One week after arriving back from San Francisco I found myself on a plane again, this time bound for Las Vegas. The trip there was a much smoother experience than before as we left rather early for the airport. The border wait was only about 20 minutes and we werent asked more than the usual questions at the border. On the flight we killed time by playing hangmen. I had the window seat so I spend a good bit of time looking out the window and taking photos as well.
The views of the Nevada landscapes are simply stunning. I mean we've got it good in Vancouver, but maybe its barren land that is so different from our tree covered mountains that intrigues me.
Once we arrived we were greeted to the largest queue of taxi's I have ever seen. Despite its size, they were very efficient and we were in a cab and on our way to the hotel within a minute. We arrived at the Trump hotel and checked in to what is perhaps the best service that I have ever received. The concierge noticed my birthday was one day off from hers and in celebration, gave us a free room upgrade. The 59th floor, with a strip view.
I found it kinda amusing how deep the aquarium was into the hotel. I thought we would walk into the doors and would find ourselves inside the aquarium, but we actually walked a good distance to get there. The price was a little steep, but I suppose it made sense being in Vegas and all.
The highlight of course was the shark aquarium. There were plenty of sharks and other fishes in there; some I recognized, while others felt alien. We finished up quicker than we expected so we spent some time sitting in the tunnel and making use of the free wifi.
With some time to kill before dinner, we headed over to the Luxor to check out this interactive sports exhibit called Score!Our aquarium tickets gave us a free pass, so we figured why not. The exhibit was kinda tacky, which was evident in the fact that it was dead empty. Still though it was fun to play around with the broad jump exhibit (though the concrete landing was brutal) as well as the baseball throwing portion.
With a little bit of a workout in we headed back to Mandalay Bay for some dinner at Fluer. I had previously read that it was a pretty good restaurant and wasnt too expensive. It was in a convenient location for us so we decided to give it a try. The waitress told us that generally people get the small dishes to share so we got a little bit of everything and just split it even. It didnt hit me at first, but things ended up to be quite expensive. Don't get me wrong, the food was really good, but we spent $60 on fish taco's alone, and thats only a total of 12 tacos. But hey, they were delicious!
After dinner we started shooting the strip. It would go on to be a two night adventure in which we'd cover it half and half. We started at the Mandalay Bay which was at one end of the strip and started working our way back, finishing at The Paris.
The next day started with breakfast at DJT, the hotel restaurant. Despite the slow service, the food was quite good. I later found out after the trip that DJT is a Michelin Star restaurant. It would have been nice to have had dinner there. After lunch we headed off to the Circus Circus for one of the free circus shows. I didn't get any shots of it, but the acrobat that was spinning around at dizzying speeds on top of her rope certainly gave me sweaty hands! We then walked around for a bit and then had a buffet lunch at Circus Circus. Going to a buffet is a must in Vegas. Although I didnt get any pictures, this was actually my healthy meal. Made sure I didnt have any processed carbs and for dessert I just had a big plate of fruits.
We then headed to the Venetian Hotel. The place is majestic. I was blown away by the one I visited in Macau and was blown away once again by the sheer grandness and level of detail they put into it.
After we headed back to the hotel and got ready to be picked up by the heli-tour company that we booked with. It was kind of a cool experience heading to the airport because we werent going to McCarran Airport. Instead we got to go through a bit of the suburbs of Las Vegas the"normal" side of Vegas if you will. Once we arrived at the airport we were treated to champagne and safety videos before boarding. None of us had ever been on a helicopter before, so it was a really great experience, thought one could probably guess what it would be like. You get it, the helicopter stars up, kinda juts around and then it goes straight up, out and away! Still though, it was really cool being that close to the ground with such amazing views. The airplane is nice, but sometimes the windows dont even line up with your seats in the airplane!
We then set off to finish shooting the strip, this time starting in old downtown Las Vegas. We spent most of our time in Fremont Street which was an almost out of this world experience. There certainly were a lot of characters there.
We then cabbed back to the strip to conclude the night. The guys were feeling tired and went back to the hotel, so I went to explore myself. I was in Vegas and just had to get out and explore! I really wanted to see the volcano show at the Mirage, but sadly they were done for the day by the time I arrived so I just walked around the strip for a bit before heading back to the hotel.
I wish I would have gotten some pictures of this when we first walked in as it was pretty spiffy to say the least. Anyways, here are some pics of our hotel room after we made a mess of it.
After a quick breakfast at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Palazzo we headed off to the airport, concluding our little adventure in Las Vegas. I feel that theres still so much to see on that little strip. All the shows, restaurants and new things that will come about. I'm not sure exactly when, but I'll certainly back for sure.