We just got back from visiting my uncle in Las Vegas. I am happy to report that he is feeling much better, at least if his recent 18 mile bike ride is to be of any indication (which he completed one morning before I even considered getting out of bed). He was nice enough to open his home to us for a few days so myself, Hubby, and my brother could come invade and take over his pool and theater room.
We had a really great trip. Wednesday he picked Hubby and I up from the airport, and surprised us at his house with a bowl of Hostess goodies that he had arranged in light of the vending machine tragedy. I tell you not even that vending machine had as good of a collection as my uncle did! There were golden cupcakes, twinkies, ho-ho's, ding-dong's and chocolate zingers. Oh Happy Day! I think I gained 10 pounds in Hostess, but it tasted so good, especially after my forced sabbaticle. After gorging on Hostess, he took us to Red Rock Canyon. I'd been to Vegas probably two dozen times growing up, but I never knew about Red Rock Canyon. The colors of the rocks were surprisingly vibrant; you could see them from miles away. We took the scenic drive and Hubby did some impromptu rock climbing that the Clark County Parks Department probably would have frowned upon. The colors of the rocks were very distinct; you can see the drastic change in colors in the pictures below.
We spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool, eating In-N-Out and watching movies. Thursday after my brother arrived, my uncle took us up to Mt. Charleston, another area I had been completely unaware of. It was really pretty. As you drive up to the mountain, you are surrounded by cacti, tumbleweeds, and desert. Then, suddenly, you're in this mountain resort that looks like another geographic area entirely. There are pine trees and grass and it is drastically cooler. We ate lunch at a restaurant that served elk burgers (yes, out of real elk), so Hubby and my uncle each had to try one. After Mount Charleston, we did the one thing my brother really wanted to do: we went to a gun range so he could shoot automatic weapons. As we were pulling into the parking lot, there was a (large) guy with a mullet who was wearing a camouflage shirt that stated "I survived anorexia." I wanted to turn around and go home at that point. My husband and brother thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.
My brother shooting an M-16.
Friday we went down to the strip and hit some of the exhibits at the hotels. Hubby and I went to the Titanic exhibit where we got to see some of the artifacts they've recovered, my brother and I went to see the white tigers and white tiger cubs at The Secret Garden at the Mirage and Hubby and my uncle went to see the Ferrari dealership at the Wynn, and we swung by MGM to see the lions. It was funny how much the behaviors of the big cats resemble that of domestic cats. The trainers would throw balls to the lions and they would pounce on them and chase them. Of course, the toys that we use with our cats are about one inch in diameter, and the lions were playing with basketballs.
We took my uncle out to Bouchon at the Venetian for dinner, and then spent some time hanging poolside before Hubby, my brother and I went to a casino. We left for California Saturday morning to attend my cousin's wedding. On the way back to LA, we stopped for gas and saw a coyote!
We had so much fun, and it was painful to have to go to work this morning and get back to reality. Thank you uncle for a great time!!