Williams, AZ to Las Vegas

The last few days have been a real challenge for eating due to the activities we have been taking part in. We did two different trips to the Grand Canyon making it seem a bit little silly for me to provide an update without giving the full picture.

Our first morning in Williams was early as we were due to board the Grand Canyon Railroad, a sixty odd mile journey through the local countryside where it was claimed we would enjoy views of the wildlife and forests of Arizona. It was an entertaining enough journey, but that had everything to do with a girl called Amber Rose, two musicians and a band of cowboys – and nothing to do with the countryside.

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Amber Rose was a local girl who’s job involves preventing us from realising that the long train journey to the Canyon is grim beyond belief. If she hadn’t kept us amused with jokes and other entertainments at suitable times we would have been wondering why we didn’t take the car. As it is I think perhaps the car might well have been a better option. Still we got ‘robbed’ of our tips on the way back and met some very nice people on the train.

Lunch was crisps and an ice cream!

There was no time for lunch – the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is completely breathtaking. I am not going to bore you with too many pictures, everyone knows what the Grand Canyon looks like. But these ones I loved.

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I also did a panorama to try and give some sense of the scale.

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You will probably have to come over to really understand.

Dinner was more dire than I care to describe. The hotel provided all meals but their chef had walked out so they were getting the janitor to rustle up whatever he had found left in the fridge. This evening he found some rice which he stir-fried with an instant chicken soup packet (I think). It was served with some god awful Chinese won ton type things from the supermarket that should only take a few seconds to cook but had clearly been left in the hotplate since lunchtime. We ate the lot – we were that hungry.

Next morning we started with a plate of oatmeal (underdone porridge) and coffee. Then it was off for ‘gas’ to start the journey to Vegas. We intended driving straight through for lunch on the Strip but decided to pay a visit to Hoover Dam on the way as the need to let off water became unbearable. As it would eventually transpire, this was a good decision and we got to see the dam close up – drove over it even!

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It is impressive but I reckon Laggan Dam is just as impressive to be honest. The fact that it has featured in so many films made it more interesting than the size of it.

Now into Vegas.

Here is our last few hundred yards as we come up to our hotel in Vegas, the Luxor which is shaped like a Pyramid. Some good views of other casinos on the strip as we turn left.

Lunch on the Strip was Shake Shack (it was easy). Two burgers, fries and drinks for $16 and it tasted great. No complaints.

Someone told me ‘Vegas is Vegas’ before I came here. You can’t really say much more about it. Judge it or don’t judge it – you won’t change anything about it.

We both agreed that we would have been in heaven thirty years ago. It was Halloween and there were thousands of revellers all dressed up to party in the City. it was hard work for an old fogey like me. It is what it is, I can only agree with the assessment.

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Due to our hunger we felt entitled to go large on the burger eating and tried a place called Fat Burger (http://www.fatburger.com/). It’s a burger of epic proportions although not particularly cheap (in Las Vegas anyway). At $35 for two burgers, one fries and two drinks it was twice the cost of Shake Shack and probably not as much as twice as good. It was great though. Big, soft burger, great flavours and giant chips. Not as good as Caleco as found in St Louis.

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We walked the strip feeling older and older by the moment and got to bed before the clock struck midnight (I think it was about half nine). We had a very early start for part two of our Grand Canyon adventure.

0330 am

‘Woooo Woooo Woooo ….. this is an early warning alarm. The cause is being investigated and we will update you as soon as possible. Wooooo Woooo Woooo’ …. repeat ad infinitum.

Out of bed we got to the echoing sound of the Luxor’s alarm. Some drunken idiot? Still don’t know but they will know how disgusted I was tomorrow morning at check out. For half an hour it went on and then the pre-recorded reassurance message kicked in. ‘The incident has been resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience’. And yet on and on it went, stopped for a bit and then went on and on until we got up for our trip.

Quite why we decided to overpay for breakfast at the Starbucks in the hotel given the inconvenience we had suffered I don’t know. Oh yes I do….there isn’t a cheaper alternative!

Anyway…. the helicopter tour from Papillon Tours (http://www.papillon.com/) is partly amazing and partly … well more amusing than anything. Our tour was the full bhuna – over the Canyon, land on the bottom, boat ride on the Colorado, up to the Skywalk, ride back home. Wow!

Amazing bits – seeing my wife’s face when she was told she is riding up front beside the pilot.

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If she chews that lip any harder she will draw blood.

Flying over the Canyon and landing on the bottom was fantastic. Also amazing was when we took off the second time and, again, guess who had to ride up front.

Amusing was the ride on the Colorado River. Five minutes fast upriver then meander back to the start with photo opportunity at front of boat.

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Also amusing was the Skywalk. This is a glass floored platform sticking out of the rock. You walk round and get all scared that you might fall… yawn. Not if you have been up the Sears Tower in Chicago you don’t. You can step close to the edge of certain death if you really need an adrenaline rush. No health and safety at Grand Canyon.

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Amazing is that the cost of the photo they took of us on the Skywalk was included in the price of our ticket. That’s never happened anywhere before ever.

Amusing was the Hoover Dam flyover which never happened because someone in a micro-light was in the way! Lucky we went the day before then.

So my advice for future travellers. Go the South Rim by car and check out the amazing views from there. If you must do a helicopter tour, do that but don’t be sucked into river rides or walking on thick glass as added extras.

Some views.

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You will note one particularly stunning view there. The pizza from http://www.800degreespizza.com/

You go in and they make your pizza in front of you. They pop it in the over and give you a claim ticket. A few minutes later it is all yours. $35 was not too bad with two drinks. It was brilliant pizza and great to watch them flip the dough.

That was our final proper meal in Vegas. Lunch was provided ‘amusingly’ by Papillon tours who believe humans can survive on a stick of beef jerky and a bag of nuts for that meal. Tomorrow we hit the road for our final leg – Los Angeles and the end of Route 66 at Santa Monica.

We really must try better with our meals. We’ll soon be back home and where will the good food be then?

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One thought on “Williams, AZ to Las Vegas

  1. Another brilliant Blog seems not much rest being had, however you both seem to be enjoying the variation of sight seeing and eating Oh! also spending some well earned money. Keep enjoying

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