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Old 11 Mar 19, 11:41 PM  
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smithlane
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The BIG Las Vegas Surprise - 21st Feb 2019 - Long drive back to Vegas, Bellagio & Cabo Wabo

Day 5

Alarm set for 6am this morning in the hope of seeing the sunrise. Haha no chance, about a foot of snow had fallen overnight and there was zero visibility! In fact if you didn’t know you were at the Grand Canyon you wouldn’t have a clue as you couldn’t see a thing . I'm glad we paid extra for a Rim view room





We chilled in the room for a bit then packed up and went for breakfast at the Harvey House Cafe in Bright Angel Lodge.
The staff were busy clearing the pathways but as quick as they were, more snow was falling covering them up again! It was really coming down now.





Unsurprisingly we got seated straight away, the place was so quiet.
I went for the Bright Angel breakfast which was scrambled egg, bacon, hash brown and an English muffin. Jim went with the western omelette and hash brown. We also got a side of flapjacks to share. These aren’t like the flapjacks we get at home but more like crepes served with syrup.
Breakfast was lovely. Didn’t look too big but was just the right amount.





As we had the 2 breakfast coupons we only had to pay for the flapjacks which were $5.29. I left a $10 tip as the server had been lovely and very attentive.
We had a quick look in the shop where I got a centenary magnet and this National Geographic US National Parks guide. I remembered to use the discount this time!









I now popped outside to where we were yesterday, it was a complete white out! The Canyon is down there somewhere







No trains running today!




We now wanted to get on the road so went to check out. The lady asked where we were heading so I said Las Vegas. She said they may have shut the I40 in both directions and to check with the help desk.

Well the woman on there was less than helpful, she was an ageing hippy that had clearly smoked more than her fair share of wacky backy over the years. She was completely useless in helping me and I was getting quite stressed at the possibility of having to stay here for another night! Thankfully a far more savvy girl took over and got the traffic conditions up on her computer.
She confirmed that a lot of roads were shut and this storm wasn’t passing until Friday so it would probably be best to stay another night. Jim really wasn’t keen on this idea and suggested we try and get as far as we could. So we went with that idea although I wasn’t as keen as him

The roads had barely been cleared but we just drove 15mph through the park. It took us an hour to get to the entrance!



A Mustang!










The roads weren’t any better outside of the park but we just stuck to it. There were some morons driving far faster than they should have been and overtaking us. I didn’t care how slow we were going I just wanted to get there in one piece! We stopped for fuel at a town called Valle. It was only 29 miles from Grand Canyon Village but it had taken us 3 hours









The shop attached to the petrol station was full of rocks and gems with nothing in the way of food and drink and the usual you get in a gas station. Got talking to the couple working in there and asked if they had WiFi as I had zero service on mine. They didn’t but very kindly called the traffic helpline to get any road updates. It was saying the I40 was still closed in both directions and even the 64 that we were on was shut further on down at the junction of the I40. Crap!

The lady said there was only one hotel in the town and that was next door, they also had WiFi in there too. She again kindly phoned ahead to ask if they would open the bar up so we could at least have a drink. The woman on the other end said no, they were shutting down both bar and restaurant. Great! Thanked them both profusely and headed next door to at least use the WiFi. The surly receptionist who had said they were shutting everything was a real charmer, not! She only just about gave me the WiFi passcode even when she knew we were completely stuck!





Sat down in the lobby area and google mapped the route to see if there were any notices on there. Only a couple saying some lanes closed on certain sections but no actual road closures

We again decided to press on as we really weren’t keen staying here, that’s for sure. There were plenty of other cars going in the same direction so at least we’d all be stuck together.





Well what’d ya know, the 64 wasn’t closed at all and we got onto the I40 no problem. This road was definitely clearer although a lot of it was down to one lane. We did get a bit held up when we got behind a lorry and had to wait until the other lane cleared slightly so we could overtake.
Most of the journey looked like this



but occasionally like this when the snow came again.



My heart was in my mouth for most of the journey. I was trying to distract myself by reading my lovely new book and writing up trippy notes.
We were making good time but could see an accident further ahead on the map near Kingman. We then ground to a halt and sat like this for about 30 minutes









Eventually got moving slowly but with more road closures around Kingman we couldn’t get on the 93 to head north to Vegas.









Instead it took us 5 miles up the I40 to then join the R66 coming back on ourselves. There had then been another accident so we ground to a halt again! By now we had been on the road for 7 and a half hours and were getting seriously fed up
It seemed one minute you got going so thought, "great this is it", only to be met with yet another delay a few miles later! The Sat Nav wasn’t always picking them up either so they must have just happened.

We sat at a standstill for another hour before we moved again.
Finally made it onto the 93 for a straight drive north to Las Vegas. We did encounter some heavy sleet and rain on the way. We drove through a huge storm cloud, very eerie as everything went very dark.











Another State Sign!






We finally pulled up to the Bellagio at 6pm Nevada time so 10 hours after we had left the Grand Canyon this morning!

We went in the wrong entrance so got given directions for the self parking. Jim was bursting for a wee so whilst waiting at the hotel traffic lights I told him to jump out and that I would meet him in the lobby to check in. I quickly jumped in the drivers seat and drove round the corner. The car was beeping and only as I pulled into the car park did I realise that Jim had taken the remote car key. I couldn’t believe the car hadn’t cut out!

Found a space on the first floor then headed into the lobby. I obviously couldn’t lock the car but there was no one around and I knew we’d be quick.
We had purposely not been into the Bellagio before now and OMG it certainly has the wow factor. Stunning lobby area!







Check in was very easy. We asked for an upgrade but unfortunately they were full so nothing else available. Never mind at least we tried, I was just grateful to get here in the first place.

Once we had the key card in hand and with a map of where our room was located we walked back to the parking garage to get our suitcases. Then headed for the elevators to take us up to the 5th floor.

Thank god our room was one of the first ones you get to, this hotel is huge!
Our room was really lovely with beautiful furnishings.











We sorted our suitcases out then had a quick shower each and got ready to go and get some dinner. We did look at the room service menu but it was ridiculously overpriced for the type of food so we opted to go out but not wander far as we were both tired from travelling all day. Cabo Wabo was on my list and very handily it was right opposite the hotel.

Before we left Jim wanted to take some tablets for a headache that was niggling so looked on the mini bar price list at how much a bottle of water was. $18.75 . No chance sunshine! Daylight bloody robbery.



Walked through the casino and over the road into the Miracle Mile mall where Cabo Wabo is located























We were seated right away even though it was busy in there. Got some drinks ordered, a Maui Rocker and Diet Coke for me and a Strawberry Margarita and Corona for Jim.





For food I went with the chicken fajitas, Jim the beef short rib enchiladas and we shared some chicken taquitos.
My drink was amazing, strong and hit the spot!







Food didn’t take too long and tasted great, really impressed.







Bill came to $97.24 before tip so not cheap but the cocktails were $15 each so that obviously bumps it up quite a bit.

We now popped into the ABC store inside the Miracle Mile shops to get some drink for the room, a chocolate bar each and some gloves for me. Also picked up a couple of Las Vegas postcards to add to my collection.

From here we walked back to the Bellagio to watch the fountain show. Well what’d ya know it was Elton John’s Your Song which is my absolute favourite of his! Loved this. Only a couple of photos as I filmed it instead

















Now back to the room to chill and watch TV after what has been a fairly eventful day!

Edited at 05:06 PM.
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Old 12 Mar 19, 01:22 PM  
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JoS
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Well you definitely wont forget your trip to the Grand Canyon will you! So sorry the weather was not good for you, as it is truly beautiful usually. I would have been terrified to drive back in all that snow and think I would have taken the easy way out and stayed the extra night. Hope the snow didnt spoil it too much for you... you have been so very unlucky with the weather Thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 13 Mar 19, 09:06 PM  
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Thats a heck of a lot of snow! I'm sure you didn't rub Jim's nose in it when you spotted the snowed in mustang. The drive back was long...Phew at least you arrived in one piece. The room at the Bellagio looks lovely, fab dinner and cocktails too.
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Old 13 Mar 19, 09:39 PM  
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Well that was a road trip you won’t forget. Love the Bellagio, a beautiful hotel 🙂
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Old 16 Mar 19, 07:36 PM  
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smithlane
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Originally Posted by JoS View Post
Well you definitely wont forget your trip to the Grand Canyon will you! So sorry the weather was not good for you, as it is truly beautiful usually. I would have been terrified to drive back in all that snow and think I would have taken the easy way out and stayed the extra night. Hope the snow didnt spoil it too much for you... you have been so very unlucky with the weather Thanks for sharing with us.
Haha yes it's certainly one we'll never forget!
It's funny as I knew it wouldn't be warm the week we were going but really didn't expect it to be this cold. That's the problem with Mother Nature, you have absolutely have no control over the weather unfortunately but we were very unlucky!
I was so grateful to Jim that he drove as I really thought we should stay another night. I'm a fairly confident driver and will drive in most conditions but it really did terrify me even being a passenger
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Old 16 Mar 19, 07:41 PM  
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smithlane
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
Thats a heck of a lot of snow! I'm sure you didn't rub Jim's nose in it when you spotted the snowed in mustang. The drive back was long...Phew at least you arrived in one piece. The room at the Bellagio looks lovely, fab dinner and cocktails too.
I know right, we had less snow in the Alps at Christmas
It was quite funny as I was instantly like "I told you I was right in changing the car! " He hates being wrong but I made him say "you were right", he really didn't like admitting it
I can't tell you how relieved we were to arrive at The Bellagio. Strong cocktails were definitely needed after that drive!
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Old 16 Mar 19, 07:42 PM  
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Originally Posted by Floridafour View Post
Well that was a road trip you won’t forget. Love the Bellagio, a beautiful hotel 🙂
We certainly won't forget it in a hurry that's for sure! The Bellagio really is a beautiful hotel, we were very glad we made it in one piece!
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Old 17 Mar 19, 08:07 PM  
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Goodness my heart was in my mouth for you on that journey. How scary. You did so well, despite all the unhelpful advice on closures ...
You must have been shattered. And wow what a fabulous sight the hotel is. Loving your pics.
Can’t believe you made it out for food .. but great choice,
How lovely to have a fave song playing for the fountains

Wow this has been a memorable trip !
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Old 18 Mar 19, 10:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Goodness my heart was in my mouth for you on that journey. How scary. You did so well, despite all the unhelpful advice on closures ...
You must have been shattered. And wow what a fabulous sight the hotel is. Loving your pics.
Can’t believe you made it out for food .. but great choice,
How lovely to have a fave song playing for the fountains

Wow this has been a memorable trip !
I was so glad that Jim was behind the wheel I did not fancy driving in that weather and normally I'll drive in most conditions!
Its funny with travelling all day, you really shouldn't be tired as you've not done a lot only sat there but I think I was mentally drained from all the worry
Jim really wasn't keen on going out but I'm so pleased we did as the meal was so good.
It was such a surprise when I heard them play it, out of all the songs they could have played!
It certainly has
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Old 23 Mar 19, 08:53 PM  
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Oh my word what a nightmare of a journey that was! I would've been so scared. It's a good jog you did change the car!
The hotel and room looks gorgeous and so did your meal!
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