Sunday, 31 March 2013

Las Vegas Day 2: The Grand Canyon!!

Happy Easter everyone!!

Today's post is about a completely amazing day Robert and I had!! It was just such a mind blowing experience and I'm gonna share it with you!

We were picked up from the hotel at 10.40am by a limo no less and it was only a 5 minute drive to the Heliport (is that a word?!). We were then checked in, told all the health and safety info and waited for our pilot to arrive, he was really cool and chatted away to us, while leading us to our helicopter!

We then got into our seats and put our head sets on. I was honestly just so excited. Neither of us had been in a helicopter before, so it was a very new experience! Robert was a bit worried about how shaky it would be when in flight, but as soon as we took off, it was amazing!!

It was such a surreal experience!! We flew over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam...

While in flight, we listened to music and also commentary from the tape and the pilot about what we were to look out for beneath us. It was so interesting learning about all the different landmarks and the history behind the place! We then all of a sudden could see a huge wall in front of us going for miles left and right. It was so tall that it touched the clouds and we over the top of the wall just under the clouds.

I'm sure you all can guess what was coming next. I just cannot explain it though, I could have seen thousands of photos of the Grand Canyon and still I wouldn't have seen what I would be expecting. You are flying over a tiny part and yet this little part is just so humongously epic. It was just mind blowing to be perfectly honest! I still cannot believe that Robert and I were actually there! When the helicopter gets over the wall, we were met with this...

Then it became even more overwhelming because we started to descend, down and then even further into the Canyon.

Then we landed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and got out of the helicopter!! I can't believe I can say that I have been at the bottom of the Grand Canyon! It is something that people dream of and something that Robert and I have always wanted to do and we did it! Totally awesome!! We got to have a walk around and explore!

The Colorado river!

While wandering around Robert naughtily picked up two pieces of rock and made me put them in my bag! It is quite cool having a piece of the Grand Canyon in your home, even if it is just a little piece! Before we got back onto our helicopter, we were treated to a champagne lunch!!  So that was a treat and we actually got about an hour of time on the Canyon floor! We then we hopped back on board and got ready for the flight back to Las Vegas! The flight there and back took 45 minutes each way. If we had tried to drive to the canyon (the nearest part to Las Vegas) it would  take well over four hours! Being on the helicopter was just so so amazing! I cannot recommend the experience highly enough! If you can do it then DO IT!!! You only live once and you live to gain experiences like we did in the photos above! Completely unforgettable and I will cherish the memories of that trip forever!

I really enjoyed the flight back, just reminiscing what we had just done and they picked some great songs to listen to as well! We then flew over a huge plateau, which at some points touched the clouds and the went back over the wall.

We saw some completely amazing scenery when we flew back towards Las Vegas. Then we also got to fly right over the strip when we came to it!

So when we landed, we were back into the limo and taken back to our hotel! By this time it was just later 3, so we still had time to do more! We went down into the Mandalay Bay hotel, which you can get to by a monorail. I really wanted to go to the Shark Reef Aquarium! It was quite a cool aquarium with lots of different types of fish! They even had a Komodo Dragon and two Sea Turtles!

We then went and explored some other hotels nearby and had our dinner! Afterwards, we decided hat we should go and explore Freemont Street! So we got on the bus that runs up to it. The bus took ages!! IT almost took an hour, because so many people were always wanting on and off! By the time we got up there it was 8pm. Freemont Street is pretty impressive let me tell you! IT is classed as the old strip and because they were losing business, they created the Freemont Street Experince, which is basically a huge canopy over the whole street and they play really cool shows on it! 

The show that we saw had the whole psychedelic feel to it, with the music and what they were showing on the canopy. It was really cool! Freemont Street is also a lot more out there than the actual Las Vegas Strip is, so be prepared for some madness if you are going to go! After spending time having a look around, we headed back on the bus! Thankfully the bus didn't take too long, but the bus was completely full!! We were totally squished right into the bus! We got off at Caesar's Palace and had a walk back down to our hotel, having a look into the Bellagio on the way past. They had a gorgeous butterfly garden in the foyer and you could watch butterflies that were hatching! It was amazing! When we got back to our hotel we treated ourselves to a Ben & Jerry's sundae and headed back up to our room to eat them!

