Day 5 & 6:

We spent the next two days in Vegas, and for its first-time visitors, a tour of Sin City’s powerhouse casinos is a must.

Caesars Palace

After a filling brunch at the Mirage, we spent the day on a walking tour of The Venetian, The Palazzo, Wynn, Encore. Then we crossed the street to Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, and Aria.

They played the part of typical Asian tourists well, snapping pictures everywhere they turned. Sometimes, as they aimed their cameras at one marvel, their heads and eyes were already turned to be amazed with another. Who can blame them?

The Venetian's indoor St Mark's Square

The grand entrances, the casinos, the shops, the indoor gardens and water features, the walkways, and even every insignificant corner exploded with grand imagination and outrageous excess.

Wynn's indoor garden

That evening, I took them to be further wowed by the award-winning original Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show of Mystere. It was truly a circus fit for the sun.

The following morning, we abused the Bellagio Buffet with a two hour marathon eating session. Then as a proper tour guide might do, I gave them the rest of the day free. My cousin and his friend went to try their luck at the casino tables, as their wives went shopping at the Outlet Mall. Hubby and I, plus the kids, spent a relaxing day at the pool.

Day 7:

Happy birthday to my baby! Yes, it was my baby’s 9th birthday. We woke her up in our hotel room with our cheerful happy birthday song, and honored our baby with sprinkled donuts. Breakfast in bed is our family birthday tradition.

Our baby's big 9th!

After checking out of the Mirage casino, we were on our way to the Grand Canyon. We were headed for the South Rim, which is about a five hour drive.

We took a short detour to the Hoover Dam. Even though it was built in the early 1930’s, it still stood almighty and strong.

Hoover Dam

We arrived at the Grand Canyon around 3PM. We checked into the Yavapai Lodge inside the park, and quickly headed to the rim of the canyon.

The Grand Canyon took our breath away.

The GRAND Canyon

There are no words in our vocabulary that can do it justice in describing its glory, and there are no pictures that can do it justice to show its depth and grandeur.

It is almost unfair to Las Vegas; all its man-made wonderland only pales in comparison to nature-made wonderland.

We did a few hours of light hiking around the rim trail, and even ventured into the depth of the canyon on the Bright Angel trail. We found a quiet spot and waited to see its famed sunset, and saw the colors of the rocks change into a bright deep red. Yes, a ton of pictures were snapped here in just a few hours’ time.

That evening, we celebrated my baby’s birthday with a dinner party at the El Tovar Hotel’s restaurant’s private dining room.

Baby's Birthday Cake at El Tovar Dining Room

After a delicious meal, we stepped out to the rim again and tried to see the canyon in the darkness, and was disappointed that it was just that: a gigantic hole of darkness. But when we turned our heads toward the sky, a gazillion shining stars in the sky took our breath away once again.

What a grand place to celebrate a birthday!

Day 8:

Road trip from Grand Canyon to LA

We drove eight grueling hours to Huntington Beach, southern California.

Day 9:

The happiest place on earth

Disneyland! Yes, it truly is the best amusement park in the world. Even after a tiresome 8 hour drive the day before, we stayed until 10PM before heading back home.

Day 10:

We visited Universal Studios, and saw shows and enjoyed many rides.

Water rides!

Their new Transformer 3D ride is just amazing! Wow!!

Day 11:

We had a beach day on Huntington Beach. Their wives went shopping again at the nearby Fashion Island Mall. The rest of us spent the day swimming, boogie boarding, digging a giant hole and building a canal in the sand, and just relaxing.

Day 12:

We went to San Diego’s Sea World and saw Shamu.

Shamu Rocks!

Day 13:

They spent the entire day shopping at the Camarillo California Premium Outlet Shopping Mall, then onto Los Angeles International airport for their midnight flight home.

The four of us spent the day driving the 7 hours home, and got to sleep in our own comfortable beds to recuperate from their 2 week American whirlwind tour.

Related Post: Two-Week-Long Tour of America with Cousins Visiting from China – Part I
America, the Beautiful
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