|Thursday, November 28, 1996: Las Vegas was the place to be on Thanksgiving Day 1996. We flew in late on Wednesday evening for a long weekend and checked into the brand new Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino, right across the street from the MGM Grand.
|We headed to a bar near the food court for some libations ...
|... and good times.
|We like Las Vegas!
|Then we headed out to do some sightseeing on the Strip. Here are Mark, Debbie, Tom, Mike, Marcie, Jim, Beth & Andy in front of the Monte Carlo.
|Here is New York New York, ...
|... the entrance to the MGM Grand (before its major overhaul), ...
|... Excalibur, ...
|... and the Luxor, with the Sphinx guarding the entrance, ...
|... and the distinctive Luxor pyramid, where we ended up staying two years later.
|Here's the interior of the Luxor. Later, back in our room, we got a message that our nephew, Stewart, had been born that day.
|We went to the Hard Rock Casino that evening for Thanksgiving dinner and toasted our new nephew, dubbed Turkey Stew. (Photo taken in 2014.)
|Friday, November 29, 1996: We left Vegas in a rental car to head to Utah for the day.
|Can it really be? The speed limit is 75? The National Speed Limit Law had been repealed less than a year earlier, and this was the first time we were on a road that had raised the limit.
|The speed was glorious and so was the scenery.
|US-15 cuts through the northwest corner of Arizona ...
|... and meanders through beautiful scenery before crossing into the border of Utah near St. George.
|We spent several hours in beautiful Zion National Park.
|This is the Great White Throne.
|This is Angel's Landing, the destination of a hike that Debbie did when she was very young.
|On the three hour drive home, we stopped for dinner at Subway in St. George, ...
|... and enjoyed this lovely sunset.
|Saturday, November 30, 1996: The next day, our friend Bob flew in from San Diego in his private plane to spend the day with us. He flew us to the Grand Canyon, via Hoover Dam.
|Here's a very cool view of the Hoover Dam. You can see the wing of the Bob's Mooney in the corner of the photo.
|Debbie had flown over the Grand Canyon in 1978 and 1980, ...
|... but this was Tom's first time. Of course, he loved it.
|Here's our able pilot, Bob.
|The South Rim of the Grand Canyon had a dusting of snow on it, which just made it prettier.
|We landed at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport and rented a car for the afternoon. Here we are at Hopi Point just before sunset.
|The sunset from Hopi Point was beautiful. Debbie had been here two years earlier and caught the sunrise on that trip, so this was a nice follow-up experience.
|After the sun went down, we headed to Bright Angel Lodge for dinner in the restaurant there. Sadly, this was before the digital age so we were stingy with our photos.
|It was dark on the flight back, especially over the Grand Canyon, ...
|... which made the lights of Las Vegas a very welcome sight.
|It's hard to hold a camera steady at night in a small plane.
|On our way back from the airport, we stopped by Excalibur for their nightly dragon show.
|Sunday, December 1, 1996: Our long weekend came to an end and we had to go home. Our Western Pacific Airlines flight was leaving at 11:25 AM with a layover in Colorado Springs.
|Since this was our first time in Las Vegas, the novelty of having slot machines in the airport was still fresh and new.
|Mike tried his hand at winning one last time.
|Buh-bye, Vegas! See you again in two years!
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Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy