Greetings AmVoy #2 Parents,
So, what can be said about day 33?! A lot, a lot, a lot! Not only was it the ending of 15 days in California but it was also the day we headed to Las Vegas! We were on the road right after breakfast and for some of us, driving through a desert was a novelty. Where we stopped for lunch was next to a California landmark … the Alien Jerky Factory. Along with the dizzying array of beef jerky that was on display (enough to give the healthiest man on the planet a heart attack), there were all sorts of different hot sauces available. The hot sauce garnered an extremely large amount of attention, especially from Noah, Jordan, Jeremy and Andrew as it was advertised to be the 2nd hottest in the world! Jeremy and Jordan pleaded with the store clerk to sell them a bottle, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view the situation), the clerk refused to sell it to anyone under 18!
Once in Las Vegas, with Viva Las Vegas blaring in the background, we stopped for a cliche group photo underneath the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign (nothing screams tourist quite like it). Later on, dinner was at a family style Italian restaurant called Buca Di Beppo, where the creamy linguini and tasty chicken parmesean was served just like mama used to make. With our bellies full, we headed straight to the Stratosphere, which reminded us of the Seattle Space Needle. In the elevator on the way up, Matt L. astutely observed that the Stratosphere does not actually launch you into the stratosphere rather it brings you into the sky. When we finally made it to the observation deck at the top, there were 3 different rides to choose from, the Big Shot, Insanity or X-Scream. Insanity was by far the most popular (we are a very dare-devilish group). Insanity is a ride that spins you 900 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere! Emily B. covered her face in fear (and excitement!) when she experienced the ride for the first time and to say that her hair was out of place afterwards would be quite the understatement! Walking off of the ride, Jeremy and Sam R. exclaimed ironically, “Insanity was freakin’ insane”! None of us are very sure how Jeff got off shrugging, saying that it was “no big deal”. Once back on the bus, Steven tried to sing the song Stand-By Me with Jodie, Jess and Amanda (the key word is tried). After the Stratosphere, we explored Venice … or the Venetian, watched the Sirens of Treasure Island defeat the attacking pirate ship and saw quite the mirage … an erupting volcano at the Mirage! After a very interesting day, we made it back to the beautiful Monte Carlo and prepared for another day in Vegas!
Day 34 started with a sleep-in to ensure we were ready to embrace all that Vegas has to offer. Our day started in Caesar’s Palace, where Jeremy and Jason had planned to ask the hotel clerk if Caesar had actually ever resided there, but they didn’t have enough time (for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie The Hangover, that joke just went right over your head). At the forum shops, not only did Andrew have “the best milkshake ever,” but joined Jeremy, Noah, David and Grant in finally getting to try one of the spiciest hot sauces in the world (apparently Andrew only had a drop and needed more than one soda to quench his thirst!). After exploring Caesar’s Palace, we walked around Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile as well as the newest property on the strip, City Center. That afternoon we all went back to the Monte Carlo, to enjoy a beautiful afternoon by the pool. Matt M., Jordan and Ariel put the “lazy” in “lazy river”, floating downstream, allowing the flow of the water to gently push them along, while Jeff and Jason engaged Jared in a full on splash war (Jared lost, like always). Gabi and Erika took tubes and rode them down the river and enjoyed the relaxation!
After a wet n’ wild afternoon, we ate dinner at New York, NY! A roller coaster inside a hotel and a whole city recreated in a confined space?! No way! Real New York delicacies such as hot dogs and pizza were scarfed down while the New York signs and steam blowing out of manhole covers really made it feel like you were walking the streets of “the city that never sleeps!” Halfway through our meals, we were surprised by a star sighting – a contestant who made it into the top five of America’s Got Talent! She put on a show for our trip and Joli, Aja, Lexi and Allie swarmed her with so many questions (and they don’t even watch the show)! We then walked to Gameworks (a giant arcade), Coca-Cola World, and M&M World. Rachael and Danielle took some amazing pictures with the giant Coca-Cola polar bear (we had fun guessing if it was a real person inside the suit and if that was the case, how he survives in the extreme Nevada heat).
At Gameworks, Sam D., Jamie and Jared went head to head, playing the game Dance, Dance Revolution (we are not sure who really won in the end). To round out the night, we went to the Bellagio hotel to see the dancing fountains, with the water shooting up into the night sky in a mesmerizing fashion. We were lucky enough to catch two shows – the favorite being the one timed to All That Jazz. We also saw the hand blown glass ceiling in the lobby, the gardens and the world’s largest chocolate fountain.
After a full day, we headed back to the hotel for the night, satisfied with our time spent in Las Vegas. Get ready Bryce here we come!
Boy do we have something BIG planned …
Jared & the AmVoy #2 Team
The Westcoast Blogger