The week of Thanksgiving before we even got on the road to Las Vegas in the rv, Caleryn was being negative Nancy. She would say, “I guess we’re just not going to the driving house”. Where does she get this negativity from? I know that this seems like a heavy topic to write about in a first paragraph but when I hear her say something like that, it sounds so funny because Caleryn is only four years old and she is already so gloomy towards everything! But sometimes she can be sweet and helpful to my parents and me.
When my dad brought the rv to the apartment, we started loading up all of the bags my mom packed. Later on, my dad got mom’s car from the garage and picked us up to go to Le Peep for breakfast. My dad usually gets a coffee and then my sister hogs some of it but that morning I wanted some coffee. Which is good because I’m the one who actually needs it, not them two hogs. After we ate, we stopped at a store for my mom to get some last-minute groceries for the trip. Caleryn started to get impatient waiting in the car with my dad and me. We started getting on the road after my dad secured everything that could move around or tip over during our road trip. We went through Breckenridge, Colorado. You could actually see people skiing down the mountain from the highway, it was pretty cool. Once in awhile, I would look out through the small rectangular window to the left of me and see what type of landscape we were passing by. When we were going through the Rocky Mountains my mom set me up with a pouch. The pump for the g-button wasn’t working very well all throughout the vacation, so mom had to get up a million times to try and unclog the line when it would beep (now this is pretty funny when we are still driving, she wobbles all over the rv). Maybe because it was not a good enough connection in the rv or because it pulls a lot of power. Who knows. The next town we passed on the highway was Vail. It is a lot nicer than Breckenridge in my opinion. Once we got to Grand Junction, we stayed for the night at an rv camp site. On Sunday, my parents got up early because there were still a lot of miles to cover. Caleryn and I stayed up in the top bed for a little while longer. When we got a little bit into Utah, there was a sign on the road saying, “no services for the next 100 miles”. Good thing that my dad stopped to get gas before we left Grand Junction. Utah was pretty much a desert. I was just imaging how hard it must have been to travel on horseback and in carriage wagons back when pioneers trekked the embarking journey to California to stock hold gold in the early 1800s. There is so much land uninhabited out there. Furthermore, they had to deal with the scorching heat in the summer months as well as rattle snakes. There wasn’t much scenery to look at in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, just a lot of rocky topography. All they saw was reddish-brown colored sediment ingrained in the rocks. I imagine the pioneers didn’t know how to treat many diseases. This makes me feel pretty lucky that I live in an age where doctors know how to treat different types of diseases, with the right medicine, without having to amputate a body part.
There were a few lookout areas in Arizona along the road. My dad stopped at three of them. One was an uranium deposit. My dad got out of the rv and took pictures of the descriptions for me so I can read them later. Caleryn of course stole a rock from there. I tell you what, she is such a little thief sometimes. I think that Caleryn will be a future geologist because my sister is downright addicted to rocks, and she brings them back home after we go anywhere! Once we finally got to Lake Mead, Navada we parked the rv at another camp site and that was our resting place for the week. My parents went ahead and set up the beds because everyone was so tired already from all the driving. Towards midnight my dad decided to make a fool of himself by kicking his foot at the wall on the bed, waking me and my mom up. He later told us while we were eating breakfast the next morning, that he had a dream about him playing soccer and he did a flip kick. Once he woke up he realized he really hurt his toe. Now, I do this quite a bit except I don’t hurt myself, I startle and my hand hits the blinds. I hate dreams.
The next day my dad went to go rent a car which took a few hours. Meanwhile, Caleryn and my mom was sitting on the picnic table outside playing play doe and listening to music. In the evening after my dad rented an all-wheel-drive Jeep, we went to Las Vegas to go see the Beatles Love show at the Mirage Hotel. After a hour of driving and seeing barely anything along the way we started to see some lights up ahead. As my dad drove closer to the city, I saw cool buildings that can be found at other parts of the world but they modernized it, like the Pyramid and New York City and the Eiffel Tower of Paris. My dad stopped at a restaurant to kill time before the show. I got a chicken fried steak from there. It has been such a long time since I have actually been to a restaurant that knows the correct name of chicken fried steak. Anyway, we took our time eating even though, we still got to the show 20 minutes early. Unfortunately, we had to walk through the casino area. I can totally smell the smoke in there and it is not a pleasant smell either. They really should’ve made the casino area out of the way of all of the shows and the movie theater, so your kids didn’t have to smell that stuff just to go see a show. That seems to be a pattern in Las Vegas. Even the movie theatres are all in casinos! Anyway, I thought the show was awesome because all of the songs from the Beatles were played and they would do acrobats and dance to the music. Caleryn of course loved all of the romantic dancing. My favorite part of it is when they unleashed a curtain out of nowhere and multiple stage lights came down from the ceiling creating a movie on top of the curtain about what the Beatles did in their lives as it waved up and down. after the show, it was pretty late so we headed back to the rv.
