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March 11-21: Celine Dion, Las Vegas, Los Angeles...

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Bralo20, Apr 7, 2011.

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  1. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I'm not good at writing reports but I'll give it a try. :)

    Friday March 11, 05h30 my alarm sounds... Hmm, wtf? Who did set my alarm at 5h30??? Oh wait, today I'll leave to Las Vegas... Fortunately I had packed my bags allready so plenty of time to take a nice hot shower, make some fresh coffee, send some e-mails, etc... before jumping in my car, pick up my uncle and fly to Las Vegas... 8h00 time to pick up my uncle and drive to BRU (Brussels Airport)... Load my bags, ask my father to come (he will bring my car back) and we jump in the car, a quick stop at my uncle's place and we are off to Brussels Airport. Hmm... Where is all the traffic? Normally it would take me up to an hour to get to the airport (even though I live at less then 25km's from it) but apparently I forgot that it's a school holiday and that traffic is far less dense. 15 minutes after I left I stop in front of the airport. Quick unload my bags, have a little argue with a cop who doesn't like me stopping there and off we go. A quick goodbye to my father and my vacation starts.

    Check-in at United Airlines is already open, lines for First, Business and Economy are all non existant... Hmm, I remember at online check-in that the flight would be nearly full, am I that early??? Yup, for a flight that leaves at 12h10 it seems a bit early to check-in at 08h20... Oh well, the sooner that's done the more I like it. Uncle goes to the economy line while I wait at the business line (yes, we are travelling together but he is more then happy with economy (plus) while I like business and first better). The agent helps us out very fast, our bags are labelled and new boarding passes are issued. At the security we decide that it's good to pass it allready since there's virtually nobody there. The security check is done in less then 5 minutes and we head out to a bar to have some coffee. A couple of coffee's later it's time to head to the gate and what a surprise... The United Airlines Star Alliance logo jet (a Boeing 777-222ER immatriculated N218UA) was waiting for us, always nice to see a special plane, certainly if you are an aviation geek like me :)

    When flying United I always have a nice feeling and this time was no different. While the interior of UA's 777's may not (yet) be up to date, their staff is the most wonderful staff in the aviation branch... I hear complaints about rude staff but I never ever experienced such and this time wouldn't be different... At the door of the aircraft I was greeted and shown to my place by one of the attendants, this time I had chosen 8D, an aisle seat in the forward (and only 2 rows counting) business cabin. UA may still use old recliner seats but IMHO they are quite comfortable and I was happy to be on board again. I can't explain it but United seems the one of the few airlines to have crews on board that really care about their guests and care about their airline...

    Brussels seems to be a premium market for United Airlines and this was shown on the plane... The B777 from UA has a high premium layout with 8 first class seats and 49 business seats and for a 3 single middle seats in business class every premium (F/C) seat was taken... But even with a full plane every single guest gets attention from the flight attendants. during taxiing the orders for the meals where taken by the purser. While the food is better in business then in economy the choices are rather limited with beef (filet mignon), chicken or pasta. Shortly after take off the tables were set and the lunch was presented. A nice appetizer with cooked salmon and a fresh salad followed by a very nice filet mignon, baked potatoes and a nice sauce. As a dessert there was ice cream or some cheese and grapes with a lovely port wine. The lunch was very good quality (yes, UA improved quite a bit here) and the quantity was adequate for the flight. During the flight the flight attendants came by multiple times to offer drinks and to check that everything was ok. I had quite a nice chat with some of the crew about their opinion regarding the merger and the future of the new "United Airlines". Before landing a hot snack was offered but since I wasn't hungry I skipped that part. Earlier then scheduled we where wheels down on US soil at Washington-Dulles International airport. The lovely crew wished me well and said goodbye. Thanks to the early arrival (quite a strong tailwind we had) there was not a single soul to see at immigration so within minutes we were allowed into the country (good to be back again).

