We have been based at the Escapees RV Park in Pahrump NV since Tuesday. Pahrump is an interesting little town located about 55 miles to the west and slightly north of Las Vegas. In 2000 Pahrump had a population of around 24,000 and it is estimated to have grown to around 65,000 in 2010. Pahrump has a number of casinos, various fast food establishments including a Sonic and a small super Wal*Mart, however, it has no movie theater. To go to a movie or shop at a Costco, Best Buy or such, residents of Pahrump head into to Las Vegas.
Pahrump sits in a valley at about 2600 feet and Las Vegas in another valley at about 2000 feet. However to get from one to another one takes Nevada State Route 160 which goes over the Mountain Springs Summit at 5500 feet. Hence one goes over the hump to get from Pahrump to Las Vegas.
Saturday we went over the hump from Pahrump to Las Vegas. We started the day at the Ethel M Chocolate factory in Henderson (a suburb of Las Vegas). Even though it was Saturday they were making the Chocolapolitan Cocktail chocolate. Ethel M’s makes some wonderful chocolates including a set of cocktail flavors. We were given a few samples and then had to purchase some for us and gifts. The grounds of the factory are home to the Ethel M’s Chocolate Botanical Cactus Garden. The garden is Nevada’s largest and one of the world’s largest collections of cactus.
After the chocolate and cactus we were hungry for lunch so we headed to the Mirage Casino on the Las Vegas Strip to eat at BLT Burger. BLT Burger was featured on Food Networks Chiefs vs. City a bit over a year ago. Last year when we went to Vegas for my daughters 21st birthday we ate at BLT Burger a few times and loved it. How can one beat a 100% Angus Beef burger topped with Blue Cheese, Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms? By adding the Toasted Marshmallow shake. Sorry Lex, wish you were there.
After our wonderful lunch we wondered around and walked thru Harrah’s Casino. It was interested to see some changes here and there from when we stayed there back in August of 2009. As we wandered around the sun went down and we were able to start getting some night shots of the lights – I knew there was a reason I was carrying the tripod. In the past I took a number of night shoots but many were blurred due to the shutter times needed. We eventually made our way down to the Luxor Casino for a stop at Tacos and Tequila for some margaritas and a snack.
After our drinks and snack we walked part way down the strip to the M&M store. A visit to the M&M store was a primary reason for our trip into Vegas. Where else can you find 4 floors of everything M&M? Right next door to the M&M store is the Coke store for the ultimate sugar rush. On the second floor of the Coke store there is a soda fountain that sells flavors from around the world. They have a “Tastes of the World” sampler that includes 16 international flavors. We agree that Smart Watermelon is still our favorite (we had it at the Coke pavilion at Epcot). Although the Smart Apple is a close second (needed to be a bit tarter), and the Sunfill Backcurrant from the Mauritius was very good also. On the other hand they sell a drink in Italy called Beverly. All I will say is that if anyone ever offers you a taste – do not walk, run away.
We continued our trek down the Las Vegas Boulevard towards the Bellagio for one of the other reasons we went over the hump – the fountains and gardens. We have never been to Vegas at Christmas time so the songs and fountain shows were all new to us. As always the Bellagio Gardens were beautiful.
Here is a video of the Bellagio Fountains – Winter Wonderland (the video is about 139 meg)
We had a wonderful time in Las Vegas – but we still had an hour ride back over the hump to Pahrump and it was getting late.