Thursday, July 30, 2009

Las Vegas Trip

Well, we are back from our whirlwind trip to Vegas! We dropped the kids off at camp and hit the road, well, the plane. We landed around 7 their time, and had major issues with the rental car, and said forget it, who needs a rental car on the strip anyway, right? But by the time we got it all settled, and checked in to our fancy hotel, it was late, and we were starving! They were nice at the Paris, since we told them about our rental car issues and they upgraded our room to a fancier one, which was super nice. It had 2 queen beds, the bathroom was all marble with a separate shower, it was just really pretty.

We took off to explore, and ended up signing up for a time-share thing in order to get free show tickets. We finally found one of the only restaurants still open in our area (which surprised me, I thought all of Vegas was pretty much 24 hours) but it was a casual place inside Bally's and we had this steak and egg dinner for like 8.99 and it was really good.

We got up early the next morning to go to our time share thing, and the guy who did the presentation was hilarious, so it wasn't all bad, but we aren't in the market to plunk down like 46K and pay 1K a month to have a guaranteed vacation.

After that we used one of the coupons they gave us for a free buffet at Harrah's casino, it wasn't bad, and then set out to see some sights. We walked to the Venetian, the Palazzo, Wynn and Encore, hitting all the bathrooms along the way, some of them are incredible, super fancy, and it was neat to see them. Others really needed an upgrade to keep up with the rest of the hotel. Each hotel had some shops where you could spend all the money you just won in a casino. Most were super nice shops, way out of my price range! But, we did have fun browsing in the Ferrari store!

David joined a slot machine tournament at the Encore, so while we waited for his turn for that, we walked down to Treasure Island and looked around, then headed back, he gave me 5 bucks to keep me busy while he was in his tournament, and I was happy that I turned it into $25! But then turned around and blew that. But, I stick to the penny slots, and it took a little while to go through that for me.

Then we left the Encore, and took the city bus up to old Las Vegas and looked around some, but by this time we were done in. We headed back to our room and rested a bit, I had blisters, and David's whole foot and ankle were swollen and he said it felt broken. It was 112 degrees that day too, so the heat was really doing a number on us. You would be walking along praying for a breeze, and the breeze would come, it felt like God opening his oven after baking muffins all day, just a blast of furnace heat! You could almost feel the skin melting off your body. I thought we would be used to it, being from Texas and all, but man, that was some abnormal heat!

After we rested and doctored our wounds as best we could, we went and ate at a burger place inside the hotel, then went to our show, an old fashioned Vegas showgirl type thing. The intermission acts were better than the show, they had a juggler that played the piano with tennis balls, and these two guys who would very slowly move into these weird poses, I don't know how to describe it, but one guy would plant his hand on the bald head of the guy underneath and then raise himself up balanced on his hand, while the guy underneath slowly stood up. They were really awesome. And then a guy who swung around on a long red sheet it looked like, swinging and hanging, it was neat, some type of circus type stuff.

Then we were so beat up and wiped out, we called it a night, and slept in some the next day. We didn't have much on the agenda, just check out some more casinos, so we went over to Caesar's Palace, that place is HUGE, and I tried to talk David into eating lunch at Bobby Flay's restaurant, since I know he practically worships at the alter of Bobby Flay, but he didn't want to (maybe afraid the reality wouldn't live up to his fantasy?) So we headed over to the Flower Garden inside the Bellagio. It was VERY fancy! They had this cute ferris wheel with flowers all over, fountains like at Disney World where they would shoot out from one spot and land in another. Ladybugs and frogs and bears made out of flowers. It was really pretty. Then headed out front and watched the fountains a bit.

Then we made our way to the New York hotel, I SO wanted to ride the roller coaster that goes in and out and all over the whole hotel, but as we climbed the steps, we saw a woman being carried off in a gurney with an oxygen mask on. I would have still gone, but they shut the ride down for a while and so we headed to the arcade so David could beat me at Ms. Pac-Man. We ate lunch there, Philly Cheesesteaks, and it was neat how they had a real-looking New York street with food vendors like Nathan's hot dogs and a New York style delicatessen.

After that we walked over to the Excalibur, looked around, it's some place I would take the kids, but it wasn't all that great, kind of old and run down looking. So we moved on to Mandalay Bay, and looked around there. That's another fancy place, which I wouldn't have figured, being the home to UFC fights and such. We were gonna go to the shark reef, but it was more than we really wanted to spend to see sharks when we go to Sea World all the time anyway. We did sit and rest at a (believe it or not) over-priced Starbucks and got our second wind.

Then we went to the Luxor, the giant pyramid shaped hotel with the big Sphinx in front. I know they say everything is bigger in Texas, but that's what I was thinking there, everything is just SO BIG. We looked around inside, there was a show that Criss Angel did on TV a while back where he did a magic trick that made a card stick INSIDE the door at the Luxor, so Riley really, really wanted a picture of that card. We found it, still there, and got a few pictures and it was pretty cool.

Then we walked over to the MGM Grand to see the lion habitat, but by this time, the heat had caught up with us, we took a few pictures of the lions and then wanted to get back to the room. Only problem, traffic was backed up for miles, no chance of a bus coming our way anytime soon, so we set off on foot. It technically wasn't that far, but it was about 110, and by the time we made it to our room, I think I was dehydrated and just not handling it well. I was miserable. But, we rested, took a nap, and then we were good to go.

We were gonna do a few more things, but I really wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, at night time. We got our tickets and waited in line, and it took a LONG time. Almost an hour, then we got up there just in time to see the fountains down below, and then there was another long line to go back down. That was enough for David and he called it a night. I did what any good woman does when the men throw in the towel, I went shopping! Then I headed across the street to watch the fountains at night all lit up. They are so neat, and you could hear the blasts of water from our room on the 26th floor, it's that powerful!

And then I ate at another restaurant in our hotel, a nice croissant sandwich, you can't go to Paris without having a croissant, right? And then went back up to pack. We ate breakfast in our hotel before we left for the airport and that was that.

Overall I think we gambled about $20. Didn't hit anything big, but we're not really big into gambling. At every machine I sat down at, I got confused, 15 lines, 30 lines, 2X pay, 10X pay, it was all mind boggling. And the NOISE! I'm not one that likes peace and quiet that much, I mean, I DO have 2 kids! But they have speakers all up and down the street, so everywhere you go you are bombarded with music, the clanging of the slot machines and the noise of people. It was a little much a lot of the time.

And I've never been more glad that we live in a smoke-free city! I was freaking out that people were smoking ALL over the place! It was so bad, at night in bed I would swear I could still smell smoke, I think it was stuck in my nose.

And, it was funny, the last night sitting in the hotel lobby, I see one of Regan's old classmates and his dad walk up to me, "Regan's mom?" I said, "Jackson's dad?" (we parents don't have names anymore) and they were driving through and stopped to eat. Of all places to run into someone!

Overall it was a nice trip, I wish we had time to do more, but it was a short trip. David already wants to go back, I'm not quite on board. I wouldn't mind taking the kids to the New York hotel, I think they would like that, but I wouldn't really want to leave the hotel with them, they have ads for girls on trucks that drive up and down the strip, and guys handing out cards with naked girls on them, I just don't know how you walk around in that town with kids and keep them from seeing all that junk!

And, the kids had a great time at camp. Regan has already told me her Pink Panda cheer, and it is adorable! Riley was a Green Disciple, and he made it without us for 3 whole nights! They were pretty happy to see us though, and they are dirty, dirty, dirty! That's a sign that they had a good time right? They played mud tag. I have a feeling I'll be doing laundry for a few days now!

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