    My uncle and I proceeded to the next gate where our flight to LAS would leave. This time the flight was operated by an Airbus A320 and the flight would be full. I had pre-chosen seat 1A but thanks to the gate agent I switched to the last row of first class. He noticed that I was quite large (I'm over 2 meters tall) and he said that row 3 would provide me more room for my feet and legs. I thanks the nice United employee for this and proceed to board the plane. And the agent was correct, the bulkhead had less room available then row 3. Nice of the agent to move me. As most of the flights to LAS on Friday it was obvious that the flight would be full and indeed, not a single seat was available on the plane. After boarding we quickly commenced to the runway to take off and head to LAS. After a short time service started and a meal was offered in F. Since I still wasn't hungry I skipped dinner. I don't remember the choices but it looked quite nice. The flight to LAS was rather uneventful but the service was great again... Before landing hot chocolate chip cookies were offered. Again thanks to the wonderful staff for the nice service! Landing was ahead of schedule due some favourable winds.

    Arrived in LAS we headed to the belts to grab our bags (priority tags ex-BRU do not work since my bags arrived last) and we jumped on the bus to the car rental site. After a drive we arrived at the building where long lines where formed at the desks... I went outside to the Dollar express desk and they managed to help me there without needing to wait :) I had rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee but I wanted something bigger so after some negotiating I agreed for a surcharge of 18 USD per day for a Chevrolet Tahoe. After checking that it was a 4x4 we left to the hotel...


    To be continued :D
     
  2. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    nice start. Waiting to hear the rest.....
     
  3. AB2Vegas

    AB2Vegas Low-Roller

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    Enjoying your report. Looking forward to more :cheers:
     
  4. Eddington910

    Eddington910 Tourist

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    Great start!

    Thanks for the thorough review so far...I look forward to the next chapter!
     
  5. purdue07

    purdue07 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Already sounds like a great start to the trip - can't wait until you actually get going. LOL.
     
  6. pa_pa33

    pa_pa33 Tourist

    Joined:
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    This TR is going to be very long :D

    Keep on writing :peace:
     
  7. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

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    Once we got the Chevy Tahoe running and my GPS installed we left for the hotel. Since we would only use it for a quick stay I had booked us a room at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Red Rock/Summerlin. Thanks to my mate TomTom we managed to find the (rather new) hotel quite fast. When we arrived in the hotel it was already quite late so we went straight to bed to sleep. After a good night of sleep we packed our stuff, ate some breakfast and drove off to Los Angeles. The plan was to leave early so we would be in LA at noon...

    Like I said, the plan was to leave early... Lack of sleep and being in a vacation mind we didn't seem to hurry a bit so it was actually quite late when we left to Los Angeles. We passed through Barstow and stopped to take some pictures of trains at the trainyard and followed a small part of Route 66. Since it's not my first time there I know the route quite well and this time I wanted to stop at Victorville (yes, that's the aviation geek in me again :D) where a large airport/boneyard is located for commercial airplanes taken out of service or being refurbished. After a nice drive we managed to find VCV (airport code for Victorville) and drove around a bit to take some pictures. While driving around we saw a fire station located near the entrance of the airport. And this is when our plans completely fell apart... You have to know, my uncle is a Corporal (we use the military ranks in Belgium) /Engineer/Aerial Operator at our local fire department where he joined as a volunteer firefighter now more then 35 years ago. I'm a fire photographer working voluntary for several fire departments (and law enforcement agencies) in my spare time. So it's needless to say that we both have a strong connection with fire departments :D So there it was a nearly deserted fire station at a quite deserted airport... We stopped and walked up to the engine bays and saw quite some interesting materials in the building. Oh well, better ring at the door and say hi and make some pictures :) I nicely rang the door and a Captain came to open it. We introduced ourself as fire fighters from Belgium and the door was wide open (that's always nice with fire fighters, no matter which country you are from everywhere arround the globe they will be always happy to make some time). We were given a tour throughout the station, even walked onto the airport itself and took some pictures of the planes and the equipment of the fire department. A quick "hello" became a very long stop with talks that never ended (they wanted to know about firefighting in Belgium, we wanted to know about their way of fighting fires, etc...)... Finally we decided that it was time to leave and after sharing details we said goodbye and left VCV on our way to Los Angeles...

