Las Vegas isn't really my thing. When I think of Vegas, I always think of the strip - ugh. I was a +1 on a business trip last January and spend a couple of days wandering around the strip while P was at a conference. The strip grew old in about 10 minutes. This time, most of the family stayed in Lake Las Vegas, a near-ghost town in Henderson. Quite happily, the closest we got to the strip was the airport. We made a couple of side trips to Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire and a canyon near the Hoover Dam. California must have really rubbed off on me, because these mountains felt like home! Yes, we have mountains in New England, but it's just not the same and I have a tendency to think "Aw, they're so cute!" when thinking about the White Mountains or our other peaks in my area. I loved being back in "real" mountains again! :-)
Red Rock Canyon
Valley of Fire
When we were in Las Vegas last January, we went on a hiking/kayaking tour. We hiked three miles down to the Colorado River, found some natural hot springs, and then kayaked eight miles to the end site. The trip was awesome! So beautiful and so quiet. We even saw some curly horned goats. We decided that this year, we could easily replicate the hike and hot spring portion of the trip on our own. The hike was lovely and the hot springs felt amazing. I think we soaked a little too long because the trip back felt like 100 miles instead of three and we forgot to account for the rise in elevation the entire way. I was ready to eat a horse by the time we got back to the car! Next time we do that hike - and I hope there is a next time - I need to bring more snacks. Fortunately, that night we found this great restaurant that had lots of vegan and gluten-free options (with many choices for carnivores too) - based on how I was feeling by then, my family should be happy that I did not take those tofu tacos to a drive-through wedding!
Clearly, I need to keep reminding myself that there's more to Vegas than the strip!