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Old 26 Apr 18, 12:57 PM  
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gail35
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Our Vegas/La report

Arrived in Vegas without any problems flying from Heathrow with British Airway. I just really bad swelling in my legs...more about that soon for anyone who suffers from this. Checked into Luxor, they require a $200 security deposit, and resort fee of $136, the $200 was back on our card the day after we checked out. Had a stroll down to the Bellagio and went to Shake Shack for some food.

Day 1 We only spent 1 day on the strip going in and out of the hotels, stopping off for drinks and a bit of shopping.

Day 2 Picked up our hire car after a bit of drama and unhelpful lady at the Avis desk re security deposit. We went to Hoover Dam which took less than hour and a very straightforward drive. This was probably the highlight for me. Parking was in a multistory and I think it cost $10, there are other places to park for free if you are lucky enough to find a spot.

Day 3 We drove out to Red Rock Canyon, this took around 40 mins, we did the scenic drive around it and it cost $12 I think Loved it, breathtaking views. We went to Freemont St in the evening and hated it, my sons were very uncomfortable and were begging us to leave, we literally stayed 10 mins and left. Some real dodgy characters about. Last time we went to Freemont St it was during the day and I didn't mind it at all. Not sure if it's because we had the kids with us or what but the vibe was really bad and it was packed.

Day 4 We drove from Vegas to Knotts Berry Farm
Easy enough drive, took around 5 hours, we stopped off in Barstow for an hour to get something to eat and stretch our legs. The mountain views of San Bernardino was absolutely stunning. Arrived at Knotts Berry farm and was pleasantly surprised by the hotel, nice area, nice friendly staff, nice rooms. We took a drive down to Huntingdon Beach to see the sunset, it was beautiful.

Day 5 Disneyland California Adventure, very easy drive for Knotts Berry Farm, around 20 mins. I was really underwhelmed by the park at first, we all were because we were comparing to parks in Orlando which we shouldn't be doing, we almost left after a few hours, but we stuck with it and by the end of the day we all enjoyed it and it was overall a great day, just a shame about some of the closures.

We stopped off at Walmart for some bits, and since arriving in Vegas I've been suffering really badly from swollen feet, ankles and calves, also experiencing quite bad dizziness as if the floor is bouncy as I walk. I went to the pharmacy section and the pharmacist asked if she could help, so I explained what was going on and she said straight away lets check your blood pressure, so it measured 134/96 which she seemed quite concerned about, looked at my legs, advised some good compression socks, I got some Dramamine for the dizziness. She said if I'm not better in a few days to seek medical attention. She asked a few questions and put it down to the flight, altitude, and heat. So far there is an improvement, my calves are nice and soft in the morning, but during the day they swell up again like crazy, I'm noticing a pattern now of when they are badly swollen I suffer this dizziness, bouncy feeling on the ground, it's definitely not as bad as it was but it's still there. I had exactly the same problem last time we went to Vegas. Never had it on other flights. So due to the length of the flight, I would recommend good compression socks, get up as much as you possibly can..I was sat on a window seat coming in, but I am definitely going for an aisle seat going home so I can get up and about more without inconveniencing someone on our row.

Day 6 Hollywood, took us 2 hours to drive 30 miles, we knew this so set off early, arrived at 9am. We did the walk of fame, and Madame Tussauds. CD sellers everywhere, stench of weed everywhere. Like last time we visited 2 years ago, not impressed, but we wanted the kids to see it and we also loved Mels Diner last time so had to pay a second visit, to be honest, it didn't live up to the first visit, food was very average this time, we paid $20 to park outside Mels Diner, just for ease and DH just wanted to get parked up. Headed to Warner Bros to book our tour for Sunday, then drove out to Santa Monica, parked down on the beach area, $7 to park there all day. Spent a few hours on the pier, did some of the rides, and walked along the beach. We were going to drive up to Malibu but by the time we got back to the car we reconsidered because it was around 5.30pm so we decided on the 'scenic route' back to Anaheim. We stopped off at Balboa Island(I think it's called) walked along the pier and saw loads of seals swimming and had an amazing peanut butter milkshake. Other than that there was nothing scenic about the drive! And it took us 4 hours! We were relying on our son who is our map reader via his phone, his battery had ran down to 1 percent, as we were approaching our exit he hands me the phone(my eyesight isn't the greatest) and says there's 2 exits and he wasn't sure which one, I looked and had no idea, I look up and we are on the exit road at this point and I noticed we're in the lane to go back to Santa Monica, so we were both screaming NOT THIS ONE, poor DH had to get into the other lane quickly, we were inches from taking the wrong exit back to Santa Monica We were all in a bit of a state, but we laughed so much when we were back in familiar territory.

