Saturday, 28 April 2012

Hey baby, let's go to Vegas.......

6:35 AM - We're off; and only 5 minutes behind schedule. We actually checked in online last night so no need to hurry to the airport. Going to stop at IHOP for a leisurely breakfast and start the relaxing right away.

8:00 AM - At IHOP near the Bellingham airport, and both Tracey and I choose pretty healthy options for breakfast. Let's face it, a week in Vegas isn't going to be very Weight Watchers friendly so we might as well do what we can now. There will be copious amounts of bacon consumed on this trip, because in the immortal words of Ron Swanson, "if you don't like bacon, you're wrong".

8:35 AM - Breakfast is over, and we have already arrived at the airport and are in a short line to drop off our luggage. Pretty sure this is the first time I've ever checked a bag on a trip to Vegas, of course this is also the longest Vegas trip I've ever taken. My luggage is half empty, something I expect to rectify before we come home.

9:00 AM - We are through security and at the gate. Everyone is SO NICE today, from the baggage people to the TSA guys. The Alaska Airlines staff are also very nice but that's not a huge surprise, they always are. What a great way to start a vacation. We check to see if there are any First Class upgrades available but no luck there this time.

9:55 AM - Flight leaves on time.....well, 5 minutes early actually. So far everything is going about as well as can be expected. Captain just came on the intercom and said we are expecting to be in Vegas about 20 minutes AHEAD of schedule. Dare to dream.

12:20 PM - After one of the most enjoyable flights of my life (non-First Class, anyway), we land in Vegas 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Things are going way too well so far. It's a little suspicious.

12:50 PM - After getting our luggage and doing the paperwork for our rental car, we are told by one of the Alamo guys to go to the end of a certain row and take our "pick of any of the convertibles there". OK, so we get to the end of that row, and find exactly TWO choices; A sporty little Mitsubishi Eclipse, and a bigger Chrysler Seabring. We had a lot of luggage, so clearly the obvious choice was the much-roomier Seabring....but F**K that, it's the first time in my life I'm going to drive a convertible, I'm damn sure going to take the sporty little number. The Mitsubishi it is.

The downside to this car is, well, there is no trunk room for anything. We have to put our suitcases in the back seat. Oh, and since we have the back seat stuffed with our crap, we don't dare to put the top down at this point, and with the top up, the sightlines are almost non-existant. It's like driving a car with no windows. Wow.

After a quick shopping trip at Whole Foods (OK I hate that stupid store.....they claim to be a "health food" store, so they don't stock crazy things like Coke and Pepsi, but you can get all the alcohol you want. Hypocrites.), we head to our resort, the Hilton Grand Vacation Club on the Strip. It's funny to drive to such a beautiful resort in the "dirty" end of the strip. Those of you who have been here know that once you pass the Encore heading North, you are in poverty-town. It's almost like you suddenly got transported to Reno.

This resort is about halfway between Circus Circus and the Stratosphere, not exactly the best part of town....but OMFG is it spectacular!! One of the nicest resorts I've ever stayed at. A fantastic pool (and 2 huge hot tubs), awesome fitness room, a great market/deli, and everything else you could ever need (except for a high-end restaurant, but something tells me we won't have much trouble finding those in this town). Our room is so big it's not actually a room, it's TWO adjoining rooms, with 2 room numbers and two doors. It has a common lockable door so it could be downsized into two separate rooms, but for us, we get it all.....2 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, one full kitchen with another mini-kitchenette in the other bedroom, and a beautiful view of the pool. OK so the decor is kind of God-awful but who cares? The service here is terrific as well; our bags arrive just minutes after we do, and maintenance comes up to fix a minor air conditioning problem, getting to our room in less than 5 minutes. Problem solved. This is going to be a great week!!!

3:30 PM - We're unpacked and ready to hit the town. We head to the Mirage where we park the car and head inside to pick up the show tickets we have already purchased for this week. Oh, but first it's over to Rhumbar for a frosty beverage. Pina Colada count has just reached one.

We pick up our tickets for Love tomorrow, and for O on Thursday, and walk up the street to the Fashion Show Mall. The LV store calls to Tracey (what else is new) but I actually end up finding a wallet and tie that I'd like to purchase as well. We might have to come back if we don't lose our shirts this trip :-)

5:20 PM - There is a beautiful art gallery in this mall, and I find a beautiful painting of horses that I'd love to buy, if only I had $15K to blow on a painting. It was breathtaking (and HUGE), though. Done with the mall now and heading across the street to the Wynn to tackle the buffet.

For those of you who haven't been fortunate enough to sample this buffet, you should all drop what you are doing, head to your nearest airport, and fly to Las Vegas RIGHT NOW. Where else can you get Kobe Meatloaf, Chicken Scalloppini, 2 kinds of Lamb, Sweet Pea Risotto, Prime Rib, Brisket of Beef, Turkey, Oysters Rockefeller......not to mention the Chinese food section (including Dim Sum), made-to-order pasta bar, crab legs, yada yada yada....I could go on forever. Oh, and some of the best chicken noodle soup in the history of mankind. Even the salads are off-the-charts.

And did I mention the desserts? Too many to possibly mention. There was some sort of a pina colada parfait....I could have had about a dozen of those bad boys.

I ate exactly the right amount; just enough to make me feel like I was going to explode, but not quite enough to actually MAKE me explode.

7:00 PM - Back to the room as it has been a long day and it's bedtime. Stop laughing, we're old and tired, live with it. After a quick bath and a blog update, time to relax and get a good sleep. Tomorrow is another long day and I'm hoping that the day begins before noon, but of course that's up to my lovely wife.........

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