Where: Las Vegas What: We won a competition from VH1 on Captial FM the promoters were NDL which included flights and transfers from Heathrow, 3 nights at the Treasure Island, Diva Concert Tickets, a â€˜city lightsâ€™ tour, Â£250 spending money, travel insurance and breakfast buffet for two daysâ€¦ followed by a champagne brunch on our final day How: Sections from 5 songs were playedâ€¦ some backwards, all melded into one, I had to name the songs and the singers: â€¢ Celene Dion ~ My heart will go on â€¢ Beyonce Knowles ~ Work it out â€¢ Whitney Houston ~ I will always love you â€¢ Chakka Khan ~ I feel for you â€¢ Mary Jay Blige ~ Family Affair Why: To see the Diva Concert @ the MGM Grand When: May 2003 Wednesday 21 May 2003 Arrived at Heathrow and met by NDL representative who handed us our United flight tickets, (the best economy seats are in rows 15-30), you donâ€™t get the little packet with toothpaste, socks and eye mask like some long haul operators there did seem to be better leg room for my 6â€™2â€ husband Chris. Touched down in San Francisco bought the obligatory key ring and then onto the internal flight to Las Vegas where we were met by Nick from NDL who guided us to the coach where the porter thanked us for helping the US in the recent war. We were taken to Treasure Island by a wonderful driver who was extremely proud of his home town and gave us lots of tips for things to do. NDL had booked us in and arranged for our baggage to be taken to our rooms. We stayed in room 23089 â€“ 23 being the floor number and those ending in even numbers from approx 78 to 110 have the view at the back eg, some roofs below plus the Fashion Show Mall (Bloomingdales, Macys, Saks, Neiman Marcus) a maid was kind enough to let me look out the window of the odd numbers and WOW what a view, it brought tears to my eyes, so beautiful, the whole of the south strip, almost seemed to be laid out just for this particular window!!! So after 16 hours travelling we fell straight to sleep. Thursday 22 May 2003 I woke at 5am but Chris wanted to sleep on so I sat working on a schedule. Managed to drag his touchÃ© out of bet at 7:30 and we went down for breakfast, selection of fruit, cheese, waffles, French toast, sausages, bacon, egg, potato etc. We joint the Players club at TI the system works out at 1 point for each $1 spent/won and reused in play. Some wins paid out with a ticket that you can cash, others paid out in coins, unfortunately we never won big enough for it to be paid out by an attendant, however I did witness a lady being paid out $2100 by an attendant which was nice to see. We started out with $1 bets but became a bit despondent after no wins and decided to join the real â€˜little leagueâ€™ with the 5 cent machines, we got our cups filled with the little token things and had loads of fun deciding on whether to do 1-9 lines with 1-9 games in play, although it took ages to keep putting them in (+ my hands were black from the coins ~ other casinos had little hand wipes next to the machines which I didnâ€™t see at the TI) rather than feed $10 into the machine, it felt like more of a game and less of a gamble and it sounded so sweet when the winnings came chugging out ~ also these machines were generally on the outer rim of casinos and we seemed to attract waitresses offering free drinks more. Took a $7 taxi to the Hilton to see the Star Trek Experience http://www.startrekexp.com/ where Chris had his picture taken then it was placed into a photograph of the Next Generation he loves it. (Found out later that Elvis Presley spent his last 7 years performing at the Hilton) we took the glass elevator up to the top for a great view of the Stratosphere and decided to walk over. Enroute we stopped at the Sahara , had a look around and gambled some 5 cents, won 300 of them. Celebrated with an Ice Tea at MacDonaldâ€™s then continued on to the Stratosphere where you can go to the top of the tower for $8. Got a taxi back to the Mirage and saw the gigantic tropical fish tank behind reception then onto the rainforest, the tigers and the waterfalls. It was a short tram ride back to TI to get ready for our evening at the MGM Diva Concert. We felt great when we were picked up and given our row L seats and like stars as we were guided through the crowds to the entrance. The concert was nothing short of spectacular the divas were both beautiful and in top form, there was a competition winner who sang a Whitney Houston song, her voice sent shivers down my spineâ€¦ so passionate, I see great things for her, it would have been nice if Whitney had come out to sing with her but then, I guess it was â€˜the winnersâ€™ momentâ€¦ I think her name was Tanya? Couldnâ€™t take cameras so missed some fantastic