Viva Las Vegas

No lengthy history lessons. No backstory. No explanations. If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of how this city came to be, look elsewhere. ‘Cause it ain’t here. This is Vegas. Las Vegas. Sin City. And for readers of The Open Road Ahead, what happens in Vegas certainly does not stay in Vegas. (Well… mostly).

My wife and I just returned from a week in southern Nevada. Rather than attempting to give a complete timeline of everything we did and every single adventure we experienced, this post will give you our recommendations of places to visit, tours to take, and restaurants to enjoy. So pour a fresh cup of coffee, sit back, and let me take you to America’s Playground:

Map of the Continental United States, Mexico, and Canada, with a red pin in the location of Las Vegas.
We began our trip at Newark International Airport, bleary-eyed, at 6:00 am. Owing to the time zone difference, we arrived in Las Vegas, over 2,000 miles away, at 8:30 in the morning.

Destinations

Destination One: The Mob Museum

Exterior of the Mob Museum, a three-story brick and marble courthouse.
Anyone who knows the history of Las Vegas (or who has watched the films The Godfather, The Godfather II, and Casino) will know that Las Vegas has a long history of organized crime. The Mob Museum, established in 2012 in the old Las Vegas Post Office and Court House, tells the story of the seedier history of this city.
Metal and brass post office boxes with numbers 1723 1733 1743 1724 1734 1744
While waiting in line to purchase our tickets, we checked out these post office boxes, which are original to the building’s 1931 construction.
Sepia-toned mugshots of mafia criminals.
Despite the way that Hollywood has at times romanticized the mafia, the Mob Museum gives an honest account of the crimes and heinous actions of organized crime in the United States from the 19th century through today.
Exterior of hotel room with the words ARIZONA CLUB across the top of the doorway. The view through the open doorway shows a replica casino with pictures hanging on the wall.
From the 1920’s through the 1940’s, the Arizona Club was the biggest saloon and gambling hall in Las Vegas, with strong ties to the mafia. The third floor houses a large exhibition about the earlier history of mob involvement in Vegas (via The Mob Museum website).
Columbia Deluxe slot machine in glass display case, surrounded by photographs.
This Columbia Deluxe slot machine from the mid-1930s was one of the exhibits in the Arizona Club.
Brick wall with four bullet holes in it, with red stains around the wall.
On February 14, 1929, members of Bugs Moran’s gang were lined up against a brick wall in a garage and gunned down by associates of Al Capone in what is known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This is not a reproduction – the museum acquired the actual wall which was taken from the garage before the building was torn down. The bullet holes are original but the red was added by a previous owner to draw attention to the holes – it is not real blood.
Tommy Gun, mounted on wall in display case.
The Thompson Submachine Gun was originally designed for the US Army to use in the trenches of World War I. After the war, it became a favorite of both law enforcement and criminals. The Tommy Gun (also known as the Chicago Piano) was the weapon used for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
World Series Ticket for Game 4 of 1919 World Series. Text: CINCINATI NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL CLUB WORLD'S SERIES 1919 REDLAND FIELD LOWER GRANDSTAND ADMIT ONE
Organized crime has long been involved with sports gambling. One of the most notorious early examples was the 1919 World Series, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally losing in exchange for receiving money from gamblers.
Courtroom of Courthouse.
The courtroom, original to the building (including the furniture) had a special exhibit about the Kefauver Hearings, US Congressional investigations of organized crime in the 1950s. The hearings were credited with galvanizing public opinion against the mob.
FBI TEN MOST WANTED FUGITIVE poster for James J. Bulger, along with Bulger's sunglasses and his lock-picking tool.
The museum makes a strong connection between organized crime in the early 20th century and the mob of today. One of the exhibits was of James. J. “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston-area criminal who was captured in 2011 and was murdered in prison in November of last year. One of the most chilling sections was a display of photos of people that Whitey or his associates had killed, many of whom had no connection to crime other than having been a witness.
Two pages of letter written by Whitey Bulger.
A letter written to a reporter by Whitey Bulger, penned while Bulger was in prison. The museum does an excellent job of taking a no-nonsense approach to organized crime, displaying objects like this, but providing excellent context and background to help you understand the heinous acts of many people associated with organized crime.
Basement speakeasy bar, with brick walls. Items from the 1920s adorn the walls, including "flapper" dresses.
The museum does have a somewhat more lighthearted side, however… the basement houses a Prohibition-era speakeasy, where you can sit and sip cocktails, all made from authentic recipes from the 1920s.
Long stem glass with cocktail, and shorter rounded glass with cocktail on bar.
My wife and I definitely sampled the recipes – she tried the Giggle Water (right) and I ordered the Scofflaw (left).

