Sunday 1 June 2003 Was woken up at 5am by hysterical giggling in the hall, her friends were shushing her but she kept on giggling. Then at 6am a man was talking loudly and then he yelled "Get away from my door!" Then I heard heavy footsteps so maybe security took him away. I hope so! Went to McDonalds for brekky, had sausage griddle cake with the maple syrup baked in, it was nice, you could taste the maple syrup . Then I packed, was ready by 11.20 and checked out downstairs through private arrangment. Altogether it was $313 for 7 nights, 4 meals and a few phonecalls. Pretty good! Then the doorman got me a taxi, I tipped him $1 because my suitcase was really heavy. I had a nice taxi driver who'd been to Sydney in 1983, fare was $17.50, I tipped him $3.50. Went into Luxor, sat down for 5 mins because there were no check in lines at counter. Then at about 12.20, they changed the counter signs so now you could check in. I had to wait about 10 mins in line. I asked for a king non smoking tower room a little away from the elevator, although I'd already reserved a king non smoking through the email special $59 per night Nefertiti's Getaway Package. The nice man gave me a great room, room 11-333 in the East Tower which had a good view of the sphinx and the Mandalay Bay end of the strip and the airport. It was at the end of the hall next to an emergency exit, so I only had one neighbour and it wasn't very far from the elevator but far enough. It was in a great location! The bathtub was huge, much bigger than the Nugget, and the shower was separate. The room was decorated in an Egyptian theme but quite tastefully. I just loved it! I got pyramid shaped bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion, bath soap and facial soap and a showercap. I unpacked and then had lunch. I went up to the food court and had a slice of Little Ceasers pepperoni pizza. It was nice but only lukewarm so I didn't go back there. Then I had bubble gum icecream at Swensons. Then I went down to the casino and looked for MRU, found a bank of 3 but they were all silent. Then I went to King Tut's museum as I had a free ticket, it wasn't as big as I thought it would be but it was good. Then I bought an all attractions pass for the Imax films and rides as I had a coupon for that, it was $22.95 and it lasts for a year. I saw Haunted Castle Imax film, it was great! I had to wear 3D glasses and couldn't get them exactly right so I had to hold them up with my hand. Then I took the tram to Excalibur, couldn't find the key ring I bought there 12 years ago. Bummer. It was a leather one with my name embossed and a picture of a jousting knight on it. The picture's pretty faded by now which is why I wanted a new one. Thern I took the moving walkway back to Luxor, it's right next to the east tower which was really handy and rested in my room and then went to bed. The bed was comfier than the one at the Nugget and I had a pretty good sleep (better than at the Nugget). Monday 2 June 2003 41C Got up about 8am, got ready, went to Excalibur, only took approx 5 min from my room via the moving walkway. Bought pink lemonade for $1.07 from McDonald's, then bought cinnamon and apple filled and creme filled and a free sample of a warm glazed donut from Krispy Kreme which DIDN'T give me an allergic reaction, thank goodness. Those donuts were yummy. Then went to Tropicana, signed up for slot club, had to play an hour for free tickets to Rick Thomas show, what a rip off! They don't say that when they're advertising it. So I bought a ticket to the 4pm show for $14.95 instead. Then went to MGM, played MRU, lost $5. Then played another $5 on the MRU next to it, broke even. Then went to lion habitat, t-shirts $30 with a nice picture of a lion on it but too expensive. Saw 2 lions in the habitat, one played with 2 balls, 3 trainers in there, they only use hand or voice commands,. They're raised from cubs on a ranch outside Vegas. One came up really close to the glass and me! I took 3 or 4 photos and they came out okay. Later I asked the woman on the microphone how you become a trainer and she said you have to study zoology or do a 2 year wildlife park program or know someone who's a trainer. Then went to Aladdin, took an hour to get my free mug and a $5 free slot play on Jeannie machine because I had 2 numbers on the scratch card you get with the mug, won 45 bonus credits on Jeannie and was able to cash out $4.75. Then went to Walgreens for a few things including bubble bath. You'd think the Luxor would include that with the other toiletries since it's such a big