opportunities, however, we have the memories. The concert was over and we began to leave, however, there was such a crowd we got lost in the flow and ended up at the after show party at which time we were â€˜guidedâ€™ out, it was so funny and we got to see a bit more of the MGM. Back at TI we went to see the pirate battle, it was amazing, we stood on the walkway next to the pirate ship, wish we knew what was coming because my eyebrows were nearly singed by the heat of the explosions, soooo coolâ€¦ canâ€™t believe the British lost the battle though.. Whatâ€™s that all about???? There are plans to change it shortly to include sirens so it was good to see it in its current format, maybe the Brits will win next time? Went for our evening meal at 10:30, however, I think the staff were tired, I had asked to see the menu at the front desk prior to coming in, when I asked for non smoking the guy waved me in the direction of a â€˜sideâ€™ so I sat down, a waitress started getting upset because she said that section was closed, on the menu it said there was prime rib so when I went to get some, it wasnâ€™t there, I commented that it was on the menu, this was met with a blank look and denial. The rest of the selection was bland, non descript with a guy with a security uniform on standing behind the food counter chatting up the server whilst leering across at my chest as I tried desperately to get the only piece of meat on the tray which happened to be positioned at the back. We sat down to eat and another lady came out and said they were shutting up soon and if we wanted anything else, especially the dessert, to get it now! So much for the town that never sleeps! Friday 23 May 2003 Went for breakfast the next morning then onto BELZ Factory Outlet World www.belz.com which was having a Memorial Day Sidewalk Sale ~ as usual the jeans and trainers were a fantastic purchase for us Brits. Took a taxi along the strip $14 (back via the freeway because the cabbie said it was quicker $16.50!!!) At the Stratosphere we had seen an Oxygen bar we asked for information and went away to think about itâ€¦ â€œOxygen Bar â€“ Urban spa where customers inhale pure oxygen under the premise that doing so will regenerate cells, clean the system of toxins, increase energy and stamina, and reduce stress.â€ We had been told that there was one in the Kuanaville so we went along. for $16 you get 15 mins of oxygen which is infused with aromatherapy fragrances each with differing properties, a massage with Nukkles and a love shot. Loved the Nukkles so much we bought some. http://www.nukkles.com/ We went to HYPERLINK "http://www.elvisarama.com" www.elvisarama.com to look at the museum I loved the letter that he sent to his girlfriend Anna when he was over in Europe it really did give an insight to Elvisâ€™s vulnerability. To catch a concert also the cost was $22 each ~ the tribute singer also paid tribute to veterans which was really touching. Took the free shuttle bus to the Mirage and caught the volcano erupting and into their buffet which was fantastic, it had a bar where you could choose your raw selection then take it along to the chef who would cook it in front of you. Also the fish selection was fresh and succulent. there was such a wide selection throughout. To end the day we took the city lights tour that took us up to the Bellagio for the water which is choreographed to music, the tour bus took us up to the steps and those that had seen the show before said that it looked so much better from that angle. We went in to see the ceiling and also the beautifully scented flowers surrounding butterflies. We turned back down the strip, passing the Aladdin which is the only hotel that, after being knocked down and rebuilt, still has its original name (another piece of info I picked up was that Elvis and Pricilla married there) passing Ethel Mâ€™s M&M store which is next door to the Coca Cola Store where you can get half price tickets to see shows on the same dayâ€¦ obviously this is great savings BUT doesnâ€™t guarantee great seats ~ if at all! Continuing on back passed the TI, leaving Clark County where the strip actually officially turns into Las Vegasâ€¦ downtown, we arrived at Freemont street at 10:40 and the street was jam packed with party people, there were flamenco dancers handing out Mardi Gra beads, now here was a real party atmosphere. Saturday 24 May 2003 Got up and went to the Venetian, so calm and elegant. Returned to pack our bags and then went to the Secret Gardens we returned to TI and had a cocktail at the bar because then we got to bring home the scull and mermaid glasses, onto our champagne brunch and ready to get a great sleep to beat the jet lag on the long return flight home.