Viva Las Vegas
Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
23Trip End Nov 28, 2012
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I had a very early start with the HeliUSA driver collecting me at 6:30am from the hotel. When I got downstairs at 6:25am (coz I'm always early, Chantal), I thought it wise to check with the security guy out front whether this area is referred to as the Rotunda. Coz that's where the driver said he would fetch me from. That niggling voice in my head made me second guess myself and as it happened, it wasn't the Rotunda. The Rotunda is at the other end of the hotel and is actually the entrance to Excalibur Hotel. And honestly, if you see the size of these hotels, the other side would be about 1,5km away, I kid you not. But it's also not as the crow flies, unless its flying on one wing coz there's twists and turns and escalators and walkways left and right
So we raced there and arrived just as the bus was pulling in. Incidentally I did go back afterwards to try and find this man to tip him, but I couldn't find him. Anyway, we were transported off to the Airfield where we were weighed (I didn't look) and we signed our indemnity, were shown a safety video incase someone has the good sense to walk into a moving rotor, and we were whisked off to the helicopter. There were only 3 of us on this particular helicopter so when the pilot asked who would like to sit up front, I shot my hand up (we weren't near the rotor) and my spot was mine! How lucky can one person get?
So the lovely pilot, who was Spanish I think, not that it mattered, buckled me in, helped me with my headgear and we were set to go. What an exhilarating feeling to fly let alone over the strip and into the Grand Canyon. One can completely understand why it is categorized as one of the natural wonders of the world and can also be seen from space. We crossed the state line between Nevada, California and Arizona a couple of times which is weird in itself
Of course I'd been taking photos like a paparazzi so by 10am, my battery was running dangerously low. So I hurtled back to the hotel room to charge it and to plan the rest of my 'must sees'. I had the bright idea of exploring each of the hotels on the strip and started off at the Mandalay Bay which is next door to the Luxor. Honestly this place is so huge, it took me literally half an hour to get from one end to the other where I wanted to go and see the aquarium
Then at precisely 3pm, the bell tolls and the music that was playing through the speakers on the sidewalk is stopped. These little pipes appear in the water and you watch and wait in anticipation. And then I don't know whether it was Aretha Franklin or someone with as strong a voice, belted out "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light..." And the fountains were dancing in time and in sequence and I just went cold and couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my face. It really was too beautiful. And then the next song was "Time to say goodbye" in English and Italian with Andrea Bocelli and someone - and that started me off on round two. It ended with the fountains squirting as high as the roof of the hotel and with such force that it makes a cracking sound. Just too spectacular for words.
I was so revitalized by that show that I decided to carry on down the strip a bit further, but when I got to Caesars Palace again, I almost lost the will to live
On my way back I also stopped at a supermarket and browsed around. They have everything - literally everything from water to 1,75 litre bottles of Captain Morgan to make up to a dispensary just everything. I bought water and a can of iced tea (i think its a litre can) and came back to my room to put my feet up and reflect. Which is where I started this blog so I guess this would be a good enough place to end.
Starting tomorrow night I have a 25 hour bus ride to Oklahoma City which I can't say I'm looking forward to coz I'm going to have to use the bus's toilet at some stage during those 25 hours. I'll try to make sure I go first. No doubt I will have plenty of time on my hands to update all of you on my goings on of tomorrow.
So till tomorrow...