Since our campsite hasn't been very impressive, we have decided to go off our existing plan and head to Las Vegas for a couple of days! Other reasons for going to Vegas - feel like a bit of a city fix before the last two California national parks, Rupert wants to watch the rugby (although he got the times wrong so never managed this!) and its a good stop off route on the way to Yosemite.
So headed off this morning - 3 hour drive - kids seriously excited when we hit the Strip. All these bright lights, people and general excitement. We are staying in a RV park that is attached to the hotel - Circus Circus. Basically we are paying $50 for a concrete carpark space but that has electricity, water, drainage and wifi on tap! In Circus Circus there is a theme park, so this was our first stop. We went to watch a short Dora film in 4D and then each of the kids had a go on one of the rides.
Lucas chose this small rollercoaster - one that was designed for little people. He queued up on his own, got himself into a carriage sitting next to some other little girl and then when the ride started his face was priceless. We all laughed so much - I don't think he really knew what the ride was going to do, so the first turn on the rollercoaster his face looked totally stunned and then he looked over and saw us all laughing and realised it was okay and laughed too, and then the rest of the ride he was chuckling/swaying/grimacing...brilliant! We then walked up and down the 'Strip' - saw the fountain display at Bellagio hotel, saw a gymnastic type display at 'Circus Circus', saw the gondolas at the 'Venetian' , the Eiffel Tower in Paris and then had a delicious Mexican meal. The highlight of the day for Lucas was when he saw first Woody and then Buzzlightyear (from Toy Story) on the street. His eyes literally almost popped out - he went over and put Woody's hat on his head and hugged him and generally was in heaven.
Unbelievable really that yesterday we were in the beautiful Zion National Park and today we are in the party capital of Vegas on a Saturday night - such a contrast of places, but also quite fun.Day 26
A leisurely morning in Las Vegas - after all we don't need to get up and go out in the cool of the morning as most of the day will be in serious air conditioning
! I had a bit of a lie in until 930 and then swapped with Ru, and I took the kids off to the indoor playcentre thing in Circus Circus. This time I got all day passes for them which meant they could go on as many rides as they wanted. They loved it...running from ride to ride with huge grins on their faces, Lucas being dragged by Phoebe, Phoebe then helping him into each ride and putting his seat belt on and telling him in a seriously grown up tone to 'hold onto the rail'....They saw a SpongeBob 4D film. We then went back to the van and had a lunch of tacos with mince...delicious! (getting into this Mexican food!) and then we headed back into the Strip. This time we took a bus right to the end of the strip...to the hotel 'New York New York' where we remembered that 10 years ago we went on the rollercoaster ride and it was the last rollercoaster that I have ever been on (it was that terrifying!) In fact looking at it, I have no idea how I did it then! We played arcade games at the 'Excalibur' which Lucas said was where Buzz/Woody lived. We then walked onto the Luxor, which was an amazing hotel in a pyramid shape with a layer of rooms around the edge and shops/theatres etc in the middle. Definitely would like to stay here next time! And then onto the Mandaley hotel, where they have a shark aquarium (at $15 a pop!, so we didn't see it!) and a big shopping arcade which we looked around. This end of the Strip is definitely the smarter area, we then took a free shuttle back to Excalibur and then a bus back to our hotel/RV. Got back quite late, but a fab day had by all! Definitely worth the detour to have a few days in Vegas - and didn't even have a chance to have a flutter on the black jack!