las-vegas sign

I so adore Las Vegas.  My husband and I try to make a trip there a couple times of year.  I really could never tire of it, but this most recent visit to Sin City has me seeing it with different eyes and falling in love with it all over again.

Our usual getaway to the city that never sleeps consists of leisurely window shopping the expensive designer shops, playing (losing) the quarter slots while enjoying some complimentary white wine, enjoying an overpriced meal at one of those “famous chef” restaurants and finally returning to our quiet room with the darkening shades and fabulously comfortable bed and pillows.  No lie…I do love where we stay and wouldn’t change a thing.  I affectionately call our hotel my Chocolate TowersEncore in Las Vegas

This trip was different. No mellow  morning with room service.  Upon waking up in our room in the Chocolate Towers, we quickly showered and put on our hiking clothes.  We hopped into the car and drove to a coffee shop off the Strip to buy ourselves a reasonably priced cup of coffee and scone. Then we were off with our water bottles in hand.

Located just about a 45 minute drive northeast of the Strip is a stunning state park in the Mojave Desert called the Valley of Fire.  The drive is mostly dead desert, but when you arrive to the park these bright fiery red sandstone formations seem to burst from the ground out of nowhere!  Valley of Fire State ParkThese magnificent formations-from arches to beehives- were created here over 150 million years ago. This whole area was once a seabed.

Valley of Fire State Park-Beehive

Valley of Fire State Park-arch

The 70 degree weather was perfect for our day of hiking. We climbed rocks, went into little valleys and saw petroglyphs from the ancient peoples who lived there from 300 B.C.E to 1150 C.E. Valley of Fire State Park-Petroglyphs

Valley of Fire State ParkAfter our day of exploring, we decided we weren’t in the mood for a fancy meal on the Strip. We wanted the exploration to continue.  Driving back to town, we located an authentic Mexican food worthy of a President.  Seriously!  When we walked into Lindo Michoacan, there was a wall full of photos of past diners and there, among the mix, was President Clinton!

This Mexican cuisine hit the spot perfectly.  We started with two grande margaritas and the Queso Fundido with champinones and freshly made flour tortillas.  The mushroom cheese dip melted in our mouths.  The premium tequila in the margaritas made me question how I will ever drink Jose Cuervo again.queso fundido mexican foodThe authentic south of the border décor complete with colorful tiles, pottery and Mariachi music made the Las Vegas Strip seem a country away.  We were in heaven.  Our entrees were smashingly good, too.  My Pollo Rebeca was made with a tender butterflied chicken breast, cactus, onions, jalapenos and cilantro galore! 

Excitement, beauty and incredible food were discovered on this Vegas trip and it didn’t include the slots, the Chanel store window or a meal that involved a $75 bottle of wine. BUT… this is not to say that won’t be on my next itinerary to Las Vegas…

Proud to have this featured on The Tablescaper Blog!

4 Comments on Rediscovering Las Vegas

  1. I’ve heard so much about the Valley of Fire but I’ve never been. It’s so cool, and random, that these rock formations appeared. It’s hard to believe that this once was sea. Spotting petroglyphs sound so cool.

  2. We’ve been going to Vegas for years but have never been to Valley of Fire. It looks like we have some rediscovering to do too. It looks beautiful and my kids would really enjoy those petroglyphs. Thanks for the inspiration.

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