Vegas... where do I start?!
I imagined Vegas to be quite small and everything within one section or Nevada in the middle of 'nowhere'. Well, I was right about the latter! As we landed we couldn't see anything apart from desert for ages, then as soon as we had hit the runway and looked to our left, we could see the whole strip right next to us. We were tired and excited! After getting through US Security (I swear it gets tighter each time, I am expecting a strip search next), we grabbed our bags and jumped on our transfer to our hotel.
We stayed at Circus Circus which was at the Stratosphere Tower end. I really didn't realise how big these hotels are! It took us 10 minutes to walk from reception to our room each day! Inside our hotel was a theme park which kind of puts the size thing into place. Our hotel was more family based but this didn't ever prove a problem to us 20 somethings.
We ventured out onto the Strip to see what was about. On our way back to our hotel we spotted a 'half price ticket booth' they have loads of these in London and the clue is in the name!! I love Cirque de Soleil so we booked tickets for that night. There are about 5 or 6 Cirque shows just in Vegas, we had done our research at home so we went for KA. By the time the show started it was 4am UK time and I had been up for 24 hours but the show was still amazing. If you ever get a chance to see it you have to. The stage in this show was all mechanical and moved around. I have tried to put it into words but it just isn't doing it justice! There are clips on their website though.
The next day (after 3 hours sleep) we got up at 3.30am to catch a plane to the Grand Canyon. Our flight was an hours drive to a little airport full of helicopters and light air crafts. We took of as the sun came up and 30 minutes later we landed. Once we got out of the plane onto a quite chilly runway( i was expecting heat?!) we jumped into the helicopter. Having been in one before I knew what to expect and this was the part I was looking forward to the most. We flew along the rim and then suddenly nose dived down into the Canyon which gave me the biggest fit of giggles ever! Not because it was funny but because I got real scared and had to laugh at myself! We were dropped off at the top of the Colorado River bank. As we waved goodbye to the metal helicopter driver, we were told to make our way down what I can only describe as a dirt track to the river side. Me and my friend just looked at each other and hen looked at what we were wearing... boob tube dresses and flip flops!! As we made our way down, I felt like I was on I'm a celebrity and secretly hoping Ant & Dec would pop out of the bushes at any second! We came to a stand still when we saw our speed boat pull up but this was still an obstacle away! To get down to the jetty we had to what I can only describe as climb down a piece of wood. I was basically a plank of wood with other pieces of wood acting as steps. haha, that was fun! Cody, (the cute boat driver with a cute name and a cute...) was grilled before I got in the boat. Questions asked in order...
1. Will I get wet?
2. Are there alligators/crocodiles in the river?
No was answered to all questions so in we went! We drove about 2 miles up the river and then Cody turned the boat off and we sailed back to where we started. It was so relaxing and we just layed there listening to Cody and talking. All I kept thinking about was how different Codys life was to mine. He got to play in his boat all day and tell people about one of the 7 wonders of the world while I trug along each day in a high pressured environment not really living until the weekends when sometimes I am just too tired. Worlds away! After the brief encounter with Cody, we made our way back up the dirt track and the jetty ('It's like the travelator in Gladiators' I decided to share! Luckily the Italian couple could only smile at me!) Back in the helicopter we made our way back to the 'airport' to get on a coach which took us to 3 different spots. 2 being views of the canyon and the last a man made ranch. The ranch was a replica of an exact one that stood there years ago. It was shared by cowboys and the Hulalaipai tribe. It was pretty cool. Nowadays only some of the cowboys live there and people mainly just stay there during the day then drive home. But, we met REAL cowboys which I was really cool! Back on the plane to Vegas and the drive back to the hotel.
Later that day we booked tickets to see Criss Angel. Some of you may have heard of him but I hadn't till we got there. I would compare him to the likes of David Blaine but on the opposite end of the spectrum. David Blaine freaks me out but Criss Angel amazes you! His show was mixed with Cirque De Soleil (yep 2 Cirque shows in 2 days!) I was sat right on the aisle seat and every time he walked passed I tried not to make eye contact as I didn't want to be dragged up on stage! I was so amazed by his show and the clips we saw that I am going to be searching online for his shows and dvds!
The rest of our time in Vegas was spent walking around the hotels and shops. In Caesars Palace there is a shopping centre which is about the same size of Westfields! In the MGM Grand there is a Lion Habitat which has glass that the lions cant smell, see or hear through so they come right up to the glass! Plus there were 2 cute little cubs playing! The lions only go to the MGM for a couple of hours each day. They live off site with around 40 lions all together so they take it in turns to go to the MGM. The 'trainers' only use hand signals and voice signals to control them, there are no whips, tasers or sticks. You can tell from how happy the lions were that they are really well looked after and at times there were sitting cuddling up to the 'trainers' it was amazing!
My fav hotels were-
The Bellaggio really didn't rock my boat which I thought it would! All of them were like nothing I have seen before but those ones were my particular favs! If I were to go again, I would stay in one of those. The thing about Vegas is that no one sleeps! I thought it would be quieter in the mornings as people would be in bed, but it was the opposite! It was busy all of the time, constant slot machine noises when you walked through the casinos, happy hours between 8am and 2pm, full on theatres bigger than I have seen in hotels, dolphins living in hotels, super sized food portions. You have an image in your head, which is quickly rewritten! Because everything is 24 hour, you don't need to rush around fitting everything in. Some nights we didn't go out till 11pm for drinks but this was perfectly normal.
-Don't worry if you don't have shows and tours booked. You get great deals while you are out there and we didn't get turned away from anything we wanted to do.
-Every though it is warm outside, the air con is on full blast everywhere, cardigans are a must at all times!
-Always ask for a small drink or you may end up with a cocktail in a yard long glass! As exciting as it may sound, sometimes its just too much!
-Cheesecake factory- food = amazing. You need to leave room for their extensive cheesecake list. They are more than happy to 'box up' your leftovers. Red velvet cheesecake anyone?
-Because a hotel looks close, doesn't mean it is! You can get a 24 hour bus pass for $7. The strip is over 5 miles long. We walked for over 45 minutes thinking a hotel was close! We did walk a lot but sometimes its nice to save your feet!
- The 'cocktail' girls aren't always girls!
- Don't be fooled by people selling nightclub tickets on the streets, they aren't real!
My camera is buried right now so I will post pics separately!
Any questions welcome! Hope you all had a good weekend!