Wrap up of Disney & off to Vegas

Trip Start Feb 26, 2008
Trip End Mar 13, 2008

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Where I stayed
The Palazzo

Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, March 2, 2008

March 1st - Off to Vegas & covering remaining LA days.
We are currently sitting at LAX, after going through a confusing check in, both with the airline section and then with security.  The United airline check in is all automated and self serve.  Not hard to do by any means, just confusing to the uninitiated.
From there it is over to security, where you must take off your shoes and your jackets, belts etc.  Andrew made the mistake of putting his boarding pass in the tray with all his gear and they wouldn't let him through.  Nobody would go and get his boarding pass for him and as I was already through, I managed to get a guy to take it back to him.
Ok, I haven't been doing my usual daily updates for a few reasons,   Andrew's laptop is so small that I keep hitting the wrong keys and it is taking three times as long, as the cursor shoots off to another paragraph and I type new sentences amongst the old ones.  Very frustrating when you are extremely tired from a full day of running around Disneyland etc.  The other reason is the internet connection is so slow and I have been having trouble uploading photo's etc.  Also we haven't had any down time, as it is up early to beat the crowds and then back late, to just want nothing but sleep.
We have really had a great time at both Disneyland and Universal studios.  Our first day of Disney had us running around from one ride to the other, trying to cram them all in.  The following day we had booked a tour company called VIP tours, to pick us up and take us to Universal Studios.  It was the bus ride from hell.
We had to meet the bus at the meeting point in front of our hotel at 8.50am, no problems, we were on time and so was the bus.  From there we spent the next hour, riding around the block twice because people were late at other pickups.  We had a screaming 2 year old in front of us and the most obnoxious American family that all yelled to be heard amongst the family of 3 boys, 2 girls one nanna and I think 2 mothers.  The boys fought the entire way, had their feet up on the headrests of the seats etc. 
To add to the mix, the bus driver didn't shut up from talking.  He kept saying into the microphone - "Good Morning", every 5 minutes, I'm serious.  Then he'd waffle on about the route we were taking and when he decided to swap to another, he would then announce the new route to us.  Who cares what road we are on, we are tourists we don't have a fricking clue where the hell we are, just get us to Universal Studios.  
We finally get off the bus and pray to God that we do not have the same driver for the journey back to our hotel.  Again we had a beautiful sunny day and entered Universal ready to enjoy a fun day.
Whilst there we entered an attraction called The House of Horrors, this scarred the crap out of me as people dressed up in horror costumes kept jumping out at us whilst we are walking through this dark exhibition.  It really gave me the creeps.  There was a dad and his small daughter and he was struggling to find an exit to get her out of there, I was about to go with him and leave Andrew to deal with all the ghouls but wouldn't let go of his arm.
From there we did the studio tour, where we got to see the areas they made famous films at, such as Jaws, Psycho. We saw the desperate housewives set, with the houses in the street.
We went on the Jurassic park rides and the Mummy ride.  The mummy ride was a super fast roller coaster in the dark.  Brilliant, I loved it and did it about 4 times.
After doing and seeing everything at Universal it was time to catch the bus back, which wasn't until 7pm.  Guess who came to pick us up, yep the bus driver we had that very morning.  This journey we still got he talking the whole way but he also had the air con on and frooze  us all to death.  When I asked if he could turn it down , he then proceeded to blast us with hot air the entire trip home.  We were gasping when we got off the bus and lapping up the fresh night air.
The next morning we had another day at Disney with early entry tickets, so we could get in before the main crowds.  This gave us a chance to get on some of the busier rides.  Once we completed what we had to do in Disney, we went to the adjoining California Adventure Park.  This whole park is set up with each area associated with a place in California.  This is where we went on the best ride of all time.  It is called Soarin, and that is exactly what you do, you fly over California.
It starts by 79 people being seated in three lines of seats, front, middle and back row.  Then the room goes totally dark and the seats lift off, the front row goes up the highest, middle below front row and back row below middle row.  You are now facing a massive screen similar to an Imax theatre, although when you look at this one closely it is curved in toward us.  As we are still moving into position, all of a sudden we are flying through clouds and pop out of these and we are quickly skimming over a stream where people are boating and fishing, the seats move and dip and give us the impression our feet are going to hit the people in the boat.  Whilst this is happening, above our heads are little jets and a pine scent has been pipped in to make it smell like the forest we are flying over, from there it goes to different areas.  The most awesome feeling and the very effective.
