Flying in and the birthday dinner…

Flying(Qantas) via Hawaii proved to be a good move, flight was over in no time at all, dinner after boarding then slept until breakfast time just before landing. We had a 3 hours stopover and after clearing customs we collected the bags checking them through for our next flight. Time for a coffee and bit of a walk around before we boarded for the next leg to Los Angeles, another uneventful flight apart for about half an hour of mild turbulence we landed at LAX at 9pm US time. I am starting to understand how LAX works now and we were able to locate the shuttle pickup area pretty quickly. Within an hour of landing we were in our hotel ordering a room service dinner.

Day two found us up early our flight to Las Vegas set to take off at 8.30am we calmly and without hassle made our way through checkin and security. We had breakfast before heading to our gate and boarded shortly after. We were seated next to a very nice Las Vegas preacher he was interesting and interested in Australia’s housing, economy and the cost fuel etc. He owned a modern six bedroom home in North Las Vegas worth half as much as our new unit.

Home for next 4 nights

After landing and a short cab ride we arrived at the Trump International hotel. Room 2623 was to be our home for the next few days and what a home it is!!

View from our room

We headed down to meet others arriving via limo at about 3pm. Sarah had a rough flight due to feeling miserable with a cold (made worse by everyone else sleeping so peacefully) but the others were ok (due to all the sleep, benefits of being shift-workers I guess)

Not an every day breakfast

We skipped dinner and turned in for an early night, decided in buffet breakfast at the Bellagio, I over indulged on the biscuits and gravy and the bacon. I love the bacon here and definitely no lunch needed.

We met Dan and Sarah and headed to the North Premium Outlet mall (suppose to be the best of the two $14 approx. cab ride). We made couple of purchase but Dan did very well after making do with no new clothes for ages so he could buy whole new wardrobe on this trip, he has made a good start on day one.

It reached 105F at 4.30pm with more on the way each day of our stay. Heat not worrying us even with the humidity due to evening thunderstorms threatening.


At 4pm Kim from Cake Designs delivered the cake I ordered before leaving Australia, it was perfect and Charlie was blown away.

The Birthday Dinner

The plan was to meet near Bellagio Buffet at 5pm, lucky for us Charlie had VIP status (This what happens when you book a penthouse apparently) which allowed us to use the express line (good thing as the other line snaked all around the casino) after being seat the eating began, just imagine every thing you like to eat and more, thats the Bellagio Buffet all for $36 per head. One word SENSATIONAL. The staff made a cake out of carrot cake slices and sang happy birthday for Charlie, he was embarrassed but every join in the fun.

Facts and Figures:
Flight 1 – Qantas QF3 good flight great meals 9 hours 45 mins
Flight 2 – American AA2592 food for sale – chicken salad very good $10.00 free drinks. No checked baggage charge
Hotel 1 – Hacienda Hotel and Conference Centre, $80 with $26 for two rib dinners, free shuttle to and from airport – other eating places nearby and suits for stopovers- Suited our needs
Flight 3 – Southwest – only airline not to charge for checked bags
Hotel 2 – Trump International five star booked through average $99.00 per night. Plenty of Pluses and just one Minus they do charge a resort fee of $25 per day which includes wifi, pool and day spa access. (not sure if it is optional)

89 – the number of time Charlie was carded for ID.
45 – the number times the staff member wished him happy birthday and said “aren’t you lucky you came today” as if it wouldn’t be planned

I had a dream…..

How is it? Sarah is the only one who
looks the same

Seven years ago a 14 year old had a dream to return to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday.

They acted the goat
for the whole trip

Who said dreams don’t come true if you keep dreaming. Here we sit waiting for our flight to the so long ago dreamed about celebration.

Charlie a lot younger and
the parents a lot thinner
Charlie is lucky to have so many of his family and friends making the journey to celebrate his 21st.
To those at home they will not be forgotten with a Skype party to mark the occasion.

Sarah meets Jerry

In and around Las Vegas

We have walked too far and eaten too much in Vegas. It was good to be back in town again, there is still more to see but I can only cope with 3 days at a time. The food is over the top and we almost succumbed to death by buffet twice. How many snow crab legs can I consume at a sitting well no-one was counting but let’s just say a lot. For Ian it was the mini lemon meringue pies, he ate more than 3 blokes could in a sitting. If the amount of food doesn’t get you…. the walking will. We walked the whole strip in a number of goes, still ended up footsore. We had the best weather for seeing Las Vegas, not a cloud in the sky each day and warm enough to be comfortable about 22c each day. Staying in the Paris Casino was a highlight and being in the middle of the strip it was perfectly located. I have stayed in three casinos in Vegas now and each has been better than the last. Ian had a lot of fun playing Texas hold ’em. He won and even won back the $100 he lost playing blackjack in ’99, he feels vindicated now that he has his money back and some.

After checking out it was back in the car and headed for the Grand Canyon approx 277 mi – about 5 hours driving time.

We had a good trip and getting out of Vegas was uneventful only about three turns in total and all on freeways, easy. Tom proved his worth yet again. Along the way we stopped for coffee and fuel at Kingman otherwise it was straight through to Village near the south rim on Grand Canyon and checked in to our Holiday Inn Express Room ($64) and lovely spacious room.

The highlight of the day would be crossing the Hoover Dam, this was amazing and provided us with a great place to stretch our legs and get some great shots around the dam and the new roadway they are putting. The bridge construction is something to behold. The countryside was very barren until about the last 2 hours of the trip. This country has its share of goat country.

Dinner at the Yippee Yi Oh Steakhouse, it was good food and good service, lovely big open fire and very warm inside. We are getting our first taste of cold as there was evidence of last night’s ice on the ground when we arrived and the temp has been dropping quickly. The gloves are out!!!

Tomorrow we explore the canyon…….

LA to Las Vegas

We drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas yesterday and it was a good trip. No incidents and driving were easier than getting around Sydney especially with our trusty mate Tom or as sharpie keep referring to it Tomboy or Thomas the Tank. We could not get over the sparseness of the Mojave desert and lack of trees between LA and LV. We are arrived at about 4pm and checked into Paris Paris Hotel. Parking was free another thing that does not happen in Sydney. With only a short stop in Barstow for a coffee at Maccas and another pit stop at a rest area, the trip was only about fours hours.

Last night we headed to the buffet in Paris and for $22 I ate more snow crab and prawns than I’ve ever seen, topped my meal off with banana and apple crepe. Yum!! Everyone ate too much and needed a walk along the strip to work some of the dinner off. We wandered for a couple of hours and watched the Bellagio fountain and back to the room to turn in.

Up up and away to LA

The day has come to begin our trip. Shuttle picking us up this morning and we fly out at approx 3pm this afternoon. Looking forward to LA especially the 22c after yesterday’s shocker. The bags are packed, all the kids have put their orders in, so I think we are free to go. Jorja is going to watch our progress on the round map (globe). Looking forward to flying on Qantas A380 the novelty will wear off about 5 hours into the trip. For those who are going to follow along on our journey, welcome. Please comment and leave any suggestions for places to visit. Restaurant and accommodations suggestions will be appreciated along the way.

First stop overnight in LA, then collect the car and drive to Las Vegas for 3 nights. After that who knows where but I will at the plans as they are formed. Thanks, everyone for the good wishes.