Day 35 - Moreno Valley, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Vegas, Baby.

After a couple of wash out rainy days, we were pumped to go hit the desert.  The remnants of Hurricane Delores followed us all the way to Vegas, however, just dwindling to a mist as we pulled into town.  The good news was that it was in the mid-80's.  Walkable temps, in Vegas, in July.  Good deal, we will take it.

Side note - we have obviously been doing A LOT of stuff and staying in hotels daily, but despite appearances, we have been running on a strict budget that we developed and saved for over the last six years.  The Vegas stay was one spot where we consciously tossed the budget out the door.  Actually, we stayed in some more 'modest' lodging the days before and after to balance things out and to fulfill a wish of the girls and stay at a suite on The Strip.  We had them do the research earlier in the year and after a lot of internet ooh's and ah's, they chose The Venetian.

Kim had been to Vegas once and I had been a handful of times, but neither of us has stayed at that specific hotel.  It is very nice.  The room was a true suite, killer view from the 24th floor, TV in the bathroom, remote control that operated the window shades.  Basically all the regular comforts of home, right?  It was really great and provided endless squeals and laughs for the girls.  Mission accomplished.

After checking out the room, we hit the strip.  Bellagio water show.  Visited Paris, Aria, Treasure Island, Caesars and more.  Saw lots of semi-creepy and full-out creepy street performers.  Discussed what the billboard promoting 'Ladies delivered to your hotel in 20 minutes or less' meant.  Singing gondola ride and shopping in the Venetian.  Real Vegas buffet at the Mirage which was all you could eat AND unlimited wine and beer (insert Jim making Homer Simpson noises here...).  We ran out of steam about 11:30, got back to the room, and Kim and I both went to blow $20 at the slots.  And hey, I won enough to pay for dinner and our rides!  Insert your 'Parent of the Year' comments here - keeping our kids up until midnight and high-fiving about gambling winnings.  In all seriousness, like a lot of the trip, we're about exposure and it really did fit the bill discussing fun, entertainment and some honest discussions about the not-so-pretty part of what goes along with a place like Vegas.

That's it.  Kim and I were surprised that we enjoyed it as much as we did, but everyone had an amazing time.  And look at that, none of what we did stayed in far as you know ;-)

- Jim 

It is hard for me to describe in words how much I love this picture.

The lobby at The Venetian.  Swanky.

Our room at The Venetian.  Swanky.

View from the room.

The girls being serenaded by Salvatore in our gondola ride, The Venetian, Las Vegas.

Classic Vegas.  And it's my favorite looking hotel. Bellagio.

Always loved this old-school neon.