The Grand Canyon’s South Rim, Arizona, USA (July 2015)
Ok, so when someone says they visited the “The Grand Canyon” you need to ask them to clarify which part – it is absolutely enormous! Unfortunately, we could only squeeze 2 nights into our itinerary for our visit, so after doing my research I decided we would visit the South Rim. On most accounts that I read during my research, this was the most spectacular – the real Grand Canyon. Not to detract from the other parts, but we couldn’t see it all…. So South Rim it was. As it turned out, 2 nights (one full day) really wasn’t enough time to spend there either; there was so much more we could have done and seen, although from the children’s perspective, that was probably the extent their attention span could manage.
In July 2015, the whole family – me, my husband and our two children (who were 11 and 7 at the time)- took a two & half week holiday to the USA. I planned and researched our itinerary for months in advance as I wanted this to be the trip that the kids would remember for a lifetime. We started in L.A, then rented a car and drove to Vegas, then did the Grand Canyon, stopped over in Phoenix on the way to San Diego and finally ended up in Palm Springs.
This post is dedicated to our Vegas segment (I will post about the others later).
Let me start by saying: I love Vegas! Though I haven’t always felt that way. I’d been there with the hubby three times before this trip. The first visit in 1994 I was overwhelmed with the intensity of the place, the constant noise and lights of the machines, lack of exit signage (got lost several times in different casinos), and was happy to leave after a one night stay. But we did return, warmed to the place, so much so that we chose Red Rock Canyon as our destination to get married at, on our third visit. I’m not into the gambling, not for any moral reasons but simply because it bores me after 5 minutes and I can think of much better things to spend money on (shoes for instance). However, I love the bright neon lights on the Strip, the extravagance, the opulent themed buildings, the food and entertainment, all surrounded by colourful desert and mountainous scenery.
As this was our first time to Vegas with the children we weren’t too sure how this would go. We need not have worried – we all had a great time and one of us even conquered some fears (read on)!
I was fortunate to be invited to a work conference in the USA in Feb 2016, so decided to arrive a few days early and take a detour to San Francisco for the weekend, with the hubby in tow. (We left the children at home in Australia with my mum for this trip)
Now you might think there’s too many sites in a big city like SF to fit into two days, but with some research and planning it’s amazing what you can accomplish.
In December 2015, hubby and I took a short 5 day trip to Naples for NYE, leaving the children in England with my parents-in-law.
First up, and I can’t emphasise this enough – wherever you intend to spend NYE do your research and make a booking for the evening! We found ourselves in Naples looking for somewhere to eat dinner and every – I mean every- restaurant was either fully booked or had set menus at extortionate prices. We ended up buying a packet of crisps and cheap beer from a food van on the waterfront and heading back to our hotel room for the night, which was a little disappointing.