Our first several days in Vegas were pretty chill. At least compared to the next three days. Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon? If not, we highly recommend it. The Grand Canyon very literally took our breaths away and made us truly realize how small we really are in this world. But, once again, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our fourth day in sunny Las Vegas started out bright and early with us rushing through the streets (and maybe getting lost) as we made our way on foot from the Elara to Bally’s for our early morning pick up for a Hoover Dam Tour operated by Comedy on Deck. Being yet another Groupon purchase did not disappoint. Comedy on Deck was our favorite of the tours we did this trip and we plan to do another tour with them on our next trip to Vegas.
I honestly didn’t find the drive that bad – at least view-wise. But being crammed in a bus for several hours at a time is definitely still not fun. By 8:30AM we were at the famed Las Vegas sign getting those obligatory photos before being ushered back onto the bus for a two or so hour drive to the dam.
On our way to the dam was a stop off at the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge where we got to see the Hoover Dam from a different angle. It was a bit of a hike to the bridge from the parking lot, but it was worth it. It was very windy at the top of the bridge, so we had our hats secured snuggly around our heads to avoid falling victim to the “hat graveyard.” We had just enough time to walk to the part of the bridge where we could straddle the state line between Nevada and Arizona. Have you ever seen the movie A Walk to Remember? It’s a favorite of mine and I definitely geeked out as I straddled the state line, successfully being in two places at once.
Soon we were ushered back onto the air conditioned bus and were off to the dam. The second we stepped off the bus we were hit with a wave of heat. It felt like we had heat scorching our lungs with each breath we took, so we were glad for the several water bottles we carried with us – even though they quickly heated up to match the outside temperature. Despite the heat, we walked the length of the dam and admired how different everything looked from on top of the dam versus what from the kayaks on our last trip. Lunch was included in our tour, so we stopped for a quick bite in Boulder City on our way back to the strip.
Once we were back at the Elara, we enjoyed some down time at the pool before grabbing dinner at Cabo Wabo. We had tacos and enchiladas before heading to see The Mentalist. If you’re like us and The Mentalist is one of your go to TV shows, then this makes for a pretty fun night!
We started our day with another early morning as we raced our way to our pickup for our tour of the Grand Canyon. The bus ride to the canyon was considerably longer, but it was made better by a stop at a gas station on our way where we were able to pick up a couple cans of Twisted Tea – I’m not sure if my mind will ever get used to the loosened alcohol laws in Vegas.
After several hours, we finally arrived at Grand Canyon National Park. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and grabbed our obligatory souvenirs from the gift shop before finally entering the park. We only had a couple of hours total at the park itself, but it was the most incredible thing we have ever seen. The moment the canyon came into view as we walked toward the edge, our hearts almost stopped. It was the same feeling you get when you’re on one of those sudden drop amusement rides.
It felt fake. The view was so magnificent it was hard to believe our eyes weren’t playing tricks on us. We definitely didn’t have enough time to fully experience the canyon, and we only saw the South Rim. We plan to go back to see the other sides of the canyon and to actually hike there one day. We grabbed a light dinner from a McDonald’s on Route 66 before finally arriving back to our hotel sometime after 9PM. It was our longest day by far, having started before 8AM, but boy was it worth it. Being in Vegas, we grabbed a second dinner from a restaurant in the Miracle Mile since I was craving lobster rolls. The lobster rolls, though not as good as back home, were pretty good and we spent our 11PM second dinner in our room watching a movie on the big projector screen.
We let ourselves sleep in since we had a pretty packed past few days. But, today was the day we were officially celebrating Russ’s birthday with the fancy dinner. Little did he know that was just the birthday dinner celebration with us since his best friend was flying in the next day. But, again, I’m getting ahead of myself. After some pool lounging, we got ourselves dressed and headed to Hell’s Kitchen for lunch.
Hell’s Kitchen is not one to disappoint. The cocktails were eye catching and delicious (and strong) and the food was mouthwateringly good. Russ got the shrimp cocktail and I got the lobster risotto to start. Both had our tastebuds exploding with excitement with every bite, but I was even more pleasantly surprised by my lobster risotto. The portion was a good size and the lobster was perfectly cooked and paired well with the risotto. For our main course, I didn’t branch out and got the beef wellington again while Russ had the mishima reserve wagyu ribeye. I will say, I was a bit jealous. My wellington was as good as ever, but Russ’s wagyu was phenomenal.
The highlight of the day, however, was our dinner. On our last trip to Vegas, dinning at The Strat‘s restaurant, Top of the World, was highly recommended. But, we had to make sure we did so at sunset since the view was incredible. To date, I think it’s the most unique dinning experience we’ve had. We paid extra to have a seat by the window, on the revolving part of the restaurant. Yes, I said revolving. The floor where our table was traveled around the dome of the restaurant so you could see all of Vegas while dinning. Now, get a few glasses of wine and a cocktail or two in you and go to use the bathroom… finding your table again was fun.
The staff was friendly and really helped to make the dinner exceptional and special for my husband-to-be. Our cocktails were good and strong but those views were incredible. I started with the lobster bisque and we shared sides with our entrees of Wagyu steak. We shared a nicely sized slice of hazelnut cake for dessert before making our way to the top observation deck to enjoy a view of the strip from the top of The Strat. We ended our evening by attending a comedy show at the LA Comedy Club inside The Strat. Tickets were free with a purchase of a $10 drink, and it was definitely worth it. Prior to the show, I didn’t think I’d enjoy seeing a comedy show, but I laughed from start to finish.
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