Tramways, bottles and traffic. 

Hey Dad,

Long day! 

We left San Deigo early ish and drove two hours to Palm Springs. Holly and Neal went shopping, so they were going to meet us in Las Vegas. 

Before that though, we stopped for what would be one of the funniest breakfasts we have ever had! We all drove to a Starbucks. My car with Jon and Lauren were last to arrive after finding somewhere to park. When we walked in, everyone was smiling and their eyes were running with tears. Neal was bright red! Mum came up to us, struggling to speak through laughter. Turns out Neal walked into Starbucks, and looked sidewards at the menu. He was not looking where he was going, and in doing so walked forward and grabbed what he thought was Holly’s bum. Nope. Not Holly’s. It was mums! Apparently mum turned to him and quietly asked him if he was aware she was not Holly. In doing that he apparently shot back and apologised, but in doing so was so loud everyone else heard! We walked in just as the laughing had stopped.  Holly did not look overly impressed either. I wanted to ask for the security tape, we could make a fortune online. 

In Palm Srings we took the aerial tramway to 8000 up a mountain. It was 40°c at the bottom of the tramway, and we were melting! 

We bought tickets and grabbed some lunch. We had to wait about an hour to board as the earlier tickets had all sold out. 

We boarded the tramway, and the ride up was awesome. First of all, we were really high up, the cables wee hundreds of meters in the air, or at least it felt like it. Second; the floor to the tramway spun! We were rotating as we were ascending, so everyone got a perfect view of the mountain side and surrounding palm spring area. 

At the top, the temperature had dropped considerably, but the sir was thinking, and it was noticeably hard to breathe! We walked a small way down a path, and came straight back up. We were all out of breath, which was crazy! 

After grabbing an icecream and admiring the view from the cafe balcony we headed to the highest point of the mountain with a viewing platform. The view was stunning! Well worth the trip up. We couldn’t stay long though, we had a lot of driving to do!

Palm Springs was about 30 or so minutes from the road we needed to be on, however the road the whole way back to to intersection was gridlock traffic! There was no way we could go to Vegas the way we had planned, and I still had one more stop I wanted to make. Elmers bottle ranch!

We found a detour, but it meant the bottle ranch wouldn’t be possible. Not content with missing the first point on route 66 I found a detour on the detour. The others didn’t want the extra drive to go to the bottle ranch, so decided to go straight to Vegas. I was quite happy to drive myself there, but mum for some reason didn’t want me to go alone so offered to come with me. I knew she didn’t really want to, and I said I was fine alone, but she insisted she come with me.

Plugging in the route with added detour, the satnav had a melt down. Against my better judgement I followed the satnav….. straight onto the gridlocked interstate! A few choice words were shouted! Mum looked pretty annoyed too. We sat in the traffic until the next off ramp, which was three miles. It took like 45 minutes. The satnav then has another detour, keeping an eye on it, the satnav took us back to the palm springs junction, and then wanted me to drive south. The natnsv got turned off. Even mum knew Las Vegas was north east of where we were and driving south was completely the wrong way. We pulled up at a petrol station for a chocolate top up and checked with the server which way to drive. He said north. Shocking.  

Ignoring the satnav, I followed my gut and headed north. We just followed obscure road signs. 

The detour may have added some extra time to our journey, but the road made it worth it! It was stunning. Mum loved the scenery too. 

We eventually made it to Elmers bottle Ranch! The ranch is simply poles stuck in the ground with small bars welded to it. Glass bottles then rested on the bars. There were thousands of bottles. It was quite a sight. We walked around it for a while, it was like a treasure hunt, finding something new at every turn, spotting random signs and statues everywhere. 

Walking around, Elmer himself came out so say hello. I got a photo with him and asked him more about the ranch.

We had a beer in the back of the car so we left that for Elmer, figuring he could drink the beer and then use the bottle somewhere. It was worth the devoured detour. 

Back on the main road we grabbed some food in an old train cart and drove to Vegas. We still had two hours to drive!

As we got closer to Vegas I told mum to keep an eye out for the beam of light. I had been told that’s how you know you are close to Vegas. We spotted it miles away! Mum asked me where the light came from, and I didn’t know myself. As we drove I to Vegas, we realised it was coming straight out of the top of our hotel! 

We checked in, dumped our stuff ad wandered to the casino Aunty Tania and Uncle Johnny would be in. After finding them we played on a few machines and got a few drinks. Exhausted from driving all day we did not stay too long. 

Tania showed us the fast way back to our hotel, it was a maze of walkways running though other hotels. More on that tomorrow! 

Night dad x

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