Went on a whirlwind road trip this summer with my daughter Allyson. We ended up driving almost 4,800 miles and through six states in about a week. This included photo shoots at the Neon Sign Museum and the Ghost Town of Nelson, Nevada and visiting 5 National Parks on the way to dropping her off at the University of Wyoming.

Day 1: Travel from Seattle to Las Vegas

On Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at around 7:00 am, Allyson and I sat out on a 17 hour drive to Las Vegas. The route took us through Yakima, where I had never been and also through the state of Idaho that had a lot of air pollution due to all the fires in the northwest. Alternating driving made the drive so much more enjoyable. The only bad thing that happened today occurred on I-90 in Issaquah, WA when a semi truck through up a rock and cracked my windshield. We finally checked into our hotel in Vegas around midnight.

Map - Day 1

Day 2: Vegas & Photo Shoot at Neon Sign Museum

Thursday, August 20th, was our first day in Vegas. We started out by having a delicious breakfast at Cocos and then walking the strip starting at the MGM and down to the Venetian.

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On the walk back, we had shrimp for lunch at Bubba Gumps. It was all so good!

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After lunch we went back to the hotel to prepare for the photo session at the Neon Sign Museum.

I asked at the front desk of the hotel for directions and how long it should take to get there. I had wanted to get there early to set up and not waste time of my paid hour, but it didn’t work out that way.

First, even though I was told it was only 10 minutes away, I was not told that I would have to deal with stop and go traffic on the highway and thus it took almost 30 minutes. And we had bad directions so we ended up getting there late and by the time we got setup, we ended up only being able to photograph for about 45 minutes of our paid hour.

Nevertheless, I was able to work fast and got lots of great images so I am still very happy.

Goal #1 Completed: Awesome images from the Neon Sign Museum 

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If you want to see beautiful images of the Photo Shoot at the Neon Sign Museum, see our special blog post on our RobertsonSeniors.com site.

After the Neon Sign Museum, we drove back to the hotel and then walked to the Parisian and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower replica. I have been to Vegas many times but did not know this was even possible until Allyson informed me that this was something she wanted to do.

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She was given an iPad which she could hold up and see a virtual image of what it would look like from the real Eiffel Tower in that location. At the top, we were able to see the fountain show which was very interesting from this viewpoint.

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Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to get the car and drove downtown to explore Fremont Street. At Fremont Street, not only did we watch the overhead light show, but we also zipped line down the entire street. It was so much fun seeing this area from a new perspective. We ended up having a late dinner before leaving.

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We then drove to the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign and got a couple of images before heading back to the hotel. We definitely had a very fulfilling day.

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Day 3: Vegas & Photo Shoot at Ghost Town in Nelson, NV

First thing we did today, was drive to the Stratosphere and purchase unlimited ride tickets for the extreme rides at the top of the hotel. This was also something that I have never done before but Allyson was super excited to do it.

First up are a couple of aerial views from the Observation area at the top of the Stratosphere.

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Next, Allyson wanted to get a caricature made of herself.

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Then we ended up riding the extreme rides multiple times. First up was the X-Screem. Allyson and I were in the front car and no one else was on the ride with us. And even though we did this ride multiple times, And even though I am a mild thrill seeker, I never did really get used to it as it goes off the side of the building and you feel like you are not going to stop and keep going to the street hundreds of feet below.

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Here is a video I found on YouTube of the ride.

Another ride we did was called the Big Shot! This ride shoots you straight up 160 feet at 45 miles per hour to a height of 1,081 feet before free falling back down.

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We tried to go on the Insanity, which is a mechanical arm that holds you 900ft high and spins 64ft over the Tower edge, but they just closed it down to high winds when we got there. If we had known, we would have ridden this ride first before it was shut down. Oh, well.

After riding both rides multiple times, we left and went to explore Circus Circus.

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Next we went to the largest gift store called the Bonanza before heading back to our hotel to prepare for the Photo Shoot at the Ghost Town in Nelson, NV.

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If you want to see more of the Photo Shoot at the Ghost Town in Nelson, NV, see our special blog post on our RobertsonSeniors.com site.

Goal #2 Completed: Awesome images from the Ghost Town in Nelson, NV

For the evening we saw the Volcano show and then drove to Treasure Island where we had dinner at a buffet that offered almost anything that we could think of.

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After dinner, we drove to the Bellagio to see the Water Fountain show from street level but ended up getting lost inside and missing the show. So instead, we explored the Chihuly glass exhibit which was magnificent! First up was the ceiling in the lobby. This consisted of 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms.

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Next was his “Under the Sea” exhibit which as you can see was very colorful.

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Also in the Bellagio is a chocolate shop that had a large girl made out of chocolate and the largest chocolate fountain.

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This ends our adventure in Las Vegas.

Goal #3 Completed: Fun time in Las Vegas 

Continue to 2015 Vegas & National Parks Roadtrip – Part 2

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