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June 26, 2008

Grand Classroom - Day 5 (Vegas)

Hurry up and pack, gobble your breakfast, jump on the bus and wait for 3.5 hours.

It's a long ride from Flagstaff to the Strip. Thank heavens for Wal-Mart, who has stores everywhere and stocks all the classics. It doesn't get any better than Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Note for next year, bring cool flicks to avoid having to chose between watching Napoleon Dynamite (Grand Classroom bus special feature) or paying a ridiculous price for a great video in the middle of the desert.

Of course the smile on everyone's face was worth any cost and we were still only half way to Vegas.

We had to say goodby to the Mighty Colorado River in Laughlin, NV but I got some great shots of all the casinos along the river canal where you can get a full spa treatment and hair make-over for only $20.

As we approached Vegas, our fearless Grand Classroom leader, Rita, led us in a round of "Who wants to be a Candyaire." Like it's namesake, the chosen students had to answer trivia questions (about the Grand Canyon and other places we visited), they got three cheats (50/50, poll the bus & "phone" a chaperon/teacher) and they won prizes: CANDY. Our Brighten Team, represented by Miss Anna Scasny, won the day and got all the questions correct.

I can proudly say that most of the answers were already included in my blog.

Then we hit the strip -- Epcot on Steroids -- France, Rome, Switzerland, Egypt and every other country you can think of.

First Stop: Circus Circus, where they let us loose for two hours in the Adventure Dome. Since, I'm not one for amusement parks, I thought I'd be bored. Silly me. We had a blast.

Although I only rode one ride: The Sponge Bob 4D Action Adventure, I had a great time walking around in the air-conditioned dome watching the kids on all the crazy rides and checking out the fun exhibits.

Next Stop: Caesars Palace and the Forum Shops. We explored the fantastic FAO Schwarz store with a life size Wooden Trojan Horse, bought some Ugly Dolls (Wedgehead and Ice Bat), which doubled for pillows on the flight back, and got our picture made with Elvis. Yes that's right, Elvis lives in Vegas and he's got his own website.

We had dinner at Planet Hollywood and walked down to the Bellagio for the evening Dancing Water Fountain show, which was fantastic.

Finally, we boarded our bus, one last time, for the short ride to the airport and another long wait for our overnight flight.

Wow, what a trip.

I realize that I'm a day late and a dollar short in writing this blog, but I did take the red-eye.


Credits: Special thanks go to my parents, who financed most of this trip, my husband, who stayed home and worked to pay for all of my new camera equipment, and my in-laws, who are pet-sitting my 6-year-old Tasmanian Devil a/k/a my son, so that my husband could work while I was gone.

Best Toy in Vegas: Squirmles

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