At 5am I came to life briefly, but managed to snooze in until 6:30am. Today we didn’t mind being early risers as we were heading off to explore Valley of Fire. We swapped a MyVegas code to get a two for one voucher at the Monte Carlo Café. It probably wasn’t the best rated place but we knew it would be a convenient stop for us at some point in the trip, and it was ideal to grab a quick-ish breakfast before our road trip.
I had a stuffed French toast concoction and Chris ordered a humungous egg, bacon and cheese sandwich. As expected for an American style breakfast, both came with a jug of maple syrup and pot of whipped butter. Both meals were quite tasty (of course I sampled both!) and I was glad we took a gamble on this one. We charged it to our room and hot footed it off to the car park to head off on our way.
The first stop for us was Whole Foods at Town Square for our DIY picnic lunch. I almost have to be restrained in this store as I get carried away looking at all the interesting natural and quirky foods. Our Whole Foods in London are just not the same and have way less selection. Armed with some freshly cooked pulled pork, fresh bread, avocado, sweet potato chips, red velvet cake, fresh fruit and salad we ventured on to the interstate.
Typically there had been another accident so we drove at snails pace for a while. One thing we pondered whilst we sat in traffic was why the US has so many adverts for bail bonds and the like, they are completely unheard of in the UK! After a slow start the traffic eased off and we arrived and paid our $10 entry. We followed the map and stopped off at various points along the way.
We climbed rocks, encountered chipmunks and lizards and overheard some rather juicy stories from other visitors chattering away to their companions a little too loudly. The weather was just right here, not too hot and not too cool either. This was perfect for us as we had forgotten sun lotion. The views were very impressive and couldn’t be much further apart from the neon concrete jungle that is Las Vegas!After some time exploring we stopped to picnic at Seven Sisters where there was an extended family of chipmunks bouncing around. They were so fast they even freaked me out a bit when they got too close! Our lunch was great, Whole Foods didn’t disappoint as usual. We practically inhaled the red velvet cake! The bread wasn’t so good though, it tasted how I’d imagine an egg carton to taste.
On the return to the strip we took the ‘scenic’ route via North Shore road. It was barren there and couldn’t be further away from your average English roadside view. Unfortunately for us they had picked this time to resurface part of the road and we got stuck in queues and behind ‘pilot vehicles’ for a little too long.
We made the spontaneous decision to head straight for the outlets as it would be easier whilst we still had the car. The North outlets are my favourite (mostly for the Kate Spade), so we headed there and got lost along the way when our sat-nav threw a wobbly fit. We took a less than scenic route through some very non-touristic areas of town! Finally we arrived and I indulged at Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Kate Spade. Chris even surprisingly had his own little spree in Tommy Hilfiger, buying double than me in there. The outlets were starting to close so we admitted defeat and headed back to the hotel to rest our tootsies and get changed.By now we were feeling ready to call it a night, but forced ourselves to power on. We scrubbed ourselves up a little bit, still lacking in energy and alertness, heading out to the strip as we hadn’t stepped foot on it yet. I took Chris on a little tour through Aria and the Cosmopolitan, both of which were concrete shells on his last visit. I had been drooling over the Holsteins menu a few months prior to our visit so it was only right that we headed there for dinner.
Despite me not even being that hungry, we had our third indulgent meal of the day. I chose the ‘Rising Sun’, a Kobe beef burger with crispy yams, teriyaki sauce and avocado tempura. It was an odd mix but it definitely worked. The sweet potato fries were also worth mentioning – as was the cute décor of funky cows.
There was a woman next to us dining with her child who she completely ignored the entire time. We felt bad for the little kid who was acting up for some attention, climbing all over the place, but her mother was too buried in her phone to notice or care.
Our bill was around $56 before tip which was very reasonable. We had a little stroll around the rest of the hotel afterward and stopped by at the Lucky Cat, a temporary cat sculpture giving out fortunes each day. Mine said something about bacon which made me laugh. We felt it was time to indulge in some slot machine gambling and nipped over to Aria to donate more money to the Wonka, Goldfish, WOF and Super Woman machines. Chris did very well on the goldfish machine but my luck was definitely down – apart from a small win on the Wonka machine I played through my allowance in no time.
The gambling did a great job at distracting us though as it was now 1am and were starting to transition back into zombies. It was time to head to the room via CVS for breakfast supplies, as the huge portions of food three times a day was already becoming a struggle for me, being full all of the time.