When most folks think of Nevada the first thing that comes to mind is the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas. It's completely mesmerizing, a fantasyland to be sure. But get out of the city limits, and you are instantly back in the wild west. Desert landscape and all that goes with it. We only explored a small portion of Nevada at the southern end but I feel that we definitely got a sense of the place and the rhythm of … [Read more...]

Hoover Dam (Boulder City)

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

Hoover Dam is one of the greatest engineering marvels of all time in fact our jaws dropped just at the sight of if. We took the Discovery tour where we learned all about hydroelectricity (remember we did that at the Bonneville Dam in Washington too) and how the Army Corp of Engineers dammed the Colorado River and harnessed its power to provide electricity to millions of homes and businesses especially close to where … [Read more...]

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour (Henderson)

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Factory tours and chocolate are two of my all time favorite things.   Ethel M sells chocolate nationwide but they are based right here in Henderson.  We stopped in for a tasty tour to watch how chocolate is tempered and poured into molds, and how caramels and other tasty fillings are made. Most of the tour is just walking by big glass windows where you can see the machines and the … [Read more...]

Casino Tour On The Strip (Las Vegas)

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

What can I say about Las Vegas that hasn’t already been said? Yes, it’s tacky and weird, but it is a heck of a lot of fun and there is plenty to explore and do even with kids (mine at this point were 5, 6, and 8). Just exploring the incredible themed décor at the casinos can be an awesome adventure…Excalibur, Caesar’s Palace, the Venetian, New York, New York, Paris…you can literally go around the world and … [Read more...]

CSI The Experience @ The MGM Grand (Las Vegas)

CSI The Experience @ The MGM Grand

I wouldn't say CSI The Experience is totally appropriate for a younger group but if your kids are in their early teens (and can handle the concept of a murder crime scene) this is a super cool activity that exercises your sleuthing skills and teaches you how investigators solve crimes.  After a brief explanation of what we were going to see and do, we were given a paper and pencil and shown a crime scene which we … [Read more...]

The Peppermill (Las Vegas)

The Peppermill (Las Vegas)

What do you get when you cross an all American diner with a 80's Vegas nightclub? You get The Peppermill! Open 24 hours and always busy with crazy awesome decor. This place will satisfy even the hungriest of eaters with their enormous portions but a word of warning-be prepared to wait to be seated. They don't take reservations so just hang in there because the experience will be totally worth it. Once you've been … [Read more...]

Pinball Hall of Fame (Las Vegas)

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

I ask you, who doesn't love pinball? For me visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame was a terrific throwback jogging all kinds of memories of my free spirited youth. For my kids, it was an opportunity to discover simpler pleasures and the ancient origins of the games they now play on their phones. We happened on The Pinball Hall of Fame after doing some road trip research and I am beyond thrilled to share this find with … [Read more...]

Casino Tour (Laughlin)


So I am not sure what I was thinking taking my kids to Laughlin. I thought it would be a mini Vegas but with a more country down home vibe, like paddle wheeler boats you know, that sort of thing. Well, what can I say—it's not a real family-friendly place. I liken it to Vegas’ ugly stepsister. Lots of casinos and gambling, and not much in the way of family fun. Perhaps if the weather had been warmer and we’d … [Read more...]

Itinerary #2: Nevada, Utah and Arizona


This was my first solo trip (sort of—I took my housekeeper who although has been like a second mother to my kids, speaks no English and cannot drive…I love her to death but let's be honest, she could not be a great help in an emergency in the middle of nowhere). Had I known better, I would have taken along another mom with kids, but of course experience is the best teacher and so I learned for the next trip what … [Read more...]