Sin City and Leaving Las Vegas!

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Feb 20, 2014


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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Amy's friend Ben arrived to Vegas at 830am Friday morning. He’s an Aussie from Perth but working in Houston with Amy. I didn’t wake with a hangover (yay) but as usual when I’m drinking, I awoke early anyway. We explored the northern end of the strip with Ben that day. I particularly liked the Venetian with an internal network of canals and gondolas. We had a drink in a bar overlooking a mini St Mark’s square. Considering I hated Venice when I went in 2009, this 'Venice’ was much more to my liking! I also liked the Wynn hotel and casino and this is where I had my first gamble. Roulette, 100 bucks on, walked away with 30. Hmmm. My sister Amy’s numbers did not come good. We were given free drinks while we gambled, but the alcohol content was barely tastable. The Wynn feels like a Vegas hotel and doesn’t have any of the sometimes tacky themes. I then gambled on the Hangover Movie pokie and won back the 70 bucks lost on roulette (with Ben and Amy’s good luck, neither of who are gamblers). We got lost in one of the shopping malls, however the air conditioning was a welcome relief from the searing sun outside – it felt like my skin was melting at one point. But luckily big sections of the strip are interconnected with air-conditioned malls. Ben left us to meet up with his other friends who he was visiting. It was an enjoyable day and makes u appreciate the scale of the strip – still hadn’t seen anything south of our hotel at this point; that’s how big it is!

We had to haul ass to get ready for Jerry Seinfeld which we were seeing that night (Fri night). The show was ok. Ben and Amy really enjoy Seinfeld’s humour, but I have never liked him or the tv show that he had. Some bits were too American and went over my head. But I must admit there were a couple of laugh out loud moments. We were all starving after the show. Ben had severely bombed out following his early morning departure from Houston. Amy was feeling ill. I was ok, just in a bad mood cause the others weren’t feeling the same Vegas vibe that I was. We eventually ate somewhere in Caesars, watched the Bellagio fountain show again, and then headed back to Planet Hollywood where I gambled and the others went off to bed. Tame Friday night in Vegas, but I lasted a while playing roulette and soaking up the atmosphere on the gaming floor.

Ben and his mate called Saturday morning to ask if I was interested in a Grand Canyon helicopter tour. Given that I still hadn’t turned left out of our hotel to see the south end of the strip, I was not keen. However the tour they’d found was a late afternoon/dusk tour so u see the lights of Vegas when returning. Amy has previously done a light airplane tour when she came to Las Vegas with friends last year. After umming and arring for a bit, I committed the $500 (!) and opted in for the tour. My only real doubt was that I didn’t want to die in a chopper crash over the Grand Canyon. That would suck.

Amy and I laughed our way along the south end for most of Saturday. We were both delirious from lack of sleep, sun and a bit of day-time alcohol (u can walk anywhere in Vegas with alcohol in hand), but had a great laugh over many different things. New York New York was a highlight. So cool how they have designed a mini-Manhattan complete with roller coaster and Brooklyn Bridge. The lions over at the MGM Grand were docile and sleeping.

The helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon was great. Not convinced that it was worth 500 bucks, but I’m glad that I got to see the Canyon and the Vegas strip from the air. Saw the Hoover Dam for a split second too. There were 7 of us in the chopper – 2 of which were kids under 7 yrs old. Who brings kids on something like this? They won’t even remember it & u pay so much. The little boy fell asleep for most of it! Anyways, it was 1.5 hrs total flight, 2 stops – 1 in the Canyon with nibbles and champagne (only I had the champagne!), 1 to refuel. I felt sick just once – when we turned down into the Canyon and the wind was bumping the helicopter about. I also didn’t like when he did any sharp turns. Strangely, I was a lot more comfortable with this after a couple of glasses of champagne for the return journey

After the helicopter returned, we taxi’d out to Fremont which is the original part of Las Vegas constructed in 1905. So many vibrant lights and some of the typical Vegas symbols. We returned to the main strip and I was ready to party for our final night, but it wasn’t to be. The others went to bed and I headed out for a final wander along Las Vegas Boulevard. The final day (Sunday) we checked out and visited the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign and then some final shopping and exploring. Bit of a rush to the airport – they even called my name over the PA! Amy returned to Houston and I to New York.

I would like to return to Vegas again someday. It wouldn’t be in my top 5 places I have visited, but I like the uniqueness and that everyone who is there is in a good mood. Actually reminded me a bit of Bali, not like Monaco. The day-time activities were more fun and better than the night-time (apart from the Peepshow night). Not at all how I thought this Vegas trip would play out, I expected us to rage well into the early hours of the morning and then nurse our headaches the next day. On one hand I am glad that I never had a killer hangover to deal with because the days were so full; but on the other hand, I wish we did have a massive night.

So, I am typing this as we wait in a ‘holding pattern’ in a 757 aircraft over New York City. It is midnight. I am looking forward to a bed...and to see this condo that I have booked for the next 7 days!!
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