    Around 18h00 we finally managed to arrive in Los Angeles at our hotel, the Hilton Woodland Hills. We checked into our room (on the executive floor which seems deserted during the weekends which I like :D) took a quick shower and then went out to eat something. A bit further down the road (50 meters) was a nice place (BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse) that also sold quite some Belgian beers. I rarely take an appetizer since the portions are quite big in the USA but since we didn't ate since the morning we decided to both have an appetizer followed by a decent steak... I don't know how it's done in the USA but our appetizers and our entrees arrived at the same time at the table... Hmm, did we do something wrong? We send our steaks back to be kept warm and ate our appetizers first before they brought back the steaks (It's weird that it all arrived at the same time but it certainly wasn't the last time that happened. Here in Belgium you order an appetizer and a main course (entree) and it will arrive with plenty of time between them...). Anyway, the food was great and the beers cold. :) After some drinks we went back to the hotel and drank some more at the bar. After a good night of sleep we had a delicious breakfast at the Hilton before we headed out and check out Los Angeles...

    The plan was to visit the fire department museum and the afro american fire fighter museum but since they were only open on saturday we had to remove that from our itinerary... Ok, then off to Hollywood... We found some very narrow streets in the hills and decided to drive through them in the hope to get some decent pictures of the Hollywood sign which we managed to do. In Hollywood we stopped at the Hard Rock café to do some shopping and have some drinks. At the end of 2009 we where the guest of the Dallas Fire Department and visited the Hard Rock in Dallas. At Hard Rock Dallas they told us a "secret" to say at every Hard Rock that we where firefighters and we would get a reduction of the prices. Ok, time to try that out... A bunch of t-shirts, a couple of bears and at the register we nicely asked if there was something going from the total because we were firefighters and told them we were told to do so with the compliments of Hard Rock Dallas. I showed him my FD badge to prove that we weren't lying and yup... He was happy to give us 20% of the listed prices. Wow that went easy :) After that we had some drinks at the bar (for my it was always non alcoholic since I was the driver and didn't want to get in trouble by drinking and driving) and drove of to Venice Beach... Hmm... To much people at Venice Beach so that will be something to do at our next visit. OK, time to do some window shopping in Beverly Hills then... Oops... Sunday not much to see there except a few exotic cars so we drove off again to do a little part of the famous Highway 1, my all time favourite road in the USA (maybe even in the world)... When it became dark it was time to drive back to the Hilton to have dinner and some drinks. After a decent dinner (the food was awsome at the Hilton) I went to bed since we would leave very early and my uncle went to the bar to watch some news (about Japan) and have some drinks.

    Since I was the co-organizer of the "International Celine Dion Fan Meeting" in Las Vegas I was needed back in Las Vegas as soon as possible to make sure everything ran smoothly...

    To be continued :D
     
  8. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

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    Some pictures:

    The United Airlines "Star Alliance" Logo Jet

    [​IMG]

    Salmon appetizer:

    [​IMG]

    Filet Mignon:

    [​IMG]

    Arriving in Las Vegas:

    [​IMG]

    Even at the airport you can see that Céline is back in town:

    [​IMG]

    My rental car (Chevrolet Tahoe 4x4):

    [​IMG]

    More later :)
     
  9. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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    This will be a fun TR just like i like them lots of details and long to read cant wait for the rest

    That Airplane food looked great and real plates wow !
     
  10. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Great trip report! I'm looking forward to more.:beer::beer::beer:
     
