Vegas!

I’ve been writing bits of this for the last week… so forgive me if it jumps around a bit.

So I went to Vegas for the first time – weeee! 🙂 I wasn’t all that devious (this time) so the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” will not apply here.

The trip didn’t start out so hot. I dislike Delta, and I hate Atlanta. I woke up around 4am to get to my 6:25am flight (I know, those of you who know me are calling BS that I woke up at 4am) and that was all fine and dandy. About 60 miles out from ATL, weather moved over the airport. ATL doesn’t handle any kind of weather well. They shut down the airport, we diverted to Huntsville, AL. By the time we got into ATL, my connecting flight to Las Vegas had already left. The following flight started getting delayed.
Now I’m annoyed.
I check with the gate agent for a seat assignment, and she says “You’re not on this flight” What?! The Delta person announced as we were getting off the plane that those of us on flight 1492 had been moved to flight 200. Well, I guess we weren’t actually. So back to the other side of the airport I go to talk with a booking agent on the phone. She was going to put me on a 2:30 flight until I said “Uh, no, flight 200 is still here, put me on that” Of course the flight was packed, but I got on. The flight to Vegas following that one was scheduled to leave a few minutes after my flight (my new one kept getting delayed) so I thought about just getting on that one – but then it started getting delayed too. Sigh. At least I got a great aerial view of Hoover Dam on the way in.
Finally got into Vegas around 4pm (was supposed to be there at 10am) – my bad luck stopped there.

Vegas is a town like no other. I felt like I was walking through Disney World or something. Ok, Disney world but dirtier… and less kids. I’ll get some pictures up later. It really does just feel like an adult amusement park though. Wild stuff. Didn’t get much accomplished Saturday, just wandered around the strip looking at all the Casinos. New York New York has to be my favorite from the outside – the hotel looks like the NYC skyline. Someone spent a LOT of time designing that one. The Luxor and MGM are impressive as well. The Bellagio easily wins the award for “Most Awesome Interior” – very impressive. You also need to catch the fountain show out front. NYNY has to be a close second though. Actually, I didn’t actually go in a lot of them. We stayed at the Boardwalk – it’s cheap, right in the middle of the strip, and has a 24-hour inexpensive buffet. Other than that, I can’t strongly suggest staying there if you’re planning on spending lots of time in your hotel. It served its purpose though, and had one of the greatest blackjack dealers ever.

Sunday we made use of the Las Vegas Monorail to check out the other end of the strip. If I remember correctly, there’s 3 monorails in Vegas – two of them run a short distance between a couple of the Casinos. Those are free, and come in handy if it’s hot out and you’ve been walking too much. Doesn’t save you a ton of time or walking, but give you a chance to sit down and cool off. The third is the LV Monorail which runs the east side of the strip from the MGM Grand to the Sahara. It can cover that distance pretty quick, but it seems a little expensive – $3/person no matter how far you’re going. They have day passes and 3 day passes and whatnot, but it still gets up there. And it seems to break down a lot – we got screwed on that one time and had to walk back. Another tip: wear comfortable shoes. We also didn’t use up all the rides on a 10-ride pass (they let you share that one) Funny side note: I tried to give the rest of the rides away as we were leaving. I asked these people walking past “You guys leaving or will you be here awhile?” They kept walking and the guy mumbled something about leaving today until I said “Oh! No! I’m not trying to sell you anything!” Then they stopped, said they were leaving but not until late at night. I gave them the monorail ticket and explained what it was if they could just have it if they’d use it. I can understand the preprogrammed response though – everywhere you go people ask how long you’re in town for, if you’re married, would you like free show tickets. I mean everywhere – on the street, in parts of the casinos… it’s annoying. I think they’re selling some time-share BS, and you have to go listen to their pitch, but you get free stuff. I guess if you have time to kill and can resist a hard sell. These people are more annoying than the “stripper leaflets people”
Speaking of getting around – unless you’re there by yourself, the shuttle from the airport doesn’t make much sense. If there’s 2 or more of you, just take a cab. It’ll cost you about the same and it’ll be quicker.

We took the monorail up to Sahara and walked the rest of the way to the Stratosphere. This is a great place to get a good view of the strip. They also have some fun rides – I did the High Roller, Big Shot, and Insanity. If you followed the previous link, you can read about the thrill rides and check out the webcams. The High Roller is a good way to see the city 😀 I wasn’t ready for the Big Shot – I thought we were going to drop, not get shot upwards at 45mph. Insanity was neat, scary, and made me dizzy – seriously, don’t eat before you get on that thing.

From there it was on to see Mystere. This was my second Cirque show – I’ve seen Varekai as well. They’re both great shows, I’d recommend them to anyone. I liked the theater better for Mystere (the other one was a touring one though) but I think I liked some of the acts better in Varekai. Both great though.

Surprisingly, I didn’t actually do a ton of gambling. The few times I did though, it just seemed like I couldn’t lose. I played slot for a little while at NYNY and won like $130 (I normally don’t play slots) and again played slots at the airport waiting for my flight and won about $80 (I just wanted to spin!!!) These we all just quarter slots too – maybe I should have been playing dollars!! The only time I sat down at a table was the blackjack table at our hotel. In about an hour or so I won $300 there. I did have help from the dealer though – he was the greatest dealer ever. He was a riot, he was helping people (maybe more than he should have) and he was making fun of the stupid people – including the crappy singers we could hear in the lounge and the guy who split twos! (maybe he was feeling lucky??) The only money I lost was $5 playing Keno once. Lesson here is to not play a game you have no understanding of. I still don’t get it… it’s like a cross between bingo and the lottery.

Monday we made a last minute decision to ditch the dam tour finding effort in favor of renting a bike and riding out to the dam. The first person that actually answered the phone and said “Come on over” got my business – it was Eagle Rider (link goes to main site – they have locations all over) – picked up a Road King for 24 hours. Talk about a good time! Rode out to the dam, then up north around Lake Mead National Recreational Area – I was planning on going through the Valley of Fire, but there was a nasty storm in the way. If you’ve never been on a bike, in the middle of the desert, with no place to hide, in the middle of a storm – don’t. A tad scary when I was expecting the wind to blow that bike right off the road. Not to mention the lightning strikes. Anyway, it was a good time, and we ‘cruised the strip’ (ok, went down it once) Good way to see the area, I highly recommend.

Trip back was uneventful and on time. Well, for the most part. The first flight I had all 3 seats to myself (yay!!) and got in 25 minutes early. The second flight left 10 minutes late, but made most of it up in flight. From wheels up to touch down it was literally 14 minutes – seems like a waste doesn’t it? And yes, flight time was supposed to be 20.

Anyway, pictures eventually will be up here…

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