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Days Nine and Ten: Zion National Park to Vegas, with a Baby

Our last morning in Zion seems forever ago because apparently two days in Las Vegas can have that effect. I remember that we hiked near a river. The rest is a blur. This was our cabin.


This walk leads to one of Zion’s most famous walks, The Narrows–a hike through the river. This sounded fun to me, but there were deep spots and some rushing currents, not exactly ideal for a one year old. The river walk, however, was fully paved and wheelchair accessible. We took the stroller. A good time was had by all.



We dangled some piggies in the water.


And said goodbye to Zion.

Before we left Utah, I had to try a sugar cookie at Swig in St. George. (Utah is all about the sugar cookies. I have no idea why.) IMG_1087

They specialize in cookies and sodas with flavor shots.


The cookies were awesome. And I drink soda maybe twice a year, but my Coke with coconut was so good it might make me a convert. A couple of hours later, we arrived in Vegas.




It might be a law in Vegas that you have to eat at a buffet. I’m not sure, but to be safe we ate at the Garden Court Buffet downtown. It’s not as grand as some of The Strip buffets, but at $15.99 for prime rib, it’s a much better value. We cruised the strip and saved our explorations for day two. Here’s a word about our hotel. It wasn’t on the strip, and that’s a good thing. I read somewhere that it’s better for families to stay a bit out of the way, and it’s advice I would give to anyone with kids. Not only did we not have to walk through a smoky casino every time we wanted to go to our room, but we avoided the crowds and noise. (And our pool was open later, unlike some of the strip hotels.) Plus our place had swans. It was a win-win. IMG_1102

Day two began at the Venetian. I was on a desperate hunt for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, the vacation restaurant I most wanted to see. After wandering nearly as long as Moses in the wilderness, we finally found it. IMG_1111


*Side note. I recently discovered Thomas Keller’s chocolate chip cookie recipe from his cookbook Ad Hoc. It’s amazing and my new go-to chocolate chip cookie. We finally found our way out of the Venetian where the family took a Gondola ride.



We dipped into Caesar’s to escape the melting heat and some guy stripped down to his skivvies and dove into the fountain. IMG_1140

The excitement was too much for the baby.


We ended our blazing day of exploration at Serendipity 3 and a frozen hot chocolate. It was crazy expensive and also crazy good.


*Side note: We ate at the original Serendipity in Manhattan near out 10-year anniversary. That was before I heard they were shut down for an overflowing rat problem. Still good chocolate, though. We went back to the hotel for a siesta/swim session. After our rest, we regrouped and headed further out of town to Hash House A Go Go. Oh, my.


Everything is made from scratch, including these biscuits with peach jam.


And their specialty–fried chicken and bacon waffles.


After supper we headed back to The Strip to fulfill my daughter’s wish to see New York, New York. IMG_1150



We went to the Hershey store.


And then this:


The Shake Shack. Sigh. I wish I would have had room for an entire meal. Alas, I had to settle for a chocolate shake. (And stand in line forever while my family waited patiently.)


It was worth the wait. For me, I mean. Heh.

Tomorrow we head back into the wilderness, literally. We’ll be away from civilization, internet, and even air conditioning for a while. Wish us luck.


About vanessagraybartal

Author. Eater. Wife. Mother. Not necessarily in that order.

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