Next to us on the campsite was a broken down camper van, which had been towed there after breaking down on the road to the Grand Canyon. I could sympathise with their having to wait hours to be towed away, as it is miles from anywhere and really not a place you would want to break down in the heat of the desert.
After cleaning the van, we did a quick supermarket shop, as on returning to Las Vegas we would be staying in an apartment at the Hilton Grand Vacances, just south of the Strip. It was an aparthotel which had no casino. We had booked it en route and it was very reasonably priced at £70 per night and looked very nice. Although we had really enjoyed our 10 days in the van and were sad to hand her back as she had served us very well indeed, we were also looking forward to spending a couple of nights in a lovely comfortable apartment with all mod cons.
Dropping the van back took hardly any time at all and we got a taxi to the hotel. We were a bit early to check in, but the hotel was very accommodating and allowed us to check in two hours prior to the stated time, so we headed straight to our apartment and unpacked.
The apartment itself was fabulous and far exceeded our expectations. I forgot to take any photos on arrival, but took these as we left a couple of days later.
This was the kitchen. It had a huge fridge freezer with ice machine. In the cupboard to the right was a washing machine and tumble dryer, so I was able to wash all of our dirty clothes before coming home! There was a dishwasher, oven, microwave, toaster and coffee maker and washing up liquid/dishwasher powder, cloths, coffee, etc. were all supplied. They had really thought of everything (save a kettle!) and were very adept at getting the details just right.
This was the main living area and the sofa opened into a double bed for Little Bird to sleep on. The furnishings were very comfortable and beautiful quality. Our bedroom had a huge bed and a Jacuzzi bath and led into the bathroom with a large walk-in shower. It felt like complete luxury compared to the van. Apologies regarding the lighting in these photos. It was blazing sunshine outside and I had to draw the curtains.
We headed down to the pool for the rest of the day. The hotel had a lovely relaxed family atmosphere. There were two lovely pools with a volley ball net and basket ball hoop in one. Plus a Jacuzzi pool of course. There was also a gym inside the hotel too and a café/shop. Staff were very pleasant and attentive. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
Here's a picture of the pool by night taken from our room which overlooked it. (Sorry about the quality.) For some reason I never took a photo in daylight.
On our first night back we headed out onto the Strip again. It was a good 20 minute walk away. I took a few more photos of some of the lights, but to be honest my camera didn't cope well in the dark so many of them didn't come out well.
We visited a couple of hotels we hadn't seen on our first visit. The Venetian Hotel was pretty amazing. It contained a huge shopping mall with a myriad of designer shops including a Barneys Department Store just like the one in New York, filled with beautiful but very expensive designer clothes, shoes and other items. We went in for a look around. I must admit that I did see a lovely pair of leopard print Christian Leboutin sneakers for $900. I was pretty tempted for all of a couple of seconds until I remembered who I was and that I was on a budget. Crazy. The hotel came complete with it's own replica piazza, campanile, canal and singing gondoliers.
We stopped for a pretty expensive ice cream in the Piazza, and eventually found our way out back onto the strip. It's not as easy as it sounds in these hotels.
If you want to go on holiday to shop, Las Vegas is definitely the place to go. You could spend an absolute fortune here in the lovely shops up and down the strip. As for us, we don't really shop big time on holiday, so we weren't their ideal holiday makers, but we enjoyed indulging in a bit of window shopping.
After a couple of hours walking we were getting pretty tired and so headed back to the hotel where we chilled out and watched some TV before bed.
We spent the remainder of our holiday sat around the pool relaxing and enjoying our hotel room and it was blissful. On our final day we tidied around then headed to the pool for a few hours more before heading to the airport to catch our flight home.
It was interesting to note at the airport that the check-in was outside of the building, in 40 degree heat. I've never experienced that before, but it worked quite well and we were soon on the plane home and back in good old Blighty. Tired, but having had the most fabulous holiday.
I must just thank you for reading my holiday posts and indulging me in a bit of reminiscence. I hope I haven't bored you too much. If you are thinking of making a similar trip to the US, I would highly recommend it. It really is an awe inspiringly interesting place. The American people are incredibly friendly and positive in outlook and made us feel extremely welcome in their big and beautiful country. We really just can't wait to go back.