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Report 8/0-8/11

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by abeagler, Aug 12, 2003.

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  1. abeagler

    abeagler Tourist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Indiana

    My Trip Report

    Just got back from our first trip to LV. I think we're already planning our second one in our minds, even if there's no time for it in the foreseeable future. Had a GREAT time :)

    We got up at 4:30am to fly out from Indianapolis at 6:55am (we live an hour from Indy). Flying direct on Southwest, and had no problems with the airline on the way there or back. Both flights were on time and had smooth landings.

    Had a limo booked at the other end, though my wife didn't know this. So she thought it was just kinda funny when she saw a limo driver and said, "Look, somebody with the same name as us is getting a limo!" She thought I was just playing some gag when I went over and shook his hand.

    He drove us down the strip and back up to the Bellagio, where I had us booked for two nights. It was a seven year anniversary trip, so we were going all out. Service there was amazing. Everyone was polite and friendly, not one employee was at all stuffy. Since I had a lakeview room booked I didn't angle for any room upgrade, but I did mention it was our anniversary as part of our conversation, and the person gave us a card with a certificate for free his and hers Bellagio fragrance. That was pretty cool.

    I noted as we walked through teh casion area to the elevators that there were a few $5 blackjack tables, but they were gone by the time we came back through around noon, and we barely saw them again. No matter, though, we had minimal gambling in mind.

    Friday we met up with friends also out there, and walked around with them. It was about 103 Friday, but I finally understand why people say "It's not the heat, it's the humidty." That 103 felt much more tolerable than any 90 degree/90% humidity day in my ten years in Atlanta. Still darned hot, though. Anyway, we mostly casino-hopped that afternoon. Had lunch at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris, checked out one of the free shows at Tropicana, walked up and down that end of the strip, then returned to the hotel for a quick nap (that's what we got for the 4:30 Eastern start to our day).

    In the evening we had dinner at a place in the Rio, because we had tickets to see Penn and Teller. Hilarious show! Makes much fun of the other magicians in town, which was fine by us - my wife normally dislikes magic as entertainment, but presented as proud fakery she was much more impressed :)

    From there we retuend with our friends to their hotel (NYNY - what a crazy environment, mercy), then walked back to Bellagio from there, just enjoying the lively crowd at the 11:30 time slot - we're from West Lafayette, Indiana, where we were hard-pressed to find a bar open at 11pm on New Year's Eve, so this is quite a contrast! We watched the last fountain show from our room (q7th floor) at midnight, then called it a day (albeit a 21+ hour day).

    After all that you'd figure we'd want to sleep late, right? Well, I think my wife wanted to, but I told her I had a surprise that we had to get up early for on Sunday, our anniversary. So, up again at 5:30 (at least it was near our normal wake up time in the central time zone), at which time I told her we were having breakfast on the floor of the Grand Canyon. She was a little apprehensive about the helicopter part of it - neither of us had flown in one before. But that apprehension turned to awe about 3 minutes into the ride, as we exited the city and flew out over lake mead and then over the hoover dam before making for the canyon. We left the ground at about 7am, landed on the floor of the canyon before 8. They had a light breakfast, nothing fancy, and some champagne which all of our group drank as mimosas. It was already warm, but surprisingly nice. We stayed on the canyon floor for about 30 minutes all told, then flew back.

    All told, the canyon tour - booked through Grand Canyon Tours, and flown on a Papillon helicopter, was a great experience. I recommend it highly. And we were back in our hotel room by 9:45 am after a 6:10 am pickup (there was still plenty of casino action going on at that time of day) by their shuttle. Plenty of time left in the day.

    We actually played a few slots and video poker Sunday, and we also visited Mandalay Bay and Luxor without our friends. Saw the shark reef exhibit - not bad, but $15 is excessive for it I thought. Caught a few free show things at Excalibur.

