Grand US Tour 2010: Vegas!

PauTravels travels back to Las Vegas

As part of our grand tour of the US back in 2010, the first part of our itinerary is none other than to visit the sin city of Las Vegas.  We also have the Grand Canyon as part of this side trip but I will talk about it on another post.  It was only me, my wife, my daughter, and my cousin Angel took this trip.  Last time I was here was back in 2007.

Before heading to Vegas, we rented a car from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch near my parents place in Gardena which is within the Los Angeles area.  We got a silver Dodge Caliber for this trip.  Nice car!  I also booked us for a room at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas. 

And so, we left early morning for the four hour drive from Gardena to Las Vegas guided by the portable GPS that we borrowed from my dad’s car.  Angel served as my navigator as she sat beside me in front while Jen and Janine sat at the back seat.

Grand Las Vegas trip

en route to Vegas we see snow-capped mountains from afar

Grand Las Vegas trip

216 miles more to go to Vegas

Grand Las Vegas trip

after passing the Nevada Landing Casino I know were almost there

The ride to Vegas was long  as we pass through the cities of California and the desert of Nevada.   On our way we even saw the snow-capped mountains near San Bernardino making us a bit excited that we might see snow in Grand Canyon, just like the last time I was there.

After the long drive, passing through the casino junction of the Nevada Landing I knew that we are near Las Vegas.  And not long enough we saw the familiar building of the Mandalay and then soon enough we were turning right to Las Vegas Boulevard and then drives through the lobby of Imperial Palace which is right across the Ceasar’s Palace

We then checked-in and settled in a bit then we decided to start walking through the strip.  From Imperial Palace we walked northward past the Harrah’s and we first entered The Venetian.  We entered it and walked around its strip mall that depicts the architecture of Venice complete with a central canal where guests are paddled on gondalas.  This is something that were not able to see when we were in Venetian Macau.
Grand Las Vegas trip

inside the canals of the Venetian

Grand Las Vegas trip

The Venetian’s Rialto Bridge and Tower of St. Mark replicas

Grand Las Vegas trip

The Las Vegas Strip

Grand Las Vegas trip

Mirage Casino’s Volcano show

It was dark already by the time we got out of the Venetian so we decided to cross the boulevard to Treasure Island to try to catch the Pirate show in front of it but unfortunately it was not operational that evening.  So we decided to walk back southward and caught the fire show at the Volcano at the Mirage.

Grand Las Vegas trip

the beautiful Bellagio dancing fountain

Grand Las Vegas trip

Paris Hotel and Casino at night

Then we proceeded walking and entered the Forum Mall of the Ceasar’s Palace to catch the moving statues show there.  As the night gets later, we pushed walking southward to catch the fountain show in front of the Bellagio.  As the last time I was here in Vegas, I can’t stop loving the fountain show with the lit up Eiffel Tower of the Paris Hotel across.   It was very late then that after watching 3 sets of the fountain show, we walked back to our hotel to call it a night.  But Angel and Jen tried the Vegas gambling before going to bed.

Grand Las Vegas trip

group shot with the Eiffel tower replica

Grand Las Vegas trip

family shot with the Eiffel tower replica

Grand Las Vegas trip

Ceasar’s Palace Casino

Grand Las Vegas trip

replica of the Arc de Triomphe

The next morning, we once more decided to walk through the strip and this time southward to MGM Grand to see M&M’s World.   En route we once more passed by the Paris Hotel and again took the opportunity to take photos with its Eiffel Tower.   At the M&M’s World which is basically a four storey shop in the MGM Grand features none other than M&M’s famous melt-in-your mouth chocolate candies.  It also have a lot of M&M character stuff and a 3D show inside.
Grand Las Vegas trip

M&M stickered race car

Grand Las Vegas trip

Las Vegas welcome sign inside the M&M World

Grand Las Vegas trip

M&M parade and band members

Grand Las Vegas trip

M&Ms galore!

We also took photos with Red M&M with the Las Vegas sign.  Too bad we didn’t get the chance to have a photo with the real Las Vegas sign.  And before leaving the M&M World, we grabbed to photo opportunity with Yellow M&M mascot outside.

Grand Las Vegas trip

the sphinx and pyramid of Luxor Casino

Grand Las Vegas trip

mini New York in Las Vegas

We once more stretched our walk upto Mandalay Bay passing by the Luxor.   But we didn’t stay long this time as we had to rush back to Harrah’s where we had to meet Jen’s boss, Ginger from Dell Computers who happened to be in town as well.

Grand Las Vegas trip

LCD show on the Freemont experience

In the evening, we have set ourselves to drive north of the boulevard to see the original Las Vegas casino strip at Fremont and see the Fremont Street Experience there.   Of course the Golden Nugget and Fremont Casinos are located there.  But when we arrived there, we thought that the digital show will not happen but fortunately we stayed there a bit and caught the beautiful display in the rhythm of the American Pie song.  It was a beautiful night.

The day after we checked out from our hotel and we got our breakfast at IHOP Restaurant located near the Stratosphere Casino to enjoy some pancake and waffles.  Jen loves IHOP that’s why we had to take one breakfast here.  Then after breakfast, we drove straight to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets – North to shop for some stuff.  
After then, we continued the next section of our itinerary which is to the Grand Canyon

14 thoughts on “Grand US Tour 2010: Vegas!

  1. Wow Las Vegas is a real star… thanks for sharing your trip, It gave a glimpse of what to see in the famous Las Vegas.

    Nice to see you posting again. It’s a long time since your last. I’m excited to read your trip in Grand Canyon.

  2. thanks Ian… yup.. it has been a while since I last posted as it had been a busy year for me that I haven’t really had the time to focus and write…

    yup wait for the next installments on my US tour.. I’ll post them within the next weeks.. 🙂

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