I spent the holiday break visiting my folks in Nevada. After 15 years of living in Charleston, they recently relocated to North Las Vegas. For me, it was unusual traveling for the holidays - I've always lived in the same city as my parents and never had to fly/drive in order to enjoy festivities with my family. I flew to Nevada on Christmas Eve and returned to Charleston New Year's Day. I had the opportunity to explore Las Vegas and surrounding areas for almost a week.
I traveled to Las Vegas once as a kid. By kid, I really mean that I was a baby (probably under 2 years old). As an adult, I can now say that I've experienced Las Vegas in all of its glory - mostly because 27-year-old Jen was actually aware of what was happening.
Anyway, Las Vegas is definitely a unique place. While the city is often associated with the strip, there is so much more that Las Vegas (and Nevada) has to offer beyond the casinos and nightlife. A couple of days after Christmas, my mom and I went to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Let me just take a minute, or maybe just a few sentences, to describe how amazing it was. I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Red rocks, cacti, and unique rock formations. You can drive a 13-mile scenic loop that takes you around the conservation area.
During my stay in Nevada, I also had the opportunity to see the Hoover Dam, located in Boulder City. What an impressive structure!
Overall, I had a really great trip. Can I also mention that I ate at In-N-Out Burger an unhealthy amount of times? The next time I venture to the southwest, I hope to explore Zion National Park in Utah and/or the Grand Canyon in Arizona.