If you don't want to see about nine million pictures, totally ignore this post.
If you DO want to see nine million pictures...well, then I ask you to read on internet!
I tried to document our trip with as many pictures as I could take. All in all I think I came home with 350. I had to erase about 25, too. I, in all my packing and baking glory, only managed to get one memory card in the camera case. I've edited them down though. Don't worry, you won't have to scroll through 350. Half that, maybe.
I thought about condensing this into several posts, driving to Nevada, Las Vegas, the cake and wedding, and the Hoover Dam but then I decided that it's much more effective in one post. Because this is how we experienced it. It was a total whirlwind of a trip.
Outside of Amarillo:
I really loved the big grain plants and windmills. Something about it defined "road trip" to me. I've driven this route before, but when I was 11 and in the back of my parents Jeep Cherokee. It felt familiar but different at the same time.
New Mexico welcomed us.
I remember this from when I was a kid - almost every piece of scenery we saw in New Mexico, I remembered.
The painted desert.
Arizona welcomes us!
Sun setting in Arizona
This is what we did on the trip! (we also talked and listened to a lot of tunes - but watching seasons 2 and 3 of The Office definitely provided for some comic relief!)
We ate Salsa Brava in Flagstaff (just off of historic Route 66) for dinner Friday evening. It was delicious! They had a huge salsa bar! You are served empty bowls and chips when first seated - then it's up to you to get up and choose from several different kinds of salsa. Hot to Super HOT, pico, pineapple habanero...just to name a few! Those of you who know me know that this is my kind of place. I eat salsa EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE.
We could have gone a little more west had we chosen.
At this point it got a little more difficult to take pictures in the dark, in a moving car. We passed through the Hoover Dam around 11 at night - we stopped on the side and took a look down. It was breathtaking. Even at night. And I have to say, the stars in Arizona and Nevada are AMAZING. We spent a lot of time just looking up at the sky on our long stretch down Highway 93.
We arrived in Las Vegas around 11:30 and drove down the ENTIRE strip until we finally reached our hotel, The Mandalay Bay.
(We actually took these pictures the last night of our trip. The Mandalay Bay is at the very south part of the strip and we drove in from the other direction. I thought I'd post them here anyway, for dramatic effect)
They were working on turning the famous sign into a tourist stop/attraction with some astroturf and a fence around it - we happened to be there pretty late at night after they had been working on it. I thought I'd leave my mark on Vegas the best way I knew how.
The morning after we arrived, I worked on the cake like a mad woman. If you want to read about that, please head over to Frosted Garden. I've included pictures of the mess that our room was and many other pictures of the cake!
Some interiors of the hotel
The wedding + cake party in the sweetest suite
Inside New York New York
On the strip
Yes, I really did. May not have been the NY Fao, but it will do!
And yes, I took a picture of Pure (inside Caesars)
Eating at Gonzales y Gonzales on the "streets" of New York New York. It was actually pretty good! (what is it with Texans and Mexican food??)
Rodney insisted that I take a picture of Circus Circus, which is pretty much on death watch now. It's in the older part of the strip and their pretty much tearing everything on that side down and making room for the bigger hotels.
Inside Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce (which was inside of our hotel).
In the lobby (at the Mirage) of Beatles Love.
Beatles Revolution Cafe/night club
Love was the last thing we did while we were in Vegas. We did visit The Palms the second night we were there - but I didn't get any good pictures. I didn't bring the camera and I did take some on my iphone but they didn't turn out that great.
We had such a good time while we were there. We won, we lost, we laughed and had a really good time together. We got 3 meals comped and a $50 breakfast in our room, we ate at Del Taco (try the el scorcho sauce!) and I even ate at IN-N-OUT BURGER. That's right, I did. I ate a few bites of Rodney's dub dub and was completely sick the next day (this is why I don't eat meat). It was totally worth it.
We actually ate their twice. Once the second night we were there (when I had only a few bites) and once on our way out of town, in Arizona. The second time, I did a little more research and found some things on the famous "secret menu" that I had to try. I told Rodney to order a double double animal style, fries light, a veggie burger, a grilled cheese and fries animal style. For those of you unfamiliar with In-N-Out - they have like 4 things on the menu but what makes them famous (besides the fact that they are CRAZY cheap and the burgers are DELICIOUS) is the secret, word of mouth menu. I looked up some terms before our second visit.
Some iphone pictures:
Rodney's dub dub animal style
My VEGGIE BURGER (which was basically a burger with no patty)
Oh, I already miss you.
The Hoover Dam.
This was a really exciting portion of the trip for me. We decided at the last minute to stop and spend TWO HOURS touring the dam. We are awesome.
That was it! Thanks for reading/looking through this entire post, I know it was really long!