USA - California - Las Vegas / Gran Canyon

This post has been in the making for a while now. But since the year is nearing its end I wanted to make sure to finish it.

It all started with JJ announcing that both her parent AND grandparents want to come to the US to visit friends and see the country. They would start in Chicago but that was a bit oo early to us with our limited vacation time, so we decided to stay on the West coast and start our trip with them in Las Vegas. From there on we would continue to San Diego, LA and the further north along San Francisco, Portland and Seattle before finally arriving again in Vancouver. Since it was such a long trip with a lot of pictures taken we decided to split up the trip into several posts. In this one we'll start of with Las Vegas and our Gran Canyon trip.

Las Vegas

Our trip was starting on a tight schedle. JJs parent arrived shortly after us on the airport (her grandparents would stay in Chicago a bit longer) and after exchaning greetings we got to the hotel just to drop off our things. It was already getting late afternoon so we only had a few hours for some exploration along the Strip and dinner.

View from our Hotel room
View from our Hotel room

Gran Canyon

We got up early the next day since we had a long day ahead of us. Our sheduled program started with a Rafting tour along the Colorado river. Exiting stuff!

Colorado River Float

The tour started at the famous Hoover Dam and then down the 2,330 km long Colorado River. One of the most interesting facts about the dam is that it was actually build two years ahead of schedule. It was the largest concrete structure build at that time (1931 - 1936). The dam is holding Lake Mead, which is provising water for about 1 million people. Due to draught and consumtion the waterlevel of the lake has been sinking for years now is currently at about 40%. Since the danger is so eminent a lot of measurements have been put into place to save water.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
JJ Parents
JJ Parents ready to get on the float
Our ride for the day
Raft Alex
On the Raft
Raft JJ

The ride went along in a steady pace and our guide always had a joke ready to keep everyone entertained (Once he tried to convice us that the put a cross atop of a mountain to mourse workers lost in an accident but then revealed that it was just a broken power line pole)

Raft Break
Here we had a little lunch break. We could also use the time to go for a swim
Walkway along the rock. No longer in use apparently
Picture with our guide

Helicopter ride

For the afternoon we had something special planned: A helicoter ride through the Gran Canyon! That was the first time for us to actually fly in one and that day was quite windy, so the level of exitement was pretty high.

Hoover Dam
Here the Hoover Dam again, this time from birdview
Approaching Canoyon
Getting closer to the Canoyons
Helicopter stop
On the West Rim on the platoe we had a break to shop for some souveniers
JJ and Papa
JJ and her Dad exited on the way back

All I can say is that it was an amazing experience and that the Gran Canyon looks gorgeous.

Las Vegas again

Our first impression of the city: A small specacle at every corner, entertainment everywhere. For dinner we kept it simple and checked out GORDON RAMSAY BURGER. What can I say.. those were some nice burgers.

After dinner JJ and I split up and did some exploration on our own along the Strip.

Small city
In one casino they even build a little town. The metal construct in the top right corner actually belongs to a rollercoaster that goes through the building

The next day we took a quick dip into the swimming pool of the hotel which is conveniently located on an upper floor to overlook the city.

Wish we had more time just to hang out here