I looked across at Andrew and could see the huge grin on his face as I know how he loves flying and know if he could wish for one thing it would be to fly, so he was finally doing it in a Disney kind of way.  We skim over the ocean, smelling the salt and sea, picking up speed as we get lower and closer to the waves.  Over orange groves, hmmm smell the oranges, over a golf course and have to duck when a golf ball comes at us.  There are about 10 different things we fly over.  We end flying over Disneyland's fireworks and come back down to earth.  Brilliant, I really can't describe it.  If you go to You Tube and type in "Soarin Disneyland ride"  you will see someone us filmed it and uploaded it to you tube.  You just won't get the feeling of flying or the aromas.
The next morning we have booked to go on the Segway Tour, around Cal. Adventure Pk.  We have to be there by 7am and had really been looking forward to this. Segways are a two wheeled transportation device, that you stand on and it balances and by moving your weight forward on your toes, it goes forward, weight to you heels, it goes backwards.  Sounds easy but when you first step on it is the freakiest feeling and I did a little internal panic and didn't think I would be able to do it but when you relax and your brain works out that the hands don't control it but the feet, then you can do it.  We had to go through a training course before we left to go on the tour.  Zig and Zagging through cones, making sure we can manoeuvre and stop etc.
Next we are on our way around the park and our tour guides give us inside info on a lot of the history to some of the rides.  Interestingly they tell us the ride Soarin almost didn't come to life due to the "imagineers" not being able to work out how to get 79 people up into the air.  Apparently a few guys wouldn't give up on the ride and made it happen.  Thank Goodness for that.  We did that ride 4 times and each time was a buzz.
So the tour continues zipping around the park, I can see Andrew's face and I just know he is thinking "hmmm I'd like one of these" and when I pull up next to him later on he is chatting to one of the tour guides about the price of these.  About $4,000 US.
After the tour has finished we are presented with a special Segway Pin.  We head back to Disney and as it is Friday the crowds have arrived but nothing too unbearable.  We head back to the hotel for a bit of a nanna nap and then back over to the parks.  Tonight we have the Electrical Light Parade and the Fireworks.  They are scheduled about a hour apart and we have to race from one park to the other and keep in front of the crowds.  Luckily I have been haunting one of the Disney forums and I knew which path to zip down and where to stand for the fireworks.  We had the best view and were not crowded.  I must add that our legs are killing us and are really sore.  We have walked miles in the past few days and I decided in my wisdom not to take my regular runners as they would take up too much room in the suitcase but to bring my flat soled trendy runners that have no support whatsoever, big mistake.
The electrical parade was very cute, bright and happy.  The fireworks were absolutely brilliant and we have never experienced anything like it before.  Very well done and we had a great spot to watch it from.  After the fireworks we headed to do a few rides for the last time and then went and watched a movie about the "First 50 years of Disney" very interesting.  From there we dragged our weary bodies back to the hotel, to pack as the following morning we were off to Vegas.
After a short 45 minute flight we arrived  in Vegas to the largest taxi queue I have ever seen.  It moved quickly though and before we knew it we had arrived at the Palazzo.  What a beautiful hotel.  It has only been open for 6 weeks.  We are directly opposite Treasure Island and next door to The Venetian.
We have to be totally honest and admit that this morning we got lost in our own hotel.  We left our room to go downstairs to get breakfast and it took us 40 minutes to find the restaurant.
When we finally got there Andrew decided to have the breakfast buffet but I wanted to order a strange dish off the menu.  It is call something like chillaquiella and is a Mexican type dish.  It consisted of  corn chips coloured bright red, dark green and the usual yellow, with scrambled eggs, red & yellow peppers, black beans, corn, cheese and a ranchero sauce, kind of like a spicy salsa.  It was really delicious.
We have just been wandering around and we went to the large "Mall" opposite called the Fashion Show" .  I went and bought some new runners and cushioned inserts for my poor feet and I am now in heaven and ready to walk anywhere.
Tonight we are off to see Cirque De Soliels show "O" at the Bellagio, so we are really looking forward to that.  Speaking of the Bellagio, last night we walked down and watched the fountains.  The lake in front of the hotel is 5 acres and the fountains go right across.  They are very spectacular and pretty.
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