Museums in Houston, Cocktails in Las Vegas!

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

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What I did

Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, August 18, 2011

On my final days in Houston I taxi'd ($50) to the Museum precinct – Natural Science, Holocaust, Fine Arts. I dropped all my belongings in the Holocaust museum and lost my back-up battery for my camera (replacement cost $90!!). Natural Science museum had a great exhibit on African environment, but best of all it had a McDonalds so I quenched my craving for a Big Mac meal with cheeseburger – the cashier even had the cheek to ask me "are u sure you’re gonna eat all that?", yes and um, this is the USA – fat capital of the world so I don’t think u should question how much I’m ordering. Dr Pepper is actually a nice soft drink too. I ate outside in the 40C heat because I prefer that over the sub-arctic conditions of the air conditioned buildings here. I also trained into the down-town (CBD) area of Houston and did a bit of shopping at Macy’s and finished up at Hard Rock Cafe enjoying a Budweiser waiting for Amy to meet me once she’d finished work.

It was good to have those few days in Houston while Amy was at work to sleep-in, watch trash tv, laze about and generally go at my own pace without feeling the need to get up early and do this, do that, be here and be there.

Our flight to Vegas departed Houston at 635pm Wed night. 3 hr flight that went real quick for me because I had my 3DS to play! Southwest Airlines is open seating so Amy and I couldn’t sit together because the plane was pretty much full when we boarded. I ended up next to a large Texan woman who hadn’t flown for 20 yrs and brought her own sick bag along. She made jokes about vomiting all over me. Hmmm. I got glimpses of the view from my aisle seat as we descended into Las Vegas – beautiful red/brown colours of the desert and some impressive mountains/hills. The airport has pokies throughout the terminal and is so close to the main strip (<10 min shuttle bus to our hotel at Planet Hollywood). I pretty much had sensory overload from this point forward. All the lights, people, attractions and colours. It is like a massive movie set. Pinch yourself moments to think that I am in a place that I dreamed of coming to for so long, especially after watching the Hangover movie. Las Vegas is the only part of the USA that I have wanted to visit and now I am here! Our hotel was complicated to check-in to. Literally walk thru the casino floor with luggage to find the reception. We have an awesome view of the southern end of the strip – view would be even better if they cleaned the window! Our room is decorated with Henry Fonda memorabilia. For dinner, we walked a few hotels north to Caesars Palace. All the big hotels have a shopping mall with restaurants and a theme. Ours is obviously a Hollywood theme, Caesars is the Roman Empire. Very interesting and detailed decor. We were both fairly tired on this first night so watched the Bellagio fountain show and then back to hotel.

Day 2 was a bunch of shopping at the Miracle Mile after a big breakfast with cocktail. The Miracle Mile is attached to our hotel so we didn’t venture far. I bought a compact Canon camera from a vending machine! I have wanted a smaller camera to take out at night rather than my big Sony camera. The new one is v good and takes much better night shots than my sony. I had wanted to explore more of the strip because being stuck inside shopping malls was not making me feel like I was in Vegas. But the heat in the afternoon is overwhelming at this time of yr (45C), so we headed to our hotel pool. The pool experience was rather disappointing [We actually only went to the pool this one time in our whole trip]. It is a roof-top pool so a good view of the surrounding buildings, but the pool itself is a square block compared to others that we saw, it was not that great. We were lathering up the sunscreen when the adults-only pool got evacuated cause some guy urinated in the pool! I don’t know how they knew who he was (he was escorted out) or why they even cared (people pee in pools all the time), but they called in an 'engineer’ to shock the pool with chemicals and no one was allowed in for the next half hr. So we got a cocktail ($14 ea) and headed for the all ages pool on the other side. U can imagine how thrilled I was to be getting chlorinated water splashed into my Pina Colada by some 6 yr old learning to swim with floaties on. Anyway we got sufficiently intoxicated pool-side to prep ourselves for the excitement of Vegas and the stage production called ‘Peepshow’. It stars Holly Madison, a former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner and Playboy Mansion housemate. She’s on a reality tv show on the E Network and that is how I became obsessed with her. The show was excellent. A fire alarm went off half-way thru tho and stopped the show for 5 mins so that made it interesting. We had VIP seats right next to the stage. Some excellent pole-dancing, rope acrobatics, boobs and singing!! Following the show (which was in our hotel), we headed back up to the room for some moonwalking, drunken facebooking, and final touch-ups. We were going to leave the hotel when a guy stopped us and offered us free VIP entry to the hotel nightclub. It is their strategy to keep u locked inside their hotel and not leave for somewhere else on the strip – it worked. We didn’t have a big a night as I had imagined. I think we were back in hotel room by 1 am. Still 2 nights to go though...
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