For our third day in Las Vegas, we wanted to get outside the strip and do some other things. First on the agenda was going to see the classic "Welcome to Favulous Las Vegas" sign! We rented a car this day, and we hit the road first thing in the morning. The weather dropped this day and it was pretty chilly and very windy! We didn't let us slow us down, though!
The Vegas sign is at one far end of the strip. It used to just be in the middle, and people would run across the street and dodge traffic to get a picture in front of it. Now, it's still in the middle, but it has it's own parking lot and they've put in astroturf to make it look nicer. There was a line when we got there, but it moved pretty quickly. I think the fact that it was cold and windy made people just want to get their pictures and go!
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!
Everyone was being super nice and taking pictures for the people ahead of them. The people behind us got some good pictures of us together in front of the sign!
Laura has been to Vegas before, but has never gone to see the sign!
After we got done at the sign, we drove about 30 miles to go see the Hoover Dam! We talked a lot about going to see the Grand Canyon, too, but it was just a little too far for a day trip. We were both super excited to see the Hoover Dam, though! This bridge is called the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and is fairly new (it opened in 2010). You'll see some other pictures of it in a little bit, but this bridge is HUGE!
Walking to the Dam they had these huge, beautiful statues. It was so cold and windy that we didn't stop to read about them, but they sure were pretty!
The first thing that we did was walk all the way across the dam. I'm so glad we did this as soon as we got there because tour busses came as we were done and it got super crowded! This is looking down one corner of the dam (looking over really gave me the hibby jibbies - or as Cooper says - the hib jib's).
This is the side of the bridge that faces the Colorado River (and the Memorial Bridge).
This is the side of the bridge that faces Lake Mead. When it's full (which it's not right now - you can see the line where the water level is when it's full), it's the largest reservoir in the United State by volume. Lake Mead hasn't been full in quite a long time(it's actually hasn't reached full capacity since 1983), and the water level is actually pretty low right now.
Someone walking by was so sweet and offered to take a picture of both of us!
I just love this picture. It's so beautiful it doesn't even look real, let alone like a picture I just took on my iphone!
The Dam spans between Nevada and Arizona, so we took a picture on the Arizona side of the bridge (I'm pretty sure we were technically still in Nevada - just in the Arizona time zone).
On the way back to the car we tried to get pictures with the actual dam behind us.
The power lines were built at an angle so that they could go both over the land and down into the dam - it was pretty scary looking!
After walking across the bridge, Laura wanted to drive across it (which is actually a big deal because she is terrified of bridges!). We drove just long enough to technically be in Arizona for a minute. Matt and I went on a trip to Tucson, Arizona a few years ago, but Laura had never been in Arizona before - another state checked off her list!
Next, we drove to another spot so that we could walk up to the Memorial bridge and across it! Let me tell you. Laura hates bridges and I have a super bad fear of heights. That plus the 20+ mph wind gusts made us quite the pair! But we did it, and it was so worth it! I did try to stay away from the outside edge as we walked though - haha.
We made it almost to the middle and got a picture of the dam behind us!
Again, someone was kind enough to offer to take a picture for us...but they didn't hold the camera high enough so you can't actually see the dam - haha. It's still a great picture of us, though!
It truly is just so breathtaking!
Laura took this picture and it cracks me up - it's a tumbleweed - haha. We saw several dead ones rolling around on our drive (hello, desert!) and she was fascinated to see them both dead and tumbling and alive/dying in the ground.
After we got off the bridge, we headed back to the hotel. The landscape was just so beautiful and so so different than what we're used to at home.
When we got back to the hotel, we decided to have a late lunch at a buffet at the hotel (you have to have at least one buffet when you're in Vegas, right?!). They have a buffet called the Wicked Spoon. It is an all-you-can-eat buffet, but most of the food is served in individual sized dishes. After our bad luck with food the night before, we were starving and ready to stuff our faces!
Plate #1 and ready to chow down!
Steak, mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, and a pizza roll!
I had quite a few plates inbetween my first plate and this, but I was too busy eating to take pictures - haha. This was my dessert plate! Most of it was so good!
Full and happy about it!
After our late lunch, we went back to the room to rest for a little while. While we were up there, we got to see the most beautiful sunset!
After we recharged, we decided to go back to Cesar's Palace and walk around that mall. We didn't go in the day before because we were pretty tired by that time, but we had a lot more energy and had some time to kill, so we went back. The inside of this mall was absolutely gorgeous!
After walking around for a few hours, we went back to the room to grab a light dinner and change clothes. In our hotel, there is a secret pizza place (called Secret Pizza) that is literally hidden. There are no signs or advertising for it. You basically just find it by word of mouth (or the internet - haha). It's just down a random hallway that's not marked. It's super small, and you basically just get your pizza and go. You can buy a whole pie or just by the slice. Laura and I both got a slice of white pizza and took it back up to our room to eat. It was so yummy, and after our huge late lunch, it was just the perfect amount!
That night, we had tickets to see Penn and Teller - and this is where the story gets pretty dang cool. While we were eating pizza, Laura and I pulled up videos of Penn and Teller on youtube and watched them while we ate. Matt and I have watched their show "Fool Us" for a while, but Laura didn't know a ton about them. Gino is the one that booked our tickets for us, and he got us pretty awesome seats on the 6th row. Before we left for the show, we both were talking and just having fun playing the "would you go up and do a trick with them if they asked you to" game. The verdict was that I would but Laura would want to.
The show does have a lot of audience participation, and it was super fun and entertaining. The funny part is, before we left to go to the show, Laura and I watched a video of this particular trick where they "float" an audience member. (You can see the video here and it would be helpful to watch it before you keep reading) . What is absolutely hilarious is that they brought out the props for this trick, so Laura and I knew exactly which one they were about to do. Then Penn (the big guy) came out into the audience to get someone to come on stage...and came right to me! He asked me how tall I was, and then asked if I wanted to participate - ummm yes! It's just so crazy that Laura and I watched this trick, had a conversation about if we would be willing to do anything at all in the show, and then I got picked!
What's even more awesome is that Teller took a picture of the trick from on the stage while it was happening! This is me! It seriously was so so awesome and so fun (and no - I have no clue how they did it!) . When the show was over, I called Matt (even though it was 2am at home) because it just was the most awesome thing ever!
What's even more cool is that, after the show, both Penn and Teller stay and take pictures with everyone who wants one - they don't leave until everyone has gotten their picture. First up, we met Teller (who does actually talk, by the way).
Then I got to meet Penn (well - again - haha).
What's even cooler than doing a live trick on stage in Vegas with famous magicians?? Having the famous magician tweet about you!