Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grand Canyon & Vegas - 5 Year Anniversary Trip - Part 2

If you missed part 1, check it out here.

We had decided back when we booked the trip to spend more time in Vegas than in the Grand Canyon. Our thought was that we'd hit the trails hard for the two days while we were in the canyon, and then spend the next four in Vegas relaxing by drinking by the pool, gambling, walking the strip, and seeing a show or two.

So when we heard about bike tours, we knew that was the perfect way for us to see a lot of the canyon in a short amount of time.

The tour didn't start until 9:30am so we grabbed some breakfast and checked out of the hotel (well, cabin) before heading over.

Our little cabin and rental car
After checking in for the tour, they fitted everyone for a bike and covered some safety issues before shuttling us over to our starting point.

We started at Mather Point (I think... maybe it was Powell Point) and worked our way west to Hermits Rest, stopping at each lookout along the way.

So obviously we got lots of really awesome pictures, and had a fun little (mostly downhill) bike ride along the way, but the best part of the tour was our guide.

At every stop he would tell us facts about the canyon and the local vegetation -- things we would have missed otherwise.

He said not to take pictures while riding, but I'm a rebel

I would absolutely recommend doing the bike tour to anyone. It was a very easy ride, and well worth the money.

Once our bike tour was finished we grabbed some lunch and hit the road for Vegas.

We got back to Vegas right around 6:00pm, dropped the rental car off (which, while we're on the subject of recommendations, I was very happy renting a car from Enterprise -- everything was so fast and easy), and hopped in a taxi to the Flamingo.

Vegas was pretty much everything I was expecting it to be. We almost cancelled the entire trip when we found out Jennifer was pregnant, but I'm really glad we didn't. Sure, it ended up being a different trip, but I was more than okay with doing a little more relaxing and a little less staying up all night drinking and gambling our money away -- it sure made for a cheaper trip! (Although I hated that Jennifer was as sick as she was.)

Our room at the Flamingo was really nice, with one major exception. Our window overlooked this cute little alleyway next to the hotel (that leads from the strip over to the new High Roller Ferris wheel). At the entrance to the alleyway was a huge screen that blasted music literally all. Night. LONG.

I seriously wanted to do some Office Space-kind of carnage to that damn thing.

But otherwise that little alley was so pretty!

Overall, our trip was a good mix of walking the strip, lounging by the pool, and doing a little gambling.

Since it was our anniversary, we had to make sure we got all fancied up for dinner and a show one night.

I had read that all of the Wynn restaurants feature vegetarian menus since the owner is vegetarian, so we decided to try LakeSide.

Inside the Wynn -- this was made of FLOWERS!
Dinner was better than I could have imagined.

I'm tempted to fly back to Vegas just for this soup. Seriously.

If you're a fan of clam chowder, you'd like this. It has a cashew cream base and smoked oyster mushrooms, and could easily top any true clam chowder I've ever had.

We also got the Organic Red Quinoa & Smoked Mushrooms (with stewed tomatoes, zucchini, and roasted cashews):

And the Old Bay "Crab" Cakes:

The food was great, the atmosphere was great...

...but the company was the best.

I really enjoyed our trip out west, but being away from our boys for an entire week was really tough.

I can't wait to go back to the Canyon with the boys (because they would have loved it), and I'm sure one day Jennifer and I will head back to Vegas and have the kind of trip we were expecting this one to be.

But for now, it's good to be back home.


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