Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dam Adventures

Tuesday was the day we had planned to visit Hoover Dam. Therefore, my sister had everyone meet for lunch at 11am at Diablo’s Cantina, where we could eat and head directly from there to the dam. Good thing she did. My parents and brother were rather late to lunch.  I think they had to deal with something with the family business or such.

When we finally left the restaurant, we told everyone to meet us on the street. Jonathan and I and my sister and her boyfriend (Mitchell) were going to bring the vehicles around to pick everyone up. As desired, they were right were we wanted them, and we loaded quickly and didn’t hold up traffic. That is where the plan hiccupped again. Apparently my brother had gone back inside to use the restroom when we showed up. I had assumed everyone was there and we took off. Mitchell took off too, following us. Then they were telling us to pull over in the middle of the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd) so that they could pick him up. We didn’t want to do that, so we drove on to a gas station and let them figure it out. So, instead of following each other to the dam, we ended up separated.

Both cars did eventually get to the dam with everyone. However, when we tried to park the van in the parking lot, they said that we couldn’t because of our propane tank and we had to cross the dam and park on the other side with the RVs. We had my grandparents with us, so we needed wheelchairs, though. So we went ahead and rented the chairs before we crossed the dam. Unfortunately, the only available parking was a mile up the hill. That wasn’t going to work with my grandparents. So, we turned back around and dropped them off back at the visitor’s center where my brother was waiting. Then we went and parked again. The walk actually did me some good and allowed me to examine the exterior of the dam, so I didn’t mind.

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We caught up with my family in the tour area, where they had quite the security system. They had the annoying line arrangers that amusement parks have. And the restrooms were on the other side of that. Several of us needed to use the restrooms, but when we tried to go (by going under the ropes directly to the restroom), we were scolded, sent back under and forced through the picture area before we could go. It felt like quite the power show by the security team, but I suppose they felt it necessary to keep everyone safe.

Finally, we got in line to do the powerplant tour. When we were hustled into the theater to start the tour, my grandparents, along with my brother and mother escorting them, got to sit in the front, while we were sent to the back. Not a big deal, but apparently the order you exit the theater dictates the order in which you get to tour the underground. So, we got permanently separated from them for the rest of the tour. We did get to see them at intersections, when we exited the elevator and they were entering, etc. We met them after the tour up on the roof of the visitor’s center. One of them left the wheelchair up there while they went inside, so I got pushed around it. My dad offered to take me down the stairs in it. You can tell what I thought of that.

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Following the tour, we made reservations at Il Fornaio (The Baker in Italian) in New York New York for dinner. We had just barely enough time to park before we had to start over that direction. My grandparents both elected to join us, which was great. By the end of dinner though, Jonathan and I were tired enough, so we called it a day.

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