Three days on the road and I have yet to stay at a hotel with shampoo worth stealing. I spent last night at the Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express, the first place I've stayed to actually provide internet (the Stratosphere had it, but they were charging ten dollars to use it.) Yesterday I drove from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, which is further than it looks. But first, the buffet.
I had, as I mentioned, intended to eat at a buffet while in Vegas and, since one of the shows I Tivo'd said the Bellagio was the best I went there. I got there at about ten-thirty, when they were switching over the meals, so I was able to pay for breakfast and get lunch too (thanks for the tip, Ben). The food was mostly very good, though I would call the bagel sub-par and I consumed, by my estimation, about seven zillion calories in a little under an hour. I ended up feeling kind of ill, which I think means I did it right. By the way, Mom, I think you would like the Bellagio. The casino isn't that noisy and they've got this 'conservatory' in the lobby, which is basically a giant, walk-through flower arrangement. I took a bunch of pictures, which I'll post if I can figure out how to make links work again.
Anyway, I left Las Vegas around noon, about thirty pounds heavier than when I got there, and drove to the Hoover dam. It is very large. Then I drove and drove and drove, across very dramatic but very empty countryside. I thought it was pretty cool when I passed a sign that said 'next services 56 miles'- because hey, wilderness- except that about twenty miles in I realized that I really, really had to go to the bathroom (is this too much information?). After that, the driving was less fun for a while but the gas station I stopped at had an A&W, so I got a root beer float and everything was okay.
The gas station was actually on Route 66, which I keep encountering on this leg of the trip. I like the idea of it, but I'm glad they put in the interstate. Scenery that dull at eighty miles an hour must be pretty deadly at fifty.
Speaking of deadly, I haven't even mentioned the weirdest part of my day (it was a long day). I'd left the freeway and I was driving up the road that goes to the Grand Canyon when I saw some heavy clouds up ahead. Okay, I thought, I'm going to see some rain- no big surprise, it was in the forecast. So I keep going, and sure enough the stuff starts hitting my windshield, and I put the wipers on and at least it does something about the bugs. But the rain was falling funny, kind of sideways- which was odd, since the wind wasn't that strong. Then it got heavier and I noticed that the rain was kind of floaty and white, and eventually I had to accept that it was actually snow. (Which, frankly, I find completely inappropriate. I distinctly remember not signing up for snow on this trip.) I'd never driven in snow before, so I got kind of concerned, especially when it kept getting heavier, but I just followed the car ahead of me and eventually it let up and today the weather is beautiful. Which means I should probably get out there an enjoy it, instead of just sitting around and writing in this blog.