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-   -   The BIG Las Vegas Surprise - February 2019 (https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=1111161)

smithlane 3 Jan 19 09:05 PM

The BIG Las Vegas Surprise - February 2019
 
Hello and welcome to my latest pre trippy for our upcoming holiday to Las Vegas :wave:. This is a bonus extra trip for us and even more of a bonus we are leaving the kids at home. Woo hoo!
This trip is to celebrate Jimís 40th which was a few days ago at the end of December. I had booked everything and like the title of the report suggests had kept it a surprise up until his birthday which was quite tricky but it certainly paid off, he was so shocked but incredibly excited!

So who are we?
As mentioned only half of the usual cast going which will be very strange but Iím actually really looking forward to not having moody teenagers around me for a week and to have some Ďusí time :pgig:.
First up me! Alicia, 36 years young. Author of this trip report and main planner/itinerary keeper of the holiday. Mobile Beauty Therapist by trade, hobbies include researching upcoming holidays and shopping on said holidays :D





Jim my long suffering partner of 6 years and wonderful step dad to my 2 children Hope and Sam. Has now turned the big 4-0, a Construction Manager by trade and hobbies include golf and lots of it. Iím the ultimate golf widow :erm:





How it all came about?
Back at the beginning of last year the kids came home with a letter for the school ski trip to Andorra this coming February half term. Hope didnít seem too interested as none of her friends were going but Sam was begging us to go as ALL of his friends were going! After some number crunching we agreed he could book on. We had already booked to go skiing Christmas just gone so thought it would be good for him to practice his hopefully new skills. So that was one child sorted I just needed to find somewhere for Hope. After calling my fabulous mum not only did she say sheíd love to have her but would arrange for them to go somewhere too so it would be fair :spin:. Since then Mum and Dad have booked a Forest Holidays cabin in the Forest of Dean with my sister, brother in law and 2 children. Hope has her own room which is great as sheíll be doing revision for her upcoming GCSEís :omg:.
So with both kids sorted I could now start looking at holidays for Jim and I.
I had originally thought about taking him to New York but we ended up tagging it on to our summer holiday last year as flightís were cheaper, just as well really as he ended up hating the city!
Second choice was Las Vegas, it was somewhere we both hadnít been but really wanted to try. When flights were released last March I religiously checked everyday for something reasonably priced. As we were tied to the February half term it was to be weekend flights that bumped the price up. One day in April whilst doing my daily search, British Airways had a great deal for direct flights from LGW to LAS and a Ford Escape or similar from the 16th to 23rd Feb for £489pp. I instantly jumped at the offer and paid the £150 deposit!
Next up hotels.
I knew that we both couldnít go all this way and not visit the Grand Canyon so that was my first hotel I booked as I knew the ones inside the park get really booked up. After looking at all the different options I settled on The Bright Angel Lodge. I booked it for the middle of our week on Wednesday 20th Feb. One night here was $130.



I really wanted to stay in either the Bellagio or the Cosmopolitan for the rest of the time in Vegas but they were both coming in at ridiculously high prices. In fact most of the hotels were way over my budget! I put a thread on here asking why the high prices as I couldnít see a major event or exhibition on that week but one member mentioned it was Presidents Day weekend which was probably why the prices were so high, I hadnít even considered US bank holidays. Doh!
I was searching daily on Trivago when I found a fairly good rate (well good for this week anyway!) for Luxury Suites International at the Signature MGM Grand through Agoda. From what I can gather LSI run and manage one of the Signature towers so Iím hoping it will be fine. I booked our first 4 nights from Saturday 16th to Wednesday 20th for $692.37 including taxes and resort fees. Thereís also no car parking charge here which is a bonus!



That now left the last 2 nights to sort out. As it was for Jimís 40th I really wanted to book somewhere special so splashed out and booked the Bellagio. I went directly through the MLife website and secured a standard King room for $604.72 including all fees and taxes. Yikes!