  11. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Monday, 04h00 in the morning a loud beeping sound waked me up... Grumpy like always when I'm waked to early I got up and gave the alarm a "little" hit... Oops, there goes my backup cellphone (I always have a spare cell phone with a US based number)... The screen is broken and yet the alarm is still sounding... Grrrrr... I removed the battery and the SIM card and tossed the cell phone in the bin... Great start of the day... I walk to the bathroom to get a nice hot shower and let the water running to be sure that it's hot... A couple of minutes later I return and step into the shower not checking if the water was not to hot... Well, I can assure you, it wasn't hot... It was icecold! Apparently I opened the wrong handle of the shower and thus the water was ice and icecold... A series of not so nice words where released out of my mouth before I was able to open the hot water, well it had one advantage I was clearly awake now... After we showered we collected our bags and loaded the car to leave for Los Angeles. It amazes me that there was quite some traffic allready even though it was very early, after about 100 miles we stopped to fill up the car and get something to eat. Fortunately the Shell station had a Subway connected to it and thus we ware able to get us a nice fresh sandwich with some hot coffee. 20 gallons and a sandwich later we drove of tos Las Vegas, unfortunately the traffic was quite dense and so I soon realised that I wouldn't be able to make it in time. (I had organized some interviews for tv crews with several Celine Dion fans arround the world) Fortunately I had stored every mail and phonenumber in my Blackberry and while driving I was able to make some calls to my co-organizers to have them show up in my place and to notify the tv crews that others would be there. The rest of the trip was quite uneventful and I arrived in Las Vegas one hour later then I originally planned too. A quick call to my collegues revealed that everything ran smoothly and thus I drove to New York New York to get some drinks and to see if we were able to check in.

    Arrived at NYNY I dropped my car at the Valet, gave then a 20 and asked if they could keep my car close by. The first thing I did when I entered the casino was put another 20 in a slot machine and played. Well, there did go my first 20, not much but it was good to be back in Vegas :) I proceeded to check in a was able to check in even though it wasn't even 12h at noon. Though I booked through the marketing department I still tried the 20 USD trick... I can't say that it helped but I did managed to get a cornerroom on the higher floors with lovely views. Was the 20 USD well spend? I guess not but hey, this is Vegas so I don't mind since I needed to give it a try...

    Regarding NYNY: It was the first time I stayed there and if I may be honest it was for sure the last time that I stayed there. Don't get my wrong, the room was clean, service was great, the beds where good but... It just wasn't my style... When travelling alone I always stay in high end hotels like the Hilton, Conrad, W, Westin, Sheraton, Omni, etc... In Vegas I normally book a suite in a "decent" hotel... But since my uncle was travelling with me and he doesn't care less which hotel he stays in as long as it has a bed I only booked middle scale hotels like the Hampton Inn and the NYNY in Las Vegas... Something I won't do again in the future... NYNY is great for a single night or maybe 2 at most but for a week? No thanks, not again... Next year when I return I'll book something decent... Contrary to Hilton/Hampton Inn and others the "high speed internet" (included in NYNY) wasn't even worth the name "slow speed internet"... Damn, I thought I was back in 1995 when I surfed on the internet with a 33.6 modem... OK, I may be spoiled with a 100mb line at home and a 1gb line at the office but still... High Speed Internet? That had to be a joke right? And the worst part is they charge for the service through their obligate "resort fee"...

    After unpacking our bags, getting a quick shower we went down to get some drinks. We went to the bar where I played some VP... I quickly lost the first couple of hundreds and apparently this would be the case during the next week... Oh well, at least it was some fun...

    As the evening started we proceeded to the Hard Rock Café. This Hard Rock Café is quite new, as I remember correctly it's opened only for 2 years now. Again some shopping was done and again we tried to get something of the bill. Only 10% reduction this time but it's better then nothing :) After the shopping we went upstairs for something to eat. Back in 2009 when we were at Hard Rock Dallas I noticed that they had some good burgers and since we where in the USA we needed to taste a good burger. The orders came fast and the food was delicious and perfectly cooked. A place to visit again!

    Since I was quite tired I went back to the hotel after dinner while my uncle stayed and drank some beer (Samuel Adams is apparently a good beer according to him).


    To be continued...
     
  12. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

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    Tuesday, March 15 a hectic day...

    I had arranged with Fox to have some interviews on the day of the premiere and they asked the people to be at Caesars at 5h00 in the morning. Since our people found it a bit to early I notified them that they would arrive at 8h00 instead of 5h00... And that's where something got wrong...

