Published: March 25th 2007March 25th 2007
After a long flight to LA we arrived at LAX to find the biggest queues to get through immigration we had ever seen. It took us over an hour just to get our passport stamped. it was great when we flew past LA though as we saw the Hollywood sign greeting us from a far. Anyone who knows Kerry will be aware of the obsession of gossip magazines so you can imagine her excitement at coming to Hollywood. Stu even saw an old colleague - Colin (Major Magee Robinson) who was on his honeymoon. We finally got through customs and caught a shuttle bus to pick up our rental car. We paid a little extra to get a bigger car and also rent a sat nav - god knows we will need it with what we have planned for the next week.
We picked up our new set of wheels, a pontiac G6 - a mid size saloon car with a big fat V6 engine. Obviously driving in America is completely different to everywhere else Stu had driven so far and starting out in the middle of LA was a little bewildering. That afternoon, after already being awake over
24 hours, we drove for another 300 miles. We needed to get close enough to do the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam the next day. The scenery was shockingly stunning - not something we really expected to see in LA. We pulled up at a motel 300 miles later at about 10pm - shattered.
We didnt wake up until 10.30am the next day - whoops, so much for our early start. The Grand Canyon skywalk which we really wanted to do was not open for another couple of days. We decided instead to head to the South rim where the best views of the canyon could been seen. If we had more time and money we would have liked to have done a trek or flight over the canyon but we are on such a tight timescale and budget it was impossible. We arrived at the GCNP at 2.30pm. We took in some amazing, jaw dropping, immense scenery and took lots of pictures before leaving at about 5pm. The GC is so vast - absolutely breathtaking. You step up to the edge and look across at views that stretch as far as the eye can see. You look down
and can barely see the bottom. WOW! see pics!
We then left the GC and headed NW for another 5 hours of driving to LAS VEGAS BABY! We had planned to also visit the Hoover Dam that day but unfortunately due to our late start and lots of driving we went straight to Las Vegas. It was about 10.15pm when the lights of Vegas hit us - WOW. Nothing can quite prepare you for the sights of Vegas especially when you have driven through the darkness of the desert first. It is really weird how such a city is just there in the middle of nowhere - you really have to see it for yourself. We certainly arrived at the wrong time thats for sure. The strip was packed. It was spring bank holiday. Our Lonely Planet book mentioned that we may be able to get lucky at a big casino hotel as they often have rates as low as $70 a night. After spending half an hour in the car just getting from one side of the strip to the other we stopped at New York New York and Kerry jumped out to see what their rates were
like..........$279 A NIGHT! Needless to say we ended up staying at the Travelodge which was cheap in comparison. The hotel was actually situated on the best part of the strip and the room was really nice so we were not too bothered. It had gone 11.30pm when we finally got into our room and midnight by the time we went out. Our body clocks still have not adjusted - we were wide awake. We were out until about 4am just walking around. Stu had a go on roulette, got up to $75 and then lost it all - what a shocker! We had a go on some one arm bandits which were rubbish and got absolutely hammered instead. The time flew by.
Unfortunately we didnt get up the next day until 2pm. Kerry felt a little worse for wear and very fragile. When you feel like that bright lights and loud noise are the last things you need. We pretty much went out for dinner for a couple of hours, Stu played on a few arcade machines and we then went back to our room to mong out all night. It was gone 1am that we went to bed
and we were getting up at 7am to go to the Hoover Dam - WHOOPS!.
We just about managed to get up that morning to make our way to the Hoover Dam. Its only about an half an hour from Vegas. It was absolutely freezing in Vegas with gale force winds blowing through the city. We are gutted that we are going to be going home pastier than pasty - possibly even BLUE! We only stayed for about half an hour but we took loads of pictures. The Hoover Dam is pretty amazing to see and we were glad that we took the time to go and see something so spectacular. We drove back to Vegas, dropped off our car and spent the rest of the day walking from one side of the strip to the other taking pictures and getting our fill of the bright lights.
There are more photos below