July 13-18, 2016
Ok so...we just got back from our first trip to Las Vegas in 10 years. We went with some of our dear friends for a belated wedding celebration. (The groom is a Las Vegas native.) As crazy as this sounds, even with our 3 year old in tow this was our favorite Vegas trip yet!! It was our third together and first with little K. Many people thought we were crazy for taking little K there. Honestly, there is much more to Las Vegas than just the strip. We actually only went twice the entire trip each for a very brief amount of time. When it came time to leave little K was asking to go back and we are ready to take her back. We chose to stay at the Fiesta Henderson this trip because of its proximity to our friend's parents house along with having little K with us. We would definitely stay there again in the future.
We took a 8 am Southwest flight direct from Atlanta to Las Vegas so we arrived around 9 am. After getting the rental car our first order of business was a Starbucks run, of course. Little K was already snoozing in her car seat before even getting to Starbucks. Stop number two was lunch with our friends and his little brothers at In N Out....again, surprise!!! Right?? We headed to the Hoover Dam for the Power Plant Tour after lunch. My word was it hot out there. The Hoover Dam is always once of our stops on every trip. We were actually there multiple times this trip.
The second day eastern time got us, we were up by 3:45. We made the best of it and got an early start over to Zion National Park in Utah with two things in mind the Junior Ranger Badge and hiking some of the Narrows. Check and check. We opted to purchase the annual park pass for $80 because this one trip alone would be valued more than that if priced individually. From Zion we drove down to Pipe Spring National Monument in Arizona. It was neat to see and little K even got a private tour of the fort by one of the park rangers. We got back to Las Vegas at about 8:30 pm. It was quite a long day.
Day three brought sunny, hot California. We visited Death Valley National Park where the sign at the visitors center said 115 at 9 am! It was almost like being in another world. We had a good time and we would likely go back, but not in July! That evening started the wedding celebration festivities. And afterwards, like late, we went to the strip. Little K got to see the fountains at Bellagio and then we heard, "I'm ready to go." So we got in all of that mess for one song...yes.
Number four...story and craft time on board the Nevada Southern Railway. It was fun for the cost, but not the best train ride we have ever been on. We would do it again if little K wanted to on the next trip. I know this will come as a surprise, but we ended up at In N Out again for lunch. Then later on in the afternoon more festivities.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area was on the agenda for day 5. If any of you guys are looking for the Junior Ranger Centennial Badges, they have them!! We had to run to the Hoover Dam again to get "presents" for little K's school mates before day 3 of the festivities began.
There is the quick overview of what all went on while we were out west, but I know you guys really just want to see the K Cam pics.
Hoover Dam (and the hotel pool???)
The drive to Zion, Zion, and Pipe Spring
Las Vegas sign
Lake Mead (Thank you, daddy...)
It is a beautiful day here in South Carolina!
We decided to take a trip about 30 minutes from home to Ninety Six National Historic Site. We had visited last summer for little K to get her Junior Ranger badge, but this time our "goal" was to complete the Centennial Junior Ranger Booklet ahead of our trip west. This was our fourth visit to a National Park Site during 2016 - Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Oregon, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Washington, and Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas were the other three. (Come on, it is the Centennial year for the National Park Service. Visit all the parks!)
Here are the photos that little K captured this morning...Complete with the obligatory leg shot to start. Enjoy!
Next little K will be visiting Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California. We will see you soon!
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with maps, globes, and wanting to see the world. Now I'm trying to make all of those childhood dreams into a reality.