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  #1  
Old 11-28-2016, 12:51 PM
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Default NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

Just got back from a whirlwind trip through the south west. Highlights/destinations in red.

Flew into Vegas, rented a SUV and off we went.
Down to Hoover Dam
Up to Grand Canyon

Headed north into Utah

Drove through the Grand Staircase which looked like the painted desert (but that's in AZ)

Tried to get to Bryce Canyon but fog then snow started just as we were pulling into the park. Visibility was poor so we did a u-turn and headed back out. Good thing we did. Snow came down hard and travel was nasty. The truck in front of us spun out and saw people climbing out of their SUV that they just flipped over.

Spent a day hiking around Zion National park. Loads of Bighorn sheep. Interesting watching them walk on cliffs.

From Zion (UT), drove to San Diego. Went on the USS Midway (museum now), Zoo and La Jolla. La Jolla is where all the seals and sea lions hang out. You can walk right up to them.

Left San Diego to Los Angeles. Went to Newport Beach, Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood sign, Rodeo drive/Beverly Hills, Santa Monica pier, and the "area of" Venice beach. Didn't go on the actual beach. Spent the evening at Downtown Disney.

Left LA to Las Vegas. Spent the first night at the Venetian Hotel. Got a nice suite which was a nice change from the Marriott level hotels we had been staying at. Walked the strip which has changed drastically since I was there 8 years ago and did a little gambling. Spent the 2nd night at the Luxor (the hotel that looks like a pyramid). That place is a dump now.

Flew home yesterday. It's supposed to be the busiest travel day of the year but the lines at TSA were very short.

Took today as an extra vacation day as it's opening day of buck season in PA. A very slow morning but will go out again this afternoon.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2016, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

Sounds like a great road trip!!!!

I haven't done the south-west like that in at least 12 years.

Las Vegas is one of those places that I enjoy for 2 or 3 days and then have to get out of there. How has The Strip changed? Last time I was in Vegas it was on it's "family" kick with a multitude of screaming kids running all over the place. Even then, it had started to get a little seedy under the veneer of opulence and extravagance.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

For Vegas, obviously, the skyline has changed with hotels being torn down and new ones going in. I don't recall the Venetian hotel complex being so big. It's now the largest hotel in North America and 2nd largest hotel in the world.

Caesar's Palace complex is a lot bigger. That open area that used to be in front of the hotel is now all buildings.

The ship/show in front of Treasure Island is gone. Replaced with more buildings.

They have all kinds of fences and such to separate traffic from pedestrians. Between the fences, shrubbery, kiosks and street performers, it's harder to move around.

I didn't see a lot of kid type activities so I guess they're past that phase.

I think the ventilation systems at all the casinos have been shut down. I'm a smoker but every casino I was in (Venetian, Caesar's, Bellagio & Luxor) stunk of smoke really bad. When I left to go to the room, I'd have to ditch those clothes and wash up.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

Wow, sounds like a whirlwind trip. I've enjoyed the zaniness of Venice Beach multiple times but I've never stepped on the actual beach. always just toe paved boardwalk/ vendor area. Wild place.

What was your favorite part of the trip?
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

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What was your favorite part of the trip?
If you mean destination or event, I don't know if I have a favorite (but am always awe-struck at the Grand Canyon). I've been to most of these places many times before. This trip was to take the kids to see them as it was their first time.

Things that I found important were good beds and a robust/free breakfast available at the hotel.

One thing I did do that was awesome and new to me was the buffet at the Bellagio (in Vegas). Come with a hearty appetite. We had to bring a deep wallet as it was a holiday. King crab, large shrimp, prime rib, rack of lamb... Get seated just before 3PM to get the lunch rate. At 3PM price goes up $11 and that's when they bring out the dinner menu. The buffet at Caeser's Palace is rated a little higher but it was a 2.5 hour wait assuming it was because of the holiday weekend.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

What no wonderful Phoenix?
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

Awesome road trip. I have a hard time driving more than 3 hrs now.

living the dream
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

No Phoenix. Stayed in the I-40 corridor and points north.

One thing about the West, it's a lot bigger than it looks on a map. 3 hours is often not enough time to get from point A to point B. I recall one morning where we drove nearly 100 miles without seeing another vehicle on our side of the road.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

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Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
One thing about the West, it's a lot bigger than it looks on a map. 3 hours is often not enough time to get from point A to point B. I recall one morning where we drove nearly 100 miles without seeing another vehicle on our side of the road.
That's the thing that it is often difficult to get visitors from the UK to understand, just how big this country is and how much open space there is out there. It's especially difficult for the first timers to relate to. Before their big trip through the "West", they always look at me strangely when I tell them to be sure to fill up when they start out every morning because there isn't a gas pump on every corner.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: NV, AZ, UT, CA - 1800 miles, 9 days, 7 hotels

Yep, I tried to keep my tank at least 1/2 full.

When we were going through the Mojave Desert, I thankfully topped off before entering. Sure enough, a wreck of some sort on I-15. We were in a really long (2 hour?) traffic jam. No alternate route without backtracking at least 100 miles. There was 1 exit and the sole business was a gas station. The line for fuel (and the ladies room) were really long.
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