Date of Trip: September 2008
As they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But I had such a good time, I have to tell you about it!
A friend of mine and I went to Vegas for the weekend at the end of September. We got there on a Saturday around 9am and got our rental car. We got a great deal ($8.25/ day) on our rental car from Thrifty. However, the line was much longer compared to other rental companies. We got to spend our weekend in Vegas driving a 2008 Dodge Caliber. We couldn’t check in to our hotel (Luxor Hotel) until 3pm so we just killed time.
After leaving the airport, we took a drive down the strip to look at everything. We wanted to check out the thrill rides, and ended up chickening out of the Insanity ride atop the Stratosphere. We grabbed a bite to eat at a local fast food restaurant and then headed back down the strip to the outlet mall we saw turning onto the strip. This outlet mall is on the south side of the strip past the interstate. There was a bunch of sales going on and my friend loves to shop. Most stores had items marked 50% to 75% off. Everything was a great buy!
While waiting to check in, we saw the movie *Keith*, which is really good. Jesse McCartney was terrific in it. Keith made you love him, hate him, and love him all over again. *Keith* had a wonderful story line with a lesson that everyone can appreciate. *Keith* is an independent film that only previewed in Vegas for two weeks, but it is a very good movie and deserves to be shown all over the rest of the country.
The Luxor Hotel was beautiful and crowded. It was almost 4pm when we decided to check in and the line was very long. It took almost an hour to get checked in and about fifteen minutes to find our room. At first, we got lost several times because we didn’t realize that the elevators were going sideways and we’d think we went straight up or down. We thought we were at the same spot just tweleve floors up, but instead we were twelve floors up and over. There was still a lot of construction going on, but it wasn’t noisy at all. I still walked around and saw the sights inside and outside of the hotel. Once the remodeling is done that place will be gorgeous. There is actually four connecting pools and a hot tub for guests and even a private pool and hot tub for “paying guests” We stayed in the pyramid room and I can’t remember how many times we bumped our heads on the window trying to look out or down. Word of advice….you will hit your head trying to look out slanted windows. The room was cozy. All the furniture was Egyptian-themed. The bathroom was huge and the shower (no bathtub) was pretty. At night, we never lost our hotel because we always went by the stream of light going up in the sky.
On a side note..what is that smell in Vegas??? Does anyone know what I’m talking about? It’s like everywhere there???
Saturday night we had tickets to go see *Chippendales* the show. I surprised my friend with the tickets, but we were late cause it took us over an half an hour to go two miles down the strip. Traffic was a mess! We had such a good time, we decided we wanted to come back and see the show again and not be late. So we did. After the show, we decided to go back on Sunday night and see the show and not be late.
Sunday, we took a plane trip to the Grand Canyon West Rim and spent the day. It was really pretty, but my legs were sore from hiking. We walked out on the Glass Skywalk and took some pictures. We visited Eagle Point and Guano Point. We did a lot of hiking up and down the rocks at Guano Point. We spent nearly three hours at the canyon before our flight back to Vegas. Our plane back to Vegas was delayed nearly an hour because one man on the earlier tour didn’t return on time and they waited for him, which put everyone else behind schedule. I was getting a bit mad because we had tickets to night two of *Chippendales* and instead of being back at our hotel by 4pm, we were just leaving the Grand Canyon at 4pm. We were wanting to do a white water rafting trip down the river, but we were too pressed for time and ending up going kayaking instead.
Sunday night was, of course, round two at the *Chippendale* theatre. This time we had second row center stage table seats. I caught me a ripped wife-beater from one Chippendale that was eyeing me. I was never pulled up on stage. We had our pictures taken with a few of the guys after the show at the Flirt Lounge. My goodness, them men are HOT! My friend was against male reviews cause the one she saw here in Orlando was very distasteful and just shoving their stuff all in your face, but *Chippendales* was entertaining and provocative without crossing any boundaries.
So, on Monday we took a kayaking trip down the Colorado River by Evolution Expeditions. It started at the base of the Hoover Dam and went eleven miles to Willow Beach. It was pretty, but tiresome. I did get bored a few times cause I was paddling by myself and there was no noise but the sound of my paddle hitting the water. I had me a waterproof camera to take some pictures. Our group made several stops along the river to check out the sweet spots. We got out and went inside the sauna cave which got up to 120* because you’re actually inside a volcanic rock. We cooled off, or rather heated up, in the hot springs, which is about half way through the trip. The river was actually 52* and I’m so thankful I never flipped my kayak. I was looking for a mountain goat, and never saw one until the very end and then I saw a heard of them.
Monday night was my main reason for coming to Vegas. We had third row seats to see Criss Angel’s live show *BeLIEve*. That man is gorgeous. The show was awesome but a bit twisted, but that’s Criss. The show began with a stunt that left the audience on the edge of their chairs and opened the door to what the show was about: entering the mind of Criss Angel. At the end he sang *MindFreak* theme song. After being a fan for over five years, I finally made it to Vegas to see him. His show has been getting bad reviews, and it’s because it isn’t what people are expecting. They are expecting some sort of magic show or something along the lines of *MindFreak* and they are getting a Cirque du Soleil show with Criss as the main character. The show is somewhere out in left field. The show makes more sense in hindsight than it does as it’s unfolding. The tickets are a bit pricey, but they have to make up for the $180 million production cost and the $200 million contract Criss has for the show. I guess that’s why the show is scheduled to run for ten years.
I didn’t get to meet him or run into him in the hotel, but his live show was worth the trip alone. He did come out and meet people after his Saturday night show, but we were at the Chippendales show meeting them. Not a bad substitution. I have an idea for a good show. Just add *Chippendales* with Criss Angel and there you go! I bet that show would sell some tickets. I did enter to win Criss’ corvette, so I’m expecting a phone call in August 2009 so I can come claim my prize. Haha
On Tuesday, we had no problems checking out of the hotel, returning the rental car, and making it through security in time for our flight. We were supposed return to Orlando around 5:30pm; however, our plane leaving Vegas was delayed because the ramp wouldn’t retract so we couldn’t leave. By the time we got to Los Angeles, our connecting flight left us. There were about ten of us headed to Orlando on that flight and they left us all. And to make it worse, the plane left EARLY. So then United put us on a flight to Denver, Colorado that was leaving in three hours. We weren’t compensated anything or even told, “sorry.” I ate lunch at the Los Angeles airport and it cost me $17 for a cheeseburger, fries and a drink at a semi-fast food place with no server. And then after a two hour flight to Denver, we had an half an hour layover until our flight home. It was a three hour flight home so we didn’t get to Orlando until about 10:30pm. I tried to talk my friend into staying in Vegas another day or two, but she wanted to get home to see her kids. Can’t blame her, but after spending the whole day flying all over the country, I wish we had stayed.