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Trip Report Trip Report Vegas/LA/Grand Canyon/Zion

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Here is my trip report from our wonderful Western Vacation

We left on June 5 and flew into Las Vegas, picked up a rental and then drove to California. We stopped in the Mojave Preserve and hiked the Kelso sand dunes and went to see the lava flows and in Calico to see the ghost town. We arrived in Santa Monica late that evening. The next morning we got up and went to see Venice Beach and the Santa Monica pier. We took and evening drive to Marina Del Rey. The next morning we put the top down on our convertable that we had been upgraded to and drove the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped at several of the beaches in Malibu but our favorite was El Matador Beach. He had a late lunch at Neptune's Net and then we headed to Mullholland and drove through the Santa Monica Mountains stopping to visit Paramount Ranch. Beautiful views! The next morning we got up and spent our morning at the Getty Villa and then took the scenic drive to Hollywood via Sunset Blvd. and then checked in at the Rennasaince Hollywood. We went to the Griffith observatory and drove that stretch of Mulholland and then I took my teenage boys to the Whisky a gogo to see a local band and then we got up the next day to walk the walk of fame, Grauman's chinese theater, Madamme Tussads wax museum, the Hollywood Museum (which was very cool), had lunch at Pink's hot dogs and then saw the Avengers at El Capitan theater. The next day we went drove around Beverly Hills, went to the LaBrea Tar Pits and then went to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour which was great! Then next morning we got up and drove to Anaheim and stayed two nights to visit Disneyland. After Disneyland we drove to the Grand Canyon which took around 7 hours. We stayed two nights at the South Rim and used the shuttle to see the various lookout points. We ate dinner at El Tovar (you need reservations) and were lucky enough to get a seat by the windows to see the sunset over the Grand Canyon on our first night and the second morning we were up before dawn so we could watch the sunrise. We left the Grand Canyon and headed to Cameron, stopping at Desert View and other viewpoints along the way and when we reached Cameron we had a Navajo Taco (we ordered the half and it was still huge so next time we will order the half and then split it). We then drove up to Page, Arizona and hiked to horseshoe bend so we could take photos at sunset. The next AM we were up early to raft the Colorado River from Glenn Canyon. This is a must do!! Great vantage point of the canyon, lots of wildlife and the guides at Colorado River Discovery were great! We even stopped to take a dip (very quickly as it was freezing) in the Colorado and saw Petroglyphs which my kids loved. The rafting trip ended and then we headed back for Vegas. Along the way we stopped at Grand Staircase Escalante and drove through Zion National Park, stopping so the kids could climb the mountain. We also drove through the Coral Pink Sand dunes in George, Utah before making it into Las Vegas in the evening. The kids got to see the strip at night and we stayed at the Trump Towers and ordered room service. The kids thought that a hotel with a tv in a bathroom that was bigger than some hotel rooms was such a great thing that they sat in their robes and just chilled out. We didn't explore the strip so next trip we will allow another day for that, maybe. The next morning we flew home. We had a fantastic time and would definately do this trip again.

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