Since we were so close, we had to go to the Hoover Dam! It was about a 45 minute drive from our condo and we got there about 30 minutes before it opened at 9. I am so glad we did because there was already a line out the door of the visitor center! While you can go to the dam and just pay for parking, if you want to go into the power plant and/or the dam, you have to book a tour. The power plant tour is about 30 minutes long and you can book ahead of time. However, if you want the tour of the dam (which includes the power plant tour), you have to buy it the day of and those tickets are very limited. We were probably within the first 20 families through the door but we were already on the second dam tour of the day! Regardless, it was very well worth it both from what we got to see and what we learned. Did you know that despite what rumors say, there are no bodies buried in the dam? Bodies would have ruined the structural integrity of the wall so they made sure to get the bodies out!
|Line to enter the visitor's center before it opened|
|Looking at the dam with Lake Mead behind it|
|Looking down at the power plant area|
|This was one of two tunnels used to divert the water but is now being used for the power plant|
|Power plant turbines|
|This is 1 of 4 vents on the face of the dam|
|And this is the view from that vent!|
|So many long hallways!|
|Standing on top of the dam, looking towards Lake Mead|
|Standing on the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge|
For part of Matt's anniversary gift (though I certainly enjoyed it, too!), we went shooting at Battlefield Vegas. This gave us the chance to shoot guns we had never shot before in both semi-automatic and automatic modes. We chose a package deal where we got to shoot a MP5, an Uzi, a M4, and an AK-47. I'm not going to lie, there was a little bit of bruising on our shoulders after shooting the AK-47 in automatic (and I only did that for 15 rounds or so), but it was an experience I won't soon forget!
|With our buzzer waiting for them to get our guns ready|
|And of course the AK-47|
We did do some more stereotypical Vegas things and went to a couple of Cirque du Solei shows, specifically Ka and Beatles LOVE. Both shows were absolutely amazing though for different reasons. While LOVE centered around the music of the Beatles and was much more dancing-oriented, Ka featured a stage that could literally move in every single direction and was much more acrobatic in nature (here's a trailer so you can get a sense of the stage). If you are a fan of the Beatles, I would recommend that to you, but otherwise Ka may be a better choice if you can only see one. I look forward to seeing some of their other shows as the production value is unlike anything I've seen before!
|Our amazing view!|
This was technically both an indoor & outdoor activity, but I had to put it somewhere. We found we really enjoyed exploring the strip and the casinos/shopping areas, particularly in the morning hours before it was crowded. We found an amazing store that housed only rare books (think those signed by Thomas Jefferson, first editions of classic works, etc.) that would be any bibliophile's dream. The level of detail that was put into the buildings was also pretty astounding, so it just made for a fun and unique place to walk around.
|An amazing flower sculpture inside one of the hotel/casinos|
|It is undoubtedly beautiful at night!|
|Inside the shopping area of Ceasar's|
|Outside the Bellagio|
|Inside the Bellagio they also had sculptures made from plants and flowers|
|Because who doesn't love chocolate?|
|This is the rare bookstore mentioned above|
Are you exhausted yet? We did fit a lot into our week but we did take some time to relax. We both read several books that were non-work related, which hasn't happened in a long time!