Tuesday we went to a nuclear museum. What I learned from the nuclear museum is that in 1951 America started doing aerial testing on nuclear bombs to see what effect it does to the ground. The problem was that it was super loud and you would feel these small tremors as the day went on. Another issue with aerial bomb testing was that it wasn’t very accurate and some bombs got a little close to the cities. As the years went by, they noticed that more and more people were getting cancer from radiation. Then in 1959 they started building underground bomb test sites scattered everywhere throughout Nevada and Arizona in the 60s. The coolest part was a theatre that demonstrated the effects of the bomb going off and you could actually feel the air hit you, the blinding light and feel the earth shake. I thought the nuclear museum was interesting to see and learn about.
The next place we went to was Hoover Dam. We didn’t take a tour but I know some things about it already that I learned from a t.v show on the science channel. Workers that built the Hoover Dam used extremely cold water through pipes in the concrete to cool it down because without it, it would take years to cool due to the blazing heat there. Seeing the Hoover Dam in person up close tells a whole different story because its just so big and impressive to me the amount of labor and dedication it takes to build a structure like this. My dad had to get me out of my mechanical chair and stand me up on top of the footplate to see down the dam, since I wasn’t tall enough to see over the thick concrete wall with just sitting down. After I looked down it, we kept on walking onwards into Arizona. As we were crossing the road to see the other side, I saw a clock in front of us, and I noticed that we gained a hour because we were back in Mountain time. It’s cool because you can walk back and forth between Nevada and Arizona like its a time machine. Once we got a good view of the other side (which looked the exact same as the previous side that we saw, excluding the two hydraulic generators on each side of the Colorado River) and crossed the road again, we started walking back to the car in the parking garage. Mom had noticed that there was a police guard that was standing in the middle of both clock towers, apparently they used to have a line in the middle of the road and one side said Navada while the other side said Arizona. I was told that they got rid of the line in the street because people would go out there and put one foot on each side of the line and take pictures to show they have a foot in each state. If you've ever been there than you would know this is quite a busy road with traffic so i guess it would cause a lot of backups. Caleryn got tired of walking as we got closer to the car so I let her sit in lap because I’m an awesome brother. Sometimes I wish she had been born during the time when I was still crawling on my knees. I would so make fun of my mom’s shows that she watches with Caleryn’s barbies.
On Wednesday, it was my parents 27th anniversary (that they started dating). That evening we went to the Paris Hotel for the anniversary dinner at Gordon Ramsey Steak. When my mom ordered Caleryn some steak, the waiter suggested giving her a 16 ounce beef wellington steak for 72 bucks. My mom couldn’t get over that for the rest of the vacation and neither could I. My mom and I got the beef wellington and no, I didn’t smash it on the table and say it’s raw, like he does in Hell’s Kitchen. There was so much flavor saturated in my mouth that it was very hard not to smile. The downside to eating at a high class restaurant is that it is so expensive. It cost 215 bucks but, on the other hand, it’s a once in a lifetime thing to do and its cool having that experience as a teenager. It was one of our favorite shows back in the day. After my dad paid the enormous check, we followed one of the managers of the restaurant to the comedy show that we were seeing. Unfortunately, he led us to the wrong place and my dad had to ask three other people around the casino to finally get to the show. Luckily, the show hadn’t started yet. This was my first comedy show that I went to and I had an awesome time laughing my head off with other people surrounding me. The comedian that we were seeing was Jeff Civilico. He didn’t come out until after a little comedy beforehand. What happened is that three people from the audience got chosen to come up on the stage to make fun of themselves by doing a silly game. They each sat in a chair and blew up a balloon, they would try to pop it by standing up and then sitting straight down on top of it. The funniest part about it was when they sat down and the balloon didn’t pop because their whole body weight was on the balloon for a second and then when it popped, they splatted down on the chair. After that, Jeff Civilico came out. He was a lot like Jim Carry in his mannerisms. I think that it was a good first comedy show for me and Caleryn.
