Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour outside of Las Vegas, and it is awesome. It seemed like a combination of Arches National Park and The Wave, outside of Kanab, Utah. We went on a few short hikes: Elephant Rock,  Fire Wave, White Domes, and Mouse’s Tank. We all had a fun time exploring and taking in the views.

Disclaimer: Pictures don’t do this place justice, at least not with our phone cameras.

 

24 Hours in Vegas

It has been a long 24 hours. I haven’t posted much about our car troubles, but we have had more work than we were planning on. In the past 2 months we have had to fix 2 fuel leaks. Yesterday when we drove in to Vegas I thought we had another. This caused some stress as we are tired of spending money on the car. We talked about it before bed and came up with an action plan for today. 

Then the winds came. There were crazy wind gusts last night that were shaking our whole RV and making a lot of noise. Neither Susan nor I slept very well, and I had to get up early for work. I was tired. 

I ended up taking the car in to the shop this morning and they located the leak and it turned out to be the transmission gasket. They were able to fix that, change my oil, and replace some worn out parts in the front suspension faster and cheaper than the appointment I have scheduled in San Diego next week, which I can now cancel. Also, they had blazing fast internet, which is awesome. 

I pretty much spent the work day there, came home, and then took the kids to the park. There is a park here in Boulder city where bighorn sheep like to hang out. Today there were 50, just grazing on the lawn. It was a cool site and a nice way to wind down after some stressful times. 

The kids, bighorn sheep, and Lake Mead.

Back to the Strip

Today after work we went back to the Strip. We spent most of the time exploring the mall at Caesar’s Palace, The Forum Shops, where we did some shopping at H&M and shared a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. 

Rome?
Rose is trying to figure out how to make her fingers into positions, to match Lucia.
New matching hats

 

Las Vegas

Today after work we headed into Las Vegas. I have never been there before and I was excited to see what all of the hype is about. I was actually really impressed with the strip. We parked at the Bellagio, walked to Excalibur, and then back to Bellagio to see the fountains. 

We spent a fair amount of time in M&M World and also got a treat at the Hershey store. Overall, good time. We are planning on going back later in the week.

Hangin’ with Ms. Green.
We got 1/2 pound of many different flavored M&Ms.
NY NY
Sharing a Hershey treat.
We were very impressed with the Bellagio botanical Christmas display.

Menifee -> Las Vegas

It took us about 5 hours to drive from Menifee, CA to Las Vegas. There were a couple of stretches that were very windy, so aside from being nerve-racking we also had to drive very slowly. 

We are staying about 30 minutes southeast of Las Vegas, near the Hoover Dam. 

the view from our campground
the view from the grocery store parking lot. For some reason our cameras always pick up yellow. It was all red.

Doheny Beach

We had the whole day free today so we decided to trek it to the beach. We love the beach and the weather looked good. We had to drive about 90 minutes to get there from where we are staying. There is a beach that would have been a little closer, but it was impacted by a wildfire so we decided to stay a little farther north. 

We went to Doheny Beach which is a state park in Dana Point. It was a beautiful beach with volleyball players, surfers, and a cute cafe right on the beach. It was a fun day.

 

 

Old Town Temecula

This evening we attempted to visit Old Town Temecula, the downtown of one of the cities near where we are staying. Apparently we aren’t the only ones. The place was completely packed, so we headed to the modern-day town square, Costco.

Many of the parking lots in the area where we are staying are lit with yellow lights. We are not sure why. It is funny because they wash the color out of everything. It is like stepping into a black and white world.
Enjoying some treats.

Confinement

We moved yesterday due to the forecasted high winds for today, and I think we made the right choice. We spent nearly the whole day inside the RV because it is so windy outside. Since we are in a desert the winds carry a lot of debris and it is just uncomfortable to be outside. We did go to Target this evening and at one point in the trip it felt like we were in a blizzard because the dust was so thick.

Along with the winds, southern California has been dealing with a few fires that have popped up in the past week, spreading very quickly because of the winds. We are safe for now, but have to remain on alert. We are the blue dot in the bottom right quadrant. The fire closest to us just started this afternoon. The winds are in our favor at this point, blowing the fire away from us. 

California Statewide Fire Map

Anaheim -> Wilderness Lakes

This afternoon we decided to leave Anaheim a day early to head to our next location. It is supposed to be very windy tomorrow and we didn’t want to be driving. 

Disney was great, but it is nice to be back out in the country.