Friday, July 24, 2015

Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon {Day 3 updated}

**This post will have about 934 photos, just a warning.** :)

On Wednesday, we woke up bright and early (5:15am) and got ready for our day at the Grand Canyon.

I found a Groupon about a month before our trip that offered tours from the company, Comedy on Deck tours.  I checked a lot of reviews and the company checked out so I went ahead and purchased two groupons.  I purchased that option that included breakfast and lunch for us and it was an all-day tour.

The charter bus picked us up at 6:15am from the Tropicana hotel.  We were on the bus about 20 minutes and then stopped for a hot breakfast at a restaurant (we placed our orders ahead of time).  We were in and out of the restaurant in 40 minutes and on our way to the Hoover Dam.  About 30 minutes later, we were at the Hoover Dam bypass.  We had 20 minutes to get out and take pictures and then get back on the bus.

The bypass has been open almost five years and has plenty of parking and bathrooms.  It's a great way to see the Hoover Dam without having to deal with the traffic and groups that go to the actual Dam. 

 This is the entrance to the bridge

 On the bridge looking at the Hoover Dam

 Ben looking at the Hoover Dam

 The Hoover Dam

After we loaded back onto the bus, we headed to the Grand Canyon.  It is about 2 hours from the Hoover Dam and we watched a video about the Sky Walk on the West Rim and heard about the options of other tours we could do once we got there.

Ben and I both decided to do the Sky Walk tour ($35 each) and I am so glad we did it!

Once we got to the West Rim, we stopped and took some pictures with the Joshua trees.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is part of the Hualapai Reservation and is owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe.  Once you get there, they have their own tour buses you must take around the West Rim and it has four stops on it's route.

We had 3 1/2 hours to see everything we wanted so we skipped the first stop on the tour and headed straight for the Sky Walk at Eagle Point.

I highly recommend the Sky Walk tour!  It was incredibly scary/awesome/exhilarating all at the same time.  You walk out onto a glass horseshoe that is 4,000 feet above the canyon floor.  The floor is glass, so you can see all the way to the bottom of the canyon and all around the canyon as you walk out onto the rounded part of the horseshoe.

*You cannot take anything with you onto the sky walk.  People were losing stuff over the edge when it first opened, so they now require everyone to lock everything in free lockers.  They will not let you on the sky walk with anything.  There are photographers there that will take a bunch of pictures that you can purchase.  We had 16 or 17 photos taken and we bought one (it was $16).

 I mean, it's just breathtaking!

 I love this picture and it doesn't even begin to show how awesome the Grand Canyon is.

 Ben was loving it!

We then went to the third stop on the tour.  We grabbed lunch and then walked around.  Lunch was a choice of baked chicken or beef brisket.  I had the brisket and it was awesome (Ben had the chicken and said it was pretty dry).  Lunch also came with a roll, steamed vegetables, a salad, a cookie, and a bottle of water.

My lunch view was pretty amazing!

Enjoying our lunch under the tent.

 We spent a lot of time taking pictures of the canyon (obviously)
but the sky was so beautiful too!

 We started to do some walking/hiking but my ankle wasn't loving the uneven ground, so we didn't make it very far.

 That is the entrance to an old mine.

Love this man!

Selfie :)

 Look how clear and blue the sky is

 The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon
*Fun fact: My brother has rafted the Colorado River with my Grandparents


Once our time was up, we headed back to the bus and back to Las Vegas.  On our way back, we stopped at a park near Lake Mead that had a ton of these goat/sheep things.  The locals were going nuts because they are supposed to bring good luck if you see one and we saw about forty!  This was just a regular park/playground with kids playing and 40 of these goats just hanging out.

After the Lake Mead stop, we continued our drive back to Vegas and we got back around 5pm.  It was a long, amazing day and I am so happy Ben and I decided to take the tour.

Wednesday night we went to dinner at Guy Fieri's restaurant at our hotel.  The food was really good, but the service wasn't the best.  We went to dinner around 9pm on a Wednesday and we still had to wait about 15 minutes to get seated.

 Ben's burger and fries:
There are 5 different kinds of fries
The burger has cheese, bacon, mac n'cheese, and sauce

 I got chili topped with corn bread


Some info on our tour-

The bus we rode in was a full-size tour bus with a bathroom.

The Comedy on Deck Tour was a great tour, and is not a comedy tour.  The company does comedy tours to Hoover Dam if you want to do that.

I am so happy I purchased the breakfast and lunch option so we didn't have to worry about it.

Our tour guide was Jody and our bus driver was Phil and they were both excellent.

It was nice to break up the week in Vegas with an all-day tour to the Grand Canyon.  If you are going to Vegas and looking to do a tour, go in the middle of the week and check Groupon for deals.

This was my first time using Groupon for a tour and it was fantastic.  The company is great, the staff was educated, articulate, and wonderful.  I brought bottled water with us, but the tour bus driver gave us ice cold water after every stop- wasn't expecting that and it was great!

Bring a real camera like we did and lots of sunscreen.

Do the Sky Walk tour, when are you ever going to do it again...

Hope you enjoyed all the pictures and info.

Happy Friday!

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