After an 11 hour flight, we finally arrived in Las Vegas. I knew it was going to be hot, but I don’t think I was fully prepared for the heat that hit me when we left the airport! Let’s just say that 45 degrees celsius is very, very warm.
Driving to our hotel was quite surreal. Huge, extravagant hotels surrounded us and it was pretty overwhelming - hotels in Las Vegas aren’t like anything you’ve seen before.
We chose to stay at The Mirage, and it was a great choice; we had a King size room overlooking the strip. We had a little look around and a few small slot machine wins, but as I’m sure you can imagine, after an 11 hour flight and an 8 hour time difference, Phil and I were pretty much feeling like zombies.
After a well needed night of sleep, we decided to tackle the south end of The Strip. You don’t realise how long The Strip stretches for until you start walking, so we made very good use of a local bus. After taking the bus as far south along the strip as we could, we had a 15 minute walk in the blazing sun until we arrived at one of Las Vegas’ most famous landmarks – the ‘Welcome to the fabulous Las Vegas’ sign. After taking the obligatory photos, we headed back up The Strip, and started to explore the hotels.
After a trip to Egypt (ok, really it was the Luxor hotel), we headed over to the famous MGM Grand hotel to see their ‘Lion Habitat’. Before I went to Vegas, I thought that lions lived in the habitat, but this isn’t the case. There is a ranch 12 miles from the hotel, and the owner has a lot of lions that take it in turns to do shift in the MGM’s habitat. The lions were so tame, which keepers sitting in the enclosure and playing with them, much like cats.
Whilst at the MGM, we were lucky enough to have such a fantastic experience – holding a baby lion! A 17 day old lion cub is honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen, and it was definitely an experience I will never forget.
We still had more of the strip to tackle after our lion cub experience, so we continued on our way. After making our way back up towards our hotel, we visited the Siegfried and Roy Secret Garden. It’s amazing that on a huge hotel complex, there are lions, leopard, dolphins and more living in the grounds.
That evening, we saw Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Mystere’ show. I love acrobatics, so to see it up close was fantastic. Getting a free seat upgrade to the most expensive seats was also a major plus point!
The following morning, we embarked on a venture to the Grand Canyon, but I’ll talk about that in another blog post!
On our final day in Las Vegas, we went to the Venetian hotel for a gondola ride. It was like stepping into Venice, with our gondolier singing Italian songs for the duration of our ride. After stepping back onto dry land and exploring some hotels at the north end of The Strip, we headed to a mall for some retail therapy.
Shopping in the USA is a must, as everything is so much cheaper! After taking all of our purchases back to our hotel room, we set out to visit Paris. The Paris hotel in Las Vegas has its own Eiffel tower, so we decided to take a trip to the observation deck. You forget that you’re in the middle of a desert, but up high, all you can see beyond the hotels is mountains. We even managed to watch the Bellagio’s dancing fountains whilst at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The following morning, after cramming everything back into our suitcases, we said goodbye to Vegas and set off to San Francisco…Oct312011
If you’ve read my previous blog posts or my Twitter, you’ll know that I was planning a trip to the West Coast of America this summer. That trip has now been and gone :( I’m so sad to be at home, but it was such an amazing experience. I’ve never been travelling before, nor had I been to the West Coast. So I think to plan the entire trip myself, and not encounter any problems, is a huge achievement!
I’m going to blog about my trip, mainly so that in years to come, I don’t forget what I did, but also so that I can share my experiences.
First stop, Las Vegas!Oct042011
I’m raising money for Disability Challengers by taking part in Kellystore Fun-Raisers Guildford Riverside Run & Walk.
Disability Challengers is an independent children’s charity based in Guildford. They provide vital play and leisure opportunities to 1,300 disabled children and young people across Surrey every year. The schemes give disabled children a space of their own – to have fun, relax and develop through play as well as providing local families with a much needed break.
I’ve worked for Disability Challengers since early 2009, and it is such a fantastic place to work. It’s so rewarding knowing that you’re helping out families and making a difference in disabled childrens lives.
Disability Challengers rely on donations to run, and for every £85 raised, one disabled child will be able to enjoy a whole day at a playscheme with a one-to-one worker.
Please sponsor me at www.virginmoneygiving.com/lauraprotoEven the smallest of donations will make a difference.
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