Las Vegas!

Trip Start Dec 09, 2006
Trip End Mar 20, 2007

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

We arrived in Las Vegas about 5pm on Sat 16th Dec. Couldn't believe it - there was a slot machine casino in the airport! We stayed at the Luxor - the one shaped like a pyramid with an Egypian theme. As excited as we were to be in Vegas, we didn't do much that night - fell asleep for a couple of hours and had dinner in the hotel. Ian had a little flutter on the roulette table. He started off well but we should've known to quit while he was ahead cos we lost it all! Next day we took a trip to a shopping outlet centre a couple of miles off the strip. It was colder here than SF and LA and we'd been wearing our only long sleeved tops and jeans for about a week now! Back on the strip, we popped into the Coca-Cola bottle where there's a ticket office which sells show tickets for half price. All the really good shows are quite expensive. As we didn't want to spend too much, we just randomly chose another one to see that night. After a bit of a rest we headed to the Coyote Bar (just like the film) in the New York New York hotel for some pre-show cocktails. Much to Ian's disappointment we had to leave just as the entertainment was getting good! Probably a good idea too - 2 cocktails and a shot later I couldn't focus well! We headed to the Aladdin hotel where our show was - it was a variety type show so comedy, magic, circus acts etc. The theatre was quite intimate and the act was good.
Monday we just did a lot of exploring the other hotels. Apart from the entrances, some of which are quite grand, the rest is pretty much all the same. All the hotels have some theme to them, which you can probably guess by their name! But it is worth having a look at them. They are amazing in that you could easily spend 3/4 days in a hotel, not see any daylight and you would not get bored (imagine some people do do that). They have eveything you could think of under one roof (food, shopping, beauty salons) and the hotels are huge! Bellagio and Ceaser's Palace probably the most impressive. It's worth picking up a guide to Vegas cos they tell you what every hotel has going on. Lots of stuff to see and do for free too. The circus acts they put on in Circus Circus are good for some free entertainment. We also had a poker lesson back at Luxor which led into a real game. I backed out and let Ian go for it. Must've been beginners luck again cos he started well then lost it all! Beware of people coming up to you on the streets and asking if you're married (just say no!). That'll lead to some hard salesman trying to flog you timeshare stuff. It is very annoying and a waste of time - they don't take no for an answer! We took a trip to Freemont Street (downtown Vegas) that night. There's a light show performance on the arcade ceiling every hour which is really worth seeing. The wind that night was bloody cold so we didn't hang around for long. We liked the old town. Downtown Vegas is where it all began and some casinos are 100 years old! Its more down to earth with cheaper eats and gambling. You feel very safe walking on the strip at night but we were advised not to walk to Freemont cos you pass some dodgy areas. The bus (Deuce) is the best way to get around. Sit on top at the front and you get the views too! We also saw a drive in Wedding Chapel! This place is so weird!!
Tuesday we hired a car and drove to the Grand Canyon. Helicopters only go to the West tip and cost $600 for the two of us, the best views are from the South tip so we ditched the helicopter idea. It's a five hour drive. It snowed in Vegas the night before, a rarerity in this part of the world! We passed the famous Hoover Dam on the way which is only about an hour from Vegas. As we were getting closer to the canyon the snow was starting to fall again. By the time we reached there it was pretty much full on snow! After driving all that way - would you believe it - we couldn't see any of the Grand Canyon!! There was so much mist and low cloud. It was tragic but funny too! Not giving up, we went off to get lunch and came back after about an hour and half. It seemed to be clearing up a bit. Little more hanging around and - Hooray! - there it was! The snow was still falling but the mist seemed to clear quite quickly. It was brilliant seeing the canyon but seeing it in the snow too but pretty amazing. There were a few excited people there! Time for our long journey back now. Saw Hoover Dam at night which looked better than it did in the day. The Grand Canyon is definitely a must if your ever in Vegas, and if your on a budget its worth driving. After dropping our hire car off, we got a taxi to the Paris hotel where we got the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower for great views of the strip at night. We also saw the Bellagio fountains from the lift which were amazing. It was a nice way to spend our last night in Vegas. Wednesday we actually ended up chasing Ian's wallet all morning so didn't have time for much else. It was stuck at the US Post Office and we got our hands on it just in time before we had to leave - phew!! We were obvioulsy lost at one point so a lady pulled her car over and offered us a lift back to out hotel for nothing in return. How very kind! We loved Vegas - its like an unrealistic world which you have to see to believe it! Think we'd come back again but as we've done all the sights - next time, we'd sleep all day and party all night! Felt quite sad as we were leaving. Probably cos we were also leaving America. Must mention that we certainly have eaten well in America! We daren't check the scales at this point! It was time now to move onto our next country!
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