bathtub. Then had lunch at Smith and Wollensky since I'd read a good review about their pizza. I had a cheese thin crust pizza, delicious and light. Ate nearly all of it! The bill was $15.92 including a pepsi. I thought it would be $15 and I only left $18 and didn't realise until later I hadn't left a 15% tip. Oh dear. I didn't mean to do that because it was good service. I didn't go back there! Then I trudged back to Luxor and dumped my stuff before going back to the Tropicana for the magic show. It only took 15 mins to get there. There was already a line at 3.35pm and the doors opened at 3.30. I was seated right down the front at a long table. At first I thought I had a bad view but it turned out to be a really good view. There was no drink service so luckily I'd brought some water with me. Rick Thomas was amazing! I couldn't see how he did it. He made doves appear, a white Bengal tiger appear, the tiger turned into a cub, he made 3 tigers appear. I think he turned one of his assistants into a tiger - I can't remember it all now. I bought a $10 program and he signed it. IMHO he was 1,000 times better than Arian Black. It was well worth $14.95. He also breeds tigers at his home outside Vegas. Then I went to Starbucks at NYNY for a mocha malt frappucino, delicous! Then went to Excalibur for some souvenirs. Then back to Luxor, dumped stuff and went on the Imax ride, Search for the Obelisk. First I watched a video, then went in a lift that seemed to go down fast (don't know if we actually went down anywhere) then another video, then finally on the ride! You had to wear a seatbelt across your lap but I think it should have been a proper seatbelt. There were handles to hold onto and you needed to! It was very rough and jerky and there was a really sharp jerk that hurt my back afterwards. They didn't need to make it so rough, even though there were signs about not going on it if you had a bad back etc, but they didn't say it was going to be really rough and jerky. Then I saw the Grand Canyon Imax film at 7pm, not 3D, I liked the 3D Haunted Castle film better. I wasn't game to go on the other Imax rides in case they hurt my back again. Then played MRU and lost $3.30. Then I bought 1 litre of Luxor water from the shop at Giza Gallery and didn't have to pay tax on it. It worked out 15c cheaper than McDonald's. Then I had a lovely bubble bath and watched the premiere of For Love or Money on tv. Tuesday 3 June 2003 41C Slept in til 8.45am. Caught the bus to Venetian because I'd read somewhere the slots were loose. The ones I played weren't. I lost $2 on 5c slots. Went to Grand Canal shops, gondola rides were $12 and a queue so I didn't go on one. Beautiful Michaelangelo reproduction ceilings. Took 25 mins to walk to Bellagio for lunch buffet. Saw 4 metropolitan policemen on bikes and a guy handcuffed and sitting on an esky on the way there. Got to Bellagio at 11.30am. The lunch buffet was $17.11 incl tax. It was noisier than I expected as the floor wasn't carpeted. The drinks service was a little slow. I had sweet and sour chicken, twice cooked pork with ginger and cabbage, 7 spice leg of lam, soy marinaded pork, delicious duck with maple gravy, yum! Wild boar ribs were a bit chewy,they just tasted like normal ribs. The pepperoni thin crust pizza was delicious! I had a big glass of lemonade and a root beer. Then I had a little choc eclair that had choc cream inside, it was better than the Paris buffet choc eclair. Then I had a piece of raspberry choc mousse cake with a raspberry on top and a swirl of passionfruit coulis on the plate. Yummy! I was so full I waddled out to the slots and played for a bit. Then I went to Flamingo Hilton, played $3 on Megabucks and lost, thought I would but I had to try it. Played MRU and American Bandstand slots and lost. Went out to the pool area, I think it would be easy for non guests to sneak into the pool if they were dressed the right way, saw the flamingos and penguins. Then went to Ballys, lost on MRU. Didn't think much of Ballys casino area. Then I went to Paris, played MRU, won $10! Got two will bonuses, one for over 400 credits! The machine is near Mon Ami Gabi, next to a noisy Texas Tea one. I've won every time I've played on it. Then went to MGM and stopped at Walgreens on the way, lost $15 on MRU and $3 on Bewitched. Saw one of the lions but she wasn't doing anything interesting. Then I went back to Luxor via the Tropicana bridge, got a free pull on the big slot machine and won a buy 1 get 1 free ticket to Rick Thomas. Ha ha! I dumped my shopping, then it took me 30 MINUTES to