Papillon Grand Canyon tourThere was only one thing worth getting out of bed at 6:20 a.m. for – our helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon with Papillon. The bus was picking us up at 8 and we needed the time to get ready. Unlike some people, we don’t jump out of bed, picture perfect, ready to start our day. We groan, slump out and wander like zombies. Do you know how long it takes to turn zombies into passable humans through the power of makeup? 20 minutes. We’re not big on makeup and get bored easily.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Papillon Grand Canyon tourWe’re pretty sure the tickets mentioned a limo pick up. Considering the only limo we’ve ever been in is a funeral one, we were excited, imagining this was how film stars lived. The black bus that turned up was certainly not a limo. No spacious leg room and mini fridge for us then. The bus driver seemed really beaten down by life and almost killed us several times on the way. It was like she was determined to end it all and take us all with her! And several other guests went missing, leading to us spending a long time driving around the strip and blocking hotel entrances. We’d been excited about the Grand Canyon for most of the year. No way in hell were we planning to end our morning flattened in a bus. If Sandra Bullock could take the wheel in Speed, so we could we. Luckily we didn’t have to. Our Travel Insurance didn’t cover bus hijacking.Papillon Grand Canyon tour

Papillon Grand Canyon tourThe greeter at the airport not only knew where Wales was, but had just come back from visiting Swansea and Cardiff! A lot of people in America thought we were English. We mentioned Wales and got blank stares. We had to explain it’s next door to England but is not in fact, England. So finding out this guy even knew our cities was a proud moment. Then over the tannoy they announced our names for the flight and added “from England.” A frustrated cry of “Wales!” echoed around the gift shop. *Grinds teeth* There are FOUR countries in the UK. FOUR. We shared the helicopter with three French guys. We sadly did not get to sit in the front, which would’ve made for amazing views. The helicopter ride was fantastic. First time we’ve ever been in one. And we didn’t play the Airwolf theme! Very disappointed in ourselves for that. Papillon Grand Canyon tourLynx only felt sick once on the way and a couple of times on the way back but Cat pocketed a sick bag just in case. The views were stunning and it’s so weird seeing such straight roads! It’s like they’re trying to defy nature. We landed in the Grand Canyon’s Western Rim with three or four other helicopters. It was incredible. We took a couple of rocks as souvenirs. Papillon Grand Canyon tourActual pieces of the Grand Canyon are way better than touristy mugs and keyrings. Though if the canyon collapses now, we apologise. We had a picnic in a shelter. They provided a small tub of Pringles and a packet of apple slices so we were able to eat something. We even drank some water! Check us out, trying new things. Most people just stayed under the shelter with the picnic, but we went exploring and gently hugged a cactus. The half hour went way too quickly. Photos don’t do the scale of it justice. Still can’t believe we were there.Paillon Grand Canyon tour

After a quick stop at our hotel to freshen up, we decided to go to Fremont Street. As we were heading for the bus stop, there were street artists dressed up. One was a Transformer, one was some kind of robot and there was another one. The robot guy wanted a high five from us then the three of them asked us for a photo. We declined, because you have to pay them, then one even said he’d waive his tip for a photo! 😀 Normally it’s tourists wanting photos with street performers, not the other way around! We got a 24 hour bus ticket and headed for Fremont Street.

Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas

canal in the Venetian

Except we’re easily distracted and spotted the Venetian hotel with its gondolas. So we jumped off the bus and booked a gondola ride through the hotel. The inside is amazing, they’ve recreated St Mark’s Square in Venice, complete with canals. Yes, there is a canal inside the hotel.

Venetian Hotel gondola

us and Caj

While we were waiting, a Russian tourist asked if he could take a photo of us. Our gondolier, Caj was brilliant. He was funny and even sang the Cornetto song when Neen asked. Every damn word. He sang the proper version then Mambo Italian while we danced. Nobody else appeared to be dancing in their gondolas. Caj kept blowing us kisses as we were leaving.

Venetian hotel gondola

Neen and Caj

We got back on the bus then stopped at the Mob Museum. That was really cool. We know a little bit about the mob, but not a lot, so it was great to learn the history and put faces to infamous names. They had the actual wall where the gangsters were killed in the St Valentine’s Day Massacre. So naturally we posed by it, with Neen shooting Lynx, Lynx surrendering and Cat doing a death pose.

Mob Museum, Las Vegas

actual wall from the St Valentine’s Day massacre

Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Neen firing a Tommy gun

Sensitive as always. We got to have a go with a fake Tommy gun then there was an electric chair which moved. So we took turns getting electrocuted. Naturally we did the whole ‘juddering as electricity courses through our veins’ bit then slumped into a death pose. Some people who were watching thought we were actors that worked there and even applauded us! Nope, not actors, just tourists messing around 😀 We also fired a bulletless revolver in a training video and kept shooting suspects in the arse as they ran away. Take that, dirtbags. We had our photo taken in a police lineup. The lady there loved our look and even loved our accents. Really? We told her the Cardiff accent really isn’t popular back home. But is appears we sound exotic to Americans. Who’da thunk it?Mob Museum, Las Vegas

Mob Museum, Las Vegas


Inside Vegenation

We headed to Fremont Street and joined it in the middle. We walked down to the end to find the vegan place in Container Park, which is a fenced off area with large shipping containers. Hence its name. The vegan place only served healthy stuff. This is a particular pet peeve of ours. You go to a vegan place and it’s all lentils, tofu (what the hell is tofu anyway?), kale chips, chickpeas, nuts and raw whatevers. People think this is what vegans eat. No! You know what we eat? Ice cream. Chocolate. Chips. Crisps. Sweets. Cake. We eat like normal people, just a vegan version of it. We’re vegan because we love animals, not because we want to eat like squirrels. So we wandered back to Fremont Street, but a different way and happened across a vegan restaurant, Vegenation. They served fries, which were actually large potato wedges sprinkled with paprika, and ice cream! We had vanilla and chocolate. Delicious! Chips and ice cream. It’s not that hard to keep us happy. Vegenation only opened in May. A good find! The greeter loved our hair so sat us near the door to attract customers 😀


vegan ice cream at Vegenation

Fremont Street Las Vegas

Fremont Street

We walked back through Fremont Street. As it was dark, it was all lit up, with people on a zip wire above us. This is what we imagined the Strip to look like. There were street performers everywhere. Some wearing hardly anything. Yet people were taking photos of us. We’re not the most interesting people in Vegas! They obviously don’t get many Goths or twins in Vegas. We were trying to find a bus back then saw one behind us. We ran about a block alongside it and just beat it to the bus stop. It amused the bus driver anyway.

Fremont Street, Las Vegas

Fremont Street at night