Thursday, 4 November 2010

Arrival at LA and on to Viva Las Vegas!

After a short delay and a long flight of just short of eleven hours, we arrived in LA.  We remembered the short trip to North Hills really well and arrived at Andrew's without a hitch.  Inermediate car hired from Alamo, a Ford Focus.  Good service. Ian's Tom Tom worked a treat.
Andrew (or should I say, Frank Zappa's baby brother!) and Lizzy both looked well, especially Lizzy with her larger than expected tummy!  It was great to see them both, after nearly nine months apart.  Andrew had shaved his hair for Halloween, and it did give me a fright!  Fortunately, it was not going to be a permanent style, and was starting to grow back.
After just one night, we all set off for Las Vegas, in seperate hire cars.  Six hours stree-free driving and we arrived in a tardis in the middle of the desert.  It doesn't look so big on approach, but as we wandered around later that evening, it was massive on the inside.
Anyway, to the hotel first, the Holiday Inn on Flamingo and Paradise Rd.  Lovely rooms with swimming pool, unheated at this time of year, and a bit chilly, as we later found out!
A brief swim and rest in the hot, hot sunshine, with temperature of 84 deg F, and then into town.  There was an excellent shuttle, because it's a bit too far to walk,  We were dropped off at The Venetian, with its impressive foyer, and painted ceilings.  We spent some time in there, wandering around "St Marks Square", with actors singing "Nessun Dorma", gazing over the Canals, with actors singing "Just one Cornetto!" and ornate italian frescoes and statues. The whole canal complex is upstairs! Weird.
We ate at Gilleys at Treasure Island, which was basic and expensive fayre $30 each, and not that good.  Then a fairly pacy walk to find The Bellagio, past the massive Caesars Palace, the Trevi Fountain and Colliseum!  We were inside the Bellagio, when the water display was happening, but said we'd go back tomorrow, and visit that end of the Strip.  The Strip looked brilliant, all lit up at night, and there's plenty to see and do, without even having to set foot in the gambling areas, which are all a bit overfacing and give you a desire to shout out in an evangelical voice "The End is Nigh!"
We rang for the shuttle back to the hotel, and then experienced "the magic carpet" of Las Vegas.  It was too easy to go with the flow, and we ended up being transported back into the shopping area of The Venetian.  We had to make a conscious effort to work our way towards the front of the building to the pick-up spot.  Everything is designed to get you in, and you have to work it out for yourself, how you get out!  Sneaky huh!

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