Located in the Downtown section of Las Vegas on Stewart Boulevard, The Mob Museum is open daily from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. A general admission ticket is $26.95, a Deluxe Pass (which gives you access to general admission plus one special exhibit) is $38.95, and a Premier Pass (which gives you access to general admission plus every special exhibit) is $44.95. Discounts are available on the website, so check before you go. We purchased the general admission and were happy with our decision. The Mob Museum is an excellent educational experience, and we would highly recommend visiting if you are in the Las Vega area.

Destination Two: Hollywood Cars Museum

Exterior of Hollywood Cars Museum, with a yellow cab and the Flinstone's car parked in front of the building. A large sign says HOLLYWOOD CARS MUSEUM HERE.
Our next destination was the Hollywood Cars Museum. My wife had found this online and planned out the trip to see this very cool exhibition hall that has famous cars from television and movies.
2016 Acura MDX in black in front of warehouse.
In Las Vegas, Uber can be a cheaper alternative to taxi cabs. We used Uber almost exclusively during our vacation, but our best driver was Ronald. He was polite, friendly, and gave us good advice on sites to see in the city. His 2016 Acura MDX was spacious and comfortable. Ronald also told us about his pride and joy, a 2008 Acura MDX with 240,000 miles on the odometer. Yes, my superpower is striking up conversations about high mileage vehicles.
Panorama of Hollywood Car Museum interior.
With cars ranging from KITT from Knight Rider to the Mercedes featured in The Hangover, the museum was everything I hoped it would be.
Yellow-green Mitsubishi Eclipse from The Fast and the Furious.
My first stop was the iconic Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by the late Paul Walker in The Fast and the Furious. As is the practice for most cars used in films and TV shows, this is one of several identical vehicles used in filming. This particular one was the vehicle that was shot up by Johnny Tran, the villain of the first film.
General Lee Dodge Charger.
A stunt car from The Dukes of Hazzard (a 1970 Dodge Charger).
Bonnie and Clyde's Death Car, riddled with bullet holes.
From the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, this is the Ford V8 in which the criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, are shot to death.
Exterior of black and grey van with orange stripe. A Texaco gas pump is in the foreground.
“In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they did not commit…” This is the stunt van from the 80’s TV hit The A-Team.
Exterior of Black Pontiac Trans-Am decorated as KITT.
And of course, my favorite TV show of my childhood was Knight Rider, which followed Michael Knight and his faithful supercar KITT as they fought against the criminal underworld. Sadly, this is a reproduction (which I spotted due to the incorrect number of fog lights and inaccurate interior). While many of the cars in the museum are authentic, several other are replicas, which the museum plainly states on the information placards.
Gold MAC Matador with yellow jet engine and wings on top of vehicle.
In the middle of the collection hall were several vehicles from the James Bond universe, including the AMC Matador flying car, driven by villain Scaramanga (played by Christopher Lee) in The Man with the Golden Gun.
White Lotus Esprit submarine car, on a plinth.
The centerpiece of the collection, though, was the Lotus Esprit submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me. Of the six built for the film, this is one of only three survivors. It was discovered in a junkyard in the Bahamas before being painstakingly restored. And yes, it was built to be drivable underwater.
1976 Mercedes stretched limousine, in pink, with hot tub in rear.
“I’m Robin Leach, with those champagne wishes and caviar dreams…” This 45-foot long stretched Mercedes-Benz limousine, complete with a heart-shaped hot tub in the rear, was featured on the 80’s paean to the uber-wealthy, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Car built as a roller skate, with red, white, and blue colors.
This roller skate hot rod was built for fashion designer Marc Jacobs.
Red and white Ford Torino with Roller Skate hot rod in background.
This Ford Torino was one of the stunt cars from the TV show Starsky and Hutch.
Exterior of orange lifeboat.
Not all the vehicles were cars… this is the lifeboat used for the filming of Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks.
Rolls Royce Phantom V, covered in rhinestones. Several chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
In the rear of the museum is the Liberace Garage, which housed vehicles and other important artifacts from the life of entertainer Wladziu Valentino Liberace. The centerpiece is this 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom V, which was Liberace’s personal vehicle for several years before becoming a show car.
White piano on a roadster frame with racing engine and wheels.
This piano dragster was designed for Liberace to use at the opening of his shows. However, he passed away in 1987 before he was able to ever ride in it.

