Trip 6: Fourth of July Weekend Getaway with my Puerto Rican girlfriend and colleague

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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I have had a fair share of visits to the Sin City as it is popularly referred to. It is America's Independence Day (4th of July), two days after my mid-life birthday and I go spontaneous again. By this time of course my work colleague Maria and I have driven a little over 410 miles from Tucson to the Grand Canyon and from the Canyon to Las Vegas. The sun was setting in the west when we began our decent to Hoover dam which is located in Boulder City in the southwest of Las Vegas. The view quite something to see: breathtaking indeed. Maria and I had earlier on switched seats and I was in the driver�s seat.

She had driven from Tucson all the way to the Grand Canyon. I took up driving once we exited the 26-mile stretch of the Canyon rim which leads to the South Gate and to the visitors center: the weather was unpredictable and it seemed as if the rain would come down anytime, but from a distance the clear skies told a different story all together. Well the weather was really not of concern as we would be leaving the canyon soon and head towards our final destination. We had earlier had lunch at the Grand Canyon visitors center where we also got clarification on which route was the shortest plus we needed help on how to exit Hwy 40 in order to get to HWY 93. It was getting darker quick and, my camera battery had died out: I was frustrated because we were slopping into the dam, but could not snap any photographs. Maria was very calm and reassuring; she said we should plan to spend more time at the dam on the return journey.
We decided we would tour the dam on our return journey.

The drive down was slow as the road is winding and for security/ safety the speed limit is reduced literally to 15 miles an hour. You have to drive there to understand the dire need for less speed, lol! Besides being security prone, the whole place is currently tapped as a construction zone because the construction of a high profile bypass bridge is in progress. We successfully crossed the dam and headed south on Hwy 93 and soon we were on 215 headed towards the Marriott Residence Inn hotel on the East Side of the Las Vegas strip. The choice of hotel was not deliberate, given that the whole 3 day Grand canyon-Las Vegas-Hoover dam trip was a spontaneous thing, Maria and I had bid for a hotel room on priceline.

com. For the price of $80.00 a night, we got us an unbelievable double, self-contained room with a living area, kitchen, walk in bathroom and closed and so much space around the sleeping area. What was interesting about the location of the Marriott Residence inn, was that it had to holiday inn right next door as well as the JW Marriott. Our hotel was set at an elevation from where we could see the strip and the Mandalay Bay hotel. As you can imagine, we were exhausted by the time we got to the hotel, it was a little after eight. We decided to check in and freshen up, both of us desperately needed a shower/bath � not with all the heat we had to endure along the way. Once in the room, the first thing I did was get out my camera and plug it in to charge, and then jumped into the shower first, the water felt heavenly, lol! The bed was as soft and cuddly as a baby�s bed and the night felt sweet and soundless as we both lay down calling it a successful day.

Saturday July 05, was the actual tour day for Las Vegas. We had breakfast at the hotel at about eight. The buffet breakfast was inviting as I had taken my last meal at 4:00 p.m. the day before at the Grand Canyon. The part of this whole trip that was frustrating was the part when we spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon trying to find a charger for Maria�s FUGI camera. No electronic shop within a radius of 20 miles either direction had a charger that could work for her. My patience was really tried at this point as I sincerely tried not to show my frustration; once we decided not to worry about it anymore, we began to look for a place to eat. It was a little after 3:00 pm. and 5 stops later that we finally decided to stop at the Paris hotel and dine at Mon Ami GABI. Out of the car, out of the heat and under a shade felt so refreshing.

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photo by: maka77