Vegas is everything they say it is AND MORE!
Okay, I'm finally back and ready to get back into our trip.
I can't believe how fast this year has flown and our holiday is all but a memory.
Anyway, after the laid-back pace of Montana we headed off to Vegas.
It was the most expensive part of our trip!
We flew Delta to Salt Lake City and caught our connecting flight to Vegas where we were amazed by the amount of poker machines that greeted us as we got off the plane.
They were everywhere!
We caught the train to the baggage terminal and just walked around everywhere with our mouths wide open like 'slack-jawed yokels'.
A taxi took us to our hotel, Harrahs, which I had booked online for around $125 a night for the four of us, with $9 vouchers for each of us for breakfast at Starbucks each morning.
There was a long line at check-in upon arrival but we were through that within half an hour.
Our elevator wasn't far from the lobby and our room overlooked the multi-story carpark out the back, but we didn't come to Vegas to sit in our room and look out of the window so I didn't care.
We quickly dumped our luggage in our room and headed out to explore Sin City.
We spent 3 nights at Harrahs and I can tell you it wasn't enough time for all that we wanted to see and do.
It takes so long to get anywhere because you can't just cross the road anywhere; instead you are funnelled over walkways over the road and into casinos.
Where we would promptly become lost!
We wandered over to the PBR restaurant for dinner on the first night and we're sure we passed George Gregan and his family on our way.
But more than anything, I wanted to go to
The next morning we got up early and wandered around and heaving a sigh of relief that most of the card touts that we encountered last night were not around, and neither was their subsequent rubbish.
Phew. Try explaining to Little Man why people were handing out cards of near-naked women...
We visited M&M World, Caesars, Paris, The Venetian and lots more.
Having the kids with us meant that we couldn't really stop in the casinos so The Groom would wait for us to go and find somewhere to eat and sneak off to put some money on the table or in the machine while we were waiting for our food.
He knew that was a good, cheap way to get a drink - put some money in the machine, wait for the drinks waitress to come over with a drink, then collect the money and come back to us.
For some reason, it never worked for me. I must have just become invisible whenever I put my money in.
But I did win $35 while we were waiting for the Nathan Burton Show.
And Little Man was chosen to be part of the act.
He was so excited about that.
Anyway, we stopped in at Margaritaville during the day and asked about dinner and if kids were welcome.
We were more than welcome and told to wander about inside the restaurant and have a look around.
It wasn't busy as it was early afternoon so we checked out the boats and planes and the volcano and decided to go back that night.
All I can say is that I am not a drinker.
But after a Bud Light (I thought it would be like Hahn Light and low alcohol...), a Long Island Iced Tea and some of The Groom's It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, I was a bit giggly and unsteady on my feet.
The Princess and Little Man thought I was hilarious.
The food was great, the service was wonderful, the balloon man on stilts was funny and the volcano show with the lady was good.
And yes, I sang almost non-stop.
It was so much fun and we can't wait to go to the one in Cozumel.
After dinner we watched the Bellagio Fountains.
It was almost as good as the World Of Color at Disney.
We never managed to see the Treasure Island show as we were always too late by the time we walked from one thing to the other, but here's a nice photo of the finale.
We decided that we wanted to spend an extra night at Harrahs but there were 3 conventions starting up the day we were meant to be checking out.
As we had been sucked in to doing the timeshare presentation in order to get our "free" Nathan Burton tickets, we ended up buying into the Worldmark Group.
Our seller was lovely and it turns out it is a small world after all - his wife is from nearby and he also played for one of our local basketball teams!
But that's not why we bought.
So, we called our guy and asked if he could book us a night at the Worldmark on Las Vegas Boulevard and he gave us the 2 bedroom Penthouse suite!
We didn't ask for it and it was totally unexpected since we expected to pay anyway.
It had a lounge, dining room, full kitchen, two bathrooms and a huge balcony.
This was our room.
And the view from our room.
We ended up getting takeaway Chinese food from the nearby shops and eating in our suite.
I caught up on all of the washing and rearranged all of our accumulated stuff in our bags so everything would fit.
Then played luggage jenga in our hired Jeep Laredo the following morning to fit it all in.
It's such a shame we were only there for the night...
Sadly, it set the standards pretty high for the kids for the rest of the trip.
As we were leaving the next morning for Hoover Dam we came across a McDonald's on fire as we headed back up to the Strip.
Luckily, it was closed for refurbishment.
So we waved farewell to Vegas, stopped for the obligatory photo at the Welcome to Vegas sign, then stopped at the outlet stores and Shepplers for some last minute shopping before making the drive out to the Dam.
We'll be back.