Some people take one pre-baby vacation, but between last weekend’s adventures and the weddings we have coming up in Chicago and New York, we are having three.
I had never been to Las Vegas before, Marcus had been many, many times. Knowing how much I despised New Orleans (yet loved their food!) my family was very curious to see how I would do in Sin City. I will be honest, having only spent 28 hours in Las Vegas itself, I do not know that I am the most qualified to form an opinion. BUT, from what we all saw in Las Vegas, while I wouldn’t say I “love” the place, I would say I find it all to be hilariously excellent. Specifically, I find that the hotels feel like cruise ships (which I do actually love). I was also quite taken by all of the “fakes” around – Michelangelo’s David, Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc d’ Triomphe, the Rialto Bridge…all of it hilarious. There was a waterfall outside of our hotel that turned into a volcano for crying out loud! Why even go see the world when you can save money and see it in Vegas instead? Needless to say, since we did not get to the Luxor (can you even IMAGINE all of the fake Egypt stuff???), we will be going back someday. This is the sort of stuff that makes America the greatest country in the world.
The Stuff We Saw
The Hoover Dam
When we arrived at the Hoover Dam, I asked Marcus if the terminators (my name for transformers) still lived in the dam. He told me he wasn’t sure.
We did the full dam tour, which was full of craziness because after the power plant portion was done, they brought us up to one of the air vents in the middle of the dam and let us look out of it down the face of the dam. It was wild.
Yes, we walked all the way down that tube.
I was especially taken by all of the different art deco touches in the dam. It was a New Deal project and like so many other New Deal projects, they had to incorporate some artistic and stylistic components.
The Grand Canyon
I am under the impression that many people spend years planning trips to the Grand Canyon. We decided to scuttle our poolside plans and drive to the Grand Canyon two weeks before we left for Las Vegas. Apparently you’re supposed to reserve rooms/cabins in the National Park 13 months before your trip but by some miracle of God there was one cabin available at the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim.
On Saturday afternoon, we did some hiking on the Bright Angel Trail so between this and Cinque Terre we are basically hikers now. Were I not pregnant, I am pretty sure I would have done the hike up from the base of the canyon because that is the sort of thing that I think is “fun.”
We watched the sun set and then on Sunday morning, we rolled out of bed and walked the 100 yards from our cabin to the canyon to watch the sun rise. All of it was so splendid.
The Things We Ate
Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace
Since I had never been to Vegas before, it was Essential with a capital “E” that we visit a buffet. Why the Bacchanal? Because it is full of all of the food that has ever been made on Earth (Marcus ate…10 different kinds of animals while we were there? 11?). More importantly, they saw these giant crab legs in half and then you can eat them like the laziest person who has ever lived on Earth and it is glorious.
I ate two plates full. Don’t judge.
Federico’s in Kingsman, AZ
The only reason I think you could ever possibly find to be in Kingsman is if you are driving from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. And if you do that, you may need to stop for lunch. Which we did on the way to the canyon and it was so good that we stopped on the way back, too.
Look at all of our food.
Not pictured, the Sonoran Hot Dog they brought out late. Between the two meals we ate there, we spent $30. You should really stop by if you’re making the drive.
El Tovar Dining Room
This was the best meal we ate on the trip and possibly one of the happier meals I have ever eaten in my life. Why? Very simple. We watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. We then proceeded in to the restaurant to get seated for breakfast and they gave us a table right in front of the window overlooking the canyon. The food was good, the view was excellent, and Marcus and I got to share all of it together.
Eat at a Thomas Keller restaurant: Check that off of my life list!
Naturally, we were too busy eating and discussing to do any photo-ing, which I think is really the way that it is supposed to be. I will also take a moment to say that Bouchon does a killer lemonade that is lemon juice, simple syrup and sprite. I need to learn how to make this one on my own.