Sorry for the huge delay in uploading this post, I’ve been going through some things… but I’m back on track now and will be trying to catch up on posts.
Our next stop was Las Vegas where we would be staying with my Pen Pal, Tonia.
Tonia and I actually “met” and connected through this very blog, many people would call us both crazy or stupid for going ahead with this trip, Tonia for inviting a totally random English natural hair/food blogger to stay in her actual house where she lives, and me for dragging my poor sweet Husband over five thousand miles across the globe and spending thousands of pounds to go and stay with a lady that we’ve never met before. In fact we didn’t even video chat before we met! Tonia and I had spent months emailing back and forth and getting to know each other and all I can say is that Tonia is a really cool lady, I’m not going to reveal too much about Tonia out of respect for her and her family privacy but Tonia has agreed to appear on this blog and has given me permission to post images of herself, her daughter and their holiday home.
Despite our generational and cultural differences, Tonia and I have so much in common, I could honestly feel her spirit through her writing and I just knew we would get along, and get along we did!
Tonia met us at the airport with her husband “C” and took us for a meal straight away, from then it was further confirmed that we would have a ball. Even our husbands got along well with each other and one day they spent about 12 hours sitting on the patio and talking, I don’t know what they spoke about -neither was it any of my business, I was just glad that Hubby – a natural introvert , was able to chill out and feel at ease in the presence of relative strangers.
Our time in Las Vegas was actually very relaxing, most people when they think of Vegas only think of Las Vegas Boulevard aka “The Strip” but Las Vegas is huge chunk of desert and the town where Tonia lives – Henderson is around a 20 minute drive away from the hustle and bustle of The Las Vegas Strip.
Tonia’s place is in a secure gated community out by Lake Las Vegas and the scenery was beautiful the temperature was at an average of 100 °F daily which is almost 38 °C!
Tonia is also into relatively healthy living but is not averse to occasionally eating junk food , so we had a great time, eating out, eating in and shopping in organic supermarkets and recipe swapping. I introduced Tonya to the simple recipe of roasted beetroot amongst other things and Tonya shared with me, the secret to an authentic Gumbo (Tonya’s people originally hail from Louisiana) it’s a secret so obviously I can’t tell you but I’ll give you a clue it involves an ingredient called “Gumbo Filé”…
Tonya also took us to “The Strip” so we could experience the hedonistic side of Vegas, during the day we went for yummy gelato at the Venetian, I was amazed at the size of the hotel. The Venetian is like a small town! It actually has a shopping mall, a Town Square with live musicians and performers and a “canal” inside it, complete with fake sky and Singing Gondoliers!
We shopped and hung out so long in the Venetian that the sun had set by the time we left the hotel so we spontaneously decided to walk down the strip and view the displays that were in front of the big hotels. I’m pleased to say that the Strip is very accessible with nice flat surfaces and dropped curbs everywhere but a lot of the lifts/elevators on street level were tucked away in pissy, dank corners of The Strip. 24-hour drinking is legal in Vegas and people are allowed to drink openly on the street, in addition the streets are very crowded on most evenings so although the paving is smooth and flat our progress was impeded by swathes of drunken/inconsiderate tourists I shouted “excuse me please” so often that I lost my voice!
After a few days in Nevada we went on a road trip to California for some shopping and to visit a theme park… California in part 3!
Thanks for reading!