The place we stayed last night was awesome -- this lodge operating under the guise of a Quality Inn. It was right at the base of the road to the Grand Canyon -- about an hour away -- had teepees, tennis courts, horses and really quaint rooms. And a fan in the bathroom. Highly recommended.
On the drive to the Grand Canyon, the are flocks of sheep props lining the road. The weird thing is, they're all facing in the same direction. We pull into the gas station for a fill up. We're down a quarter tank and the girls are having an anxiety attack about running out of gas. Apparently they don't understand that the 60 miles in plus the 60 miles out is 120 miles. That means we'll need less than a half a tank. The girls defy logic. Want to know what else defies logic? The fact that all the cars at the gas station are also pointed in the same direction. Baaaaaa ...
We're looking for tumble weeds. Grandma says when they came out West in the 1950's (she talks about this a LOT -- but I'll save that story for later), she wanted Grandpa to strap one to the top of the car and take it home. He refused. Mom says not to worry -- we'll bring her one home and then she can spray it with glitter paint. Frankly, I don't get it. But I know one thing -- we don't have any rope. Can you imagine us driving the balance of our 8,000 miles with a tumbleweed duct taped to the top of the car?
The topography is so flat, I can barely imagine that the Grand Canyon will be all that GRAND. Gram says, "You just wait." Patience must be a virtue you acquire with white hair. It's a beautiful sunny and nearly cloudless day, yet when we arrive, it's pretty hazy over the canyon. It is still really pretty ... for a gargantuan hole in the ground. Still, despite the crap weather, I'm more in awe of Sedona's red rocks. Oh, Sedona -- why did you forsake me?
We stop along the old Route 66 for lunch at some little hole-in-the-wall diner. The food was mediocre, but the indignant stares we received when we enter ... priceless. I don't think they cared to have us there. Must be from New Mexico.
I get a short nap in the car before Mom pulls to a screeching halt in front of a cell phone tower. We haven't had good cell service for a few days. I suppose if we'd had Verizon there would be a semi full of tech support behind us at every turn. Mom tells me to make our reservations for the night since we're getting into Vegas a day early. Thankfully, we get into the MGM Grand -- which is where we are staying for the balance of our stay. Done and done, but now I can't go back to sleep. Thwarted again.
Mom pulls over at the Hoover Dam so I can get a quick pick of Stanley, and also have me drive the rest of the way. My BFF (that means Best Friend Forever, in case you don't speak acronym) Dana and boyfriend Eric are already in town and having cocktails. I feel the slight sting of jealousy, especially since the check in process is so freaking gruelling. The rooms are nice, though. We get checked in and go pick up their stuff at Candlewood Suites -- the hotel Dana got free with her airline ticket. She was so afraid of the bedspread she spread towels on it before getting on the bed. She's staying with us. We forget Eric's shoes. Dana gives me the most fabulous birthday presents -- including a sash that I have to wear that says "It's My Birthday -- Spoil Me" and a tiara that says "Goddess."
Dinner at PF Chang's and would you BELIEVE -- back to the room to go to bed. We are all exhausted.
What happens in Vegas is pretty uneventful tonight, but I'm looking forward to getting spoiled tomorrow.