The reason for our recent visit to Las Vegas was mainly three-fold. First I wanted to give Sam the experience of flying commercially. Second I have been wanting to see Chris’s new home since he moved in. Thirdly I wanted to visit the Vegas strip again as it has been years since I have been there. Mission accomplished: I was not disappointed on any account.

One day Chris knew the weather was going to exceptionally hot so he decided we would drive up Mt Charleston about 40 miles away. Chris packed a picnic and off we went. We drove up to the 8,000ft level and the temperature there was 30 degrees cooler than in the city. He was correct, it was beautiful and cooler. Mt. Charleston is known as a sky island because of its high elevation and isolation from the drastically different desert lowlands. This wilderness extends along the crest of the mostly north-south Spring Mountains with towering cliffs, deep narrow canyons, steep hillsides and barren wind-swept summits. We made many stops along the way exploring and stretching our legs. Chris was generous with providing us with cold water to drink our entire visit. Thank you Chris.

Our first stop we followed a little stream that offered interesting things along the way, such as a log fort Sam enjoyed exploring.

We drove as far as the ski area on Mt Charleston and then returned home in time to spend the early evening on the Strip.

We changed clothes and took Uber to, ‘ Viva Las Vegas,’ which is 20 miles east of Chris’s house. I couldn’t believe the crowds of people and how the strip has been built up since I was last there. We spent our entire time exploring the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace. Those two places alone are so big one can spend hours there. Our picnic well burned up we stopped at the food court for dinner. Chris and I had gyros and Sam downed half a huge pizza. Again energized we set out to explore.

First thing I wanted to see was if the Bellagio still had the famous Dale Chihuly glass art blossoms ceiling, which of course it does.

Dale Chihuly is the world famous glass artist whose work made Seattle the world’s center of glass art. Chihuly is a Washingtonian born in Tacoma.

We next made our way to the Bellagio Conservatory which is an exhibit with five rotating displays throughout the year, the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden is a free attraction you can return to again and again. The 14,000-square-foot indoor space is filled with ever-changing floral shows that take botanicals to imaginative heights. At first I didn’t remember it but then as I walked through I did.

…and so it went, endless displays of fantasy and beauty. It was time to leave the Bellagio and walk over to Caesar’s Palace. Pushing our way through the crowds we reached our destination…..To be Continued.