As we arranged for the champagne lunch tour, the helicopter company sent a limo to pick us up at the hotel. The ride lasted about five minutes then we were dropped off at the helicopter launch. Fellow passengers from all over the world chatted and waited for our adventure to begin.
Moments later we took off for one of the waiting helicopters. The pilot was wonderful, showing us how to get in and out and demonstrating how to use the headsets. My companion and I ended up in a helicopter of our own because several of the other passengers decided to just fly over the canyon. The tour we chose actually had us landing on the bottom.
Ten minutes later we were heading over some of the most beautiful scenes imaginable. Our Las Vegas helicopter tour included a canvas in every color imaginable painted by dessert, mountains and the Colorado river.
Within twenty minutes of smooth flying we were over the canyon and able to see the landing pad, set in the middle of tumbleweed, mountains and cacti. As we disembarked the pilot helped us climb down the stone and dirt pathway to a little boat dock, where we met a family from Britain that would be our companions on our champagne lunch down the Colorado river.
The boat captain was a tiny oriental man with sparkling eyes and a rich sense of humor. He handed out our picnic baskets and regaled us with stories of how the Grand Canyon was created. He also had the fore sense to stop periodically and help us get the most amazing shots of the canyon. He seemed to know every rock and ridge and was able to point out eagles and faces carved into the rock by millions of years of erosion.
At the end of our Las Vegas helicopter tour we flew back to the original launch and took our limo back to the hotel, content, awestruck and absolutely certain that we would return to Las Vegas, the grand canyon and our Las Vegas helicopter tour.
Caterina Christakos is an international travel writer.