Rophone booked us a hotel in Henderson, NV (handily near the place we always stop to eat and buy snacks) so we could take our time and make the drive in two days, exploring and seeing things along the way. I think I was even more excited about this drive than the kids were!
It was so nice taking our time getting out of the house the morning we left. Starting out the drive feeling pretty rested rather than kind of sleep deprived from having to get up so early made a real difference. It was a little cold and snowy that morning and I was actually kind of bummed to be leaving it behind for sun, but I think everyone else was pretty happy about it.
After we stopped for lunch, we visited a little park I'd read about. It was so much fun for the kids to explore, and the red rocks were beautiful. Sadly though, like the reviews had mentioned, broken bottles littered the ground. In some places the ground glittered and shone because of how many little pieces of glass were mixed in with the dirt. Such a lack of respect. Anyway, it was still a ton of fun.
Bud, our rock climber and explorer, especially loved it.
There was a neat cave, and when we entered it I realized the lighting was perfect for photos. Edith's poses were cracking me up. I'll post just a couple, but I took probably 10 shots and she did a variation of her pose in each and every one. She's a crack up.
Hiking and exploring make me happy, so to be able to get out of the car for a bit to do it made me feel good. I think it made the kids feel good, too. Good thing Big isn't thinking about how high he is-- not a fan of heights, that kid.
I sure do love Rophone. I totally scored in the husband department.
This last picture from the park is probably my favorite. There was this hole in the cliff face, and I managed to convince both Pen and Edith to sit in it. I think I'll title it: "Big Kid and Little Kid in the Same Hole". Ha!
It was interesting to watch the kids faces as they absorbed all there was to see. I think that Pen and Bud could have gone on indefinitely, finding it an interesting study in human behavior, but the rest of us were ready to go after a few hours. The Bellagio fountains were definitely fun to see, but I think I pretty much decided that the rest of The Strip is one big migraine trigger. :)
After a night's rest (I'm not going to say a 'good night's rest' because I shared a bed with Edith and she's a bed hog), we got up and continued on our adventure. After a delicious breakfast we made the rather quick drive to our next stop: The Hoover Dam. We opted not to take the tour, and our visit was rather short-lived.
The minute scared-of-heights Big looked over the dam wall, he hit the ground and wouldn't move. Rophone admitted that his knees were shaking and he was tempted to do the same thing, but he managed to stay upright long enough for me to take a photo.
Well, that was fun! Guess it's time to go now…
I promised Bud we'd come back together another time without the scaredy cats. :) I did manage to snap a few other photos on our way to the wall and back out, though, luckily.
The top of the dam wall in macro:
The shadow of the stair railing looked really cool.
Now, on to Arizona! I'm so glad we made our drive a little more of an adventure. Definitely something we need to do more often.
Oh, and I have to make a record of what was probably my most favorite part of the drive-- it was when we stopped for gas and I took Edith into the strongly scented bathroom. All of the stalls were full, and as we waited this conversation occurred:
Edith: "It smells good in here."
Me: "It does?"
Edith: "Yeah. What is that I smell?"
Me: "I don't know. Smells like maybe it's some cleaner and maybe some of the soap people use to wash their hands."
Edith: "No, that's not what it is."
Me: "It isn't?"
Edith (with absolute certainty): "No. It smells like unicorn."
(snickers and laughter from the women occupying the stalls)
Me: "It does?"
Edith: "Yeah. It definitely smells like unicorn."
Well, she would know. She's the expert. Ha!