find the escalators to the attractions level! I hadn't had much trouble finding them previously. They're near the pool entrance and next to Hamada restaurant (2 sets). There are hardly any signs to the attractions level. I wanted to see Into the Deep at 5pm, got to ticket counter at 4.55pm, the woman didn't know how to change the time on my ticket. I finally got seated at 5.05pm and it hadn't started yet. It was a 3D Imax movie but I nearly fell asleep. I thought it was a bit boring. IMHO Grand Canyon was better and it wasn't 3D. Haunted Castle is the best 3D movie there. Then I caught the tram to Mandalay Bay, tight slots. Played MRU, lost, played Game of Life, got bonus round which was cool. Then I caught the express tram to Excalibur, then went over the bridge to NYNY, got a grande mocha malt frappucino at Starbucks. A guy took my drink because he and the 2 people he was with were hogging all the counter space where you wait for your drinks. I saw my name on the cup but they didn't call my name out and by that time he'd started drinking it! I said "Excuse me" to the counter person 3 times and they just ignored me until they put HIS drink there, mocha malt coconut frappucino. I told the person what had happened and she had a blank expression on her face. So she had to make me another one because I didn't want coconut on mine. I was so annoyed! Then I played 2c Cleopatra slots and didn't win anything. Then I went to Krispy Kreme at Excalibur and got another free one and a creme filled. Then I went to the snack shop and was going to get a cherry mountain dew until I read the ingredients and saw bromigated vegetable oil! Whatever that is, it sounds yucky! I'm not drinking vegetable oil. Then went back to room, had lovely bubble bath, watched a bit of tv and went to sleep. Used $26 on bus pass so far. Wednesday 4 June 2003 40C Had a good night's sleep. It's a lot quieter than Golden Nugget. The air con is quiet on low and I can't hear the neighbour with it on except for the bathroom and door. Got up about 8.15am, set off at 9.30am. Caught bus to Ceaser's, played Beverley Hillbillies 1c with $1, started played 10 lines, in a couple of minutes I made $1.43 profit. Then went to Race For Atlantis with my free ticket. First we watched a 3D safety movie standing up. Then we went to the motion ride. The seatbelt didn't work at first, it was too dark to work out how to do it up. Finally got it though. The 3D glasses fit. It was a great ride! A lot smoother and less jerky than the Luxor's Search for the Obelisk. It also didn't hurt my back. The 3D effects were great! It was much better than Search for the Obelisk. Then I walked to Aladdin, had Spice Market Buffet lunch at 11.30am, $15 incl tax. The stations were: fish, soup ( I think) salad incl fresh fruit and a big bowl of fresh strawberries, Italian, Asian, American, desserts and Middle Eastern. Mexican was closed. I had one vegetable samosa, 2 tandoori chicken skewer pieces, 2 beautiful strawberry tarts with patisserie cream, 3 little cream puffs with real cream and 1 mini lemon meringue pie, 4 strawberries and a rootbeer. The desserts were delicious but I was a bit disappointed in the selection of other dishes, thought there would be more after reading about it on the Vegas message boards. Then went to Paris, played MRU and made a 5c profit. Then played the noisy Texas Tea and made 25c. Then caught bus to Mirage. A New Mexican guy at the Paris bus stop started talking to me, saying he'd lost everything and could I help him out. What a cheek! Why should I subsidise his holiday if he's foolish enough to gamble all his money away? No one is subsidising MY holiday! I said I hardly had any money left. As I was getting on the bus he said, "I'm hungry." He should have thought of that before he gambled all his money away. (I hope I don't sound too horrible.) The Secret Garden at Mirage is half price on Wednesdays because the tigers aren't there, it's only dolphins. I saw a white tiger for free in the other enclosure opposite the gift shop. Played 30 mins on 1c MRU and broke even. Then went to Treasure Island via the tram, had Ben and Jerry's Brownie Batter icecream, delicious! Played a couple of slots but couldn't find MRU. Then played some more slots, pretty tight, lost $4 on 1c and 5c slots. Then waited outside 15 mins for the pirate ship battle to start. It started off a bit slowly, one of the gun blasts nearly deafened me. When the pirate ship caught fire I could feel the heat. The show was ok but I thought it would be better. Then I caught the tram back to Mirage