Located on Dean Martin Drive, the Hollywood Cars Museum is open every day from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Tickets cost $15 for adults. However, children 15 and under can enter for free, and the website also offers a $5-off ticket. We found our tickets on Groupon, and so were able to save some money on the price of admission. If you are interested in cars, pop culture, or the artifacts of famous movies, then this museum is definitely worth a stop.

Destination Three: National Atomic Testing Museum

Entrance to National Atomic Testing Museum, with a large sign with the museum's name by the entrance.
We traveled across town to visit the National Atomic Testing Museum, which is associated with the Smithsonian Institute.
Photograph of mushroom cloud, mounted on a wall.
Nevada was the site of more than 900 above- and below-ground nuclear weapons tests. The test site was a mere 65 miles from Las Vegas, and bright lights from nuclear explosions were often visible in the Las Vegas sky.
Yellow rocket, with panels removed, behind glass case.
The number of authentic artifacts on display was impressive. This rocket was fired through the mushroom clouds during the Christmas Island Tests of the 1960s. The rocket was used to test for radioactive elements that would exist during a nuclear explosion.
Brass-colored W33 nuclear artillery shell, in a glass case.
The museum had several nuclear weapons on display, including this nuclear artillery shell. The idea of nuclear artillery was short-lived. As the video below shows, artillery has a short range, and so US soldiers would be exposed to some of the blast and shockwave from their own weapon.
Caution tape and civilian dog tags. The caution tape says CONTAMINATED MATERIAL CAUTION INTERNAL RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION.
Even something as simple as caution tape took on an ominous appearance when found beside these old nuclear weapons.
Exhibit on toys, books, and household items from the atomic age.
The 1940’s through the early 1960’s was a time when “atomic” was cool – toys, books, drinks, and even cereal celebrated the nuclear age.
Display including Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab kit.
Perhaps the strangest item we saw was the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab from 1950, a chemistry set which allowed children to create and study nuclear reactions using actual radioactive elements. Its reputation as the “world’s most dangerous toy” is well earned (via Wikipedia).
Letter to chief of the Atomic Energy Commission detailing a Japanese tuna boat being radiated by a nuclear test.
Numerous nuclear tests were conducted over the Pacific Ocean during the 20th century. This is page one of a four-page letter from a Japanese scientist to the Chief of the Atomic Energy Commission, detailing when the crew of a Japanese fishing boat, eighty miles away from a nuclear test, suffered radiation poisoning.
Housing of underground nuclear test chamber, with replica warhead in the base.
Owing to the harmful effects of testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, testing moved underground, where the fallout could be more easily contained. This is an actual test chamber for underground nuclear weapons testing.
Exterior of B-53 Thermonuclear weapon.
A B-53 thermonuclear weapon, one of 350 built. Taken out of service in 2011, this weapon was designed to penetrate reinforced bunkers. Despite my appreciation of military history museums, the sheer number of ways that humanity has thought up to kill one another is staggering.

Located on East Flamingo Road, the National Atomic Testing Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am  until 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Tickets are $22 for adults, Students, active duty military personnel, and seniors age 62+ can enter for $18, youth ages 7-14 can enter for $16, and children 6 and under can enter for free. If you are interested in military history, or the science of the nuclear age, this is definitely worth a visit.