Sam leaves for the ski trip the day before us on the 15th and as my parents live in East Sussex we thought it would be a good idea to meet them halfway to drop off Hope then book into an airport hotel. I was going to book the trusty Premier Inn but for only £10 more I could get the Hilton South Terminal. Well it is his 40th after all! This was £79 for the night.



Last but not least the car parking. After a thread on here alerting members to a discount with Maple Manor parking I secured 9 nights Meet and Greet parking for £51.



Now for anyone that has read my trip reports before will know that Jim playing golf always features at least once! I knew I had to book him a couple of rounds as itís his birthday trip. After much, much researching as I havenít a clue when it comes to golf courses I booked one round at the TPC Las Vegas and one round at Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley which Iím looking forward to driving through.





The surprise!
On the day of Jimís birthday he played golf (surprise, surprise!) in the morning so that gave me time to sort everything out. I had ordered some bits online from Card Factory so I had to go to my local store to get the balloons blown up with helium and buy a balloon box. Next stop was the pub where I needed to decorate the room we had hired for that evening then home. I had printed off a rough copy of the itinerary, laminated 2 vouchers that I had printed for the golf and put them inside the box with the balloon. I had also ordered off of Etsy a scratch card that would reveal where he was going
He really was thrilled and kept saying he couldnít believe it. All these months of keeping it a secret had paid off!











The plan
Like any good Dibber I have an itinerary! This plan has changed over a dozen times but Iím now finally happy with it.

Day 0 Friday 15th
The kids have an inset day so can do the last of the packing then Sam needs taking to the school for 3.30 for a 4pm departure.
Hopefully Jim will be back from work and getting ready whilst I do this then aim to be on the road for 5.30. The M25 ought to be fun on a Friday evening :confused2
Meet Mum and Dad somewhere in Crawley for dinner then we go our separate ways with them heading back to East Sussex and us going to Gatwick.
Drop the car with Maple Manor then check into the Hilton and crash!

Day 1 Saturday 16th
Our flight isnít until 11am so no need to rush this morning. We may have breakfast at the hotel or go to my favourite Wonder Tree in the South Terminal hopefully getting a window seat to watch the planes taking off.
If on time we land at 13.50 then go straight to Avis to collect the car.
Check into the Signature Suites and unpack.
Explore our surroundings before having dinner at Gordon Ramsey Burger in Planet Hollywood





Day 2 Sunday 17th
Breakfast at Le Village buffet in the Paris hotel.
Today we will be exploring the North Strip and hope to cover Caesars Palace, Mirage, Treasure Island, Fashion Show Mall, Wynn and the Venetian. We may have a cheeky gondola ride :tongue:
Dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Venetian
We may head up to the Premium Outlets North at some point if we fancy it.









Day 3 Monday 18th
Early start today aiming to leave at 7am so hoping the jet lag gets us up in plenty of time.
Breakfast at Momís Diner in Pahrump which is about an hour away then drive another hour to Furnace Creek Golf Club for Jim to play a round of golf at 10am.
Depending on how tired I am Iíll either chill in the golf buggy or drive to some of the sights in Death Valley whilst heís playing.
On the way home I would like to stop in Rhyolite Ghost Town for a look around.
Dinner tonight at Mon Ami Gabi which is in the Paris hotel. Hoping for a table overlooking the Bellagio fountains.







Day 4 Tuesday 19th
Breakfast at Dennyís this morning.
Get the car and head to the Premium Outlets South for some shopping.
On the way back stop at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign then explore the South Strip - NYNY, Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.







Day 5 Wednesday 20th
Off for our overnight stay in the Grand Canyon today. No major rush to leave but I want to make sunset and as itís over a 4 hour drive will aim to leave by 10am.
Lunch on the way at Mr D's diner in Kingman. Read about this place on Abiknoxís trip report and it looked fab!
Check into the Bright Angel Lodge.
Watch the sunset before having dinner at the hotel





Day 6 Thursday 21st
Up nice and early to catch the sunrise and explore the top of the rim. Will have breakfast in the hotel.
Check out and drive via Seligman for a snack in the Snowcap Cafe to the Hoover Dam. Explore as much as we can before driving back to Las Vegas and check into the Bellagio
Dinner at the Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan next door and if we have any energy left go for drinks in the Chandelier bar.









