Our final breakfast in Death Valley consisted of more of the same from the previous 2 days...bacon, biscuits & gravy, coffee, fruit, and a happy, full tummy.
Derek and I had been scheduled to take one of the last shuttle busses back to Las Vegas in the morning, but our newly engaged friends Cliff & Nicole invited us to ride back with them in their rented SUV--WIN!!! We caravaned with another vehicle full of our teammates. Rather than taking the traditional, more direct route back that passes by Zabriskie point we followed the course out to the standard turn-around on top of Jubilee Pass, then on to Pahrump via Shoshone. Derek and I had driven this route a couple of years back, so it was nice to show it off to friends. It was also sweet to make a quick stop for photos at the very spot where the previous day's engagement had taken place.
We stopped for lunch at a Sonic in Pahrump, then easily found the Golden Nugget casino hotel on Fremont Street, aka "Old Vegas," where we'd be spending 1 or 2 nights before returning to Michigan. Staying on Fremont street was a new experience for the entire group...and I think a pretty positive one, at that.
|Nighttime at "The Tank" pool at the Golden Nugget|
After a couple of hours in the pool and hot tub we cleaned-up for Dinner at Lillie's Asian Restaurant just yards from the elevators in the hotel. We discovered this eatery shortly after checking-in and decided that a hibachi-style grill table would be ideal for our group of 16. Turns out we were right.
We arranged ourselves around the grills in a square...just cozy enough that we could all converse and share a fun and DELICIOUS dining experience. And the meal prices really were relatively reasonable, compared to what we would have spent on a similar meal on the Strip. I had jumbo sea scallops and Derek had the tenderest filet EVER. Our entrees came with rice and grilled veggies and we both had Japanese beers and a bottle of California gewurztraminer.
|Dreaded football! I feel queasy just looking at it...|
The next morning Derek and I hit the buffet at Golden Nugget. It was good for the money, but after having eaten at the Bellagio buffet on my last trip to Vegas it positively paled in comparison. I really wanted more breakfasty-foods and they were phasing them out by the time we arrived.
We spent several hours of our last day in Vegas just lounging by the pool. It was a great low-key day highlighted by a short visit with the "little girl" I used to babysit for and her 15 month old doll of a son, Jaxon. Lauren lives in Vegas, but isn't so little anymore, as a 25 year old married mama. It was really a treat being able to visit with her, as it's been at least 15 years since I last saw her. I hope we can touch-base the next time we're in town, too.
The final chapter of the saga...