This is for all the people who are wondering what my trip to Vegas was like. (It may take me awhile to finish this, but I'll type as much as I remember when I remember it).
The fist day of my trip was Friday, April 22, 2011, although it didn't start or end in Las Vegas. I got up, tested my BG, took my older son to school, and got my brother-in-law to watch my toddler for me for a few hours. After deciding that I didn't have time to recycle my CRV items because of the line, I called both the rental car place and my local bus transit info line to get directions to Avis. I took the bus as close as possible then walked the rest of the way to Avis. It was a long walk and I showed up 13 minutes later than what my reservation time was supposed to be. The man at the counter acted like he couldn't give me the same price I'd been quoted over the phone at first, but figured out how to do it eventually anyways. He decided to give me a brand new 2011 silver Toyota Corolla to drive, although I'd been promised a Chevy Cruze. I figured it was good enough at the time and accepted the car.
On my way home, I went the wrong way on the freeway and had to turn around. (I hadn't driven a car to the house I live at before, and was not very familiar with that part of South San Francisco.) I got it safely home and packed some more, then took off to pick up my husband from work while my brother-in-law picked up my older son from school. Everyone finished their chores and packing, then we took off in the car later that evening. (The people in the car were my 2 kids, my brother-in-law, my husband, and myself, so it was a bit crowded). There was rush hour traffic through San Francisco towards the Bay Bridge and it took us a while to cross the bridge (we had to use the lower deck).
We stopped at IHOP for dinner, where I had an omelet. We continued to highway 99, then turned south and continued towards Bakersfield. I was trying to make it to Bakersfield that night (the halfway point), but I got too tired, so I pulled into a rest stop around 11:00 PM and tried to sleep. My husband couldn't sleep until 2 AM because it was warm in the car, and I kept getting up to pee. The seats were pretty hard in the car, so it was difficult for anyone to sleep well that night.
Around 5 AM, I decided I was rested enough to drive the rest of the way, and proceeded on the road. Breakfast for me was coffeee candy, peanuts, seaweed, and diet cola. (Not the healthiest stuff, but that's what I also snacked on to keep myself focused while driving in the car). I got gas at Bakersfield, then proceeded east on 58, then eventually wound up on 15 going North towards Vegas. My husband was crabby and kept complaining about how cramped he was, among other things. I told him the sooner we got to Vegas, the better.
We arrived at Circus Circus at 11:50 AM, checked in, put our luggage in our rooms, and procceeded to the buffet. Their buffet had both lunch and breakfast food when we arrived, and they had a lot of low-carb foods available, so I started out my stay with the right kind of foods for me. (They also had a coupon for the kids to eat free at their buffet, which we used whenever we ate there). We also went to the Adventuredome that night, and later went to bed exhausted. The beds we slept on were soft and very comfortable.
Sunday, we decided to go to church after breakfast. We went to the First Southern Baptist Church, where I participated in Sunday school and after service, my kids were surprised with free Easter baskets filled with no candy, but fun toys and activities, books, and videos instead. I drove back to the hotel, then we decided to start checking out the strip.
We took the monorail up and down the strip on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
I went to a restaurant called Cheeseburger Las Vegas, where I successfully finished their challenge for lunch and won a free t-shirt. (I didn't eat dinner that night because I was still full!) We also ate at Pink's for lunch one day (I got a bunless hot dog with cole slaw there), as well as Rainforest Cafe (I had a Cobb Salad).
We saw Tresure Island, Mandalay Bay, MGM, Paris, New York New York, Planet Hollywood, and all the other major hotels on the strip. The Eiffel Tower, outdoor gondolas, and pirate shows were cancelled because of wind. (But I'm glad we weren't too hot when we visited). We also missed Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden at the Mirage because we showed up 5 minutes after they closed. But we got to see the MGM lions more than once.
At the northern end of the strip, we discovered Bonanza Gift shop and the Nascar Cafe at the Sahara. I decided to try the B3 challenge because of my success at Cheeseburger's and they said it would be free if I could finish it within 90 minutes and I couldn't leave the designated area. I was told that one guy finished it in 6 minutes! Undaunted, I consumed about half of their 24 inch, 6 pound burrito in 45 minutes before my stomach started rebelling against the idea and I had to quit. (I think it's because they had too many jalapenos on it). I was declared a certified weenie and I got a pink certified weenie shirt for my efforts. I walked back to the hotel feeling like I was going to puke at every step!
I also took my family to see the Hoover Dam. We drove around Lake Mead because the Dam directions were a little vague, but we did have fun on the Dam tour we went on. (Our tour guide got us started on the Dam jokes, so bear with me. I'm briefly referring to the Hoover Dam anywhere that word appears...) On the Dam tour, we took the Dam elevator (which was packed like sardines in a can) to see the big Dam generators and the Dam visitor center, and another part that showed the overall map of the Dam and was at the Dam bottom. I bought myself a Dam magnet, my husband got some Dam mints, my brother-in-law bought himself a Dam mug, my toddler got a Dam ball, and we all agreed that it was the best Dam tour we'd ever been on. (It was the first Dam tour any of us had been on).
I also shopped at Walmart and target while we were in Vegas and drove back home in 11 hours on Saturday, April 30. It was physically painful for me to drive it home, but I made it back safely anyways. I returned the rental car freshly washed (there were bugs on it) and with a full tank of gas on time on Sunday. The guy at Avis was happy because there were some people asking for a car like that right when I returned it ready to go.