Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4th of July weekend at Arizona and Vegas

We spent the 4th of July weekend touring Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We landed in Vegas in the night and were immediately dazzled with the lights and the razzmatazz that "is Vegas".
The breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon
The "Thumbs-up" formation!!

Early next morning,we left for Arizona.The beautiful Grand Canyon was around a six hour drive from Vegas.We first drove to the Hoover Dam and then drove into Arizona. The drive through the dessert reminded us about the country western movies that we watched and enjoyed as kids. The Grand Canyon itself was breathtaking-a steep sided gorge carved by the Colorado river. The formation in the snap above looked so much like a "Thumbs-up"sign. Back in India,we had seen a similar rock formation on our journey back from New Delhi (to Bangalore) by train.

Las Vegas!!
Vegas at night
Vegas is a "must-see" city in the US. The casinos,the night-life, the shows all are something to remember. What we missed was eating at the buffets,since it was a holiday weekend and the buffets were all packed to full capacity. So,instead of waiting in the long queues we decided to spend the time exploring the city.

The Gondola rides inside The Venetian(note the artificial sky)

The tantalizing display of Gelato's at The Venetian
What we did manage to enjoy was the tantalizing Gelato's at The Venetian. They had a wide array of flavors ranging from banana, coconut,avocado,mango,passion fruit,chocolate and so many more. I chose the coconut and the lychee(litchi) which was just great and I really wish I could have tried all the flavors they had there.
To make up for not getting to taste the buffets, we decided to eat at "The Grand Wok & Sushi Bar" at the MGM Grand. This was/is the BEST Chinese we have eaten in the US. We started with the "Lychee Martinis" which was good.
Lychee Martinis with Blueberry's

Kung-Pao Chicken
Singapore Curry Rice Noodles
Then we picked the 'Singapore Curry Rice noodles' simply because the word "curry" got me curious. The 'better-half' is a big "Kung Pao Chicken" fan,so I wasn't surprised to see that he picked that as the side.He's the kind of guy who sticks to ordering what he is familiar with,while I'm the more adventurous type who likes to try out something new every time. So,we tend to strike a balance by ordering one dish which is new and one dish which he likes. Both the dishes were simply awesome,the noodles had a nice flavor and yet was not spicy while the Kung Pao chicken reminded us of the Chinese food we get in India. Our son ate the noodles with the baby onions that came as a garnish in the chicken dish(so much for being a vegetarian)!!

MJ at Madame Tussauds
We missed the 4th of July fireworks but we made up for it by catching a glimpse of all the stars at the Madame Tussauds.
Vegas is such an fun place to visit. There's SO much to see and so many things to do out there. If you ever plan a trip here make sure to spend at least 4-5 days, and most important-DO NOT visit during the long weekends or during any holiday season. The crowd's (and the prices) are just too maddening!!

Question(for those of you who have been to Vegas): What is your favorite memory of Vegas?