and walked to Ceasers and the hopped on a bus. Got off at Bellagio, the fountain was dancing but by the time I'd walked back there from the bus stop it had finished. So I waited 15 mins standing up for the next show. You'd think they could afford to put some seats there for people waiting for the fountain shows. After the 3 min show I walked back to the bus stop and got a drink at the mini market there. Then caught bus to Excalibur, got 2 apple pies for $1.07, bargain! Then bought more Luxor water, went to room, had nice bubble bath and went to bed. Thursday 5 June 2003 38C Got up at 8.45am. Went to NYNY for Starbucks at 10am. Just realised I could get to MGM via moving walkway to Excalibur and overhead bridges! Caught the bus at MGM to Mirage. Got to the Secret Garden at 11am. Stood in line for 10 mins to buy a $10 ticket. Then I stood in another line for the tour! I saw the dolphins first and enjoyed that. Then I went on a self guided tour around the tiger enclosure with an audio wand. I saw a striped white tiger, 2 big cubs, a sleeping black panther, a sleeping snow leopard. Saw Gilda the Asian elephant. I didn't take photos because of the wire fences and bushes obstructing a good view. It was a bit disappointing. I thought MGM's lion habitat was better. Then I went back to the dolphins. One came up to the the pool edge, half out of the pool and I was sitting on the pool wall! It was so close to me, about five feet away. It was great! Then I played MRU 1c, cashed out $2 profit. Then I saw the white tiger opposite the gift shop. Then I waited outside Mirage for 20 mins for the bus! Then 2 came together but one was full. I got off at Paris, played MRU, made $5 profit. Then went to MGM, played MRU, made $2 profit. Then I went to the lion habitat but there weren't any lions there! Then I walked back to Luxor via overhead bridges and moving walkway at Excalibur. In my room I rang Air NZ to confirm tomorrow's flight home. Then I was starving, so I went to the Pyramid Cafe and had a personal pan chicken pizza with red onion. It was huge! There was lots of cheese on it. I left at least half of it. Had a root beer, the bill was $12 something. Then played MRU, lost $4. Then I played 1c Beverley Hillbillies, $2 lasted a while. Then I put in $5 to have a go at the $500,000 progressive and won 340 credits, finally cashed out $5.40. Then I went to the icecream shop and had a mint thin icecream cone and bought more Luxor water. Then I checked the exit out to the taxis for tomorrow and went to the King Tut giftshop for a fridge magnet. Then I went to my room and packed up. Finished most of my packing at 7pm, then went downstairs again. Played Beverley Hillbillies again, put in $10, won 2,000 credits! I was playing 10 lines. Finally cashed out $10 profit, $13.40 profit on slots today. Then bought a couple of snacks, went to room and had bubble bath and went to bed. Used $38 on my $30 bus pass. Friday 6 June 2003 Went downstairs, played some more Beverley Hillbillies but lost $10. Then went back to room to finish packing, then checked out at 10.50am thorugh tv. Waited until 11.10am when the maid was next door, then left room. Got a taxi to the airport, I think it cost about $12. Got my suitcase checked all the way through to Sydney which was great. Then had to take my shoes off going through security, take the train to get to my gate, and waited for about 4 hours altogether until it was time to board my plane to LA. Got to LA, found out you have to go through the specific door for your airline, not like Sydney where it doesn't matter which door you go in, then had Burger King upstairs because I was starving! Then had to wait about 3 hours to board my plane which was half an hour late. I had an aisle seat and the man next to me got up 5 times in a 12 hour flight to Auckland. If you're going to get up that many times, get an aisle seat! Got to Auckland, only had to wait an hour to board my last flight. The plane was half empty, so after take off I moved to the next cabin which was totally empty. About 4 other people did the same. I had the whole row of emergency exit seats to myself. It was great! No more squished like sardines. I don't know if I can fly economy again, it's so cramped. And although I was the 2nd person to check in at the start of my trip from Sydney to Auckland, I still couldn't get an emergency exit seat, and it wasn't as if they were taken by mothers with babies! Finally arrived in Sydney about 8.30am Sunday 8 June. Next time I'll go it'll have to be for 3 weeks, but I''ll want to go business class - eek!