It was a long post today girls, I know, but we just did so much that day!! 

Love, Jen x

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Las Vegas Day 1!

Hi girls!

When we got up in the morning we were pretty tired, so we had a bit of a lazy morning and then went to get a late breakfast at a restaurant called America, which is in New York New York hotel. It had a pretty impressive 3D mural of all the states of America on the ceiling! We had pancakes ad afterwards I was completely full!!

After our breakfast, we had to go get our NASCAR tickets! We had booked them about three weeks before we left for our holiday and they had said that they would post our tickets to us. Then a week later they asked us just to pick up our tickets from the Track when we got to Las Vegas, which was fine as we had the car! So we went on a little adventure to go pick up our tickets! Now also let me tell you it poured and poured and poured down with rain this day! It was crazy amounts of rain! When we got to the track we kept asking people where were we to go and get them and we were going back and forward too many times. So eventually we were allowed to park in a space where you were supposed to have a permit, so thank you to the lovely lady that let us in there!! It was right next to the ticket office, so Robert ran out the car to get our tickets getting completely drenched in the process! Thankfully the lady in there gave us the tickets, because apparently that was again the wrong place we were at! As soon as Robert was back, we were off and drove back to the strip! 

So after a crazy first part of the afternoon, we decided to treat ourselves to a Serendipity 3 treat! We walked along to Caesars Palace. Thankfully it had stopped pouring  by this point! We shared one of their famous frozen hot chocolate and also had a Lookie Lookie Here Comes Cookie ice cream sundae's! It was so good!! Haha.

We then wandered back along the strip towards our hotel and booked a very very exciting trip! We had been wanting to book it every since we knew we were going back to Las Vegas, but it had taken us till we were actually there to do it! We booked a trip to the Grand Canyon via helicopter, which would then land down inside the canyon, where we could walk around and have lunch!! We were just incredibly excited at the thought of this, which was for the next day! So after our pockets feeling incredibly lighter (!!), we went back to our room fro a rest before dinner! Not before we took some touristy photos of course!

After a little rest in the room, we decided to go to a Sports bar and grill for our dinner, which was in our hotel! It was quite cool as we were surrounded by tv screens all showing different sports and the games that were being played! So Robert loved that! We hen went to Pinkberry for our desert for the second night in a row! Yes I was addicted to Pinkberry during my holiday!! It was so good!

So girlies, my next post will be the day Robert and I went to the bottom of the Grand Canyon!!! It is not to be missed!

Love, Jen x

Friday, 29 March 2013

Our Journey To.... Las Vegas!

Hi girls!

So this day of our holiday was our drive from San Diego to Las Vegas! It is a 326 mile trip and takes over 4 hours! We left San Diego about half 10 and started our journey! Just like on the way down to San Diego, we passed lots of military bases and saw some amazing helicopters, much to Roberts excitement! We had planned a stop half way through the journey that I was looking forward too and we also had to stop for lunch at some point too! 

The first half of the journey we went through some rainy spots and it was quite amazing seeing the scenery change from really green and slowly turning into desert! There was also some pretty steep inclines and declines on the roads! At some points we were up past 4,000ft above sea level!!

We needed to stop and get gas just before our half way point, so while we were stopped we went into In N Out Burger!!! Now I obviously never had a burger (as I don't eat red meat), but Robert said his burger was awesome and I had some fries, which were super yummy!! I can't even tell you! Also the milkshake.... Oh em gee you Californians are lucky! Then a couple of miles down the road, we hit our half way point in the journey and it was time to visit Calico Ghost Town!! The lovely Miki from Miki's Scrapbook had said that we should stop by there and we did!

We had a good walk around the town. It was amazing to see actually! The town did feel quite eerie, all the things that must of happened in the town! You could totally imagine shoot outs happening along the main street! Calico was a mining town, which sprung up next to the mines in 1881. Robert and I were quite surprised though, at how much older it looked and felt! In the 1800s the UK were building huge ships and impressive brick buildings. Its crazy to think that this is what Americans class as old, whereas we think old is 1300s or earlier! In that last photo, that bridge that took you to the schoolhouse was so so creaky!! I was scared standing on it!! Haha. Also the men that worked at the museum all looked just like cowboys and were just standing about the place with real shotguns (a novelty to us)! There were even some horses! 

