A Travellerspoint blog

Road Trip

An earlyish start today saw some tired boys after last nights late show finish. There were grumblings from some quarters at the prospect of limited sleeping room in the back of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so being the ever sympathetic father (?!) I upgraded the hire car to a Chevy Suburban - which has more room in it than most of the hotel rooms we have been staying in. Actually it's not unlike driving a hotel too for that matter. A big burbling V8 makes all the right noises - very important of course!
Six hours of driving later and we arrived safely in Fresno. No dramas once we got going, helped by being on freeway almost the whole way so easy enough staying on the right (wrong) side of the road. Lots of desert and dust for the first 4 hrs and then orchards and vineyards for the last 2 hrs. A surprise to pass (though not visible from the road) Edwards Air Force Base on the way - one of the stopovers for the Bremners on the 1971 tour.
The day also saw Taco Bell and IHOP knocked off the list of American fine dining destinations to be sampled. Not many left.
A slightly longer driving day tomorrow through the Yosemite so an early night is in store.


Posted by bremner 21:26 Comments (0)

Grand Canyon

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Everyone knows that Vegas looks amazing when you walk along the strip, but not many know how incredible the view is from above.
After a delicious cooked breakfast and aurgingur or so of shopping at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets, we were picked up in a limo by John the chauffeur and taken to the airport for a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.
We had a quick safety briefing before being lead to our helicopter and taking off towards the Canyon. Our pilot, Travis, had us laughing for most of the trip and gave Will a crash course on flying the chopper. We landed in the canyon and had a short picnic and photographing session before setting off on the return journey. We had an amazing view of the sunset from the helicopter and an even better view of the lights and the strip as we passed over Vegas on the way back to the airport.
After the limo ride back to the hotel, we headed off to the Belagio to watch the fountain show. It was definitely worth seeing but was no match for Disneyland's World of Colour show. The next stop was the Sirens of Treasure Island show which was filled with fireworks and pyrotechnics as well as a bit of singing and dancing and was also very fun.
We finished off the day with a delicious and very filling meal at the Outback Steakhouse, an Australian themed restaurant, and a long awaited catch up with Sam after his trip around Mexico.

Posted by bremner 21:25 Comments (1)

Las Vegas - Last day

We started our last day here with a leisurely breakfast at our hotel with Sam. We saw him for an hour or so late last night so had heard a bit about Mexico and Belize but it was great to hear more of his stories and see some of his photos this morning. The three of them sound to have had a wonderful time - lots of lazing on beautiful beaches and lots of partying, but they also did quite a few 'touristy' things like tours of ruins and snorkeling with sharks! While they had enough travel dramas to make our missed flight from LA look pretty tame, they seem to have handled them all fine.
We filled our day with a bit more shopping (the bags are starting to get a little overfilled!) and Tom and Geordie did the hotel roller coaster which they said was almost as good as the big Disneyland one! Tonight we met Sam and his two friends, Nick and Jordy for a dinner up by their hotel. They are staying in Planet Hollywood which is pretty central on the strip. It was really lovely to spend time with them here. They have another 4 or so days here before flying back for a couple in LA and then back to Sydney.
After dinner we left Sam and co and headed off to the Mirage for our one and only Las Vegas show, 'Love' which is the Cirque de Soliel Beatles show. It was absolutely amazing from start to finish - an hour and a half of acrobatics, dancing, special effects, with amazing sets and costumes all performed to Beatles songs. Having initially been a little hesitant about it, the boys really enjoyed it and John and I just loved it.
So we hit the road tomorrow and start making our way to Lake Tahoe via a night in Fresno. After Las Vegas, I think we need a few quieter days!

Posted by bremner 00:38 Comments (2)

Las Vegas - The Strip

Las Vegas feels like sensory overload - it's loud, it's colourful and at night it's unbelievably bright as well! What a place. We walked up and down the strip today/tonight going in and out of all the big casino hotels marveling at each one. We spent some time at the Venetian Hotel where the painted ceilings, indoor gondala canals and Italian shopping centre kept us entertained. There's so much to see here we've barely scraped the surface! We've done so much walking in this past week I've already worn out a pair of shoes!! We love the hotel - it's right next to the Excalibur and opposite the MGM Grand. It has a huge roller coaster going all the way around that Tom and Geordie are determined to go on before we leave. Inside all the restaurants are on a series of mock New York streets - the detail is amazing! Tomorrow our big adventure is a Grand Canyon helicopter ride - can't wait!

Posted by bremner 22:46 Comments (0)

Las Vegas - well for some of the family!

So this is how we spent most of the day - sitting at LAX. And at this stage, I think John may even be still there. In our first major hiccup of the holiday, we missed our 8 am flight from LA to Vegas and had to go on standby. All domestic flights on united close off 45 mins before leaving and thanks to a 15 min late booked taxi ( I know, we're meant to be playing the no blame game but I don't think it counts if it's someone outside the family!!) we missed our bag check by minutes. The airport was a complete shambles - queues going for miles. By the time we rechecked in, we were 12th through to 16th on the next flight standby list. We actually weren't that stressed when we first found out - we thought we'd be up for at least one major drama on holiday! But what we didn't know then is that there is only 4 united flights out today to Vegas,most were full and that our rooms here can only be checked in by John personally. So here I am in Vegas having finally got to our hotel, New York New York with Geordie and Will (we had to take another room for the night since John isn't here to check into the booked one - thank goodness it's a quiet week and they are fairly cheap) and I'm waiting to see if Tom and maybe John turn up shortly. If not it could be 10 pm or tomorrow!!! On the upside, the hotel is amazing and we are here until Friday so still have plenty of time to look at the sights even though we're missed a day.

Posted by bremner 22:01 Comments (1)

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