Monday, May 25, 2009
The Grand Canyon; Our Last Side Trip From Vegas!
At 8:30AM, we were standing outside The Luxor waiting for a Big Pink Jeep to pick us up and take us to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon. The jeep was quite big and there was plenty of room for everyone to have a window seat! En route, we saw many landmarks and beautiful scenery, including Lake Mead before making our way to our first stop at the Hoover Dam. Traffic was heavy but we finally found a place to pull over. We got out and took some pictures of the massive structure before continuing on to our main destination. Just passed the Hoover Dam, we crossed the state line into Arizona. For the next few hours, the scenery was amazing! We passed many big tour buses on the highway in hopes of beating the crowds at The Grand Canyon. It worked! We didn’t have to wait in any lines and we immediately boarded our helicopter and off we went, down to the Colorado River! The Grand Canyon is something I wanted to see my whole life and I couldn’t imagine a better way to see it than from a helicopter. The view was spectacular! At the bottom, we disembarked and made our way to the docks where we boarded a boat. We motored up the River for a bit and floated back. Than it was back to the helicopter to make our way back to the top. Our tour guide gave us two options to pick from to end our Grand Canyon Tour; The first one was to pay 25 dollars each and wait in line for a couple of hours to visit The Skywalk. The second option was to go somewhere only our tour operators had the privilege to go. This second option would not cost extra and there would be no line-ups and no crowds, only us. The only thing we had to do was agree not to litter or leave any mess behind. There was barely a discussion among our group. Everyone chose the second option. We made our way back to the Jeep and than onto the secluded location. We exited the Jeep and were greeted by almost complete silence. This is how The Grand Canyon Experience was meant to be! We stayed there for about half an hour, taking pictures relaxing and enjoying the experience. I knew lunch was included with when our tour and when our guide mentioned we would be leaving soon to get something to eat, I figured we would just be stopping on the side of the road somewhere to eat a few sandwiches. What a surprise it was when we pulled into a western-style ranch complete with cowboys, farm animals and the best veggie burger I have ever had complete with side orders of baked potatoes and chocolate chip cookies! We spent about an hour at the ranch, eating, taking pictures and getting a real taste of the Old West! We took a different route back to Las Vegas, a more scenic one. We passed through a Joshua Tree forest on the way back and stopped for a while on the side of the road to take yet more pictures. We arrived back at the Luxor at around 7:00PM with still time to shower, eat dinner and hit The Strip for a while. Our last side trip from the city meant the rest of our days would be spent wondering Vegas, not that we didn’t find tons of things to do! We planned to buy show tickets and rent a limo for the next evening. Stay tuned for the conclusion of my fabulous trip to Las Vegas!