Monday, May 25, 2009

"What Happens in Vegas" Day 1

I was so glad when I got my work schedule switched to Sunday day instead of night. That meant I could get a full night's rest before leaving. Glorious sleep!

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:20p, so we didn't have to be to the airport until noon. It was weird to be there so late in the day. There were tons of people there in line waiting to get their tickets and have their baggage checked. I prefer to fly in the early morning so there are less people to contend with.

We were more than happy to be going someplace sunny and warm because it was cool and rainy here at home. Good riddance rain! Sunny Las Vegas here we come!

The plane ride out of town was a little turbulant while we were trying to navigate through the storm patterns. The motion was making me very sleepy. I wasn't used to the whole day schedule thing. The flight was close to three hours, so we all got some good reading time in. We had a funny little man sitting behind us who talked the whole flight. The lady sitting next to him kept sneezing [allergy season] and he said, "You got the swine flu?" Haha... we started chuckling in our seats. The rest of the flight was rather uneventful and we actually arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

We got into the airport and found the luggage carrousel rather quickly, claimed our bags, and headed outside to the shuttle. Our first experience with Las Vegas heat. It was glorious! Of course nothing can start off easy. We got in the huge shuttle line, and apparently what we had printed out for our tickets wasn't our actual ticket, so we had to go to the ticket counter and deal with the lovely woman behind the counter. She was absolutely thrilled to help us and cleared up the speed bump right away with a smile on her face the entire time (.

We finally got on the shuttle, but the driver said there were only two seats left in back and one up front. We quickly deciphered that the "one in the front" was in fact the passenger seat. Holli got the privilege of sitting shotgun. Meanwhile, Lisa and I were crammed into the back of the shuttle with a bunch of other people. Funny enough, there was an extra seat in the back with us, but some guy was hogging it with his carry on. Rude! Lisa was sitting next to two little kids who were rattling on about all the different hotels and things to do. How is it possible that a 10 year old boy knows more about this place than I do? As we stopped at all the different hotels to drop people off Lisa and I were texting Holli in the front seat. We were laughing at something and the guy next to me asked, "Where are you guys from?". We told him and then I asked where he was from. "Meen-a-sota", he replied. To which Lisa responded, "Well I can tell." We talked a little bit more and he said he was there for a friends wedding, and we said we were just there for vacation. Once the bus was pretty much cleared out we could hear Holli talking to the driver and telling him where we lived. So our Minnesota friend piped up and said "Oh so then you know [this place]?" I was kind of surprised, but said yes. He went on to explain that he is a pilot and has been in our area before. Ah, it all makes sense now.

In the very short amount of time that our shuttle traveled from the airport to the hotels on the strip I had my fill of seeing the word "peep" on billboards, taxi cabs, and buildings. That was just the beginning of it...

We finally got to our hotel, THE hotel at Mandalay Bay. It was very nice. We got up to our suite, and let's just say it was very nice. A sitting area, two queen sized beds in the bedroom, 2 bathrooms... It was "sweet" (pardon the intentional pun).

Shortly after arriving we headed off to the tram that was at our hotel. It connected to the neighboring hotel (the Luxor) and the next hotel (Excalibar). It was kind of like a "Jump ahead 2 spaces" in a game, except this game was the game of saving our feet from mutilation. So we got off the tram at Excalibar and took a jaunt over a bridge, down a broken escalator, up a broken escalator, and through MGM Grande to the monorail.

Ok, one second on the monorail. Fan-tastic invention. Best $28 I ever spent in my entire life! You think I'm exaggerating, but until you've been there you just don't understand.

Ok, so we rode the monorail (God's gift to Las Vegasans) to Harrah's Hotel. From there we walked over to the Venetian. Very beautiful old looking building. Best part about it... the moving sidewalks. :) We had an agenda for that night-- The wax museum, dinner, and Wayne Brady show.

Madame Toussad's Wax Museum was very cool (and creepy at times). We were greeted by Whoopi Goldberg and Luciano Pavaratti. Some of the wax figures looked life-like and others didn't so much.

There is a "Scream" portion to the wax museum which is (we assumed) a scary haunted house type thing. We decided to bypass that area. Well, loe and behold right as we are passing by the doors to enter the scary area a man comes out of the bathroom across the hall. It about scared the livin' daylights out of me and Lisa. Hol had already walked by, but oh my word Lisa and I will forever be haunted by the scary man coming out of the bathroom. I'm not sure if he was being intentionally creepy or if that was just the way he was, but with the full "scary-man" makeup on it sure did what it was intended- Scare the poo out of us! Let's just say I almost let some profanities slip from my lips. Scary! [I was going to post a picture or the link to the video on the website, but frankly it scares me just thinking about it, so scout it out on your own if you want be freaked.]

Once we were done posing with the Waxies we headed off to dinner. We didn't do anything too exciting, we just went to the Venetian's food court and ate at Bella Panini. Surprisingly enough, none of us had a panini. We all had wraps. I had a California wrap and it was dee-lish! We were going to eat at Johnny Rocket's but I absolutely refuse to pay $12 for a burger and milkshake. Unless that beef and that milk came from a golden cow, it wasn't worth that much.

After dinner we headed over to the theatre for our first show--Wayne Brady. I have to admit I wasn't overly enthused about this show. I figured that it would be a little raunchy, but was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Well, when we finally got in the theatre the girl directing people to their seats said, "These tickets are all the way at the top. I'm not going to sit you there. How about I give you these three seats in the second row here?" Well, we were a little suspicious. How was it that easy to move seats? Were going to turn into some horrible joke or part of the show later in the night? We were kind of freaked there for a bit, but then we noticed that she moved about 4 other people around as well. How can they do that? Didn't anyone purchase those better seats? You would think so, but we never got booted out, so she must have magical seat moving abilities. The show ended up not being too bad. It of course had some raunch to it, but we laughed quite a bit, and he even sang some of his own songs off of his new album that were quite good.

After the show we hung around outside to catch the volcano erupting at the Mirage. It was pretty neat, but a one time only kind of thing. No need to see it more than that. We headed back to the hotel. The bad news is that the tram was closed, so we had to walk the whole way instead of taking the tram past those last two hotels. The upside is we never would have encountered the night life with those lovely Las Vegas people. They were all so informative. Apparently word on the street is that "Cocaine is bad man." Glad we could get that cleared up.

We got back to the hotel at around 1130p, got ready for bed and settled in for a few hours of sleep before we were going to get up and start the second day. Overall it was a good first day (once we got adjusted to the culture shock... and heat... and walking) :).

Day 2...coming up next....


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