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Old 22 Apr 06, 02:01 PM  
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Return to Vegas: The Experience - Flight and Arrival

Thursday 13th April

Today’s Objectives:

1. Breakfast in Servis Air Lounge
2. Flight VS043
3. Checkin at hotel
4. Swim in pool
5. Dinner at Quark’s

Outcomes:
1 – 4 achieved
Dinner venue changed to Caesar’s Palace Food Court

We caught the 7.45 shuttle bus back to Terminal 2, where we joined a horrendously long queue at security. TC sailed through, but I was stopped to be thoroughly frisked. I have a growing theory that this happens if you wear a skirt, as I was on the way out, but then again, perhaps I look guilty!

Once through, we ended up asking where the Executive Lounge was – it was literally heaving with people on the main concourse by the shops. Lounge located upstairs, we had something to eat and some coffee – TC left me in the peace and quiet while he went shopping. We had bought a water boiler on our first visit in 1993, which blew up on one of his solo trips later. He replaced it and then lost that one in the post-divorce move. So he was on a mission for another one – ended up with a travel kettle.
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Old 22 Apr 06, 02:03 PM  
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In the Lounge, they do not announce flights, so once the board stated VS043 was boarding we headed off to Gate 33 to find that although the Barbados flight was boarding, Vegas was not. TC found another smoking corner while I watched this large pink cat greet children bound for Barbados. Presently, a large blue dog arrived at Gate 33 with the Kiddy Packs and we started boarding. Being in the seats at the back we were soon boarded onto ‘Jersey Girl’ and we were off more or less on time – flight time being posted at 10 hours and 51 minutes.

Drinks appeared about 30 minutes after take off, followed very quickly by my low fat lunch (chicken, rice & Veg, salad, dried fruit). The ‘normal’ meals took another 20 minutes (roast chicken, pasta salad, chocolate profiteroles). After coffee TC settled down to a film, I looked out of window, read and watched the Skymap. I have to confess to watching the Skymap all the way there – I just can’t concentrate on the films. On the way home, I never even got my headphones out of the bag – just settled with the good ole’ Sykmap! I managed to get some sleep but it seemed a mighty long time until the next lot of food. TC sent me to the galley at one point to ask for water and more food at some point after the ice creams came round – I was given 4 more packets of pretzels!

Toasted sandwiches finally arrived at 5.30 pm UK time and then 30 minutes after that Afternoon Tea arrived, by which point we were flying over the very turbulent Rockies and were all strapped in for two hours. We were let out for about 20 minutes before the descent started – this was another bumpy approach – on a par with the one into MCO last year. At one point we all felt that the pilot almost lost control as the 747 seemed to take on a life of it’s own. With a huge bump, Jersey Girl literally hit the runway with a bounce. Even the cabin crew felt it “As you know we HAVE landed, please be VERY careful when opening the overhead lockers, as things may have been dislodged during the LANDING!”
They wished all the stag parties on board a good time (there were two large male parties – one in matching hats, that later checked in with us at the Flamingo).
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Old 22 Apr 06, 02:04 PM  
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TC was by now gasping for a cigarette and wondering how to get over having no lighter/matches. Being at the back we were deplaned last of course and the line for Immigration was horrifically long. Unlike MCO it was just one long line until you were shunted off to a desk (only about 8 in all). Another fierce looking woman was walking the line checking everyone’s forms. One poor group of Dutch people had gotten off the plane with no paper work at all (how did they manage that when the crew went up and down the plane with them, I don’t know). Dragon lady was delighted everytime she found a wrong form and a PA announcement followed. This was interspersed with announcements telling people to switch off cell phones until outside, everytime someone’s bleeped on! Of course, ours were correct down to the last detail of a street number, so she tutted “all OK”. TC was by now muttering about how it never took this long before and how the terminal had changed. This was basically because on all previous flights he had changed somewhere else, so had done immigration there and then flown into Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is the International terminal, Terminal 1 domestic.

