Monday, May 4, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

So, you may have been thinking wow, did she ever come back from Vegas? Well, I did. I'm up in PA right now staying with my Mom who had her hip replaced last Wednesday. She was in the hospital until Saturday, and then we started the ridiculous journey to get her into the house and to get her comfortable into the house. It's been interesting, infuriating, frustrating, and funny in a demented sort of way. I'll share more about that after I get you caught up on the Vegas adventure.

Day One: So I left the house EARLY Thursday morning to catch an early flight. The flight was pretty uneventful, even though I hadn't flown since 2004 (even with a crying child and a woman who never stopped talking for the whole 4.5 hour flight).

I had an aisle seat; I moved so a husband and wife could sit together; kept an aisle seat, and the stewardess gave me a free screwdriver to "reward" my kindness. I landed at 9:30 AM in Las Vegas, NV, which is three hours behind the Eastern time zone, but not before passing over the Grand Canyon.

I got into Las Vegas on time, but my friend Tenasha, who I was meeting up with, was a little late getting in. But we quickly met up at the baggage claim area where she was waiting for her suitcase (I carried on), and I was greeted by a squeal and a big bear hug.
We went outside and I was greeted by the dry, desert heat. Tenasha lives in Phoenix, Arizona, so she's used to that desert feel. We found a shuttle that cost $6/person and it took us about 30 minutes to get to our stop: The Luxor!
We arrived way before the 3 PM check-in, but the Luxor was able to check us in early. We went to the room and took a little photo shoot... we were excited to see the room, since the Luxor has always been Tenasha's favorite hotel on the strip, although she had never gotten the chance to stay in it before.

The Luxor is a pyramid structure that stands out even against the other impressive strip buildings. We were on the 30th floor, which was all the way at the top of the pyramid.

The bathroom had great tile and was spacious.

And interesting hieroglyphics were on the headboard, bedspread, and tv armoire.
Happy to see each other for the first time since August 2005, we started hamming it up for the camera almost right away.

And then after settling into the room a little, we headed downstairs to MORE, the buffet at Luxor, for lunch. It wasn't as good as it could have been, but we were both starving and it was convenient. Plus, we used one of the vouchers included with our room to pay for it. Afterwards, we headed to the gambling floor.

Now, on our two previous trips to Vegas we would basically sit at the slot machines, occasionally heading to something different like CRAPS. But this time the slot machines felt lame, and I suggested we head to video poker. And that was our game of choice for the remainder of the trip. Tenasha bought us drinks one time ($14 for a Bud Light and a Seven and Seven), and after that we got strategic. I could play a dollar for an hour and a half, and in that time the cocktail waitress would bring us drinks twice, so that's what we did, because the drinks are expensive!

We played for about an hour that first day, but mostly we just wanted to walk around.

I was able to finish ahead though before we left to walk some more.

One thing I love about Vegas is that you can get so many different experiences. Day One we headed to New York, New York and walked the "streets" of NYC. And then we headed down the strip to The Mirage, enjoying the weather and the sights along the way.

After we got to The Mirage we sought out Samba, which is a Brazilian steakhouse. We got the all-you-can-eat option which brings family-style salad and sides (fried plantain, creamed spinach, rice and beans, and honey glazed carrots) to the table and then servers come to the table with skewers of different meats that they cut for you. The table is also given a marker with a red side and a green side so that the servers can see if you need a "break" from having meat placed on your plate. The meal wasn't something I would normally try, but Tenasha had eaten there before and was eager to go back. I left full, but a little disappointed for her that the all-you-can-eat isn't really accurate...after receiving one serving of each of the meats the meat servers started ignoring her, although the marker was green and she wanted more. Plus, we didn't get any more sides or salads. So, I'm glad I went, but felt disappointed that they misrepresented what we ordered.

We walked around some more after we ate, and then with sore feet and a grumbly stomach on my part, we got on the bus and headed back to our hotel, with a quick stop at CVS for water and soda for the room. We spent the rest of the night laughing into the wee hours of the next day and catching up with each other's lives, and then we turned in, with one of us giggling every so often, making one of start talking again...we got a few hours of sleep before we woke up to start the craziest day of our trip.


Sinéad said...

Your trip to Vegas sounded great! It's a place I've always wanted to visit. The Luxor looks like a lovely hotel too. Glad you had fun! Hope your Mum feels better soon.

Connie said...

You flew over the Grand cool is that? Loved reading about your trip and I am glad you had a good time! Hotel was very pretty and how nice of you to give up your seat on the plane, of course that IS the kind of person you are...SWEET!