 After exploring, we were back in the Mustang and heading for Las Vegas! It didn't take too long until we hit the border between Nevada ad California. Unfortunately I missed the sign saying "Welcome to Nevada", as my camera was clicked a millisecond to early! As soon as you see Nevada ahead of you, you can see two huge hotels and loads of casinos either side of the Interstate, one with having a roller coaster! It was like a mini Las Vegas welcoming you to the state! Quite a funny thing seeing nothing in front of you and then all of a sudden there's huge building and then nothing again! I love the photo below, it looks as if we are in the sky flying, but no we are on the road going down a really steep hill!! It didn't feel as steep as it must of looked. You can also see in the distance the mini Las Vegas ahead of us!

Also, as the hills were incredibly steep there was truck lanes all along the outside lane as a slow lane for the huge trucks (lorries) they have over there! We also spotted quite a scary looking road, that was to be used by trucks if there brakes stopped working. Basically it was a really long gravel road that went off to the side of the Interate, at the end of this emergency road was a huge pile (read mountain) of gravel, which would hopefully get the truck stopped! Quite a scary thought of a runaway truck!

So any way, when we got to Las Vegas it felt really strange being back there again, but obviously to see the surrounding area and from the point of view of driving down the strip! We had been there last year and we were back to see the many things we hadn't got round to seeing! This year we were staying in New York New York and it was a lovely hotel! When we settled into our lovely room, it must have been after 5pm, so we left our hotel to hae a walk along the strip! We went into the Planet Hollywood Hotel and into the Miracle Mile shopping centre, which was lovely. I of course headed straight to Sephora and picked up loads of make up goodies! Robert then bought me a lovely charm to add to my Pandora bracelet. We then stopped for dinner and I decided I just wanted a grilled cheese and it was super yummy too! We then had a Pinkberry for dessert, hehe and headed back to our hotel for a good rest!! 

I have some amazing posts coming up of the time we had in Las Vegas!! Make sure you look out for them girls! Have a good Easter weekend!

Love, Jen x

Thursday, 28 March 2013

San Diego Zoo!

Ok! So I would like to firstly say, Robert you were a total wimp this day! Haha! For those of you that don't know Robert says he doesn't like (more like hates) snakes, to be honest the word terrified describes it better! Haha, so you can imagine how our day at the zoo went! Now on the other hand I am a person who loves all animals and I was determined to see them all! We didn't get to the zoo until half 10, so I was annoyed that I wouldn't get the full day to get around them all! 

As you can see  from the photo above, the weather was much nicer than it had been on our first day in San Diego! So when we headed in through the gates, we went over to look at the board that told us if there was anything happening in the zoo that day. Well between 9 and 12 you could go and view the baby panda! As soon as I saw that I was off following the map to the quickest way to Panda Canyon!

Now one thing that the map doesn't tell you is that the zoo is extremely hilly! Not that it put us off in anyway Robert and I love walking, but I guess that's why the zoo has a bus that goes round the main roads in the zoo!! So we decided we would walk along Center Street along the Asian Passage exhibits, which had mostly bears and monkeys.

We then got to Panda Canyon and were met with a big queue waiting to see the pandas! So we waited and then when we got into the exhibit  saw the cutest little panda ever playing around the exhibit with his mum!

I can not tell you how much my heart melted when I saw the two of them!! It was amazing! Also it was hilarious too, because every time he tried climbing the tree he would get up there and his mum would basically chuck him off the tree!! The first time she did it everybody gasped in shock and the zoo keeper that was there had to tell everyone not to make loud noises and that she was doing it to make him tougher. She also told us that in the wild he could fall 50ft and he would of been fine! Just a ball of fluff! Mum then took him in for a bath and he kept trying to climb back out!! So cute, honestly!!

I had to get a photo with them (sort of!)!!

We then had some lunch at the Canyon Cafe and then went round Panda Trek, where we saw the male panda Gao Gao, who is the dad of the baby we saw, amongst other animals!

We then went round to the Polar Bear enclosure, but sadly didn't see any, although I did take this amazing picture, which shows how tall a male Polar Bear can be with Robert standing next to it and he is just over 6ft!!

Here are some other animals we saw along the way!

