Monday, May 14, 2012

What happens in...

VEGAS!  Last week, Thomas and I had the opportunity to spend some fantastic time just the two of us on the first leg of our 2012 Vacation Extravaganza!!  We were headed out there because my little brother has completed his one year Bible Certification at West Cost Baptist College in Lancaster, CA and we wanted to be there to celebrate with him and drive him back here for the summer!  So, we drove out on Sunday to Las Vegas and spent Sunday night, all day Monday and Monday night there before heading into CA to the airport pick up my parents, Malachi and our "niece" Kadi Jo for the rest of the week!  Because I took approximately 260 pictures, I'll just post about the first leg of our vacation...Las Vegas!  We had been warned about the nature of "Sin City" and knew (we thought) what to expect.  But even still, it was more than we were comfortable with.  Suffice it to say that from the hours of 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., it was a lovely place.  After that, had we not had a reason to be out (to see the Phantom of the Opera), we probably would have holed up in our hotel room!  Definitely not our speed and way more in your face than we ever expected!  We had our fill and it will be a good long while before we go back...if ever!  (I'd be happy to explain exactly why if you're interested...just shoot me an e-mail!)  However, as I said, we are very thankful for the time we had together and genuinely had a good time looking through all of the hotels and seeing the sights!

As I said, we left Sunday morning around 5:00a.m. to head out and drove the whole way to Las Vegas...which landed us there around 5:00p.m. their time! THIS is what my bed looked like on Saturday night!  Not only did we have to pack for ourselves for a week, but we had to pack Malachi for Saturday night, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for staying with Lolli and Pop.  Then, we had to pack his bag for the time he would be with us, from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday night!  So, yes, it was a little chaotic getting everything together!  I'm happy to report, though, that I only forgot my razor and picked one up at the Walgreens near our hotel in Vegas! 
Our first major stop prior to Vegas was the Hoover Dam and we are SO glad we did! It is absolutely amazing to me that such an amazing marvel was constructed from 1931-1936 without the major machinery and technology we have at our hands today! Over 100 men died in its construction (though none are buried in the concrete as is rumored) and cost $49 Million to build in 1931 dollars! Since September 11, you can no longer travel between Arizona and Nevada on the dam. A new bridge has been built apart from it for security reasons and that's the bridge you'll see pictured!

The Dam itself!  The white area along the bottom of the rocks on the right side of the picture shows how low Lake Mead's levels are right now because of the extreme drought situation! 

My hunky hubby and I in front of the dam!  (For the record...although I LOVE rollercoasters...I did NOT love being this high!) 

How high were we you may ask?  THIS high!  This picture was taken from the dam itself as we drove across and prepared to turn around!

Finally, we arrived in Las Vegas and, after a brief respite to clean up and change clothes, we headed out for our first night!  From our room we could see the Eiffel Tower of the Paris Hotel!  (This picture was taken at street level)

Here I am waiting to utilize the public transportation system to get to breakfast on Monday!  (Eating on strip is RIDICULOUSLY we headed down to Main Street for a $6.99 buffet!)

My sweet hubby standing in front of the New York skyline!  I just LOVE the juxtaposition of the New York sights with the palm trees!

This was a beautiful indoor garden area in one of the hotels!  I think it might have been the Palazzo?

Of course - no trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a trip to M&M world!! 

Thomas eating at the Cheesecake Factory before we went to see...

The Phantom of the Opera!  Now THAT was incredible!  An amazing experience and one we're SO glad we splurged on! 

The next morning, before leaving for California, we headed over to the Pawn Shop made famous on  History Channel's "Pawn Stars!"  Behind me you'll see a "WT" brand from West Texas State University (now WTAMU) that was pawned a few years ago by some WT professors!  I attended there for 2.5 years before we went to Texas Tech!

And here's my husband in the signature "Pawn Stars" pose!

And, while we were sad to see our time together end, NOTHING could prepare us for leg two of our journey...Huntington Beach and DISNEYLAND!!!

To Be Continued...


Jacquie said...

My first thought when I started reading this post was... I wonder what their impression of Las Vegas was. I've never been there, but just what I've heard about it (and imagine) is something I don't know that I could do because of my beliefs. I was thrilled to see that you felt the same way I think I would've felt. I love that you spoke your feelings on it!

I'm interested in reading your next post... I grew up in southern Cali and frequented both Disneyland and Huntington Beach!

Thomas and Jamie said...

Jacquie - all I kept thinking was that this must be what Sodom and Gomorrah was like! That may be extreme to some and I won't judge anyone that likes to go. However, the in your face debauchary and complete acceptance of it was just too much. My husband was incredibly overwhelmed at all of the images being thrown in his face and a couple times I literally stood in front of him and lead him around so all he had to look at was me. And no, that's not because he couldn't control himself, but just because he didn't want his head filled with so many of those images! I kept singing..."Oh be careful little eyes what you see..." to myself!

On another note - I've missed reading about your sweet family and have wondered how Maddie is doing! I'm sure hoping that things have worked out well for Tyler and Daisy!