Las Vegas baby...

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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Crossing the Mojave desert

Woo hoo, Las Vegas for me meant it was time to meet my parents who had text me a few weeks before to let us know their flight details. After a night in LA, we picked up the car and being the map navigator extraordinaire that I am, I single-handedly directed us out of crazy LA and safely onto the freeway that would take us straight into Sin City. Well actually it involved a lot of shouting from Nick (I cannot work under such pressure I proclaimed) and a few wrong turns before we were on the right road. But we were headed for Vegas baby and I was like a kid at Christmas - and annoying the hell out of Nick for the next 5 hour car journey.

 

Heading through the Mojave desert, the temperature was steadily increasing and was soon in the high 90's.

A well-earned beer break
We decided to take the more scenic route and turned off at the Mojave National Preserve which saw us driving along a deserted desert road for the next hour or so. I deceided to take this opportunity to experience US driving and Nick was more than happy to hand over the reigns - what with us being the only car on the road and sand on both sides, these made for perfect Emma driving conditions.

 

We arrived in Vegas about 5pm and were soon checking into our hotel. At $30 a night, we were staying in one of Las Vegas' older, shabbier hotels, but it was clean, lively and still on the strip. Whilst checking in, you had the opportunity for a 'free roll' of the dice, with prizes including $100, drinks vouchers and a room upgrade. Feeling lucky, I snatched up the pot and rolled a perfect straight, much to the amazement of the guy checking us in.

Outside The Bellagio
We were rewarded with a room upgrade, but this was no ordinary room upgrade. We were to get the Jacuzzi suite...After a quick stroll along the strip and a bite to eat, we called it a night. We were not checking into a upgraded suite until the next morning tho, so no jacuzzi tonight!

 

Up with the lark, i was jumping about the place ready to explore. We were not picking mum and dad up until the evening so had plenty of time to see a few sites. We decided we had better replace our camera, so the next few hours, much to my delight was spent in some of the biggest shopping malls I had ever seen - I could seriously move to this place. Back at the hotel, we checked into our new suite and were not disappointed. However, we did suspect that this had once been the set of an 80's porn movie with the decor consisting of mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors.

Gill and Dave in Freemont Street
Nick was in his element - he could see another Nick on every wall.

By mid afternoon, I had a couple of texts from mum and dad saying the plane was delayed due to bad weather right across the states. By late evening and still no mum and dad, I was starting to worry. Dad phoned a few hours later letting us know the plane was probably going to be cancelled and all the flights for the next day were practically fully-booked. Dad now had his hands full, with a crying daughter on the phone and a crying mumra next to him. Not good. Nick soon kicked into good-boyfriend mode, and with a very upset girlfriend on his hands, we opted for a night in with Pizza and TV.

With no news from mum and dad the next morning, decided to take the monorail down to the other end of the strip, exploring some more of the magnificant hotels.

Grand Canyon
These included The Venetian (massive Italian themed hotel with a canal running though the middle offering gondala rides - complete with singing Italian man), Caesers Palace and the Flamingo. The hotels out here are truly magnificant and you could spend a week just looking around them. Each one has some theme and big crowd-drawing shows every night of the week. For example the MGM has a lion cage inside where they bring in a new lion each day from a nearby sanctuary, amazing.

Anyway, just before lunch and me now seriously thinking my parents had returned home, my mum calls. They are at the airport and on their way to the Monte Carlo. Hooray!!!!!!!! I drag Nick, practically running along a very very hot Las Vegas strip to meet them there. After hugs all around, they go to change and we meet them at the hotel for a late lunch full of drinking, eating and lots of catching up, perfect.

Hoover Dam
That evening, whilst mum and dad caught up on their sleep, Nick and I went to check out the Luxor, an Egyption-themed casio complete with a Sphinx for the entrance. After a spot of gambling and a few drinks, we called it a night.

 

Meeting my parents for breakfast, we headed down the strip with them towards Caesers Palace, stopping along the way to admire the stunning Belagio. After a refreshing beer it was back to the Monte Carlo and Nick took the opportunity to take part in a poker tournament. Hitting the slot machines with mum and dad, we thought we had a least a good hour to kill before Nick would be done. However, a mere thirty minutes later, Nick returns, $40 bucks down but with a smile on his face. After catching a few rays by the pool later that afternoon, we met mum and dad for dinner that evening and walked back down the strip, stopping-off for the water fountain show at the Belagio and the Pirate battle at Treasure Island.

A gorgeous dinner at the Venetian finished off a fantastic day, and after a night cap in the Monte Carlo bar, we were ready for bed.

 

The next morning started the day the best way I can think of, a trip to the nearest shopping mall. The afternoon was spent with my hand in a vice grip around Nick's knee as we soared through the air in a helicopter. As a birthday treat for us both, mum and dad had surprised us with the flight over the Hoover Dam and through part of the Grand Canyon, which was absolutley priceless. The first time for me and Nick in a helicopter, the view over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam were incredible and definitley one of the highlights of our trip. Back on terra firma, tonight we planned to go down to Freemont street, old Las Vegas town, where they had a massive overhead light display every evening rounding the day off nicely.

Em and Teller

 

Another early morning and we could not believe this was the last full day with mum and dad. Having booked tickets to see Penn and Teller that evening, we headed off to look through the Excalibur and the Luxor. Ending up in Mandalay Bay where they had an aquarium (which is fast becoming my favourite pass time) with some wicked fish and sea monsters (sharks big enough to give my baby brother nightmares). Meeting for a pre-show dinner, we headed to the Rio for the Penn and Teller show which was a fantastic end to an awesome few days in Vegas.

 

The next day, picking mum and dad up, we dropped them at the airport and it was a very emoitional goodbye. Needless to say, dad and Nick had their hands full (again) with two crying Greenies!! Thanks Mum and Dad for an unforgettable time in Vegas xxx Em

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Crossing the Mojave desert
Crossing the Mojave desert
A well-earned beer break
A well-earned beer break
Outside The Bellagio
Outside The Bellagio
Gill and Dave in Freemont Street
Gill and Dave in Freemont Street
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Em and Teller
Em and Teller
The worlds biggest pokie?
The worlds biggest pokie?
Inside the Venetian
Inside the Venetian
Inside the Venetian
Inside the Venetian
Inside the Venetian
Inside the Venetian
Excalibur
Excalibur
Luxor
Luxor
Las Vegas
photo by: maka77