Ok, Ok. So i know it’s winter over here but seriously…. -4 at 9.00am!! What is that? That was the temp as we headed over to the lodge for breakfast… crazy right! We warmed up with vanilla cinnamon french toast with house made cactus maple syrup.  With happy tummy’s we set off for our first day of hiking. 12km later, we had seen the Grotto, Emerald pools, the Watchman and the Temple of Sinawava. Everywhere you turned, you were greeted with amazing scenery. Towering canyon walls, glistening streams and wild deer were all within touching distance. It was tranquil, calming and so good for the soul. Below are some quick edits as it’s late again and we have another big day tomorrow. We are hiking weeping rock before check out and then heading to Page.

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Today started with a very long walk to the Venetian hotel for a gondola ride. Unfortunately we were to early so had to settle for some photos in front of the boast instead. OMG inside that place is amazing!! I wish we could have spent more time there but we had check out at 11am and had to head back to the hotel.

MummynmephotographyIt’s such a scenic drive from Vegas to Zion National Park. You actually drive right through the mountain range!  We couldn’t believe how they accomplished that. Then, the glorious mountains inside the park are stunning. Freezing cold, but stunning! There was actually snow on the peaks, which aren’t that far up. Looks like winter is here and we better be ready. Its midnight, and currently -3 outside. Tomorrow will be a high of 2 going down to -11. Ummmm, can I come home now!.  We are staying in a little log cabin with a fire place which is lovely, there are wild dear roaming just outside. We were surprised by  how close we could get to them. Anyway, tomorrow we are hiking some of the trails so there should be some amazing scenery shots to come!

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We had a lazy start to the day before heading over to Mandalay Bay to visit Shark Reef. Wow, they have really put some thought into the decor! Lots of detail in the tanks and surrounds. You could easily think you were inside a old wooden ship. The kids were just thrilled with the displays and the sharks! There were some beauty’s. They had a touch tank full of baby ray’s which was cool but the blue jellyfish display was by far my favorite.

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Afterwards, we rushed down some dinner and headed over to Luxor to watch Criss Angel’s Mindfreak magic show. Well that was definitely a production and a half! He truly is quite spectacular to watch. He actually turned 100 animated doves into live birds that flew from the screen out into the audience, made a full size motorcycle appear out of thin air and cut a lady in half with a giant chain saw. But what he is most famous for, is his levitation. That was simply spectacular! He walked horizontally down a ladder and then proceeded to fully levitate…. all over the stage! If you ever get the chance to see him live I highly recommend it. The kids are magician experts and they gave the show two thumbs up. 🙂

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After the show we headed home but couldn’t resist grabbing one last shot of the strip as tonight is our last night here. Tomorrow its off to Zion National Park for the start of our hiking adventure.

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So I set the alarm for 8 am after yesterday’s debacle. Didn’t do me much good as Mark and the kids were still lights out till 9.15am! The quick trip to Costco to get some Gluten free food etc for Benjamin turned into a 4 hour road trip all the way to the other side of Vegas. Not quite what was planned for today but at least we are now eating! (and maybe drinking – the made up Eggnog is divine!) As soon as we got home, the kids wanted to head to the pool. They missed it yesterday as the pools are closing early here due to winter so they were a bit bummed. Usually the tradition on holiday is to quickly dump any bags in the room, strip and dive straight in.  So, it was first up today. Let me tell you tho, it was 11 deg and blowing a gale so not my idea of a good time!

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Yes, we were the only freaks in the pool!  Well, I stayed in the spa which was passable but the other weirdo’s in my family actually hit the pool. They said it was slightly heated but as you can see, they spent more time with me so I’m guessing it wasn’t that warm :).  After the pool, we hit the strip. MnM world was spotted by the sweet tooth in the family aka Ayrlie on the way in yesterday so off we went to check it out. Dinner was on the recommendation of Aunty Michelle, the Rainforest Cafe. What an amazing place. Roof to floor vines, animated animals and even a thunderstorm every 15 min complete with flashing lights and sound effects. Dinner was great and the kids had a ball.

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The strip has such a different feel and look by day and night. It’s truly magical as the sun sets and the lights turn on. The Bellagio Hotel is OMG massive and does this beautifully choreographed water light show every 15 min. The kids were mesmerized, so much so we watched it twice in a row. I didn’t realise they played different songs and each show is different.  It was stunning!

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Everyone is still recovering from a bit of jet lag so we are forfeiting the trip to Hoover Dam tomorrow for a show and gondola ride instead. Now, off to bed.

Bon xx

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After 4 hours of delays we finally touched down on US soil! Phew, that was a long trip! We head to the car dealership to be told our luggage won’t fit in the car we booked….oops. Half a house payment later, we’ve upgraded to a beast of a car and are on our way to find a Costco and Wholefoods for some much needed alcohol and gluten free food for Benjamin :).

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Due to massive traffic and the late arrival we never made it to Costco and decided to leave the shopping till later. We grabbed some dinner and headed to the hotel. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite as described on line so we just closed our eyes, thought happy thoughts and went to sleep! 15 hours later and just 15 min before checkout we peacefully awaken from our slumber. Mad rushing follows to pack, get dressed and rush out to start our drive to Las Vegas. The scenery was  beautiful! Very arid with cacti everywhere. We stopped in at Peggy Sue’s Diner for lunch. It’s a typical 50’s Diner set out in splendid decor.

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It was already colder than we expected so we aren’t looking forward to the next couple of weeks. We are staying at the MGM Signature tower in a gorgeous suit booked through AirBnB. Sorry the images aren’t great as the camera was flat and they were taken on the mobile. We are on the 34th floor (only 37) so have a stunning view of the strip. The bathroom alone is bigger than our fist nights accommodation!

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After a quick break we rugged up and headed out for dinner. Margaritaville was the destination, the one ‘must see’ place on Hubby’s list. It didn’t disappoint either. We all shared the Volcano Nachos and topped it off with Key Lime Pie, Margarita’s and house made Blueberry Lemonade. Every 30 min they put on a show that ends in a girl riding down the slide into a jug of Margaritas. Kids thought this was just the best. Food and service was excellent and we will definitely go again.

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The time in now pushing midnight so I’m off to bed. Big day exploring tomorrow.

 

Bon xx

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