Sunday, October 31, 2010

las vegas

100TH POST!!!!! Yahoo! i made it!

steve and i spent monday through friday in vegas. we had never been and had some great and not so great experiences there. no gambling for us, just sight seeing and visiting with friends. i think everyone needs to see vegas at some point. the hotels, malls...everything is so exciting and over the top. if you haven't been you should go and fly with allegiant from bellingham as it's way cheap.

day one
we arrived in vegas around 7pm. we had prepaid for a shuttle from the airport to our hotel. we easily found the location for our shuttle pick up, gave our tickets at the counter and were asked to line up by the #4 sign. we did. a shuttle arrived about 5 minutes later. there was a lady in a wheelchair who was also going to our hotel and was going to be on our shuttle. the shuttle door opened and put the ramp down. the lady was loaded up onto the ramp but it wouldn't lift. it was stuck on the ground. they took her off the ramp and it still would not lift. eventually they gave up and we waited for another shuttle. it was close to an hour before another shuttle came for us. by this time i was DONE. i am not a good flyer or traveler. i get stressed and panicky about everything. are we gonna make the flight? will we have issues at the border? is our luggage too heavy? will the landing be rough? will we find out shuttle? will they lose our luggage? ....etc etc etc. SOOOOOOOO.... waiting this long was torture. i was already trying to calm down after a day of stressing out and all i wanted to do was eat dinner and get settled in our room. ANYWAY, so we got on the shuttle, there were no seats for steve and i so we stood. got to the hotel, checked in, went to our room and yuck! it WREAKED like smoke! it was not a non-smoking room like we requested and it was on the 6th floor (the lowest floor for rooms) and we were looking out at a wall and smoke stack things. steve asked for a room change. we got moved to the 31st floor to a MUCH better room! yay for steve and having the guts to ask for a new room (i would never do that). we went out and wandered around, had dinner and headed back to the hotel around 11pm. as we were walking along one of the ramps that crosses the street an absolutely plastered guy threw a beer bottle at us and got us soaking wet. nice. i was so happy to smell like beer. :P great start.

day two
on this day we did some major walking. we wanted to explore one end of the strip. so we headed down from our hotel (planet hollywood) to caesar's palace, treasure island, mirage and the venetican area. everything was so beautiful. every hotel has perfect gardens and is very themed. it was so neat to see!! we spent 5 hours walking 1 way on the strip and exploring the hotels. we stopped in at serendipity 3 for lunch. it was a super cute place with some great food. i had the best sweet potato fries i have ever had (i think they may have had sugar on them). they were amazingly delicious! after lunch we headed over to madame tussaud's wax museum which is part of the venetican. we walked up to the ticket counter, saw that it was $25 per person and walked away. then a lady approached us and said "are you just leaving the museum?" i said "no, we didn't go in". "well" the lady said "i can give you $10 off per person, just give them this coupon at the ticket counter". we did and we got it for $15 per person. nice! it was fun. we had never been to a wax museum. some of the celebs looked a lot like them and some looked nothing like them. after we finished looking at all the hotels at that end we headed back to our hotel. it had taken us 5 hours to go down that part of the strip and only 45 minutes to walk back to our hotel. SO MUCH TO SEE!! we finished the night off with the bellagio fountain show. another awesome free thing to see in vegas!

day three
this day was great. we discovered the cheesecake factory at the far end of the caesar's palace mall. we ate lunch and dinner at this restaurant. i ordered edamane beans ($3.50) and a marinara pizzette ($4.50) and it was more than i could eat. it was so good though! they also give you bread before your meal (don't you just love restaurants that give you bread for free? i think it's the best!). the bread was so delectable and perfect. for dinner that night i had fried cheese (basically mozzarella sticks, but better. more breading, less cheese. but sprinkled with parmesan) ($4.50) and we had a bowl of strawberries for dessert (6.50). yum yum. great food, good prices for vegas! (most buffets were around $17 per person for breakfast and anywhere from $19-30 per person for lunch or dinner.) we decided to walk a little less and use the deuce bus line to get around. it's only $7 per person for 24 hours and it takes you all over the strip stopping at most hotels. we took the bus down to the was boring, and dirty and we didn't want to pay the $25 to go to the top of the tower. so we got back on the bus and headed back to the main part of the strip. that evening we went to the mirage to see the volcano show. it was great! then we went to treasure island to see the pirate show. the amount of people gathered for that show was insane! i assumed that that meant it was gonna be great. nope. it sucked! the actors were all just mouthing the words (and the voices were for sure not their voices! most of the voices didn't suit the people AT ALL). the girls were all dressed in the smallest amount of clothing they probably could be wearing and there were so many gross innuendos.

day four
this day was so nice and warm. we went to denny's for a cheap breakfast and regretted that choice pretty quickly. it was PACKED. when we got to our table there was about 4 inches between our table and the one next to us. when someone was seated next to us they said "wow, it's like we are sitting at the same table with strangers". yup. it was just like that. it was like sitting in the cafeteria in high school. it was ridiculous. the food was also not good. i ordered over-medium eggs (that way i know i get real eggs....if you order scrambled it will probably be eggs in a carton, gross.) and one was rock hard and one didn't seem to be cooked enough. anyway, you get what you pay for so whatever. after breakfast we headed back to our hotel and we laid by the pool for an hour and soaked up some sun. it was the most relaxing time we had this whole trip. (neither of us were sleeping well as our bed wasn't very comfy and our curtain was broken and it was very bright in our room from all of the lights.) that afternoon we met up with some friends who live in vegas (seth, sarah and their daughter adaiah) at the mirage. we went to siegfried and roy's secret garden. it was awesome. there was a great dolphin show, and a whole ton of other animals. after we finished there we went to the rio hotel where they (as locals) get 1/2 off the buffet price and can each bring a friend. so we got the buffet for nice and cheap. we spent hours there eating and laughing at adaiah (such a little cutie). it was pretty decent food and great company! seth and sarah dropped us off at palazzo after dinner and we walked through that hotel and through the venetican canal mall. so cool. a must see in vegas for sure! and a great place for gelato. :D

day five
our last day. we explored the luxor, excalibur and mandalay bay. mandalay bay was amazing. we went to the shark reef aquarium and saw all of their tanks and sea life. their tank viewing areas are the best i have ever been too! we spent a long time sitting and watching the sharks and turtles. it was worth every penny for this aquarium. i am so glad that we didn't miss out on it. (thanks lisa for telling us about it.) we went back to our hotel for our last 2 hours of our time in vegas and laid by the pool again. once the pool closed we went and collected our baggage from the bell desk and caught our shuttle back to the airport.

we missed some stuff that we had wanted to see (such as the botanical garden at the bellagio, coke world, the m&m factory, and we wanted to walk through wynn and encore) but there was no way to see it all and not have your feet fall off from all of the walking)....i guess we will just have to go back one day. :D

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