    4h50 in the morning... My cell phone goes... Wtf, who dares to call me at this hour??? I noticed it was a number from the Las Vegas area and when I answered it seemed to be Lauren, the host of Fox to ask where everyone was??? I told her that we send a message that they would be there at 8h00 instead of 5h00... I heared in her voice that she panicked and asked what the problem was... The problem was that they were going to go LIVE from 5 in the morning the whole morning long and that they wanted people there... What??? Live???? SH*T.... I told here that I would see that some people showed up in the next hour and started to call everybody... I quickly grabbed a shower and jumped in my car and drove to Caesars Palace where the interviews would be conducted. And yep, Fox was there with a satellite truck, a nice host and a camera crew but still not much people to be on tape... I quickly dropped my car at the valet and asked to keep it close while I gave then a 20. After confirming that some people where on their way, appologizing ourself at Lauren for the mistake everything went smoothly... They did several live interviews with a bunch of crazy Celine Dion fans and this during several hours. Seeing that everything ran smoothly I quickly ran to my car and asked the person that she would be able to hold a spot for me at the evening for the premiere. She wrote down my details and promised me that I would be taken care of. I gave the lady another 20 for the service and drove back to my hotel to change clothes for the international fanmeeting.

    The fanmeeting was planned at 11h00 at the Imperial Palace but since we needed to prepare the welcome packages we went early to the meeting room. After putting some people at work our first guests started to arrive... More then 150 Céline Dion fans were registered from 27 different countries arround the world... It may not seem that much but it was the first time that an organized meeting managed to get so much people from so much countries (as far as South Africa, Malaysia, etc...) together in one place. Some travelled more then 10.000 miles to be there. The meeting went smoothly and everyone was happy. The plan was to lunch together at Planet Hollywood followed by a Flash Mob in or near Caesars Palace so a lot of people practized the flash mob.

    We cleaned the room and went to Planet Hollywood at the Forum Shops where we had reserved the upper floor for the lunch buffet. After the lunch I got notice that Caesars Palace denied our Flash Mob to take place on the grounds of Caesars. WTF??? We had the OK and now they revoked it??? It couldn't get worse... Several TV crews were waiting to film the whole thing and now Caesars revoked their OK??? I quickly jumped in my car and drove to Caesars where I gathered the TV crews and explained what had happened. They started to call to try to get permission whil I ran into Caesars and tried to speak with one of the directors. After 5 minutes they managed to get hold of one who called me back at my cell phone but the news was bad... Caesars wouldn't allow it and that was their final answer... They couldn't care less that some TV crews where ready to film it and they couldn't care less if it was told on TV that they wouldn't allow it... F*CK... I went back to the TV crews and they suggested to do the flash mob on the bridge. Everyone agreed to it and so it happened... It wasn't what it was supposed to be but they managed to film it and broadcast it... In the end I wasn't to happy with everything... Not only because the permision was revoked but also because the flash mob which went through was quite unsafe IMHO... Between 150 and 200 people dancing and jumping on a small bridge is definately not a good idea... It was to crowded and you could feel that the bridge wasn't made up for close to 200 people jumping on the same time in the middle of the bridge... But in the end... Everything was OK I guess...

    After the flash mob some more interviews where conducted by the Canadian TV and Fox and after that we all left to change clothes for the premiere of the show...

    I went back to the hotel, took a shower and change into my suit which I brought with me. I drove back to Caesars (only 15 minutes before the show would start) and fortunately the lady of the valet had passed the request to their collegues. I dropped my car at the entrance, gave a 50 and ran inside... I entered the Colosseum with only 10 minutes to spare...

    Regarding "Céline" the new show... Some may think I'm nuts to fly all the way from Belgium to Las Vegas to see the new Céline Dion show and maybe I am... Actually I'm not a true Céline Dion fan, I like her music and I like her person but I don't consider myself a fan... I would say that I'm a true musiclover and I love all kinds of music. I flew to Las Vegas to see Santana back in 2009, I flew to Ireland to see U2, I drove to Paris to see Lara Fabian, etc... I like to travel to see concerts... Now regarding the show... The new show is more based on Céline and the music and has now show at all... OK, it has a big LED wall (which is IMHO outdated and has a bad resolution) but it's more about the music with more then 30 musicans on the stage together with Céline. It was nice to hear some of her older songs like Beauty and the beast, where does my heart beat now, It's all coming back to me now and more... But the most surprising song was IMHO that she sang the wonderfull song "Ne me quitte pas" from the Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel... Ne met quitte pas (if you go away in English) is a true classic that has been covered dozens of times througout the years... Apparently Rene (her husband) wanted her to sing that song for more then 15 years now but Céline always refused because she wouldn't be able to sing it (it's a quite emotional song). Years went by and Celine always refused it to sing... Until last year they (Rene & the show director) thought to give it another try... Finally Celine gave in and promised to perform the song during the show... Maybe it's because I'm Belgian and I'm proud to see a Belgian song in Céline's show but I really liked Céline's version of Ne me quitte pas... It was loaded with emotion and it seemed like it was written for her... At the end of the song she even started crying... I rarely saw such emotions at any singer...

