At the end of Christmas break this year we took a family trip out to Las Vegas and San Diego to explore a different part of the country.
Based on our flight times, we had 5 full days which was perfect for what we wanted to do.
After that we had dinner and then checked into our hotel for the night.
Next, we drove to the Mojave National Preserve through a fresh snow storm which was really pretty to see the lifting clouds over the mountains.
We then went up into the mountains to the old mining town of Julian. It was straight up winter there. There was ice everywhere which made walking around the town a bit treacherous. We really struggled to get the car out of our parking spot which was parallel parked on an icy hill…yikes!!
After that we drove down to sunny San Diego. I was shocked at how cheap the hotels are here. I was expecting everything to be super expensive but we are staying at the Hilton for $100 per night with a beautiful view of the Coronado bridge.
Our first adventure in San Diego was to explore the USS Midway. It’s pretty amazing that this ship was still in service in the early 90s. One of the best parts about it is that they have lots of vets on board who give talks about different parts of the ship.
Today we had some perfect weather and decided to spend the day out at the San Diego zoo which is one of the best zoos in the world.
The animals were out and about and it was fantastic!
That evening, we went over to the coast to catch the sunset at the Sunset Cliffs. A wonderful finish to a wonderful day.
Today we had to drive back to Vegas. On our way back, we stopped off at the Calico ghost town which was pretty cool to see. It was restored back to its original condition and very neat to see all the old buildings and train and mining stuff.
We arrived at the Palazzo Hotel mid-afternoon. The Palazzo is attached and connected to the Venetian so it was fun to just walk around and see the beautiful architecture and design.
We spent a few hours out, then got a break and headed out again at night to see the buildings all lit up at night. Ceasar’s Palace, The Bellagio Fountains, Paris…all amazing!
This morning we started the day exploring the Neon Museum.
It was pretty neat to see but it was much smaller than I expected. There were basically two small rows of signs and you could walk through it in just a couple minutes so paying $85 for the family to go through was a bit much.
After that we headed over to Fremont st and had a walk around and some lunch. Then we went to Circus Circus to catch the quick Ladderman show.
This afternoon we went to the Forum shops at Caesar’s Palace. Absolutely amazing design and architecture and some fantastic photography galleries.
We caught the Atlantis show at the end. That was super cheesy but fun for the kids.
Earlier this year, Cheridy and I had gone to the actual Trevi Fountain in Rome so it was neat to compare the two.
Our last night in Vegas, we saw La Reve at the Wynn hotel.
That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
The physical abilities of the performers is mind blowing but what is equally amazing is the engineering that went into it. The moving platforms that made the pool go from 1” down to a pool deep enough to dive from 60’ up was crazy. I’m not even sure how many different pieces there were but it was a lot. The lights, the fountains, the acrobatics and aerobatics were mesmerizing.
The theater was also incredible. With only 13 rows of seats in a circle, everyone got an amazing view. We paid a premium for our seats to be in the back row which also included tv screens which gave us behind the scenes views for the prep work before the show along with many different camera angles that showed us what was happening from up in the rafters down under water. It was really neat to see how the scuba team was assisting the performers from underwater.
I had never heard of La Reve and some of the other cirque shows we looked at were sold out so we are very thankful to have been able to do that.
We flew home and had an uneventful flight back. Desert, mountains, ocean, and cities, it was a packed 5 days!!