I did it! For the first time in over three years I finally was able to take a trip in December – what I find to be one of the hardest months to travel during because of all the holidays. This time I did not only because I found a cheap ticket, but I it was so I could catch up with my friend Ginie I had not seen since I was at her house in southern France earlier this year.
The trip ended up not being the typical trip to Vegas for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, Ginie and I are both not huge fans of going out and spending tons of money (which both of us did not have) and getting shit-faced. And secondly, the weather in Las Vegas was about as poor as Denver’s while I was down there.
My trip started out on Thursday evening with me catching a late flight down there. While flying has become a typical venture for me and I don’t think twice about it – I did think twice about the fact that we were still flying through a small blizzard on final approach into the airport. While it was not actually snowing in the city center, a very cold rain was still drizzling down. After being kidnapped by Ginie in her awesome sports rental car – we headed back to my first hotel for the trip, Excalibur.
That first night we spend wandering the empty strip in mid-30 degree weather and light rain showers. We knew it was bad weather for the strip when even the people handing out striper cards had taken cover for the evening by 9pm. Ginie and I ended up settling on buying milkshakes (yes, even though it was cold) and spending most of our time watching card games inside Cesear’s Palace.
After getting a lovely nights rest, the next morning we headed off to the Hoover Dam to spend the day outside the city. I had not been to the dam since they built the new bypass bridge over the gorge – and wow, it made it so much easier (and faster) to get to the dam in a reasonable about of time. After taking lots of photos and watching some hicks in cowboy hats “accidentally” drop a handful of change over the ledge – we headed back towards the city. After taking a detour to the chocolate factory and to watch planes on final approach, we then headed to check into our new hotel for the night, Planet Hollywood.
That night we spent wandering around the strip on a slightly better (but just as cold) evening – catching some of the casinos and hotels that we had missed the night before. We also had a birthday dinner for Ginie, the original reason for visiting her in the first place. Sadly, it ended up being a much earlier evening for me as I ended up sick (without even drinking).
The next day, after making a recovery, we headed out west of the city to visit Red Rock Canyon State Park. While the vistas were beautiful and I took the little VW on a bit of off roading – up in the high desert it was just too cold to go on any of the hikes that went into the canyons or into the mountains (at least with the clothing I had brought). Nonetheless, the cold and crispy blue sky made for a beautiful drive around the canyon and red rock fissures.
After heading back into the city, Ginie and I spent killed a final hour shopping at H&M before I headed off to the airport to catch my flight back to Denver. Sitting in the airport listening to the slot machines dinging and donging away, I was reminding while I had a lovely vacation to see my friend, there are many reasons why I am not a fan of Las Vegas.