Our friend mom had passed the year before, so when her dad passed and she wanted to go to Vegas, you don’t ask questions. You just pack the bags and go. When planning this trip, flights were stupid expensive at the time. We all decided why not just road trip there, stop and explore Arizona and the canyon before we get to Vegas, then drive on back! I don’t know if you’ve ever started a road trip from central Texas, but getting out of TX is for SURE the hardest part. We were going to stop at El Paso, but how boring is that, to say you drove over 9 hours just to still be in Texas. Our goal was to stop at the next main town in New Mexico. Las Cruces, New Mexico. We finally get there. It’s after midnight. We start googling and calling hotels. Every. Single. Hotel. Was. Booked. How does that happen in this random town in New Mexico? Turns out The Mule with Clint Eastwood happened to be filming then and everyone apart of the movie booked up every hotel. So that’s why. The next town with a hotel was in Deming, NM which was an hour away. Luckily, Sean was still good with driving but we basically pushed super hard with a 12 hour day of driving. The push ended up being worth it because we were only 3 hours away from Saguaro National Park. We were able to get some sleep leaving later in the morning instead of at the crack of dawn. We got to the park around 11 and got to drive around and enjoy the beautiful landscape of mountains and massive cacti.
I know were just a couple of Texans, and to people familiar with Saguaro Cactus, probably think it’s not that cool, but we literally were in awe. We were also with our friends that we have a blast with, so we were throwing out jokes left and right. Sean and I spotted the Prom Pose Cacti and knew we had to do the same!
After spending a few hours enjoying the scenery of the saguaro cacti, we were on the road again heading towards the Grand Canyon. We ended up making it to Kingman, AZ which was like almost 5 hours away from the saguaros. We basically just used this as a place to crash knowing the Grand Canyon was on the agenda the next day. Kingman was only an hour and a half away from the Grand Canyon, so we were able to sleep in a bit before heading that way. There was a long stretch of flat dry land on the way there. We had a motorcycle in front of us with a GoPro that veered off. I’m pretty sure he got some badass footage. Anyways, we roll up to the Grand Canyon Skywalk side which is actually on Native American land. There were some regulations and we were stopped and asked if we had any firearms, alcohol or drones….. Being from Texas and on vacation, I think all of us had guilty stamped on our faces. We all had our handguns with us and there were cases on cases of beer in the back with handles of bourbon in the mix as well. Realizing we’d probably be in more trouble if we lied, we said we had 2 of the 3 but no drones. Luckily, the dude just asked us to leave them in the truck and we’d be good. The Grand Canyon truly is an emotional experience. It is a world wonder for a reason. Your jaw will be on the floor with how captivating and spectacular it is.
So the Skywalk was super cool, the annoying part of it was we weren’t allowed to bring anything (including phones) in and couldn’t go to the tip unless we wanted to pay for photos from a photographer. I don’t remember how much they cost, but they must have been outrageously expensive for us to opt out of it as it would’ve been super cool to have pics from that view, it is what it is. I definitely want to go back to the Grand Canyon and see different sides of it. Spend multiple days trying to see all of it, each side, over, in it, etc. Once we were done with the canyon it was about a 2 hour drive to Vegas with us going over the Hoover Dam. This is another thing I’ve never seen before. It wasn’t something we felt the need to get out of our car to explore, although, Sean and I did run out to try and find bathrooms. We did snag photos from the car though and that was enough for us. Little fun fact that we learned about the Hoover Dam from a show called How The States Got Their Shapes, not by the visiting the dam itself, but it’s located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, therefore, it’s two different time zones. A bit fun if you’re a worker there.
Off to Vegas. We started at Fremont Street. Went to a few places there to gamble, eat and drink before heading to our hotel on the main strip which was Planet Hollywood. The next day we enjoyed everything Vegas has to offer. Casino hopping, enjoying free drinks while gambling.
We had a show that night. Can you really go to Vegas and not see a show? We decided on Absinthe which was HILARIOUS, Raunchy and Acrobatic. I highly recommend that one if y’all are in town and it’s going on. It was a smaller venue. It was actually like a circus tent outside of Caesar’s palace. I loved the fact that it was a smaller venue because there wasn’t a bad seat in the house when it came to views.
After the show, we enjoyed your usual Vegas spots like the Bellagio fountain show. We went over to Treasure Island to see their pirate show. I don’t think I was that drunk, but either we didn’t see it for some reason, or it wasn’t entertaining enough for me to remember it. I do remember going into Treasure Island hotel and thinking it was very dated and tacky looking. Anyways, we called it a night knowing we had a drive ahead of us. I’m not sure exactly what time we left. Probably check out time like 11, grabbed lunch then headed on the road. I don’t know what our original plan was, but I know it was not what actually ended up happening. There were four of us in the car so naturally we took shifts. Our friend took the last trip and had a friend in Lamesa, TX. That’s basically like super west Texas, between Odessa and Lubbock… you know just about 14 + hours away from Vegas. As we were on the road, we decided to push it and try and make it to his house. All of a sudden, we find the boys asleep and I knew I had to stay awake and keep talking so our drive could keep pushing. We didn’t roll up to his house until 3am. Then it was like a reunion between our friend and her friend, that we (us girls and the friend and his bf) ended up staying awake partying until almost 5am while our husbands were ptfo. I have no idea how we managed to wake up around 7-8ish to get back on the road. We ended up snagging breakfast at a taco place, then stopped for gas where her friend came wanting to give us some carne guisada tacos for the road.. yeah he gave us like 20 tacos and like 2 gallons of sweet tea. If that doesn’t scream Texan hospitality, I don’t know what does. Anyways, the long 14 hour stretch the day before, made the 7 hours home a bit easier. We usually do our road trips where we rent a car, drive there and fly back for this reason. The drive home always drags on for-ev-er and feels like a laborious job! The memories and being with friends who are more like family was totally worth it!