    The James Bond songs and the Michael Jackson songs were quite nice and it's refreshing to see her perform other's songs... The only negative part is the fact that she closed the concert with My heart will go on... I'm getting so tired of that song that I wanted to leave the show early... They should really get rid of that song... :) It's boring as hell...

    After the show we all got some drinks with a group of fans while some others did some additional interviews... It was quite a hectic day for me so I didn't stay to long and left early while others still party on... While going outside there was long line for the taxi's and the valet but when they noticed me I quickly got me car back (which was kept up front). I thanked the person with a 20 and left to my hotel to get some decent sleep...


    A day to never forget... :thumbsup:


    To be continued :D (but the Celine Dion part is ended :D)
     
  13. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Some pictures:

    Caesars Palace billboard for Céline Dion:

    [​IMG]

    A group of fans in front of the camera:

    [​IMG]

    Group of fans and Lauren, the host of Fox while being live on air:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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    Great report never tought id read the words Lara Fabian on this message board lol saw her live in concert last summer in quebec city and she was amazing
     
  15. rdwy29

    rdwy29 Low-Roller

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    Great report, keep it coming :beer:
     
  16. Rox007

    Rox007 Tourist

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    You're lying;) Great report, thanks!
     
  17. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    After the Titanic had sunk for the 1.000.000th time (Is it clear that I really hate that song? :D) another day presented itself...

    No more Céline Dion for me... Since I was travelling with my uncle I needed to make time for him too so the Celine chapter was closed...

    Wednesday, March 16.

    After a good night of sleep we decided to head out with the car and drive to Death Valley. I've been to Death Valley before and I really like to drive around in it and take some pictures. After the obligate stop at Subway and Stabucks (Some of the things I really like about the USA: Starbucks & Subway: good coffee and good sandwiches) we continued to drive to Death Valley. After driving through some nice scenery and passing through Pahrump we arrived at the entrance of Death Valley, took ourself a pass (20 USD if I'm correct) and entered the park. We first stopped at Zabriskie point to take some pictures and drove then to Furnace Creek to visit the visitor center and get some drinks. From Furnace creek we drove towards Badwater but we decided to drive through the Artists Drive and pass at the Artists Palette. While driving I had noticed that there was a sort of a dirt road that led to the opposite side of the Devils Golf Course and Badwater. After driving through the Artists Drive we decided to take the dirt road (I had requested a 4x4 SUV so I was confident that it would be OK) and drove through the nice scenery... Miles and miles went by only driving very slow and bumping like hell... Hmm... We were getting tired of this so we finally took a map and noticed that the road was about 40 miles long... We had driven more then one hour and managed to do only about 12 miles... OK... This was a bad idea, if I continued at this speed it would be dark before the road was ended... Hmm, my uncle and I discussed it and decided to turn arround and go back.... After about an hour and a half we where back on some decent roads and took the normal road to Badwater. Via Ashford Mill, Shoshtone and Death Valley Junction we drove back towards Las Vegas again... We decided to come back next year to visit the rest of Death Valley... While being in Badwater the temperature was about 36°C, slightly cooler then my previous time there (october 2006) when it was 49°C... 36°C Would be the hottest temperature measured during our stay in Las Vegas. -1°C would be the lowest but more later about that :)

    On our way back to Las Vegas we stopped to take some pictures and a have a drink. Back in Vegas I decided that I wanted to gamble a bit while my uncle wanted to take a walk on the strip... I played some poker, video poker and slots and again nothing won, only lost a couple of hundreds... Oh well, I was sure this trip would be bad...