Day 7 Friday 22nd
This morning is Jimís second round of golf at TPC Las Vegas, tee off at 8.50am.
Once finished head to the Red Rock Casino for their famous buffet brunch/lunch.
In the afternoon will go to any missed resorts that we didnít get around to going in.
A small dinner at the Cheesecake Factory but most importantly a slice of cheesecake if nothing else!





Day 8 Saturday 23rd
Check out of the Bellagio and head for our last breakfast at Bacchanal in Caesarís Palace. Our flight home is at 16.55 so will need to head to the airport for around lunchtime to get the car back and check in 3 hours before.



And that there ends what will hopefully be a very busy but memorable week in Sin City! Even though it looks a full on schedule it wonít be enforced if we get tired or change our minds on the day. Only a few things are set in stone and Iím happy with that. We would love to see a show but weíre undecided what yet and Iíve been told itís cheaper to book once there. Will also be better as we wonít know how the jet lag will affect us so didnít want to book something then realise weíre dead on our feet and need an early night ;)
I think I've waffled on for enough so all that's left is to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you join me on our return. Will try to get the report up as quick as I can.

TTFN :wavey:

Goldia 4 Jan 19 09:40 AM

It seems like we've both been busy with our pre trip reports! This sounds like it's going to be an amazing trip, I cannot wait to read the full report.

I hope that Jim loves Las Vegas, or at least gets on with it better than he did NYC. It's such an amazing place, we honestly couldn't quite believe the hotels. They are fabulous. The Venetian was my favourite to look around I think. But then of course they all have something fun. Treasure island had a full on show with pirate boats, of course the fountains, Caesars palace.

You planned a lovely reveal as well. I really liked the scratch card idea, how cute is that? A great idea for you to book up some golf for Jim, he will really enjoy that, plus bonus alone time for you to do what you want ;) oh no you're not caddying again are you?

What will the weather be like in February? I imagine it will be quite nice really, we went in November so it's probably similar. We wore jeans and t shirts most days. We did need jackets in the evenings though as it was a bit chilly.

I'm sure the next 6 weeks will fly by and the trip will come around in no time.

Glee Fan 5 Jan 19 12:05 AM

All looks amazing!

I'm sure you already know this but the Grand Lux is owned by the Cheesecake Factory so you could always have cheesecake there too - can never have enough cheesecake right?!

Hope Jim enjoys the golf - my dh played twice when we went but I went to the Bellagio spa and had the most amazing massage as my treat! ;)

We fly the same day as you but not to the same destination! Hope you have a super time :D

Lisa_Lollipop 5 Jan 19 12:11 AM

Wow what a great trip you have planned, I can't think of anywhere better to celebrate a 40th birthday... I'm ear-marking it for my own in a few years time!

Just a suggestion but Top Golf is so much fun, we went when there as my OH is a huge golf fan too and I actually really enjoyed it (despite being terrible!). It's situated right behind the MGM so would be easy for you to get to! :)

smithlane 5 Jan 19 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goldia (Post 13627494)
It seems like we've both been busy with our pre trip reports! This sounds like it's going to be an amazing trip, I cannot wait to read the full report.

I hope that Jim loves Las Vegas, or at least gets on with it better than he did NYC. It's such an amazing place, we honestly couldn't quite believe the hotels. They are fabulous. The Venetian was my favourite to look around I think. But then of course they all have something fun. Treasure island had a full on show with pirate boats, of course the fountains, Caesars palace.

You planned a lovely reveal as well. I really liked the scratch card idea, how cute is that? A great idea for you to book up some golf for Jim, he will really enjoy that, plus bonus alone time for you to do what you want ;) oh no you're not caddying again are you?

What will the weather be like in February? I imagine it will be quite nice really, we went in November so it's probably similar. We wore jeans and t shirts most days. We did need jackets in the evenings though as it was a bit chilly.

