Our last day in Vegas was spent mooching around Caesars Palace Hotel, we had planned to visit a couple of other hotels as well...but the impressive interior, fountains and shops in Caesars Palace kept us going for most of the day!
I was very excited about coming to Las Vegas and when I arrived I was very disappointed. Where was the exciting, vibrant fun filled, mad city I was expecting? The hotels are dark with soulless smoky casinos, where there was something sad about watching people chain smoking while sitting and feeding the slot machines. There were new hotels going up everywhere you looked and at times The Strip felt more like a building site. It was amazing to see the sheer spectacle that is Las Vegas and maybe it is not possible to experience true Las Vegas with children in tow but I was glad to get on the highway to Boulder City.
The next part of our trip was planned as a three day camping trip to the Grand Canyon...this was planned and booked in May with no proper research. While sitting in our hotel room in Vegas feeling rather cold on our second evening, I decided to check the overnight temperatures at the Grand Canyon for the forthcoming week... -2, 2, -1 were the forecast overnight temperatures on the nights we were booked!
A quick change of plan was required (not easily executed with three children running rings around you as you try to look for hotels on the internet and make phonecalls). However, by 11am the next morning we had new accommodation sorted at the Grand Canyon and a night booked on the way to break the journey up. This last minute change of plan was not the cheapest way to do things...I think there may be a lesson for us here somewhere...
We left Las Vegas heading to the Hoover Dam and onwards to the Grand Canyon. Our first stop of the day was Boulder City, which was constructed to house the workers who built the Hoover Dam and it has continued to exist as a small town. The first thing we saw when we drove into the town was a huge triathlon transition area being set up...seems there is no escape from triathlons wherever we go... we had a chat with one of the guys setting it up and found out there is a race on Saturday with 1500 entries (thankfully David does not have a bike with him!).
Boulder City was a quiet, clean little town and as we sat watching the boys play in the park we realised how glad we were to be away from the polluted air of Las Vegas. After our play park stop we headed to the Hoover Dam, where we parked up and had a walk and a picnic lunch, then took some photos of the Dam before getting back on the road again.
We had decided to break our journey to the Grand Canyon in Peach Springs on Route 66. Peach Springs served as the inspiration for the fictional town Radiator Springs in the movie Cars, as it was bypassed by the construction of Interstate 40. The boys liked the idea of staying in the real Radiator Springs and we liked the idea of driving at least a small part of Route 66.
Already we have been awestruck by the natural beauty of Nevada and Arizona and we are looking forward to the scenery 0f the Grand Canyon tomorrow.
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