Day 7 We were supposed to do Six Flags, but realising this is further than yesterdays trip, we decided on Knotts Berry Farm which was on our doorstep, great day, loved the park, and really good food choices.

Day 8 Universal - Because of our previous trip into that area taking so long, we were up bright and early again, but it only took us 40- 50 minutes, so we got there super early which was fine. I am sorry to say I really didn't like it, the others are indifferent to it. It was absolutely packed and there really isn't a lot of rides. However, another highlight of the holiday for me was the Backlot Tour, absolutely loved it. But the rest of it didn't live up to my expectations, probably because it was so busy.

Day 9 Shopping - we went to Ontario Mills, we bought quite a bit, I wouldn't say they were great deals, but some things like Ralph Lauren was cheaper than here. Converse and Vans my son bought, but he wanted the more popular styles so he paid the same as what he would here.

Day 10 Warner Bros Tour, got there nice and early, took some pics outside. The tour was really good, we would recommend it, we saw a lot of the sets, inc Pretty Little Liars, Big Bang Theory and Ellen. We then drove out to Malibu Canyon - absolutely stunning! Stopped off at the beach got a bite to eat but can't remember what it was called. Then we drove back into Santa Monica, went to the Beverley Hills sign, and Rodeo Drive...how the other half live!

Day 11 Disneyland - loved it! Very different to Orlando, but I liked how compact it was, some very good rides which we managed to all except for Indiana Jones and Peter Pan, they also have different rides to Orlando too which was nice, food was also good in the park My only tiny gripe is they only have 1 designated smoking area...I use an ecig, and as an ex cigarette smoker for 4 years, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. The area is packed full of smokers and you get lots of angry stares from the hundreds of non smokers walking past which I totally get, but still makes you feel inferior when you are sitting there. In my opinion they should either have more areas out of sight, or stop smoking altogether in the park.

Day 12 uneventful because we had to go home, all in all a good flight home though.

When I read my review back I sound quite negative about a few things. Me and DH were talking about it the other day, and we agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. However, we've just booked to go back to Orlando next year and I told my youngest son, who is 14 and he said he's rather do Vegas and LA again. Cant win! We plan on doing California again in 2020, doing San Fran, Monterey, San Diago, and Los Angeles.

Our average budget was around $300 per day, some days with parking and fuel we maxed out on the budget, other days we were well below. We ate in Applebees, Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel, IHop, Outback, Mcdonalds, Shake Shack, Pizza Hut, Popeye's which is a firm favourite of ours now as a fast food option.

Fuel we spent around $200.
Weather was around 27 degrees most days. Mornings were chilly.
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Edited at 01:10 PM.
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Old 26 Apr 18, 08:25 PM  
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daytonababe
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Sounds a good trip

I agree about Fremont , I went 3 times this year because of various events and itís a dump
Day & nghts . Itís got worse over the last few years imo .
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Old 27 Apr 18, 06:38 AM  
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flo-tinka
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Thanks for this
Fremont St definitely OFF my list!
Is Universal worth it do you think for those who have done Orlando? Me and DH went 20 years ago without kids and before we did Orlando and loved it. Just trying to work out whether to shell out so that we can go with kids this time?
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Old 27 Apr 18, 08:11 AM  
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For the vast majority Universal is very much worth a day at. Obviously it's not for everyone but for most it is.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 08:19 AM  
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nursetina
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I also agree about Fremont street! Awful place, I hated it and couldn't wait to leave, however loved the rest of Vegas and will definitely return.
Glad the trip was good.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 09:34 AM  
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Ariel88
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Great trip report!

Iíll also be knocking Fremont Street off our list of places to visit. We only have 2 days in Vegas so will stick to just the strip area now.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 03:40 PM  
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gail35
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Originally Posted by flo-tinka View Post
Thanks for this
Fremont St definitely OFF my list!
Is Universal worth it do you think for those who have done Orlando? Me and DH went 20 years ago without kids and before we did Orlando and loved it. Just trying to work out whether to shell out so that we can go with kids this time?
I would still say go...you might love it. It's not patch on Orlando in my opinion, but you might really like it. It way too busy for my liking and not enough rides.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 05:03 PM  
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Really useful trippie and sounds like a great holiday.
Did you suffer again with your legs on the flight home?

Thanks for posting.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 05:20 PM  
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Useful for us too. We are doing a week in Vegas and I'm a bit nervous about it. I've always wante to go though.
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Old 27 Apr 18, 06:10 PM  
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Great report.
I didn't like Fremont Street. I felt very uncomfortable.
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