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North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas
July 20th 2011
Published: July 25th 2011
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DAYS 8, 9 and 10

Las Vegas

Henar and Ozy dropped me at San Francisco airport and after saying goodbyes I started the part of the trip when I am going to be on my own. The checking in was extremely smooth and the flight to Vegas with Virgin America too. The plane was brand new and you can buy your meals or drinks through the in-flight entertainment system which is quite handy. Also there is a inflight chat which was quite funny as someone from a few rows behind me started chatting to me. Never found out who she was! San Francisco domestic terminal was also very nice, quite small but modern and with FREE internet provided. Anyway, I landed in Vegas after 1h and 40 minutes flight and proceed through security and to get my luggage. Vegas airport is quite old and a bit tacky, at least the terminal that I saw. It was surprising to see mini-casinos in the terminal and slot machines everywhere.

After I got my bag I proceeded to the taxi queue and got a taxi for my ride to the Treasure Island hotel where I was staying. It took about 15 minutes and cost me $23 which I found quite expensive comparing to the cost of other rides I had taken before in San Francisco. The hotel is massive. Absolutely huge and the most impacting thing is the fact that the casino is in the lobby. In fact, the whole lobby is a casino and you got to go through it to go anywhere, from your room to the restaurants, the shops or the swimming pool.
As I got there quite early, 11:30ish checking in wasn’t open yet but they told me that it wouldn’t be too long until they start allocating rooms as customers start to check out and housekeeping to get the rooms ready. At 12 they open the checking and by 12:20 I was in my room and very happy. It had taken me ages to pick a hotel, I had read so many reviews in tripadvisor and there was always something negative about every hotel I checked out. Well the Treasure Island is a very good option. I had a deluxe strip view room and paid $220 for 3 nights so the price was quite good, the room was massive, kind size bed, modern, lcd tv and had fantastic views over the strip which I think is a must, for a 1st time Las Vegas visitor.

I unpacked, got changed and went out to explore the strip. Las Vegas is hot. I mean, temperature wise. I would say quite similar to Qatar in June, not sure what the temperature was, you could walk so it was bearable but you would end up soaked in sweat if it wasn’t because you keep going in and out of hotels and casinos as you make your way up and down the strip. The strip is just amazing, the hotels, I checked the Venetian, the Cosmopolitan, the Mirage, the New York New York, the Paris and the MGM grand. There are lots of casinos on the way and souvenir shops, eateries, clubs etc etc. It’s just a 24 hours partying city with all sorts of people, young, old, locals, foreigners, black, whites…It’s just crazy. Anyway, I checked the strip for a few hours and then went back to the hotel to have a shower and get ready for the night. I first went to the players lounge at the TI to get my membership so I could access some comps and then I went to try my luck to a couple of slot machines, started with 1c and as expected, didn’t get lucky at all. Then I move onto the strip again and checked a few other places, looked at people paying in the different tables, tried another machine here and there and as I was leaving the Paris hotel a guy approached me and asked me if I wanted to go to the Chateau night club later on as it was Denis Roadman’s, the former basketball player, birthday party. I said ok and he gave me a wristband. It was still early so didn’t want to get into a club yet. I then went to the New York New York and went into an Irish bar that had a live band playing. They were good, played quite a few well known irish songs and surprised me by even playing some rebel songs. Oh, and I had a pint of boddingtons for $5. I then moved onto another casino and sat down to play some slot machines…5c this time, still no luck but hey I got a few free drinks. Some people told me that you have to gamble a lot to get drinks and that is not true. You just have to obviously sit for more than 5 minutes and ask the waitress when she comes around. If she doesn’t approach you, you just call her and ask for a drink. But you got to tip her when she brings it. One dollar is normally fine. So I had a couple of coronas and then got bored and went to the Paris hotel casino and look at some of the tables. Some of the guys were gambling hard. In one of the roulette tables the minimum was $15 and some people were gambling at least $200 every time. Crazy.
Then I went to check the club, I still wasn’t sure they were going to let me in and whether I’d have to pay or not, but they let me in and didn’t have to pay. There were lots of people there, there is like a patio area overlooking the strip and then the club and dancing floor inside. Denis Roadman was there with his people, well protected with bodyguards. I had another drink, this time at $9 a bottle and then went in to check the music out. It was quite good, dance, hip hop etc. After a while Denis went up to the DJ’s stage and start rapping and cheering the people out. It was quite cool actually. Anyway, I had one more drink and then realise it was nearly 4 in the morning so decided to call it a night so went back to my hotel and to bed. Shattered!

