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at a loss for words

i had a conference last week in vegas for work, so my sister, Stephanie, invited me to come out a day early and see the sights with her. this turned into one of the most memorable experiences of my life. first, steph looked great, probably the happiest i ever remember her being. i think her boyfriend dave has a lot to do with this. he's a really down to earth, genuine person and he's such a great influence on steph. i was telling my dad tonight that i think this was the best that steph and i have ever gotten along. i truly enjoyed her company.

i arrived late saturday night and steph, dave and i went to the Rio for a seafood buffet. it was really terrific. dave and i were cracking up at steph. she all but ran to the buffet when we go to the hotel and boy did she ever get her money's worth. it really wa a terrific buffet, though i was disappointed that the ice cream was melted. we then drove down the strip and stopped in the older part of vegas and walked around.

sunday morning we left the apartment around 7am to head to the grand canyon. on the way we stopped at the hoover dam, which was incredibly cool and we stopped at some little hole in the wall for breakfast, but it was terrific (isn't it always when you go to a dive?). we then headed 14 miles on a dirt road out to the grand canyon. the beauty of this place left me speechless. the colors, the depth was so overwhelming. i took tons of pictures, but they don't do any justice. it was so incredibly deep. you don't get a good perspective on it until you see a helicopter flying down by the river and it's about the size of a pencil point.

for the conference, i stayed at the green valley ranch resort. for those of you that watch "Hell's Kitchen" this is where the winner, Rock, was running a restaurant. turns out his first night on the job was the monday night i was there. i got to get a picture with him and talked to him for a few minutes; what a really nice guy.

before i left tuesday night, i went to see steph at work. she's a waitress at a local casino. what really made me proud to be her brother was how everyone i met that worked with her told me how much they liked her. the customers raved about her too. her boss comp'd my dinner and then i headed down to the strip for my own little walking tour. the hustle and bustle of the strip is pretty remarkable and the casinos are just enormous. i think they intentionally try to get you lost so that you have no choice but to gamble. i took lots of great pictures before i headed out town.

thanks steph for making this such a wonderful trip! i'll never forget it and can't wait to go back. i made this video for steph when i got home, but thought i'd share it with everyone.

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