out over the canyon. Firstly they charge you an extortionate $25 to go on, but get this: you can't take you're camera! Of course someone there will take your photo for you and charge you $22.95! Unbelievable! Nearly $50 to walk on and have your photo taken on the Skywalk. What makes matters worse is that you cant just walk up to the side of the canyon and take a picture, there's wardens there stopping you. You can get to within about 15 feet of the side though so you can get a picture of sorts. Needless to say we boycotted the Skywalk. Then we moved on to Guano Point for our lunch. This is where things seriously improved! We had our lunch pratically right on the edge! Amazing view, plus no-body trying to charge you $50 and no fat Americans stopping you from for getting near the edge! The view was seriously stunning. By the time we got back it was around 7pm so we didnt do much other than watch TV.
On Thursday we started early to queue up for some cheap show tickets. We managed to get some for the Cirque Du Soleil show at New York New York so we were very happy. We then went shopping (again) for a suitcase to bundle all our souveneirs into. This prooved harder than we thought but we eventually found somehwere. We also visited Rio Casino, Treasure Island, and watched the water fountain show outside the Belagio. In the evening we started off with a gamble before out show, Hannah on the slots and me braving the Blackjack table. I started at the minimum $5 per hand but didnt do too well and left for our show $30 down. The Cirque Du Soleil show (called Zumanity) was pretty good, we were glad we bought the cheapest tickets though. We were still pretty close and if we'd have paid anymore we may have felt a bit more hard-done by. There was a bit more Cabaret than we expected and not enough dwarves flying around the audience (by far the best part of the show!). Afterwards it was still early so we headed for more gambling, Hannah again on the slots and me on the Blackjack. This time i played $10 hands and managed to turn $100 into $225, Hannah turned $1 into $3 on the slots!
We headed back to our room at 11pm because we had a flight the next day at 6am so had to be up very early! We fly to Atlanta where we change to go to Washington. The total flight time is over 5 hours! In what sort of a country can you fly in one direction for 5 hours and still be in the same country!?!?!?