We picked up the tail end of route 66 and started to follow it backwards towards Vegas. Instead of driving San Diego to Vegas in one day, we decided to take a detour to visit Palm Springs. This is apparently the new LA and full of celeb’s houses although we didn’t spot any. We didn’t spend long there, just had a wander round and some lunch in a nice place called Coconut bar. It was way too hot to do much else so we made for the safety of the air con. A few more hours on the road and we stopped in a place called Needles (located right on the 66). That left us with only a 1 hour drive to Vegas and the strip the following morning.

We checked into the Excalibur hotel for 5 nights as it was located right on the strip and it was only £17 a night. We thought it might be a bit rubbish for the price but were surprised by the size of its casino. It also had lots of bars, 4 pools, 6 restaurants and a food court, so it wasn’t a bad deal. Granted it wasn’t anything like the Venetian or Bellagio but gave us a good base.

We both loved Vegas. Again we were spoilt with record high temperatures for November (mid-thirties) so took advantage and had a day by the pool and again just relaxed with some reading (Abby) or catching up with work (me).

The first night we went a bit nuts (to say the least) with the gambling and drinking. We had heard that in Vegas you get free drinks if you are spending money on the casino floor (they are referred to as comps). We had been told that even if you hang round the 1 cent machines and tip the cocktail waitress, she will just keep bringing you drinks all night. Well speaking from experience, it works. In fact it works very well! The only thing that stopped us getting married was the chapel in our hotel closed at 22:00. And before you shout at me Trudi, it was your daughter’s idea not mine!

Abby woke up in the morning and was in her very own 'Hangover' movie. I wasn't so bad until we tried to recall just how much free Corona we had drunk.

Ok, so what did we do apart from drink and gamble. Well we wandered round the strip a bit and drank and gambled in other casinos, we watched the fountain display at the Bellagio - amazing, went to the show 'Tournament of Kings' at our own hotel. I also discovered my love for Roulette and Abby's love of general gambling, but by the fifth night we were both a bit fed up of the whole gambling thing. Also as you can smoke in all the casinos, we were fed up of smelling like smokers every night and I was fed up of listening to Abby moan about how many times she had to wash her hair!

We took a whole day off from the mayhem of Vegas on Thursday and drove back into California towards Death Valley. This was a place I wanted to visit ever Hank told me about it from his route 66 style bikers holiday he had a few years ago. It was amazing, just the difference in contrast of the surroundings and how quiet everything was. We headed through Death Valley up to a good spot called Dante's view which overlooks the great salt planes.

On our way back, we decided to go slightly off-piste and see if we could find Area 51. We got about as close as we could without disguising ourselves as belonging to the America Air-force and climbing over some private property fences. We found a great little store in the closest place too it which was all very alien inspired inside!

 So we are leaving Vegas tomorrow to head towards Flagstaff via Hoover dam and the Grand Canyon. Will post more then.

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