Western USA 2023 – Day 5 – Area 15

Today we woke up around 7:30am and had breakfast downstairs before making our way back to Las Vegas, where we will be spending the next two days. The drive back to Las Vegas took about 3.25 hours.

Our first stop once we arrived in Las Vegas was the Baby Birds Cafe, where we both had smoked salmon toast, and I had a Masala Chai, and my dad has a banana smoothie.

After lunch we drove to Area 15, a unique entertainment complex featuring sculptures, displays, bars, etc. Inside Area 15 was two areas that we visited; Meow Wolf Omega Mart and Wink World.

Meow Wolf has an interactive art installation in Las Vegas called Omega Mart, which is located in Area15, a new art and entertainment complex that was opened in September 2020. Omega Mart is a 52000 square foot (4800 square metre) grocery store that allows guests to explore American consumerism and corporate responsibility through an interactive environment. The exhibit features over 325 writers, painters, sculptors, actors, lighting designs, musicians, and support staff.

Wink World is a visual / audio exhibit created by Chris Wink, who is well known as one of the three co-founders of Blue Man Group. It was okay, but nothing to cry home about. I don’t have any photos of it, but I have some video of it, which I’ll post to my YouTube channel later.

Western USA 2023 – Day 1 – St. George

Today my father and I embarked on one of our near-annual adventures together. This time we will be visiting some of our favourite states of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. The day started off with a mid-afternoon flight from Calgary to Las Vegas on a WestJet Boeing 737-700. Dad upgraded us to business class, which was nice. The flight was an hour delayed, but it didn’t affect anything that we had planned. On the flight I had the chicken dish, since my Dad had the last ravioli dish. It was pretty good, however I thought the cold asparagus and feta cheese that was served with it was rather weird.

After arriving in Las Vegas we took an Uber in a Tesla 3 to Dollar Car Rental to pickup our car. The Uber ride was about $15 USD, which seemed fair. After signing the paperwork we hopped into the Ford Edge that we were given and drove two hours towards St. George, Utah, where we would be staying for the night.

When we were close to St. George we both noticed the beautiful snow covered mountains overlooking St. George below so we turned off the highway to take a picture. This is where we accidentally stumbled upon a trail called Aspiration Trail with beautiful painted rocks along the entire length of it. The painted rocks are a range of inspirational quotes, funny quotes, and beautiful artwork, however there were some advertisements strewn about it. The trail was a project that was created by Kevin and Anne Hanson. Their inspiration came from their desire to help parents find activities to do with their children and bring families closer together. At the summit of the hike is a wooden sign surrounded by hundreds of painted rocks that reads “”Congratulations! You have reached the summit. Please leave a rock on our monument signifying your achievement”. The project was started on March 20th 2021.

After exploring the beautifully painted rocks we drove the remaining ten minutes towards our hotel; The Hamptons Inn in St. George. After checking into our hotel and getting settled in we drove to Georges Corner Restaurant to have dinner. I had a Reuben, and my father had a grilled cheese sandwich. After dinner we ended up hanging out at the hotel for the remainder of the evening.