Five Days, Six States, Eight Escapes

This last week contained my biggest adventure in a long time. After spending a few days in Las Vegas, Christina and I flew to South Dakota and experienced several national parks, including Mount Rushmore.

Christina and I arrived in Vegas late Wednesday, grabbing a Hungry Howie’s pizza before calling it a night. Hungry Howie’s is our favorite random pizza chain and there are none within a few hundred miles of our home, so we always grab their cajun-crusted pizza when we have a chance. We stayed at the Ellis Island Hotel & Casino just off the Las Vegas strip.

Thursday, Christina and I both did some work during the day before heading to Once Upon an Escape to play their wonderful Neverland game. We also checked out Game Nest arcade- I love seeing the fanciest arcade machines straight from Japan! Later that evening we played the Star Trek Discovery escape room at Escapology, dined at the Rio, and watched a Penn and Teller show- a bucket list item for sure!

On Friday Christina slept in so I went out and played two escape rooms solo at the Escape Game at Caesar’s Palace – Gold Rush and The Depths. I really enjoyed both and was very thankful for the Escape Game allowing me to play solo. Later that day I revisited Game Nest with a friend and stopped by Pepper Lunch- a unique restaurant that allows you to cook your own entree on a superheated plate. We also played the One Eyed Jack game at Trapped Escape and visited The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan. We wrapped the night up by grabbing pizza at an unnamed restaurant hidden in the top floor of The Cosmopolitan.

Christina and I hit the road early Saturday to visit the western rim of the Grand Canyon. I walked across the Skywalk- a glass walkway 4000 feet over the bottom of the canyon, though my favorite point of the Canyon was climbing a rocky hill at Guano Point to get an incredible 360 degree photo of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.

Saturday evening we played two escape rooms – Jailbreak at Rush to Escape (a terrible room, waste of money) and Murder Manor at Escapology (a fun experience). We then went to the video game bar Player One and played some vintage arcade games before calling it a night.

On Sunday, Christina and I caught a flight to Rapid City, SD. We grabbed dinner at Tally’s Silver Spoon, an extremely trendy restaurant in a really cool section of town. We walked from the restaurant to play a Zombie Prairie Dog escape room at Black Hills Escape and then called it a night by arriving at our hotel in Deadwood, the famous wild west town.

Monday morning we worked our way through Deadwood down to Mount Rushmore. We spent most of the morning there marveling at the colossal work of art, passed another immense sculpture of Crazy Horse, and wound through Custer National Park, seeing a huge herd of big horn sheep on the way. We then stopped at the famous tourist trap Wall Drug before winding through the Badlands National Park (seeing buffalo on the way) before arriving at Sioux Falls, SD.

Sioux Falls was my South Dakota stop on my 2018 escape room adventure, and Escapades was gracious enough at the time to give me a quick preview of the newest adventure they were building. Four years later, Christina and I got to play that new adventure- the 60 to Life game in the building’s basement.

Tuesday Christina and I spent most of the day on the road, but we did stop for a delightful meal at Lake City Social in Wisconsin Dells, formerly Sprecher’s. We got home in the early evening and I’ve been catching up on life ever since.

And that’s the matter-of-fact summary on where I’ve been the last few days! I love trips like this. It was crazy seeing the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore only two days apart after going my whole life to date without seeing them. We packed in plenty of escape rooms without jeopardizing seeing the most meaningful landmarks and monuments of each area. The trip was a huge success, and I look forward to our next one!

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