Vegas Day 2: Getting taken for a ride

Saturday, September 13, 2014 Permalink

Yesterday, I walked 24,055 steps which is a personal triumph. But it’s a bit of a surprise too because yesterday was our ‘ride’ theme day.  We tried to do as many transportation vehicles as possible.

We took a limousine ride to our helicopter.  -That really is a statement that I never thought I’d make! –  Skye had purchased a package for us.  It included a limo ride from our hotel to the airport.  The stretch limo was the silver, black leather, mirrors, side bar… just like in the movies.  The only thing missing was a sun roof.  Thankfully!  I’m thinking we might have channeled our youthful impulsiveness.  No one wants to see 50somethings screaming from their limo roof at 8:30 in the morning.

Our helicopter ride was 2 hours.  It was 45 minutes to the Grand Canyon, a thirty minute champagne lunch at the base of the Canyon and the 45 minute return. It was a phenomenal experience.  The ride across the desert was this texture feast for the eyes.  Long stretches of ground were rippled as if they were an ancient sea bed.  Mountains featured every possible earthy color including red rock (“Total Recall” was filmed in that area).  Some were dotted with desert trees like the Joshua Tree.  Others were these extensive ranges of rock.  The area was so desolate and I wondered how long we would last in the desert if we had to make an emergency landing.  We flew over both man-made achievements, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.  Lake Mead is this gorgeous, green oasis within the long stretch of isolation.

Of course, the showstopper was the Grand Canyon.  I had never been to this one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The Brady Bunch episode didn’t do it justice.  These pictures don’t do it justice.  It’s amazing. This video that Skye filmed gives you a sense of the actual landing on to the primitive terrain.  IMG_2013 The U.S. owns one side of the GC and the Havasupai people own the other side.  We lunched on the American Indian tribe’s side.  According to Mary, our pilot, the tribe receives $65 per person landing on their side of the canyon.  They insist on preservation so everything (provisions and garbage) are brought in and taken out by the helicopter. A makeshift picnic area is under a rustic canopy.  Its presence doesn’t take away from the natural grandeur. 

“The Grand Canyon is a visual symphony conducted by Mother Nature.” – pre-ride video

The entire experience was so cool.  And it wasn’t even noon yet on our first full day in Vegas.  After the limo dropped us back at the Bellagio, we wandered across the street for a chilly drink and planning session.  It’s very hot here.  95 on Friday.  At the Cabo Wabo, we sipped our drinks under umbrellas as misters continued to shower us in this *dry* but refreshing rinse.  I tried to get a picture but the mist was so fine I couldn’t capture it.

Afterwards we went to Paris to ride the elevator to the 46th floor observation deck of the Eiffel Tower replica.  This ride was a little rickety but the view again was cool.  Our plan for the day turned into walking through casinos to stay indoors as much as possible.  We rode the monorail that runs north-south from the Stratosphere to the MGM.  It’s a cheap and clean way to parallel The Strip in mobility.  The weird thing is the stops aren’t easily accessible.  It seems like the opposite of my tourist attraction theory.  I believe every attraction exit is through a gift shop.  Every monorail entrance is through a casino. We rode to furtherest north and south stops for the full monorail ride.    

We ended the ride portion of our day by riding the roller coaster at New York, New York.  The coaster looks like a long taxicab and the loops and turns go in and out of the building.  It was a hoot!  Following that, we meandered back to our place.  Our hike took us in and out of hotel campuses en route to ours.  At The Cosmopolitan, we saw these extravagant crystal hangings.  Vegas loves to do everything shiny and gaudy.  We arrived at our compound to catch another glimpse of our front yard fountain show before   retiring for the evening to our private casino.

Another wonderful day in Vegas!  I’ve exceeded both my steps goal and my gambling losses. 😉                       

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