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The Voyage – Day Nine

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Frisco is behind us. An overnight in Bakersfield is behind us. And we’re heading southeast and then east across southern California.


We break from the well-irrigated fields of central California through a small group of mountains and find ourselves in the Mojave Desert, which I don’t find to look quite as I expected.

And what did I expect, you may ask? I expected this:

But with anvils. And explosives.


Or at least a cactus.


At the end of our day’s voyage was our oasis for the night:

Because what family vacation would truly be complete without a trip to Sin City?


The highlight? Seeing a Janet taking off (one of the twice daily flights carrying contractors to Area 51 from Vegas)!


Okay, maybe not.


We started by taking the kids all the way up the strip to downtown, where we walked through Fremont Street before going to a buffet for dinner. There is nothing that welcomes you to the complete sensual assault that is Las Vegas than a street covered by a giant video screen and speakers piping out loud rock music:


I tried to get a picture of Patrick with a showgirl who was out around here, and he just wouldn’t do it. Go figure.


So we headed back to the car and went back to the strip. We parked in the ramp behind Paris (just ponder that sentence, completely taken out of context) and headed out to the Bellagio.

(I don’t know why, but this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.)


We walked the kids through the Bellagio–past the shops, through one of the slot machine areas, past the poker tables, past the blackjack tables, past more slot machines, and finally to the lobby, where this adorns the ceiling:

From there, we went into the next room–a garden that they replace and redo every year:

And there was a lighthouse to light our way…to…uh…The Keno machines!


Actually, Patrick was mesmerized by everything he was seeing on the strip. And then we headed out to see the fountain show in front of the Bellagio:

And he wanted to wait for the next one:

Sure, the town may be loud and busy and obnoxious and overwhelming, but there are times where it’s just plain pretty.


By this point, it was midnight, and we had a long day coming.


Next week: The Dam, The Canyon, and Arizona after dark.


See you next time.