On Thanksgiving, we had lunch at Hash House a Go Go. Everything was normal until my dad asked for the check and the waiter told us that it was already paid for. This has happened quite a few times before in my life and every time that it happens to us, I think about whoever does that probably feels good about themselves. It's such a nice gesture! We of course felt guilty but if more people would do that, the world would be much better. We try to pay it forward every once in a while when we see a military serviceman or mom likes to do it with senior citizens. As we were walking out the door, my dad saw that the people sitting behind us had two checks on their table and my mom noticed that they had prayed before dinner, where as she reminded to us to pray before we ate as well. Don't you just love the signs that God puts before you? Then we went and watched the movie "Wander", which of course was very good and inspiring! When it was dinner time, we got in the car and went into Las Vegas to see the “Tournament of Kings” at the Excalibur Hotel. Caleryn was freaking out when she first saw the hotel because it looks like a big castle. She of course mentioned again seeing the princess castle at Disney World. I can’t believe that she still remembers that trip. She has a good memory just like her daddy. When we got there and my dad showed our tickets to the ticket master, we saw that we are going to be seated in Spain. Then servers started coming out of the kitchen with menus in their hands. Now, I have come to this place and seen it before, but it was the one in Dallas. Caleryn sure did enjoy seeing the queen come out with horse galloping all over the arena after a knight was crowned king. I still think that the coolest part out of all of the things they do there is jousting because it seems so real as if you are actually living during the medieval age and see how they fought back then. You are also eating the exact food that people ate long ago and how they would have eaten their food, with your hands. My parents were very surprised by the amount of cornish hen that Caleryn ate. She ate like a hog! Everybody loved going there again especially my dad and I because we were both anticipating going there all week and then when we finally got there, we were super excited.
On Friday we started heading towards the Grand Canyon after my mom took back the car as she followed my dad in the rv. After being in Las Vegas for five nights, we were so sick of being there with the stinch of smoke and surprisingly nobody gambled! The part of the Grand Canyon that we were going to is the Sky Bridge. First of all, my dad wasn’t specific enough for dumb siri to know what he actually meant and she led us to a bunch of small houses. My dad found out that siri led us to the makers of the Sky Bridge, which was on an Indian reservation! So, my dad put in another area to go and see the Grand Canyon since we already passed the Sky Bridge. This took an extra 2 hours; plus, we had to eat and then by the time that we were done eating, it was already dark. My dad started looking for a place to park the rv for the night. He parked it at the Grand Canyon visitors Center parking lot. The next day my parents got up early and started driving to the Grand Canyon State Park. Caleryn and I was still laying down in top bed rolling around slightly. When we got to the first lookout area, my dad carried me and Caleryn one at a time on his shoulder, down the ladder. Once we all got outside and walked closer to the sight, I started to see a huge dip in the earth’s crust through the trees to the right of me as I was following my parents. I was awe-inspired by the creation that God, not nature, did to make a cool vast landscape like this. It's amazing! Caleryn and I sat down on a rock on the edge of the cliff just for a picture. I was of course freaking out because I haven’t done horseback riding in a long time and I had to use my trunk control and I might fall backwards down the cliff! Good thing that I didn’t because that would mean bye, bye to Mr. Cameron. My dad stopped on the side of the road three other times so my mom could look at it and take pictures for my blog. Then we headed straight for the home without stopping.
After all that we did, we didn’t have one incident in this whole vacation. Not one! It’s pretty crazy because of the amount of time we were contained in a small space with four people in it and usually we go nuts in these situations! To conclude this blog, I think that this trip was very fun and very successful. I hope to go again when I’m 21 so I can gamble a little.
My name is Cameron Broyles, I'm 16 years old and I started my blog 5 years ago when I was 11. I have paraplegic cerebral palsy and cannot communicate in a traditional fashion. I am home-schooled now but I used to go to main stream public school. My love of exploring first began with going on field trips to learn about history. I play power soccer and it's become my sport of choice! I am originally from Texas but now I live in Colorado and LOVE it! I love to travel and explore but the majority of times it is much more difficult than the average person. I want this blog to not only be my mouthpiece for my friends and family but also give some ideas and maybe light a spark for other people with disabilities to get out and explore life! I was first coerced into starting a blog from my mom and dad and I have to admit that sometimes it's not my favorite thing to do but what I love most about having a blog for these past 5 years is that it's a daily reminder of all my blessings from God and how grateful and thankful I am for everything I have in my life.