Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vegas with the Family Part 2

We had a full day of fun on Saturday. Jason took the kids to Home Depot for a kid's building class. They made mailboxes to hold all their Valentines. While they were gone, Isa and Christy went to the gym and I went for a run. Not even a quarter mile from the house, I found an open gate.

So I went in to explore.

Not sure of just how illegal it would be to run in the flood channel, I opted to run along the street instead. Also because all the other gates were locked so I figured I wouldn't be able to get out as easily as I was able to get in.

I saw the park on the map and thought that'd be nice to jog through. A little green respite in the middle of the desert of Las Vegas.

I was wrong.

It's not quite Central Park.

I really think Google Maps oughta show desert parks as brown instead of green.

It did have a fake lake though.

After a quick lunch, we all went out for a hike in Red Rock Canyon.

There was a lot of exploring.

A little off-trailing...

Lots of climbing on rocks.

And surveying and finding the tallest trees.

We also got a family pic, which is probably our first in about 10 years.

The Lost Creek trail that we took ended at a waterfall. As crazy as this sounds, the whole area around the waterfall was frozen. Ice in the Las Vegas desert?! Shocking, right?!

Everyone got pics around the frozen tree.

And I took lots of pics of the tree because I thought it was soo cool. Look at how much ice is around these little twigs!

And one from behind the waterfall, which I didn't like how it turned out but I rested in some dirt and got my jacket dirty for this pic so I'll be darned if I don't post it.

We hiked back out to the car and drove over to another spot - Calico Basin. The drive between the two parks was definitely scenic.

This one started with a boardwalk and then ended on an overlook.

This whole area, from Red Rock Canyon to Calico Basin, is a rock climber's paradise. There are climbers everywhere. And they're amazing.

Our reward for hiking was shaved ice at Bahama Bucks. There are too many flavors and I didn't want to keep asking for samples, so I caved and just ordered Dreamsicle. And it wasn't good. So I asked them to add a bunch of pineapple and it made it better. If you ask MJ if she liked her sour raspberry shaved ice though, she loved it.

Then we went over to the Silverton Hotel and Casino. They have a giant aquarium right in the main lobby as soon as you walk in.  The tank has tons of tropical fish...

...a few sharks...

...and a bunch of stingrays.

At 4:30, a diver came and fed the fish and the stingrays.

And then a mermaid came to say hello.

She did a lot of back flips and played with bubbles.

We dropped the kids off at home (with their parents) and then Chris, Maryellen, Isa, and I went out to Freemont Street.

Chris and Maryellen were going to do the Slotzilla zipline but all the time slots were sold out until 1:40am. Which is about 4 hours past our bedtime.

So we wandered around the street and checked out the neon signs and the street performers for a bit.

Then we headed over to the Strip again. We parked at the Bellagio and walked through the hotel. The gardens were decorated beautifully for Chinese New Year.

If you can't tell, 2016 is the year of the monkey.

The lobby is still amazing. 2000 hand blown glass flowers. And a horse now.

As we walked out, we found a patio that I'd never been on. This is between the hotel and the water.

We walked around to the Boulevard side to watch the next water show. All that Jazz. Soo good.

After a quick stop in Hexx for some peanut butter cookies, we walked over to the Venetian, which was much further than we had anticipated. But so worth it.

We caught the tail end of one more water show (Uptown Funk) before heading back home around midnight, which was WAY past our bedtime.

Such a fun, full day in Las Vegas!

Vegas with the Family Part 1

Here's a little Ciccotelli family history.

I have two brothers - Christopher and Jason. My older brother Chris is married to Maryellen and they live about an hour outside the City (New York). My little brother Jason is married to Christy and they live in Las Vegas. They have two kids - Ty and MJ.

Maryellen found cheap flights to Vegas, so we all up and left for a spur-of-the-moment brothers reunion. We took Virgin America through Dallas Love Field on Wednesday. It was rainy and cold in New York, but it's always sunny above the clouds.

Virgin is fun. Love their mood lighting.

We started our descent into Dallas around sunset.

Apparently I can't hold my camera still on an airplane.

So I switched cameras to the Canon, which pretty much sees in the dark, and you see a little clearer picture.

We were on the wrong side of the plane to see the Strip as we landed, so I don't have any cool Vegas pics from the plane.

----- [Thursday] -----

We worked all day on Thursday and then went out to Lockdown - an escape room game. I'm really good at these and I was 100% confident we'd escape. But we failed. :( Don't let the smile fool you, I was heartbroken and destroyed inside.

We also cruised through the Strip to show it off to Chris and Maryellen, who've never been here before.

----- [Friday] -----

Chris and Maryellen went out to Hoover Dam and nearly got stuck in an elevator while we worked all day on Friday. Then they went shopping while Isa and I headed to the Linq, the Strip's newest attraction.

The High Roller Ferris Wheel there is the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world (as of right now). It's big.

This area is next to Flamingo, which is very photogenic.

We also stopped by Del Sol in the Grand Bazaar shops. But it was closed. :(

When we got home, nobody was there (Jason and Christy were at a birthday party with the kids). So we went back out for popcorn and ice cream.

Nielsen's Frozen Custard is next level ridiculously good. And Popped, with its delicious gourmet popcorn, is just two doors down. Isa got the Pink'adelic.

That's good for one blog post.

Click here for tomorrow's all day adventure*

*includes running in Sunset Park, hiking through Red Rock Canyon, and playing on the Strip.


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