Back on the road to Las Vegas, we spotted these perfectly painted staggered mountains.
We covered over 1000 miles in the first three days, as well as all of our stops. They were long days, but the kids were troopers.
We finally made it to Las Vegas and actually found our hotel quite easily. As soon as I walked into the lobby to check in, I knew I was in the wrong place--not the wrong hotel, the wrong city. I have rarely felt more uncomfortable. Sin City is an accurate moniker.
Despite the fact that we were all bushed for the night, we pulled ourselves off of the comfy beds and got back into the van. We wanted to drive the strip and check out the Bellagio Fountains. We went.
The strip was . . . um . . . flashy and unusual, but filthy. I know I am somewhat of a prude, but this stuff was plain old pornographic. Here we had just spent the day in incredible parks whose very existence glorified God and just a few hours later we were in the devil's playground. The difference was stark. We looked at the fountains from the street but none of us could bare being there any more than we had to.
The next morning, we went downtown again. In all other buys cities of the world, 7 am would be a bad time to go downtown. Not here. Downtown was still asleep and it was easy as pie to get down there.
The fountains don't run during the day. Figures.
Our one other stop was the National Atomic Testing Museum. It was pretty cool especially because they gave us the school rate (which never happens unless you have a large home school group).
My child who is currently Luna Lovegood was thrilled to see that she had a bomb named after her.
And that was enough of Vegas for one life. In telling my sister about the place, I described it this way:
Vegas is gold plated rusty tin.
I had taken it off the itinerary for several reasons, but when Vegas was such a dud, we impulsively put it back on:
We didn't have time (or money *whew*) to go to the visitor's center or take a tour. We walked over the Tillman bridge, then drove slowly back and forth across the dam itself. I am SO glad we did. It was very cool. It was HUGE. It brought back the Spirit.
And now I can say I've been to Hoover Dam.
In my dollar store sunglasses.
Next to the Mojave Desert.
It actually reminded me a lot of the "wilderness" outside Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to Jericho, where John the Baptist likely lived, it looks a lot like this. The day wasn't crazy hot, but it was really windy.
The kids played around for a bit while I cleaned out the van.
They found this:
which got us thinking and talking about immigrants and immigration. (What kind of a life would make you so desperate as to walk this vast, barren wasteland? What can we do about our laws to make it so they don't have to sneak? And many other questions.)
In the smack middle of the desert is an old train depot. It is abandoned, but there is a soda counter that was recently restored. It was closed when we got there, but we had fun playing around in the oasis.
Dancing everywhere he goes.
Waiting for the train that would never come in.
We had to hurry to get to Los Angeles. Tomorrow we go to Disneyland!!!