Universal Studios - Los Angeles

Trip Start Aug 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 07, 2003

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, September 8, 2003

Wednesday 3rd September

My last full day in Los Angeles was spent in Universal Studio's, after finding my way through the city center traffic I arrived. As this was my first ever time in the US and my first time at Film Studios theme park I was probably like a little kid in a candy store.

I joined a queue for my ticket and decided to get the STAR rates ticket which allows you to beat all the queue's on the rides and get reserved seating on other rides. It was worth the extra $40US. The rides were quite good and the park was spectacular. They had a 4D Shrek theatre where the donkey actually sneezed all over you, obviously it was just water from the seats in front of you, but it did make you think.

Finished the day off with a nice Lasagne at some Italian within the park. My next day I was travelling to the gambling capitol Las Vegas.

Thursday 4th September

After an early start to drop the hire car off etc I eventually arrived in Las Vegas, went direct to the Alamo Car rental facility to pick up my Chevrolet convertible. Damn.... they were 14 cabriolets short this day so I had to have a SUV instead (Sports Utility Vehicle) it was nice all the same. Probably a bit like a Toyota land cruiser with a decent sized engine! Drove to the Luxor Hotel to check in, it was fab they have valet parking etc, such a perk, makes you feel almost special. The Hotel was brilliant, very spacious and the room was very well laid out with a great view.

When walking around the hotel all you could here were the sounds of gambling, all the slots going mad people cheering as they win on the tables. Crazy place. I drove up to Fremont St which is where most of Las Vegas started, it was a nice street where places like the Golden Nugget are, if you have ever heard of it ?

I hit the tables back at my hotel, lost a little bit of money, I knew then that Las Vegas was going to be expensive. I checked my bank account at home and thought , what the hell its only for spending. That night I walked the strip taking in a few bars and one club at the Riva Hotel, the club was on the 51st floor and there was a Balcony whereby you can stand outside and take in the view. There was some storms coming our way so the lightening in the distance was very nice to watch.

Got back to my hotel and hot the tables again, clawing back a few dollars. the to sleep at 2.30am.

Friday 5th September

Today I had a Helicopter trip booked for 2.00pm so the morning was going to be used up driving to the "Hoover Dam" I arrived there after about a 1.5 hours drive that should have only taken me about 40 minutes, I got lost again! Damn US sign posts. Well at least I got to see a little more of the desert than expected. The Hoover Damn was very nice, damn hot though as the gauge in the car was showing 103 degree faranhiet. Too hot for a brit. I will load some pictures when I get some more time.

The Helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon was fantastic the trip lasted for around 2 hours taking us to the base of the Canyon, very picturesque. http://www.lvhelicopters.com/ you can use this website to view a web cab that they have on the strip and from time to time you can see the helicopter landing nearby.

The night was spent grabbing a quick bite to eat then it was off to Video the Water show at the Bellagio Hotel, very nice and if your ever in the area worth a look. In fact most of the hotels are probably worth looking in, but I am sure you would need about a week and 2000 in your pocket!

After a night playing black jack I eventually got back to my room at 5am, 2.5 hours sleep then some packing, went on the table at 9.45am for a last minute gamble, played for around 1 hour and won another $100 us, so that helped with my hotel bill and the last couple of days spending. My flight from Las Vegas was at 13.34 so I had to drop the car off and start heading home.

Obviously I am now back home and back to work, looking forward to my next adventure at some point, hopefully very soon!
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