Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sydney to LA to Vegas!

Where to begin? It has been 3 really full on days!

On Monday the 14th of October (Sydney), Colin and I left Australia at 11am. The plan was stay up late Sunday night and sleep on the flight, even with 3 hours sleep and muscle relaxant, we didn’t really sleep too well. We both got maybe 4-5 hours. But it wasn’t all bad; I think it went quite quick!

We landed in LAX around 6:45 am Monday the 14th of October. Now, we had heard so many horror stories about America and customs. “It takes 2-3 hours to get through” was the main one. So we were prepared, we booked our car later as we weren’t expecting to be out until 10ish. It took an hour to collect our baggage and go through customs! We ended up sitting around for a while but decided to pay the little extra and collect the car early.

Driving on the other side of the road was freaking me out!! It’s so backwards! I am definitely not a fan. Colin drove most of the way to Las Vegas, we had the nicest Ford Mustang Convertible!! There is nothing like driving down Route 66 with the roof down! Because we had problems with our GPS, it took 6 hours to get to Vegas instead of 4-5! But no matter, we got to the Luxor Hotel/Casino safely and we were super stoked to get dressed up and wander!

Our room was amazing! A beautiful and incredibly comfortable king size bed, huge bathroom, internet and view of the pyramid! We decided to cruise down the Vegas Strip with our roof down, I have never seen so many colourful bright lights in one place! We did compare the smell of Vegas to Patong Thailand though – not the nicest. One place we wanted to hit up was Caesar’s Palace. One thing that I loved most about Vegas was the fact that it is truly magical – it’s almost as if you are transported to a fantasy land. My favourite Casino/Hotel was the Bellagio! It was bright and colourful and magical! There were stain glass flowers hanging from the ceiling and an Enchanted Forest in the Lobby. The Bellagio Fountain was also a spectacular sight, dancing to Michael Jackson!

We hit the pillows at midnight because we had an early morning and jet lag has been really tough for us so far! We were picked up by our shuttle at 5:45am to take us out to Papillon Helicopter tour’s airport. Everyone at Papillion was incredibly friendly! We were checked in nice and easy and were out flying very quickly. Our pilot Nate was awesome! He played us music, was very accommodating to our needs and gave us all the info on the areas as we were passing over. I was worried about flying in a helicopter, but it was amazing fun and am so keen to do it again! The Grand Canyon was just the most spectacular sight. We flew down inside and landed for photos, champagne and a picnic. It was all delicious and beautiful! Colin and I would like to thank my parents Pam and James for this amazing experience as our Christmas presents this year! I couldn’t of asked for something more perfect to start my day! We would also like to thank and recommend Papillon and Nate! They truly made the experience a memorable one! One word to describe it – breathtaking!

Colin and I were back at the Luxor before 10:30am and had the brilliant idea to nap for an hour (sarcasm). Colin and I are notorious for turning off alarms in our sleep - an hour nap turned into 3 hours! I have to admit, we really did need the sleep but I was a little sad that we missed so much time in Vegas! We had a fast lunch, organised our Criss Angel tickets and drove out to Discount Firearms USA (The Machinegun Experience Vegas). We researched a lot of places in Vegas that offer shooting experiences and this particular place was highly recommended – I have to say they lived up highly to their praises! We didn’t have to wait long to go into the range, I got the “shoot for a cure” experience which gave me a pink 0.22 rifle and a pink pistol, a shirt and donated $10 of the sale to breast cancer. Colin ordered “off menu” and got the 0.44 Magnum, an M4 Assault Rifle and M249 Machinegun! We had an amazing Range Supervisor, Cameron! He was funny, friendly and safe! He made sure we were in a safe environment and we were shooting the guns properly. He also let Colin and I share the machine gun so I got to experience a massive ass heavy weapon of destruction! IT WAS AWESOME! I also may have had a Dirty Harry moment and shot the Magnum (was worried about the kick back – but I kicked ass!) Turns out I am a damn good shot (might have to take it up as a hobby) and would be pretty awesome in the inevitable zombie apocalypse! I now have a souvenir target shirt that I shot the shiz out of with my rifle! We highly recommend going here, its affordable and amazing! We also recommend Cameron - he’s funny and hansom ladies – who doesn’t like a man in uniform with a gun? To all my girls, don't wear anything that shows cleavage! I had a bullet shell flick up at me and land square in the boobs! I now have a nice burn haha!

Now Colin is the shopaholic in this relationship! He really wanted to go to one of the factory outlets. I have to say that America is so much incredibly cheaper than Australia! We went into many shops and spent a fair bit on new winter clothes! I am pretty excited to layer up in my new bright colours. We were hoping to be there for an hour but ended up there for 2-3! We wanted to go to more places so we had to rush a little. Walked through more of the strip, we hit up mnm world for delicious chocolate and walked through the Monte Carlo and got a better view of New York New York. We had a quick dinner and it was time to see Criss Angel! I am a huge fan of his TV show! The performance wasn’t quite what we expected but was still incredible. We were hoping for something much like what he does on TV, of course he couldn’t do that 8 times a week! It was just very staged, I am still so happy we had the chance to see him live – I love love love magic! If you’re in Vegas, I recommend seeing the Blue Man Group! I saw them back in Aus but it was such an incredible experience and it totally blew me away! So if you have the opportunity, I would see them again in a heart beat. One we really wanted to see but missed out on was Zumanity by Cirque Du Solei – my choice for the next time I’m in Vegas!

I think the Luxor was pretty amazing! However, if you’re staying there, watch out for some of their employees. They start off by saying a friendly hello in passing, then they ask you where you’re from, soon they are pulling you to a counter to buy a package deal for next year where you need to put down a cash deposit immediately and it’s hard to get away. We got caught in it once and nearly again another 2 times! We aren’t fans of sales people! Next time, I want to stay at New York New York or the Bellagio! So beautiful!

Finally, Vegas was an incredible experience! I wish we could have stayed longer because 2 nights was definitely not enough time! There was so much more we wanted to do! In total, we gambled around $100 but unfortunately Vegas wasn’t a lucky area for us. We had 4 hours sleep last night and am now heading to LA for part two of our adventure!

Jess and Colin

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