Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 95- Day 113

September 19- October 8

Left Bakersfield and drove into Los Angeles. We met my friend Biron at his apartment and he showed us around the area. We went out for some great Indian food and then we went to Venice beach boardwalk. There were many interesting shops and people on the boardwalk. We saw muscle beach, which was pretty funny. It was a nice visit, but we were ready to get out of the city, and back into nature. 

Next stop was Joshua Tree National Park. The park was very hot! It was in the high 90s the two days we were there. The Joshua trees, which the park is named after, are these funny looking trees that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. We did a short hike one of the days, and we were dying every step. We aren't used to the heat in the desert. We saw so much life in the desert which was very neat. There are so many different plants, and trees and shrubs, and a lot of wildlife. We drove to this beautiful overlook where we could see for hundreds of miles. We saw the Salton sea and even Mexico off in the distance. We stayed at an awesome campground called Jumbo Rocks. There were these huge boulders pilled on top of each other, and we slept right next to them. Night time in the desert is beautiful. The sky is so open and clear, and the temperature is so comfortable. 

When we left Joshua Tree, we headed toward Vegas, and stopped and stayed in the Mojave National Preserve. We stayed at a campground off a 15 mile dirt road, in the middle of no where! There was only one other person at the campground, it was a little eerie. 

We were happy to leave the Mojave desert and head to Vegas!! We had a great 4 days in Vegas! We were excited to see Neil's parents, and Dustin and Laura! The first day we were there we all spent time relaxing at the pool and drinking mimosas! We all soaked up some sun! Then we walked the stripped and saw some flamingos and huge koi fish at the Flamingo hotel. Then we explored the Venetian and saw the gondolas and beautiful painted ceilings. We spotted a Ghirardellis and we all got ice cream! We headed back to Bally's got ready, and then headed to the MGM for a nice dinner and Cirque de Soleil, KA. The show was amazing! The strength of the performers was incredible. The music, the acrobatics, and the stage were all breathtaking. Everyone loved the show. Then we headed back to Bally's and did some gambling. We stayed up until 3 am gambling, and eating a ginormous plate of Nachos. 

Next day, we went to the Rio Grand hotel for the buffet! We all stuffed our faces! Everything was so good! Then we headed back to the hotel, and did some gambling in Paris. Dustin and Laura went to check out the pawn shop, the one from the tv show! When we were in Paris, everyone was winning. I even won 100 bucks on a penny machine! It was pretty exciting. Then we all took naps for awhile, then we got some sushi for dinner! Then we did some more gambling. We stayed up until 4 am! 

The next day, everyone was flying back home, but Neil and I stayed another night. We were sad to see everyone go. We had a relaxing day and night. We walked the strip, saw some street performers and watched the Bellagio water show! We did a little gambling, but we called it an early night. 

The next day we left, and headed for the Grand Canyon. On our way we stopped at the Hoover Dam. The dam was amazing. It was so big! We walked across the Hoover dam bridge which gave us a great view of the dam. We also walked across the dam itself. The dam is right on the boarder of Arizona and Nevada, and it was cool to be in two places at once. Then we made our way to the Grand Canyon!

The Grand Canyon was amazing! It was my first time there, but Neil had been there a few times. We walked a bunch of the rim trail, which walks right next to the edge of the canyon. We took some awesome pictures! We also explored some of the shops and the art gallery. We got a site at a campground, and then we watched the sunset over the canyon! It was so pretty. The depths and colors of the canyon are so breathtaking, it's hard to even describe. The next day we hiked the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon. We did a  2 hour hike. It was such a cool perspective hiking down into the canyon. The mules that hike down into the canyon and back passed us a few times on our hike. They were so big and muscular. After our hike we got ice cream and sat on the lawn. We explored the gift stores and then we were on our way. Next stop was Tucson to visit Neil 's dad. 

We've been in Tucson for over a week and we've been doing a lot of relaxing. We went out to eat with Neil's dad a few times, and relaxed by the pool. We played 9 holes of golf two days in a row, which was great! We haven't played all summer, which we've missed. We've been watching a bunch of movies and enjoying being indoors. We are hoping to make it a quick ride back to Massachusetts. We are ready to get home and we miss everyone. 

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