Destination Four: The Grand Canyon

Map of western United States, with a red pin in northern Arizona, location of the Grand Canyon.
270 miles to the west of Las Vegas is Grand Canyon National Park, where visitors can witness one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world.
White and black tour bus in a parking lot.
Despite my aversion to bus tours, we made reservations with GC Tours for the five hour trip. Taking a tour bus was cheaper than renting a car and driving the route ourselves. We were picked up bright and early at 6:00 am for our journey to Arizona.
View of Hoover Dam and rocky landscape near it.
Our first stop was to the Hoover Dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona. Built between 1931-1935, this 724-foot tall hydroelectric dam provides electricity to Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Close-up of Hoover Dam.
We drove over the dam, but could only stop briefly before we were on the road again. I would certainly like to come back for a complete tour of the facility.
Copper Cart tourist shop in Seligman, Arizona. Tourists amble about outside.
Our next stop was Seligman, Arizona. The town is along Route 66, one of the original national highways. Where many other towns have withered away after being bypassed by the interstate highways, Seligman has survived as a tourist stop for those seeking Route 66 nostalgia.
Mural of Route 66 sign on side of building with mural of Native Americans hunting bison.
The tourist shops of Seligman were filled with out-of-town visitors looking to purchase souvenirs and take their photo with a Route 66 sign.
View of Route 66 heading out of town.
Tired of being mobbed by all the other tourists, my wife and I used the time to wander through town, walking beside Route 66. Along the way, we saw a small sign that indicated the town was also a stop along an even older route – Beale’s Wagon Road, a wagon trail that ran from Arkansas to California from the 1850’s until the 1920’s.
Exterior of Bright Angel Lodge.
After over five hours of riding in the tour bus, we finally arrived at Grand Canyon National Park. We spent three hours at the South Rim of the canyon. The rim is dotted with lodges such as Bright Angel Lodge (pictured), where guests can have a meal, purchase souvenirs, or rest. Bright Angel, part of the Grand Canyon National Historic District, was built in 1935.
View of the Grand Canyon. Cliffs are in the foreground.
We walked out of Bright Angel Lodge and came to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It took our breath away.

 

View of Grand Canyon. Snow is on the canyon floor.
277 miles long, at places 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon was formed over millions of years by the shifting landscape of the Colorado Plateau and the flow of the Colorado River.
Piece of phantom granite on a pedestal. The canyon is in the background.
18 types of rock form the geology of the Grand Canyon. Phantom Granite (pictured) is over 1.6 million years old.
Panorama of Grand Canyon.
One of the National Park placards at the rim had this to say: “Perhaps the best we can do is just feel the canyon’s enormity. Measure yourself up against it. We are minuscule in comparison.” For the next several photos, I’m going to step back and not provide any captions. I’ll let the images speak for themselves.

Portrait view of rocks of Grand Canyon.

View of rocky formation with holes through the cliff.

Boulder perched on side of cliff.

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Exterior of Hopi House at Southern Rim.
The Hopi House is located in the Village at the South Rim. The building, built in 1904, is designed to resemble a Hopi Pueblo. It is now a store, selling handmade goods from local Native Americans.
Pueblo Storyteller statues of woman with children.
The items that most caught my eye were the Storyteller Statues, made by the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico.
View of candle in blackened room.
We ate lunch in the El Tovar Dining Room in the El Tovar Hotel (built in 1905). This is as good of a shot as you’re going to get. After we ordered our meal, the power went out across the entire park. Ours was the last meal served, as our order was completed moments before the electricity died. We had the Traditional Navajo Tacos and an order of nachos. Of course… you can’t see it, so you’ll have to take my word on it.
Exterior of Kolb Studio, with the Canyon in the background.
Kolb Studio, built from 1904 through 1926, is situated on the side of the canyon wall. We browsed the small gift shop on the main floor. Having hiked a perimeter trail along the canyon, eaten good food, and filled with memories of great sites, we boarded the bus to return to Las Vegas.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To enter the park, there is a fee of $35 per vehicle. If you are interested in hiking the canyon, be sure to check the trail information with the National Park Service, as on the day we arrived, some of the trails were still icy and snow-covered. The Grand Canyon is listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders, and is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. While the bus ride from Las Vegas was long, it was certainly worth it. I would love to return to this magnificent site again, and explore more of the canyon and its surroundings.

Restaurants:

La Comida

Exterior entrance of La Comida. A small shrine to Mary is located in a grotto in a wall, and plants hang from a wooden fence.
Located on a side street off Freemont Street in the Downtown section of Las Vegas, La Comida serves authentic Mexican fare at reasonable prices.
Plate with chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole, and peppers. In the background is another plate with rice and beans.
We split an Ensalada Organica as an appetizer. My wife ordered the enchiladas while I had the chicken fajitas (pictured). The homemade guacamole was the highlight of my dish. And the margaritas were terrific, too.

