out west we go!

from sin city to route 66.


// Las Vegas //

We laced up our hiking boots to set out on an adventure we had been looking forward to for months. Many scenic views were on our Nevada, Arizona & Utah itinerary for the next five days.
First stop? Sin City. Day one started with a flight from EWR – LAS, with our masks only coming off a few times to sip on coffee, six feet apart.
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For the amount of times I have been to Las Vegas, I have never been able to see the view we experienced on this initial descent. The bright blue hue of Lake Mead made me so excited to explore the roads outside of the Vegas Strip. As a passenger, I highly recommend opening those windows when you get out west – it’s worth the nap being cut short.
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We dropped our bags off at Paris and then hit the ground running. THE SECOND we stepped foot on the Strip, I dragged Chris to my favorite go-to for lunch. It is a quick and casual spot that serves… sushi burritos! I actually dream about eating these & you can clearly see why. Jaburritos, you have my heart forever.
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Our afternoon was spent strolling the Strip and playing penny slots. We actually won a big jackpot of… nothing. But hey, we still had a blast.
We grabbed some happy hour drinks at Cabo Wabo & saw the Fountains of Bellagio as we explored. We weren’t sure how busy Vegas was going to be, but we were happily surprised to see that mask and social distancing rules were taken very seriously. Everyone was required to wear a mask whenever they were indoors & there were even hand washing stations set up around the casinos.
Chris found another epic takeout restaurant called Dirt Dog. Think of it as turning any basic food, in this case a hot dog & corn on the cob, into a full feast. I recommend the Elote Dog. Just look at these toppings – and yes, those are crushed up hot Cheetos on Chris’s Flaming Dog. Brilliant.
Before you make plans to go to Las Vegas, just take note that many shows, pools, clubs and even entire casinos are still shut due to the pandemic. Chris and I spent most of our time strolling around outside & made it a casual Vegas experience – which is still a fun time!

// Route 66 //

On our second day, we were thrilled because it was the official start to our road trip! After we rented our car from Enterprise, we headed east towards Williams, AZ.
Initially, we were going to explore Hoover Dam, but that is unfortunately closed at the moment. Although some places on our list were closed throughout the trip, we still made the most of it. It’s important to stay super flexible during your adventures and roll with the punches, especially during these times! When you can’t see some of the touristy places, you might just stumble upon other hidden gems.
From Las Vegas to Williams, we found the cutest Route 66 towns. Many of you have probably seen the movie Cars. Well, the story line is inspired by towns that are still on the originally preserved Route 66. When Route 40 was built, many of these small towns were bypassed and suffered economically due to the major decrease in traffic.
We made stops along the All-American road in Kingman, Seligman and ended in Williams. You can tell the pride that these communities hold in being the original Route 66 stops. It was really interesting to walk around each of them & learn about the history of these once-bustling towns.

// Williams, Arizona //

Williams, Arizona is known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” & was our final destination of the day. It’s about 3.5 hours away from Las Vegas (not including stops). Almost all of the accommodations are motel style & very affordable – we stayed at the Rodeway Inn & Suites Downtowner. The main street in town is Route 66, so you can only imagine the character of these small businesses & restaurants. It felt like we went back in time as the neon signs lit up around us.
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A must-do would be the Wild West Show in Williams. It happens at 7 p.m. every night at different spots around town. We had to ask locals where the show would be & they directed us the right way. I’ll admit it wasn’t the best acting, but the Cataract Creek Gang was hilarious and it was an animated show. If flying doesn’t work out for Chris, he might just run away and become a cowboy.
For how small the town is, there are a lot of cool breweries to visit. We went to the Historic Barrel + Bottle House for a drink on the patio. Following that, Cruiser’s Cafe 66 was calling because of the outdoor live music and huge smoker out front. As an Iowa girl, BBQ never disappoints – I highly recommend the brisket.

After two fully packed days in Sin City & cruising Route 66, our road trip was off to a great start. Up next? A natural wonder of the world…

xx,

madeline

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