The day after I woke up at about 11ish and decided to check the pool out. It was ok, quite small for such a big hotel and the water wasn’t too clean but I still decided to spend a couple of hours as it was quite tired from the night before and I just wanted to chill. So I did. After a couple of hours of chilling in the pool I went to my room and went online to try to get a ticket for the David Copperfield show. I was told that they were sold out but I managed to get one pretty easy for $120. A bit pricey but hey it’s Vegas! So I got in the shower and got changed ready to go to the show. I had to pick my ticket from the MGM grand at least one hour before the show and the show started at 19 30 so I thought I would make my way to the venue and then try to book a tour to the Grand Canyon for the day after. I got in the bus as I didn’t fancy walking all the way to the MGM, probably about 20-30 minutes. You can get a daily unlimited buss pass for $7 or a 2hours one for $5. So I got the 24 hours pass, went to the MGM, got my ticket and then went to one of the shops that sell Grand Canyon tours. I really wanted to do an helicopter tour but most of these tours just go to the west rim, that’s where the skywalk is, and some don’t even land on the canyon. I wanted to have the chance to explore the Grand Canyon a bit and also wanted to see the North Rim which is supposed to be the nicest one. So I finally got a plane tour for $300, again a bit pricey but these are the prices you pay. And it’s a one of a lifetime experience. I then, went to grab something quick to eat before the show, so got myself a slice of pizza and a salad from Sbarro and got ready for the show. The theatre is quite cool because there are no seats like in a cinema, the seats are around tables so you can also have a drink while enjoying the show. I was sitting with a lady from Singapore and a couple from Colorado. The show was quite good, very American, very Copperfield. Some of the tricks were absolutely amazing and the good thing is that he gets the audience very involved, almost picking someone for every single tricks, especially young good looking girls. Wonder why?
The show lasted about 2 hours and the final trick is quite cool as he makes disappear 11 people from the audience. My favourite though was the one in which he makes a Cadillac appear on the stage and he guesses some numbers and dates. Won’t reveal any more in case any of you decide to check the show.
After the show I stayed at the MGM for a while. The casino is one of the biggest and its quite cool. One of the things I had read on the different reviews was the annoyance of people smoking in the casinos and the smell and all that. Well, I am really sensible to cigarette smoke and have to say that it didn’t bother me at all. Sometimes if you have someone sitting next to you and smoking it can get annoying but most of the hotels have good ac and odour systems that get rid of the smoke, so that was quite good. I then went back to the TI and had a few games at the roulette but at an electronic one not in a table. The minimum in the electronic one is $3 and no one can see what you are doing. As Im not a big gambler I play very safe on black or red with a method that normally guarantees you winning although it is quite slow. So I managed to after a few hours of playing, win $100 which I was quite happy with and decided to go to bed as I had to get up very early the next morning.

In the morning, a massive hummer limo picked me up from my hotel at 6 30 and took me and other people to the aviation airport where we boarded a small plane that took us to Arizona’s Grand Canyon airport. The flight is about 40 minutes and the plane had a capacity of about 20 people although there were only 7 of us. I chatted to a French girl who was also by herself and we did all the sightseeing together which was nicer than on my own. From the airport a private guide took us to the first section of the Grand Canyon that we were going to see, the Bright Angel Point that has magnificent views over the Canyon and the South Rim. We then went to the Angels Window where you can experience and see the whole width of the canyon. All in all, I’m glad I chose this option, yes I’d have liked to go on helicopter but I wouldn’t have been able to see the nicest side of the canyon and I managed to do that without the crowds that you get in the South Rim.
We then got back in the plane and had a rather bumpy flight back to Vegas. The reason it was bumpier is because in summer, all the hot air that has been concentrating during the day gets released in the afternoon and that makes the afternoon flights always quite bumpy. After I was dropped off in the hotel by the limo, I went to my room with the intention of having an hour sleep to get some energy for the last night. This was about 4:30. I woke up at 8 o’clock and feeling even more shattered than before.

But it was my last night in Vegas, so I got in the shower, got changed and got in the bus towards Freemont street, something that I still hadn’t seen and really wanted to. And I am so glad I did. I loved Freemont Street experience. It’s what Vegas used to be like, the casinos are smaller, there is a more real atmosphere and the light and video show was stunning. There were also three different areas with live music and it all felt like a street party. I spent nearly 4 hours strolling through the different casinos, with no luck at all, and then decided to get back to the strip. I wondered whether to go up the strip again but I was really tired so I stayed at the TI and went to the country bar that is on site. I had a drink watching the ladies doing line dancing, which is actually amazing because they are able to dance to any kind of song and they all do the same moves.
After an hour or so I got tired and decided to go to bed.
Bye bye Vegas. I will be back!

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