We then had a laugh going into the 4D cinema and watching an Ice Age film for 20 minutes! It was quite amusing, but I think we were the oldest people in there without kids! Haha. The day was going well so far for Robert, not one snake in sight! We then went into Elephant Odyssey passing the koala bears on the way!

Seeing that huge male lion lying so close to us was amazing!! He was huge! Then right next door to him was two Jaguar cubs!! I'm not sure if they could see us properly, but they knew there was something behind the glass, as they were both turning their heads at the exact same time when they heard noises! They were gorgeous! Then the elephants were pretty impressive too! They had Asian and African elephants and one of them was getting a check up and we could see it all happening! It was really cool! Then sadly for Robert we encountered our first snake exhibit, which we knew was there because there was a snake marked on the map! Honestly, I just don't get it with Robert, the snake is behind a pane of glass and is completely blocked in, it cannot get out. Yet Robert still thinks it will get him, and specifically him!! I mean the snake spends his life in there and Robert practically runs past it and yet that snake is going to get him! Any way I went up and said hi to the snake who was quite an interesting looking rattlesnake I'm sure! Hehe, Robert could hardly take this photo, even though the snake was  over 100ft away! 

So we then wandered over to Africa Rocks and went on the big cat trail! Now when we were looking at some exhibits, the bus went past and stopped at the New Guinea Singing Dog, enclosure, where we had been watching one of them resting! As soon as the bus came the dog was away behind a bush and as the bus stopped I heard the guide say "The animals along here are very aware of noise and like to hide from loud noises". I was just like, well what on earth is the point of the bus going past here if the animals are just going to hide from you every time you drive past!! The best of it was that as soon as the bus drove past the dog was right back out in his sunny spot! Tip: if you want to actually see the animals in the zoo don't take the bus!!

Seeing the big cats was amazing!! As you all know I love cats! The black panther was also sleeping right at the edge of the enclosure! He was so close to us!! We then went round into the Urban Jungle exhibits, where the male giraffe was wanting to get up to some monkey business with the female! Robert found this hilarious (he is a child!!!) and could not stop laughing! There were people trying to feed the giraffes, but they were too distracted to eat!! Haha, it was quite funny, but Robert just couldn't keep his laughs in!!

We then headed into the Lost Forest! It had loads of amazing different types of animals all throughout it! So I was looking forward to this part! Sadly we never saw any tigers, but we saw the Orang-utans playing about and also the Bonobo Chimpanzees playing right at the viewing spot, which was amazing!!

We then went deeper into the Ituiri Forest and came across an awesome exhibit full of Swamp monkeys and otters, who play about with each other! I had been told about this exhibit and was told to look out for a special monkey called Jaribu. Kecia can you spot him?! Could he be the one who looked directly at me?! It was amazing as they were all rolling what I presumed to be shellfish in order to get them open! 

One of the funniest things happened near the tiger enclosure. At one of the viewing points, there was a glass enclosure beside it, which Robert thought was a snake, so I went up to see and it turned out to be birds. I said to Robert that the coast was clear and he wandered over to have a look. Out of the corner of my eye I realised there was another glass enclosure in the corner and then I noticed the huge albino python laying in it. So I casually stood in front of it so to not alarm Robert and said that we should keep walking. Robert then realised that I was trying to hide something and practically jumped out his skin and was annoyed that I had allowed him to go near the enclosure!! Hehe, it was funny, but I hadn't done it on purpose! We then got (safely, Robert's words) away from that area and walked past Tapir and spotted a sleeping Fishing Cat!

At this point it was half 4, so I only had half an hour to get round the reptile area, because of course Robert would not be going there!! So I was made to walk round the reptile house by myself and then into Discovery Outpost by myself too! I saw Turtles, loads of different kinds of snakes, a Komodo Dragon, Frogs and a Crocodile! I think by that point most of the animals in that area had been taken inside for the night so I missed a part of that area. It was an awesome day, seeing so many amazing animals! 

We then left the zoo and went back to the hotel! We chilled for a bit and then went out for dinner at half 7! We went to a chilled out place called the Burger Lounge and I had yummy chicken. We then walked down to Pinkberry for dessert! Our next day would be spent driving to Las Vegas, so an early night was needed! Hope you enjoyed seeing all the animal photos! 

Love, Jen x

For Kecia x

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