    At the evening we visited the Nine Fine Irishmen bar to have ourself a nice Guiness beer. Afterwards we decided to have dinner again at Hard Rock. Hard Rock would be our favourite place during our stay, nice music, lovely food and a nice bartender (Kimberly)... We stayed a while in the Hard Rock Café, had a great dinner and enjoyed nice cold drinks. I always like the atmosphere in the Hard Rock Café's I don't now why but it's one of the few places where I can actually stay for hours no matter how busy it is... (I hate busy environments, one of the reasons why I rarely visit clubs). I think I'm getting old :)

    Another day passed by and we had a good time :)
     
  18. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Belgium
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Some pictures:

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    Artist Palette:

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    Me and the car :D

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  19. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Belgium
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Thursday March 17, another regular day...

    We woke up and had absolutely no clue to what we were going to do... So we drove off to a Subway and a Starbucks to have some breakfast. In the mean time we looked at the map and just pined a location which we would visit. We had chosen Mount Charlestone with no clue what the expect...

    After driving a bit we found an exit that we thought would be the right one but it was closed by the police. I decided to stop and wait to see what was going to happen (it seemed they were filming something). I decided to get out of my car and just ask the cop what was going on... I walked to the cop which seemed to be a very nice person. I asked him what was going on and he told me that they were shooting a commercial for Lexus and that the exit would be open in a couple of minutes. He joked that he was scared by me (he was actually tiny compared to me :D) and asked where we were from. We had a nice chat when I told him I was from Belgium and that we where just driving arround, that I was a fire photographer and that my uncle was a firefighter, etc... He told us about the way they work in the USA compared to Europe, etc... After about 15 minutes we where let through and I thanked him for the nice chat and wished him well.

    We continued to drive to Mount Charleston and actually found some snow during the climb. Wow, Las Vegas and there is snow??? We need some pictures of that!!! I put my SUV in 4x4 mode and backed up between the trees in the snow to take some pictures. After deciding that the car was OK my uncle and I both climbed out of the car and closed the doors. I left the engine running and apparently I had touched a button to close the doors with my elbow and when we touched the front doors they were locked with the engine still running... F*CK... We are in the middle of nowhere locked out of our car, it's freezing and we are standing here just in a t-shirt? Great! After trying all the doors one of the rear doors miraculously unlocked so I was able to climb over the seats to open the front doors... That was a close call... From now on I decided to always kill the engine and put the keys in my pocket, no way this is going to happen again :) We managed to take some pictures, climbed back into our car and continued our drive.

    Arrived at one of the peaks there was still a ski resort that was open for business, people where still skiing and snowboarding of the hills which where still covered with snow. We took some pictures again and continued to drive, at a hotel we saw a engine parked and decided to stop. After taking some pictures of the engine the firefighters came outside and we had a nice chat with them, they invited us to the station for a quick visit and exchanged patches. They gave us some information about the way they work (The firefighters we met where firefighters from the Nevada Department of Forestry) and they told us that Mount Charleston had their own volunteer fire department and that they (NDF firefighters) where professional firefighters and thus available 24/7. If backup was needed it would be called in from Las Vegas which was a 20 mile drive. We had a nice chat and after taking some pictures it was time to say goodbye. Since I wasn't feeling to well (I was burned by being to long in the sun the day before) we drove back to Las Vegas where I jumped into bed and my uncle went to drink some beers.

    At the evening we decided that we weren't to hungry and just went to Nathan's in NYNY to have some chicken with fries. I went back to bed and my uncle went to the Nine Fine Irishmen to have some drinks.

    Another day that passed by :)
     
  20. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Belgium
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Some pictures:

    A bit of snow:

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    Some more snow:

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    The fire truck at the hotel:

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    A fire hydrant with a little flag :)

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    A nice new build home build against a big tree:

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    The firestation which is a tight fit for the engine:

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    One of my favourite houses in the vicinity of Mount Charleston, newly build:

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