Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Happens in Vegas...

At the end of September, I took an awesome road trip with the most fantastic friend ever.  We moved said friends mom from St. Paul, MN to Las Vegas, NV. 

And let me tell you!  Driving from Minnesota to Nevada in a 22-foot moving truck (aka the most massive of semi-trucks -- I can't believe the rental company didn't require us to have special training in "truckology" and some type of crazy drivers license specifications... that was towing a 9-foot trailer with her mom's sedan on top) was INSANE!

 Exhibit A:

On Day One, we drove through Southern MN and Western South Dakota, which had recently received record amounts of rain that, unfortunately resulted in excessive amounts of water left STANDING in the fields and more than one detour because the highways were also flooded.

We drove through the night and finally ended up in Rapid City, SD on night one because we took a small side trip to visit the World's Only CORN PALACE in Mitchell, SD. 

While walking back to the parking lot that held our lovely moving van (ahem, SEMI TRUCK), we both saw smoke and I made the intelligent and obvious comment, "Hey! It looks like there's a fire over there or something."  as we neared the parking lot (in the middle of a residential neighborhood), there was, indeed, a garage that went from tiny wafts of smoke from the roof to an entire blazing fireball in less than three minutes. I kid you not!  A massive three-alarm fire in less than 3-4 minutes.  It was totally freaky!

As we drove out of the parking lot, next to The Fireball, it quickly became apparent that the entire neighborhood was feeling the effects of the fire because several blocks (over a mile) away, we witnessed the following smoke-filled neighborhood...

We had hoped to make it to Wall Drug, but didn't make it near them while they were still open.  We ended up having to settle with waking up bright and early the next morning to take in the beauty of Mount Rushmore before heading out for another long day of driving -- with the hopes of making it all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Unfortunately, on Day Two we only made it as far as ... I can't remember the name of the Wyoming city. (Shucks!) The drive through WY was gorgeous to begin with, but it very quickly got flat and REALLY boring.  I cannot express to you how hideously boring it got.  My highlight of WY was...  [drum roll, please]


Oh!  And I was first allowed to drive the massive moving van in WY...

Day Three dawned and we were on a mission!  We wanted to be done with the Road Trip portion of this fantastic trip.  We needed to make it all the way through Utah and into Nevada to reach our destination of Las Vegas where more fun awaited us -- in the form of unpacking a 22-foot moving van.  WHO-HOO!!!  Utah was beautiful and a welcome reprieve from the flat, vastness-of-nothingness of Western WY.

Oh!  And my very favoritest part of Utah was the psychotic highway signs...  Really, People?  Check out these signs!!!

We finally made it to Arizona, which led us to Nevada, which brought us to Las Vegas.  PRAISE JESUS!  No more long, but highly enjoyable, hours in the moving SEMI.

We were able to unpack the moving van between 8:30 and 10:30pm on the eve of Day Three.  After unpacking all day on the morning/day of Day Four, we finally went out for some well-deserved fun on the Vegas Strip the eve of Day Four with Friend's brother and nephew.  YAHOO!

To sum it all up... Friend and I had the most fantastic, fabulous, grandiose, blissful time ever!  Go us!!!