Therapy

View of interior of Therapy gastro pub.
Located on Freemont Street, Therapy is a gastropub serving delicious food and a wide range of drinks.
View of Therapy Signature Salad, with walnuts, greens, and watermelon radishes.
I ordered the “Ricky Ricardo” Cuban sandwich while my wife had the Spinach and Bacon salad (smoked beets, crispy bacon, spinach, pear, candied pecan, and bacon vinaigrette). Both were excellent, but my appetizer choice of the Therapy Signature Salad, however, was the highlight of the meal.

Scarpetta

Exterior of Scarpetta restaurant, with a sign for Scarpetta on the wall.
Our dinner choice for our last night was Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant in the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino on the Strip. One of the biggest (and most surprising) challenges was finding gluten-free food in Las Vegas, as it almost seemed an afterthought at most restaurants. Scarpetta, however, has a separate 3-page gluten free menu.
Scallop and pork belly on a bed of sweet pea and scallop sherry au jus.
My wife enjoyed the Pici (lobster, tarragon, almonds, and chili pesto on gluten free pasta) while I had the short rib agnolotti. Our appetizer (pictured) of diver scallops (scallops, braised pork belly, sweet peas, and scallop sherry au jus) was simply amazing.

Downtown and The Strip

Downtown is the original Las Vegas, where legalized gambling had its start in the city. The heart of Downtown is Freemont Street, where the first Vegas casinos were built. Freemont Street is covered by a canopy that has 12.5 million LED bulbs, creating light shows above the main pedestrian thoroughfare.

View of Freemont Street with neon signs including a martini glass and the word Vegas.
The abundance of neon signs gave Downtown its nickname of the “Glitter Gulch.”
View of lighted canopy above Freemont Street.
Covering the Freemont Street Experience, 12.5 million LED bulbs allow for creative designs and performances.
Panorama of Freemont Street.
Despite the newer and ritzier casinos built on The Strip in the last thirty years, this section of Las Vegas has received continuous attention and investment, allowing older casinos such as the Golden Nugget (built in 1946) to survive.

The Las Vegas Strip, a section of Las Vegas Boulevard, is a 4.2-mile long corridor of casinos, hotels, and resorts. Beginning with The Mirage, the Strip is home to many of the mega resorts that are synonymous with Las Vegas such as Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, the MGM Grand, LINQ, and Bally’s.

The Strip during the daytime. Planet Hollywood is on the right, and Paris casino is in the distance.
The Strip during the daytime. Visible are Planet Hollywood (right), Paris (center) and the entrance to Bellagio (left).
Replica of Eiffel Tower in Paris resort.
The casinos on the strip are known for relentlessly pursuing their themes. Paris Las Vegas, for instance, features a 540-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.
White Ferris Wheel towering over buildings on the strip.
The Las Vegas Observation Wheel is part of the Linq Hotel. Day prices are significantly cheaper than evening tickets – it costs $22 for an adult to ride in the daytime, while the price rises to $32 for an evening visit.
Ferrari parkred on mall floor on display booth for Dream-Racing.
In one of the upscale malls on the Strip was this floor display for Dream Racing, which allows you to rent your dream car for several laps on a track. For instance, $300 gets you seven laps around a track in an Acura NSX.
Panorama of Bellagio with Caesar's Palace on the right.
Bellagio, a resort that was inspired by a lakeside town of the same name in Italy. Every day the Bellagio features performances of water fountains in the man-made lake which “dance” to music.
Chinese pagoda in Bellagio Conservatory.
An installation of art for Chinese New Year decorated the Bellagio Conservatory.
Glass flowers on lobby ceiling of Bellagio.
Over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers cover the ceiling of the lobby in the Bellagio.
Ceiling of O Theater in the Bellagio.
We also took in a performance of O, the water show of Cirque Du Soleil. O has been performed at the Bellagio since 1998. The theater has a special 1.5-million gallon water tank below the stage. This is a photograph of the ceiling of the theater. the steel structure descends from the middle of the ceiling with an acrobat performing between the rails.

