26.03.2011 - 28.03.2011
Americans love cheese on everything. Breakfast, noon and night. Cheese, cheese and cheese. Salad? cheese. Chicken sandwich? cheese. Eggs? cheese. Sing the monty python song SPAM and replace it with cheese and you're halfway there. After a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, cheese and what the americans call breakfast gravy (white sauce with bits of sausage - tastes of cheese) we drove to Grand Canyon Village. Bit chilly when we set off and Katie somewhat optimistically stated that it would probably be warmer at the canyon. It was snowing.
We later discovered from a Ranger that in fact it is warm in the canyon, at the bottom. But this was little consolation to us freezing our tits off 7000ft up. Consolation was found in the form of hot soup and a roll. Whatever the weather, the scale of the canyon takes your oxygen depleted breath away and after wrapping up we thoroughly enjoyed a jaunt along the South Rim Trail.
Mid-afternoon we set off with the aim of getting bit closer to Vegas before topping for the night. This turned out to be Seligman, a picture postcard/creepy town of what Route 66 would have looked like in its heyday.
We selected the motel with the best neon sign checked in and headed to the local bar.
The Black Cat turned out to be a bit of a local place, for local people, who by the looks of things spend a lot of time there. The barman whipped up a superb Bloody Mary which served as the perfect appetiser before we tottered down the road to the Diner. About half of this diner was taken up by an enormous stuffed Yak head - shot in 2009 by a 12 year old! Welcome to America. The other half of the restaurant was taken up by the plate of Nachos that arrived at our table and was supposed to be a starter…..for one!!!!!!!!!!!!
It turned out to be a starter and main course for two with enough left over for the dog'd dinner. We were defeated. But we still ordered a slice of the famous apple pie with ice-cream and an enormous slab of the signature carrot cake which served as tomorrow's breakfast and lunch.
A relatively short drive today. From Seligman and Route 66 across the Hoover Dam to Vegas.
We had booked ourselves a room at the Luxor. This is the big black pyramid at the south end of the Strip.
Last time I was here in 1993 this hotel was being built. Today it is regarded as a bit dated! For us it was cheap and it was Vegas. Here is the beautiful view from our room on the third floor, car park tactfully silhouetted in the foreground.
Within about three seconds of arriving Katie was bikinied up and headed for the pool. I even got told off for casting a shadow over her with my knee when I was reading on the next-door lounger. As the heat dwindled we donned our glad-rags and wondered up the strip - Excalibur (with real jousting), New York New York (with real roller coaster), MGM Grand (with real lions!), Paris Las Vegas (with fake Eiffel Tower), Flamingo, Caesars Palace, but the highlight by far was the dancing fountains of the Bellagio. A fabulous display to the tune of 'Singing in the Rain'. After exhausting ourselves of casino gazing we ducked into one of the lesser known casinos, Bally's, for $2 tacos and frozen Margarita's before heading back to base.
Back at Luxor we decided grab us some chips and hit the floor. Our Las Vegas gambling experience lasted exactly one bet, which we lost, and there is only one man to blame. Wesley Snipes - Passenger 57. I quote, "You ever play roulette? Well let me give you a piece of advice - always bet on Black". Well thanks for nothing Wes. That's ten dollars I won't be seeing again. Defeated we did what Elvis would have done - grabbed a burger and went to bed.