As we made our way to Las Vegas, we finally got our kicks on Route 66.
And as we had breakfast at Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner, I was madly texting with my friends who live in Las Vegas. We had been planning to camp at a lovely park about an hour outside Vegas, but with an offer to sleep in an actual bed, we were lured into staying in Henderson--and more importantly nearer to my long lost friends Michelle and Jeremy. Jeremy's sister was kind enough to let us stay in the little "casita" at their house, just a few blocks away from Michelle and Jeremy.
As we made our way there, we realized that we couldn't pass the Hoover Dam without stopping. So we did,
As we went on the tour of the dam, I had a very vague memory of being very small, and being here. The vivid part of the memory is was standing next to the huge turbine on the tour. I checked in with Mom, and we did indeed take the tour, and she mentioned that my photo from today was from a floor above where we took the tour 40 years ago.
And then we headed into Vegas. We arrived at the home of my good friends--Michelle a partner in crime from college, and her wonderful husband, Jeremy. I got to re-meet their kiddos, Zack and Maddy, who are about 5 feet taller than the last time I saw them. Then we headed out to meet Michelle, who was sadly working all day. After much hugging and laughing, Jeremy took us on a tour of the Strip and then out for a tasty lunch of ramen. Yum! We wasted away the rest of the evening watching terrible movies until Michele got home, and we got to visit some more.
The next morning, Doug and I headed out early for a hike at the Icebox Canyon trail at Red Rock Canyon National Park.
Then a super tasty lunch at Lotus of Siam with Jeremy. Then we dropped Doug off to wander the Strip, while I napped.
And then we headed to New York New York to see Zumanity (or as Michelle said, "That's the dirty Cirque show!")
Afterward, we wandered the Strip a night for a bit, had some tasty waffles, and headed back to the casita for one more sleep.
The next morning before we left, Michelle and Jeremy took us to an amazing breakfast in the Parisian at Mon Ami Gabi. So very tasty! And again, we forgot to get a picture of all four of us, but here's one of Michelle and me.
And then we left Vegas and headed off toward Death Valley, with some quick side trips for silly signs.
We also made a quick stop at the ghost town of Rhyolite. Creepy!
Then we got to Death Valley, a very weird place. We didn't realize how big the National Park was, or how expensive it would be--if you didn't already have an annual National Park pass, which we do! We arrived in the valley fairly late in the afternoon, and just had enough time to drop the trailer in the campsite and drive up to Dante's Peak, which overlooks Badwater Basin. Doesn't it sound lovely? We hiked up a few big hills at the top, then waited for sunset.