Finally we reached a desk and did the usual fingerprints and photo – not asked to take off glasses this time and the man had a pleasant chat with me about my jewellery (a pendant in the shape of Formentera). Finally we managed to collect our suitcases – TC tried to dash through customs but had to wait for me as I had the customs form!

Dashing out of the doors we hit two things – a wall of heat and a huge line for taxis. TC was more worries about getting a light but everyone was is the same predicament – having had matches and lighters taken away at Gatwick – how do you get a light? Someone had “smuggled” through some matches and a line of people lighting up started.

Now here’s the first tip for anyone interested: DO NOT join the line for taxis at Terminal 2. Follow the path to the right and in five minutes you will arrive at Terminal 1. Cross over the road where all the shuttle buses pull in and walk straight through Terminal 1. You will then arrive at the taxi stand – get in line – they shout “how many” and direct you to a stand where a taxi pulls up straight away.

It was around $15 to the Flamingo and we arrived before all the people in the Terminal 2 line (they all joined the check in line behind us). There is also a facility to check in at Terminal 1 if you are staying at a Caesar’s Hotel – but we wanted an upgrade so thought it best to do it at the hotel.

After another seemingly long wait we were called forward and checked in with a struggle as Arlen found our accents difficult to understand. There were 3 sorts of upgrade - $60 for a mini suite; $40 – we couldn’t fathom that one out – some view of the Strip, I think and $20 for a side view – this is what we had wanted – the side view overlooks the Bellagio fountains and Eiffel Tower. So we got that with another 30 minute wait on housekeeping.

We couldn’t be bothered to take suitcases back down to the baggage place so joined the line for the Player’s Card. This is a loyalty type card with rewards depending on how much you gamble (more about that later). Each hotel group issues one – this meant we accrued points in Flamingo, Caesar’s Place, Paris, Bally’s, Harrah’s and the Rio. We also got 10% discount in various gift shops. That done the 30 minutes was up so TC headed over to the desk (Edward this time) to get room keys and we headed up to room.

The view was stunning and the room as expected – two large beds, two chairs, a TV in huge cupboard, two tables, wardrobe with mirrored front and bathroom (one basin). Unpacking done – rolled clothes and folded clothes had both survived the journey well. If I had to judge it I would say rolled did slightly better, but that was probably because my clothes are slightly higher in polyester content than TC’s cotton/linen mixes!
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Old 22 Apr 06, 02:11 PM  
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Finally hit the pool at 4.45 (UK time 12.45 am) – the water was ‘bracing’ and by the time I got out the pool area was totally in shade. Tip 2 – do as the Americans – follow the sun around the pool by changing lounger frequently but remember whole area will be in shade by 5.30 pm.

After freshening up, (TC had done this during my swim and was downstairs investigating the slots) I met TC in the foyer and we headed off to eat. By now we were flagging as UK time was 3 am! Decided the trek to Hilton would be too much, so headed into Caesar’s Palace and had a really good stir fried vegetable dish at the Chinese in the Food Court. TC had a Mongolian Beef.

After buying a small bottle of White Zin. at the off license by Imperial Palace we went back to room and watched the fountains before going to bed at 8.30 (4.30 UK).

Virgin earplugs worked well, as I was immune to TC snoring – but then I was tired!
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Old 22 Apr 06, 02:50 PM  
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Great start - lovely photos.
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Old 22 Apr 06, 03:32 PM  
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Very interesting to read. We are off on the 11th May for our first trip to Las Vegas
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Old 22 Apr 06, 04:59 PM  
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Originally Posted by bowcutt
Very interesting to read. We are off on the 11th May for our first trip to Las Vegas

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions not answered in my trippie!
Any spare room in your suitcase - I would go back at the drop of a pin
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Old 22 Apr 06, 07:23 PM  
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great pics, though sounds exhausting
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Old 22 Apr 06, 07:59 PM  
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Great Start, look forward to the rest
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Old 22 Apr 06, 07:59 PM  
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