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May 4th 2012
Published: May 4th 2012
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Our night in Las Vegas was highlighted by attending "The Phantom of the Opera" at the Venetian Hotel. It was presented in the special 40 million dollar theater built just for the show and made to look like the Paris Opera House. Fantastic, Spectacular all of these adjectives come up short. We sat right down front in the "Golden Circle" seats and when the massive Chandelier comes down it was right on our heads!

The Venetian Hotel was a nice reminder of how much we love Italy, but just like Italy it was a little pricey to spend the night, so we stayed at a very nice room across the street at Treasure Island. Late night we got lucky with a front row seat for the outdoor Sirens Show at the Lagoon in Treasure Island.

We love the shows in Vegas, but in the morning it was time to get away from the crowds so we headed north on State Hwy 95 toward Tonopah. Small desolate former mining towns and Indian Lands passed by as we drove along the dusty highway. A huge valley with high mountains on either side spread before us and every now and then we would pass through a small town filled with bikers, small greasy spoon restaurants and strange old junk. We stopped by one place with some cars all decorated up and a billboard advertising a hotel up ahead with a great deal on a cheap room if you feel lucky.

Then, in the distance we could see snow-capped peaks that offered respite from the heat and dust of the desert. We drove thru a nice farming community along the Walker River and the landscape became greener and cooler as we continued gaining altitude and climbing into the mountains. The temperature continued to drop and when we finally crested over the pass it had dropped to 42 degrees. High-end ski chalets had replaced the dusty desert shacks and we knew the Paradise of Lake Tahoe lay ahead.


4th May 2012

Las Vegas, Tahoe
Alissa just saw that Phantom show on a school choir trip in April. So you are headed to Tahoe! We love Tahoe and it has been a regular place for our summer trips. You need to get to the North and West Shores. Emerald Bay is beautiful and there is a cottage there that is usually open for tours. In Squaw you can take the gondola up to the top and hike around, ice skate and swim in the pool up there. We rent bikes at Squaw and then ride to "Sunnyside" restaurant on the lake and have lunch on the deck which looks at the lake. There is a boat tour that takes you to the Thunderbird lodge and you get to see the wood Thunderbird boat - quite a site. On north shore there is the Northstar resort that have shops and places to eat but this may be too commercial for you. Can't wait to see where you go after Tahoe!

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