Today was our first day without a national park, state park or national monument in over two weeks! While we have seen some amazing places and had a great time doing all that travelling, it is great to be back in a major city for the next week or so.
We left St George as soon as we were ready, and made short work of the 120 miles to Vegas. The Interstate 15 goes the whole way, and it took us out of Utah for the last time, across the north-western corner of Arizona, and finally into Nevada. As soon as we crossed the Nevada state line, we started seeing casinos all over the place – a sign we were nearing our destination! On the way the landscape began to really feel like desert, with the only proper plants being cactuses of numerous shapes and sizes.
Once we reached Vegas we took a detour for the best lunch we have had in a while at Panera, which is a chain specialising in high-quality natural breads, soups, salads etc. All of the food they sell is reasonably priced, and we could really do with it coming to England. Next we headed to the bottom of ‘’The Strip’ where one of the two main outlet malls is. Shopping took up most of the afternoon and it was successful, with us both making purchases. Luckily the mall was indoors since it was 100 degrees outside by that time!
After, we drove to the hotel we will be staying in for the first five nights: The Stratosphere hotel. Anyone familiar with the Las Vegas skyline will know about the large observation tower at the north end. That is the Stratosphere tower, and we are staying in the adjacent hotel. We specifically chose to stay in the newly refurbished block, and as a result the room is really nice. Its a great taster of the luxury to come in the Venetian next week, and we are looking forward to some lazy time around the huge pool on the 8th floor.
After settling in, we had a wander around the hotel and casino floor. This inevitably had us trying out a few dollars in the slots. I was luckier than Lauren, and the machines I chose seemed to keep paying out! Ending up around $20 up has therefore allowed us to pay for the extortionate in-room internet, rather than having to drive to a local wifi spot. Winning was definitely satisfying, but we won’t be spending any more than a few dollars here and there or we might not make it home!
Photo of the day: nothing great today but here is the sunset as seen from the hotel pool.