    In the evening we said sayonara to our friends and went off to our anniversary dinner, at The Palm restaurant in Caesar's Forum Shops. Neither of us is really into shopping at all, so we could take or leave that and the Via Bellagio high-end stores. Dinner was kinda loud, but excellent food, and as Vegas first-timers they gave us our dessert for free (not bad on top of a 2-people for $75 5 pound lobster dinner). Then we walked over to The Mirage to catch the volcano, and then back to the hotel to catch a few more fountain shows.

    Monday we just sort of wrapped up a few things. Relaxed some in the morning, spent some time in the pool - 9am is a nice, quiet time there, though there was some construction noise from nearby. We hit the Bellagio breakfast buffet, which was tasty, though maybe not ideal for two people who don't eat too terribly much. Hit the Warhol exhbit there, and then walked down to Venetian to check out the Pop Art exhibit at the Guggenheim. At $15 the Warhol is expensive for its small size, but the Guggenheim, about the same size, is only $8 after a $2 coupon they were handing out there. We tried to do some more walking around, but it hit 110 that day and we were just drained. Back to the hotel, caught a shuttle to the airport, got in the A group for boarding southwest, and flew on back home, arriving mdnight.

    A great time overall, and I owe much thanks for what I've learned frequenting here the last few months:
    --The advice that Bellagio wouldn't be stuffy was right on the mark
    --The posting of the email special deal at Bellagio - first night wasn't discounted, but second night was and free upgrade to Lakeview
    --Advice to carry lots of water and wear good walking shoes
    --Advice to not even make contact with the porn peddlers on the strip
    --Advice to watch out for peddlers of timeshares. Man, these guys were everywhere, but seemed especially bad in Venetian
    --Advice on the grand canyon tours
    --Advice on tipping etiquette - not sure how much we spent on tips, but I can't think of one person for whom it felt forced ore merely obligatory. Our service was uniformly excellent everywhere, with housekeeping coming twice a day at the hotel.

    Thanks, everyone!
     
  2. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    South West UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Thanks for a cool trip report, sounded like a special 7th [​IMG]

    Please do tell me about the Warhol exhibition. Worth a vist?
     
  3. abeagler

    abeagler Tourist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Indiana
    I liked the Warhol exhibit. We generally go for 20th century art, but were lacking in pop art. It's all celebrity pictures of his, and there aren't too many there. Maaybe 25 or so? Plus an additional room with an overview of hislife. Audio commentary thing is included in the $15 price. So if you've always wanted to see some of his Marilyns in person, or a Hitchcock, Mick Jagger, etc, go for it. But if you want a campbell's soup can you'll need to go down to the Pop Icons exhibit at the Guggenheim in the Venetian.
     
  4. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    397
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Sounds like you had a great time. You make an investment in your marriage, and it pays off better than anything on Wall Street!
     
  5. abeagler

    abeagler Tourist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Indiana
    We'd both been in grad school until last year; this is our first full year both out and working. So it was great to just be able to do whatever we wanted and have a grand time [​IMG]
     
  6. ilovevegasbaby

    ilovevegasbaby Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    280
    Sounds like a great time! I must be really good at avoiding the timeshare people as I never really notice them. I think it is because I don't make a lot of eye contact with people and I really don't when I see them walking towards me.
     
  7. teenwolf

    teenwolf Guest

    Good Trip Report - I am flying to Vegas in Sept from Indianapolis too - driving from Cincy - Flight is scheduled at 5:00 pm - How is the indy airport? How early did you guys get there?
     
  8. coconutz

    coconutz Guest

    The timeshare sharks only attack couples. If you are walking by yourself, they pretty much leave you alone.
     
  9. abeagler

    abeagler Tourist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Indiana
    teenwolf-
    I like the Indy airport; it's not huge, so it's pretty easy to navigate. We usually park at (I think) First Class Express parking. It's down a row of independent lots, maybe a half mile or so from the airport, there are always parking spots and everything's always prompt $6 a day with AAA discount.

    We got there 50 minutes before our flight and had no problem last week; however, that was at 6am, so things;ll likely be busier at your 5pm takeoff time
     
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