I have always liked road trips. A few months before I moved abroad to be an “au pair” I was invited on a trip to somewhere I had never been The Grand Canyon. I had flown over this marvel a few times, but had never seen it any closer. I jumped at the opportunity to go.
My roommate Sandra had a visitor from the East Coast staying with us at the time and they had planned to head out that way. Irish David was a very cool guy. He had won his ticket to America via the green card lottery winning an American visa years prior. At the time he worked in New York City at a pub and I loved his awesome Irish accent. I am glad that we got along because the three of us spent an incredible weekend in close quarters having fun everywhere we went on that long exhausting trip.
We must have used Mapquest to lead the way?? Our first stop was Las Vegas. Did I mention that we did not leave Los Angeles until at least 7pm? We arrived to our hotel in Las Vegas around 11pm. We were off to the casinos by midnight. I have never been much of a gambler, but I will admit back in the ‘90’s I used to play a little roulette and of course I enjoyed the slot machines. Free drinks, a little dancing, weekend away, it was awesome. We must have gone to bed around 6am.
I am usually out of bed by 6am- that weekend it was different! By chance we found a place to stay that next evening near the Grand Canyon while we were still in Las Vegas. That place was called the Bright Angel Lodge. I am so glad that it was off season- otherwise we would have had to stay further away.
Leaving in the afternoon we took a break at Hoover Dam before continuing on and reaching the Grand Canyon in the dark.
We were exhausted when we reached out destination but spent the evening talking and drinking. Waking up in the morning I had the biggest surprise ever. We were only steps from the Grand Canyon and it was amazing. We had a great breakfast and spent time walking nearby trails.
Arriving at the Watchtower lookout we made our way through the 4 story stone building rewarding us with more great views of the Grand Canyon.
On the way home we stopped to take photos after arriving in Utah and visited the incredible Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.
We also saw Lake Powell , Marble Canyon and the Glen Canyon Dam. There was so much to see- especially since we drove around the entire Grand Canyon instead of returning towards home the way we started our journey. Wow, I was so silly back then!! Luckily my friends were on the same page.
Our last stop was at Caesar’s Palace Casino in Las Vegas for dinner in the arcade (mall). I enjoyed a little dinner and a few drinks at one of my favorite spots. After dinner we had to drive home and eventually arrived there in the early hours of the next day. Somehow I awoke from the long crazy weekend, took a shower, brushed my teeth, and went to work with a little more than 4 hours of sleep. Looking back I would have done that road trip again over and over just as we planned, but next time I would opt for a little more time in each spot to settle in a bit before moving on.
Sandra, I miss you & our crazy road trips! I hope to make it back East in the next few years with my family and we can go somewhere fun in Massachusetts with our families this next time.