And just for fun, a three-minute video of some of the sites in Las Vegas. If you watch closely, you can see: Freemont Street and the LED canopy, neon signs, street performers, the old casinos of Downtown, zip lining along Freemont Street, the Bellagio, Paris, dancing water fountains, the Bellagio conservatory, a chocolate waterfall, and the Bellagio fountains at night.

View of New Jersey Turnpike from behind dashboard of Jeep Grand Cherokee.
After a fun-filled week, it felt good to return home to New Jersey, though, and get back to familiar surroundings.. although I will kind of miss all the neon!!
Dashboard of 2012 Honda Accord coupe. Looking through window shows traffic at stoplight.
And while it is not an exotic car rental and it did not appear in a movie or TV show… at the end of the trip, it felt good to get behind the wheel of my old Accord again.

We had some fantastic experiences over the past week. The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. However, if visiting again, I think I would rather explore Arizona and come to the Canyon on a more leisurely trip than a five-hour bus ride from Nevada. Of the places we visited in Las Vegas, the Mob Museum receives our strongest recommendation – it is a great general interest museum, with enough details to fulfill the curiosity of even the most ardent student of organized crime and law enforcement. Despite filling our days with some amazing experiences, Las Vegas still has plenty to offer, and we will definitely come back to eat great food, see amazing sites, and have fun.

And the neon. Definitely to check out more neon.

Thanks for coming along on this lengthy journey down the open road ahead!

‘Til next time.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Viva Las Vegas

  1. Amazing stuff! I’ve grown up (and driven through) Las Vegas my entire life and never seen some of these destinations with that level of detail before. A couple of years ago I stayed at the Downtown Grand Hotel and my room looked out toward the Mob Museum, but I didn’t get the chance to go inside. Most people go to Vegas to sit and punch buttons on slot machines, you seriously made the rounds! Especially enjoyed seeing the movie cars. I’m still bummed I didn’t make it up to the South Rim to greet you (and your 100 bus-mates, haha) but I’m glad you had a good time. Next time, plan an extra day and buzz 4 more hours south to PHX! Great post and video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tyson! Glad you enjoyed my quick tour of the city. The Mob Museum is a must-see visit. It was recommended by our airport shuttle driver, and we went with low expectations… and it really surprised us. Absolutely terrific museum, and a very cool building. The movie cars were fun – if you get a couple people together, it’s worth looking on Groupon for tickets (which is what we did).

      Have a great week!

      Like

  2. Tim! I just wrote up a very lengthy reply for this post and when I logged in to post it, it vanished!

    I had said that this post gave me all the feels, and it’s so fun to experience Vegas through the eyes of someone who is not a frequent flyer there. Was it your first time? It’s nearly sensory overload! I am always happy to retreat back home after a day or two in Vegas, though that town does offer some terrific entertainment and food!

    The Hollywood car display was one of my fave tours also. I, too, loved Knight Rider and KITT. Speaking of night, imagine a massive running event which requires closing of the Las Vegas Strip (one side of it, anyway) which allows runners to course along it…. at night! Yes, Tyson and I have been participants in that event, and it was very memorable! In fact, many couples have chosen to stop along the route and tie the knot — meaning get hitched — at one of the chapels adjacent to the Strip. So much crazy in that town!

    The Grand Canyon speaks to me. I have a third visit planned there in May, hiking again rim to rim (South to North) in one day. Though looking down into the canyon from above is beyond description (breath-taking), hiking down along the Colorado River in the bottom is just as amazing, looking up at the commanding, massive walls of red rock …. and feeling like a peon. I am so thrilled that you took the time to check out that destination spot, and maybe next time you can make the trek down into the canyon!

    Thanks for yet another well-written, delightful post with fun facts which I did not even know about Vegas and the GC. You did the research, and I get the benefit from it!

    Happy trails to you and your wife. If you ever plan explore Zion National Park, which is worth the time and effort, give me a heads up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very glad that you enjoyed the post, Tia! Yes, this was my first trip to Las Vegas (first time in both Nevada and Arizona, actually), and it was a lot to take in. The nighttime run sounds amazing… and people stopping for a chapel marriage sounds like the most Vegas thing ever!

      The Grand Canyon was truly awe-inspiring. The next time we come back, we will hike down into the Canyon – this was our first trip, so we hiked along the perimeter to get a sense of the scale of it… and it was definitely awe-inspiring.

      Thanks for reading!!

      Like

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