12 In America/ Travel

New Years Eve In Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon 2I was catching up with a friend the other night over Sangria and she was telling me about her plans to travel to the US, visiting Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon later this year. This led me down the nostalgia road and brought back to the surface my short time in these amazing places. So what else to do but share them here!

Arriving at the airport in Las Vegas I was expecting to be greeted by slot machines and Bradley Cooper…unfortunately only half my movie based expectations where realised, so we put $5 in the slot machine, lost it and quietly went to find a cab.

My husband (then brand new fiancé) and I welcomed in 2013 standing on the strip in Las Vegas watching the world go by. Standing there even for 30 minutes every kind of person walked past, which definitely satisfied my interest in people watching! People were lined up through casinos waiting to get into clubs but I maintain the street was where the real party was! And Vegas with its love of drinking meant we could stand there, large super sipper of alcoholic slushy in hand and enjoy the huge firework display which erupted simultaneously off the roof of five different casinos along the strip.

The Strip New YEars EveIt was definitely one of the highlights on our trip through America. We had started the day by going down to the end of the strip to the Stratosphere and slowly made our way, on a casino crawl, all the way back to our hotel which was the Paris. It was fun to see all of the different casinos as they transport you to another world, such as the Venetian with its river and Gondolas!

The Venetian Hotel and Treaure islandWe also managed to see two shows; unfortunately they happened to be on the same night! We started at Aria to see Cirque du Solie then ran, through the crowds, across the road to Planet Hollywood where we had tickets to see A Perfect Circle. Somehow, and honestly it was an accident, we managed to entirely skip the line so we got in with time to spare!

What amazed me was the fact that you could literally drink everywhere, I mean everywhere including while shopping! I remember sitting at a restaurant having finished eating and my husband hadn’t yet finished his beer, no drama, he just picks it up and walks out – totally allowed!

The Paris - our hotelOne of the most awe-inspiring things that I have done in my life is visit the Grand Canyon. I had pre booked a tour that would take us out there from Vegas stopping along the way at Hoover Dam.

Hoover damWe got to walk most of the way across the dam in the time allowed to us so we could cross state lines and be in both Nevada and Arizona at the same time which was pretty cool. It was one of the most impressive sites I have seen and I could have handled staying a little longer, but it was time to get back on the bus and head onwards to the main attraction.

We arrived at Grand Canyon Ranch and got in a couple of horse drawn carts that took us to where the helicopters were waiting. This was the first and only time I have been in a helicopter and it was the only way to see the Canyon. We flew up then down, flying above the Colorado River with the canyon walls surrounding us. I was disappointed with my photos as they in no way capture the beauty that exists there; it is just something you have to see.

Helicopter - the grand canyon

The Grand Canyon 1On our way home we found out the true crazy of our tour guide as he stopped off at many random places including a shooting range located on the side of the highway next to a petrol station…

On arrival in Vegas we began the drop offs, a couple got off and tipped only $10 for the both of them. Well, that sent him into a rage. Apparently he expected a lot more! We got a bit worried as we didn’t really have much money and already felt liked we paid a lot for the tour. I guess that is the ugly side of the tipping culture in America! We eventually got back safely to our hotel after a small road rage incident which saw our driver open the bus doors and throw a large drink filled with ice at a taxi driver who apparently cut him off. Slight over reaction…

Continuing the journey we travelled from Vegas to Los Angeles by bus.

Have you been to Vegas or the Grand Canyon? Have you had any story worthy tour guides?

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    obsessedwithtravel
    July 27, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I think your photos are fantastic! 😳😍 I can’t wait to experience the Grand Canyon for myself. Looks like I need to organise a helicopter ride 😄

  • Reply
    yespeasmumma
    July 27, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    We went to Vegas for our honeymoon. SO GOOD!! The Grand Canyon was awesome, and we saw it by helicopter too. I would love to visit again, as we just adored the place. But it’s so far away! One day we will get back there 🙂

    • Reply
      sallyslifestylejournal
      July 30, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Australia is just too far away from all the good stuff! I would love to go back as well, maybe in a warmer month though as even in the desert it was freezing in January!

  • Reply
    mytravelmonkey
    July 27, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    That was my one regret when we went to Vegas last year that we didn’t really have the time to go to the Grand Canyon – although I suppose it gives us another excuse to head back 🙂 Love your photos and grea to read about your helicopter experience! Very jealous #The WeeklyPostcard ps. Would love you to link up with #MondayEscapes too, we always welcome more travel bloggers 🙂

    • Reply
      sallyslifestylejournal
      July 30, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, what a wonderful excuse for you to ‘have to’ go back 🙂 I will be sure to check out your link up!

  • Reply
    Anna | slightly astray
    July 27, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I grew up in Southern California so I’ve been to Vegas more times than I can count. I love that it’s always fun no matter how many times you go and that you can always have a different adventure there! I’m not a big gambler or drinker, so I love seeing the shows there. And yes, the Grand Canyon is so beautiful…. and to see it from a helicopter.. wow! I’ve never been in one!

    • Reply
      sallyslifestylejournal
      July 30, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Seeing the shows was definitely a highlight for me! When planning my trip I knew if I made it all the way over there, it would be a great excuse for a helicopter and it was very worth it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Reply
    connier316
    July 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Las Vegas is one of the few places that I can visit over and over again because it’s always changing. But I can only handle it for a few days before I’m “Vegas’ed out.” We’ve done the grand canyon on separate trips but have never done a helicopter tour of it. Rage over a $10 tip? Ten bucks sounds appropriate to me. Sounds like the pilot was trying to shame the other passengers into giving more.

    • Reply
      sallyslifestylejournal
      July 30, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Thanks, I’m glad to hear that $10 sounds appropriate! He was just a really strange guy I think! I would love to go again, but I agree, as I don’t gamble I think a few days at a time would be enough!

  • Reply
    Victoria@celebratetheweekend
    July 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I have to admit that I enjoyed my 2 days in Vegas more than I thought I would (and I did not even gamble and had kids with me!). Next time I would definitely visit one of the National Parks in nearby Arizona and Utah

    • Reply
      sallyslifestylejournal
      July 31, 2015 at 11:42 am

      I don’t gamble either but still enjoyed it! Would be great to be able to explore the national parks, such a beautiful landscape!

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