I'm sure the next 6 weeks will fly by and the trip will come around in no time.

Thanks Abby, itís always such a good feeling having another holiday planned!
Oh god I hope so too. I think with 2 rounds of golf that should make him happy. Iíll kick his backside if he moans as much as he did in NY 😂.
I canít wait to look around all the hotels and havinga little flutter in the slot machines!
Iím not sure what the weather will be like? Iím going to pack for every eventuality, I hate being cold 🙈

smithlane 6 Jan 19 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glee Fan (Post 13628778)
All looks amazing!

I'm sure you already know this but the Grand Lux is owned by the Cheesecake Factory so you could always have cheesecake there too - can never have enough cheesecake right?!

Hope Jim enjoys the golf - my dh played twice when we went but I went to the Bellagio spa and had the most amazing massage as my treat! ;)

We fly the same day as you but not to the same destination! Hope you have a super time :D

Thank you!
Ooh I did not know that, thatís fantastic news 😬. I love their cheesecake and your right you can never have too much especially of their Dulce de Leche one!
Thatís a genius idea. See ya Jim Iím off for a massage instead of driving your golf buggy 😂
I hope you have a fab holiday too!

smithlane 6 Jan 19 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisa_Lollipop (Post 13628787)
Wow what a great trip you have planned, I can't think of anywhere better to celebrate a 40th birthday... I'm ear-marking it for my own in a few years time!

Just a suggestion but Top Golf is so much fun, we went when there as my OH is a huge golf fan too and I actually really enjoyed it (despite being terrible!). It's situated right behind the MGM so would be easy for you to get to! :)

Thank you Lisa. Yes best to start hinting now so you get what you want 😆
Ooh good shout thanks, we have a Top Golf near us and always have a good laugh. Usually at my expense 😂

KarenG 6 Jan 19 02:06 PM

I'm exhausted just reading this :pgig: :pgig:

You are doing things we have done and loved :thumbs-up

Signature - loved it here - we found it quickest from our tower getting to the Strip by walking along East Harmon (and meant we avoided getting lost getting through and out of MGM and importantly avoided the part of the street full of skanky costumed characters).

Grand Luxe - we ate here twice - like the Cheesecake Factory (obvs) but menu even bigger! We were always too full for cheesecake :blush:

Mr Ds and SnoCap - SnoCap in particular is just the oddest retro place but not to be missed :pgig:


Loved the Grand Canyon and the Bright Angel is in such a good spot. We found food in the area very average (quality and choice) especially after Vegas.

I love the reveal you did!

Mon Ami Gabi we love and we've always lucked out getting a good table (probably because we were happy to wait). It's my most "only in Vegas" meal. Paris buffet we found excellent food range and quality for the money (think we might have had a Groupon or similar?).

You're missing my favourite I think, Wicked Spoon in the Cosmo.

Denny's for breakfast?! Noooo :pgig:

I'm going to be avidly following your trippie as Jon & I are off for our first adult trip in April - we've only been with the kids before so didn't get the chance to do many bars.

Will you have a chance to do a "bar with a view"? We LOVED the Mix (it's called something different now, at the Mandalay Bay, was called THEHotel when we stayed but it's under a different name now). There's an incredible elevator ride up (glass) and the views from the very south of the Strip looking northwards - are incredible. We saw a couple of sunsets and they were amazing - the transformation from Vegas concrete and oversized everything, to a twinkly night time light fantastic, are not to be missed! Or there's the bar at the Strat, I've not done it, but I guess the views are just as good.

I hope you LOVE it!

Starbucks mugs are available :D in fact my first came from Las Vegas :pgig:

KarenG 6 Jan 19 02:13 PM

I think the Mix is now called Skyfall and the hotel is the Delano. The patio views are incredible still by the looks of it.

Glee Fan 6 Jan 19 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarenG (Post 13630923)
I think the Mix is now called Skyfall and the hotel is the Delano. The patio views are incredible still by the looks of it.

Hi! We loved Mix too as it was! How exciting an adults only trip, hope you have a super time! xx


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