|Suspended riders whiz by on the zip lines at the Fremont Street Experience.|
"Open up the sky...
It’s windy and our family needs a ride
I know we’ll be just fine
When we learn to love the ride"
Juliette, Michelle and I have not spent time alone without children or spouses in over 10 years. So when Michelle found out that she would be working at a convention in the last part of April in Las Vegas, and lodging would be at The Venetian, the idea of a "Sistercation" was born.
Juliette and I both have our complicated domestic and work entanglements that always prove tricky when it comes to planning a vacation. We knew the stars were smiling in our favor when we had a solid plan created, days requested off (and approved), pet care arranged and plane tickets were purchased for Michelle and Juliette.
Juliette had never been to Las Vegas before. I on the other hand, having been to Vegas a few times, decided to drive in order to enjoy a rare road trip, and also, to make a real effort to cut expenses for us all. This much I knew...Vegas is expensive.
A luxury vacation in Vegas on a budget requires a strategy. The plan that I evolved was for me to be the rolling "car bar" for the Sistercation. And in fact, when I did pull into the hotel parking, the valet gave me a ticket for 19 items that would be taken up to our room. He also was mighty interested in the very large box of alcoholic beverage bottles that he pulled out of the trunk. He asked if I was having a big party. I confirmed that I was. He wanted to know what kind of party. I told him it was a long delayed reunion, and that we planned to party like rock stars. From his approving expression, I gathered that partying like rock stars never gets old in Vegas.
|Showtime, in more ways than one, at the Fremont Street Experience.|
|The desert in bloom at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.|
The town of Daggett was originally founded in the 1880s just after the discovery of silver in area mines. For two years, it was the terminal of the twenty-mule team run from Death Valley. Not only did silver define Daggett's history, but borax was also important to the city's economy. The borax was being mined, around the turn of the century, out of the Calico Hills nearby.
I remember my grandmother, Maxine, telling me when I was a girl about the famous mule teams that hauled borax ore out in the desert when her father was growing up. So on this part of the drive, I turned off my audio book as I passed through these modern day ghost towns, and I conjured up visions of departed ancestors from my family's history and teams of shiny black mules bearing heavy loads from the mines under the relentless sun, while trailing clouds of dust curling behind their pounding hooves.
|Our mother and her grandfather, Daniel Rhea.|
|Looking towards Las Vegas in Red Rock Canyon NCA.|
|The view from our room on the 44th floor at The Palazzo.|
Vegas touts itself as having something for everyone. But the mighty marketing arm of Vegas visitor promotion agency seems to have had a bout of schizophrenia over the years. Is it a PG family paradise, or is it indeed Sin City with the need for what happens there to stay there?