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  • Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas!

  • So, we are landing at Las Vegas McCarran airport and as we land we can see the strip from the

  • air. The strip just in case you don’t know, is the main boulevard where all the big hotels

  • are, such as the Stratosphere Tower, The Circus Circus, the Winn and Encore, the Venetian,

  • Paris, Aria, the green one is the MGM Grand, where were staying.

  • We have arrived at Las Vegas. As you enter the terminal you realize you are in Vegas.

  • There are slot machines everywhere.

  • We take a taxi to the MGM Grand. It is normally a rather pricey hotel, but during the weekdays

  • it is very reasonable. The weekend, however is another story, so well stay somewhere

  • else then. But for now let’s live it up and enjoy.

  • Las Vegas hallways give me a headache

  • We get a pretty good room. And of course everything outside is green because the hotel is grees.

  • We have a nice TV and most importantly, hm minibar.

  • And finally our restroom... hello everybody.

  • We are at the MGM Grand

  • Yay! Electric shades. I know I get silly sometimes. Good night.

  • Good morning Las Vegas.

  • We go out to explore the strip a little bit. We take the bridge to the Tropicana. And then

  • the New York, New York.

  • And the Monte Carlo.

  • We haven’t been here for a couple of years so some things have changed since the last

  • time we visited sin city. There is this new complex called City Centre with street art,

  • restaurants, a shopping mall, and a couple of new hotels such as the Ariaquite nice,

  • actually.

  • This is the mall inside City Centre. It is the Chinese New Year so everything is decorated

  • accordingly.

  • We see something odd with the strip, helicopters flying around. We don’t really know what

  • it is until we realize that there is no traffic. The strip has been closed by the police, as

  • there was a horrible shooting the previous night between two guys who left a hotel in

  • their cars, which resulted in a fatal accident with a taxicab. Talk about being in the wrong

  • place at the wrong time for the poor people in the cab. Very sad. We, the tourists however

  • are taking advantage of the situation, taking pictures, having the strip all to ourselves.

  • At the Paris hotel we take a taxi to downtown.

  • Here in the downtown area we visit the recently opened Neon Boneyard. It is a museum dedicated

  • to Las Vegas history through the evolution of its neon and other electric signs. Our

  • guide, a fellow named Troy is really passionate about his job, and the history of Las Vegas,

  • a city where old buildings are quickly replaced by shiny new ones. We lean about the evolution

  • of signs from small ones designed for people arriving on horseback and how they evolved

  • so they could be seen by people driving at 60 miles per our on the highway. They built

  • taller and shinier signs as times change and the old hotels are demolished or renovated.

  • Fully recommend this tour. ...

  • Part of the museum building itself was originally the lobby of the La Concha hotel, transported

  • to this location piece by piece.

  • After the museum we walk a few blocks to Fremont Street. The walk itself is a little scary

  • due to all the homeless people hanging around.

  • This large canopy above on Fremont street above becomes a large screen at night displaying

  • a great audiovisual show which is called the Fremont Street Experience. Many of the great

  • old style Vegas casinos are still here. Lets go inside the Golden Nugget.

  • The Golden Nugget is one of the oldest casinos in the city. It was built in 1946. A section

  • of the aquarium facing the swimming pool contains full grown sharks. No kidding.

  • We continue walking on Fremont Street until we reach the Plaza, perhaps one of the most

  • iconic hotels in old Vegas. Ok, time to go back. Some of this neon signs are classic

  • originals, which have been restored by the Neon Museum. Last but not least try our luck

  • at El Cortez, which is probably the last casino that still has slot machines that accept coins.

  • Ok, we are leaving Las Vegas, like in the movie The first stop in our road trip is Hoover

  • Dam. On the way we pass by Boulder City and the Lake Mead recreational area.

  • As we arrive, first we walk on the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial bridge, yeah that's a mouthful

  • also known as the Hoover Dam bypass, to get a commanding view of the huge concrete structure

  • that creates lake mead, also known as Hoover Dam. The bridge opened in 2010 and was built

  • to bypass the old section of the highway, which went over the dam.

  • This is also the border between the states of Nevada and Arizona, and the Pacific and

  • Mountain Time Zones. It has the widest concrete arch in the western hemisphere and it is the

  • second highest in the United States. Next we proceed to visit the dam itself.

  • Hoover Dam was considered and engineering marvel, and the largest dam in the world at

  • the time of its construction in the 1930’s. 96 workers lost their lives during the construction

  • but contrary to urban legend, none of them is buried in the concrete. It is also famous

  • for the art deco design of its four towers, spillways, and power plant. As we walk back

  • and forth, we encounter this small monument that marks the border between Nevada and Arizona.

  • 1 pm, it's noon, it is 1 pm it is noon.

  • There are also these Illuminati looking statues, a monument dedicated to the triumph of scientific

  • accomplishment. It is considered good luck to rub their feet, so if you believe in that,

  • rub away, go right back to Vegas and hit the roulette. We drive on top of the dam onto

  • the Arizona side. Wait, wait, wait, lets take a picture with the Arizona sign. C’mon,

  • people, lets move it along. Finally. Oh crap! We almost ran them over.

  • We park to get this great view of the structure.

  • And further up we get an even better view.

  • OK, it is time to hit the road again. Lets continue towards the Grand Canyon.

  • We continue due east as we immerse ourselves into the heart of Native American land the

  • Hualapai, the Havasupai, and further down the Hopi and Navajo. A quarter of Arizona

  • is American Indian reservations, did you know that? We stop for a scenic view of the Colorado

  • River and buy some Native American jewelry.

  • We take route 93 and then interstate 40 for the long drive towards the south rim of the

  • Grand Canyon. It was our original intention to take historic route 66 but it is getting

  • late.

  • We are driving through the desert towards the Grand Canyon. I made a small navigational

  • error, not navigation, time error. And we are going to arrive there right at sunset.

  • I didn't take into account that the Grand Canyon was in Central, I mean Mountain Time

  • and Las Vegas is in Pacific Time, so there you go.

  • The sight of the Red Butte in the distance tells us we are almost there.

  • It is getting dark as we arrive to the Grand Canyon National Park. We do get to see some

  • wildlife on the way.

  • We are practically racing against time to reach the south rim before sunset. And we

  • finally make it to the Bright Angel Lodge.

  • The first view of this wonder of the world is at sunset is truly breathtaking.

  • Coming up on our next episode we explore the south rim of the Grand Canyon and then drive

  • on historic Route 66, and finally of course we enjoy Las Vegas Nevada.

  • Also check out our previous episode in which we enjoyed Miami and its festivals.

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas!

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Road Nomad Episode 8 - Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon

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    阿多賓 posted on 2013/11/17
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