Wednesday, October 16, 2013

22 September: New York to Las Vegas

We woke up at 7:30am to get showered and packed and head to the airport, which took us an hour & half! And that was just 1 subway change and then onto the Skytrain.

It was all pretty simple but tedious one we got into the queues for the TSA.

Was starving by the time we got thru to the gates so we grabbed some breakfast :) OMG they had Famous Famiglia! Yay. Couldn't resist getting one of their strombolis to share (seemed a little early for a slice of pizza, but after discovering them, I couldn't resist having something!) to share. We also got a Dunkin' Donuts bagel with cream cheese when The Trucker got his coffee.

Not nearly as good as the one we had on the Amtrak yesterday. I think the trick is probably to eat the bottom & top separately (like we did yesterday), less bagel-dough per mouthful!

And then we caught our Jet Blue flight to Vegas.

I've found New York quite cool. I don't feel like it's particularly touristy (I know that sounds mad), in the sense that we're not here to see some specific touristy thing ...

And I don't feel like I'll never be back. So while we did have a busy few days there, I don't feel like I needed to do everything this time ... Although I did all the specifics I had my heart set on for this trip. I can see how a few extra days wouldn't go amiss, just to experience more of the city.

And as strange as it sounds, I didn't feel foreign (like when visiting Vietnam for example) and, just hearing someone speaking another language doesn't mean they're not a local. Such variety, it's hard to explain.

We arrived in Vegas and took a taxi to the Excalibur and checked in (OMG, we're staying in a Disney Castle!). We dumped our bags and went in search of some lunch. We ended up eating at American Burger Worx. Good burgers! And sweet potato fries that I could not get enough of! They even trumped the cheese & bacon fries we got as well. I do love sweet potato.

While at lunch we planned what we wanted to do with the rest of our time in Vegas. We'd originally thought of getting fake married in The Tunnel of Love, but it is damn expensive (even without the legalities) and it was absolute miles from our hotel.

So we quickly scrapped that plan ... Another trip, hahaha. So, I traded that plan for going to the Titanic Artifact exhibition instead.

After lunch we went back to our room with the intention of showering before heading out. But, instead of showering, we decided to have a quick half hour nap till 5pm.

Eventually at 7pm, after resetting the alarm repeatedly, we managed t o drag ourselvves out of bed. I dunno what hit us but I struggles to keep my eyes open on the flight here even and then this?

The Trucker said it was delayed jet-lag, but it's been ages since we arrived in America. He thinks it might've been delayed by the completely sunlight-deprived room we'd stayed in, in New York. Also, let's keep in mind we gained another 3hrs on the flight to Vegas, so who knows (we're now 9hrs behind South African time).

So, we showered and headed to the Luxor for the Titanic exhibition. OMG!! So, while I already know I have a fascination with this boat, this was the cherry on top and one of my (two) Vegas highlights. Absolutely loved it.

It is put together very well, from the sounds of the ship creaking when you're "below deck" reading about Third Class to the chill in the air when you step out onto the deck to the actual giant block of ice you can touch.And then there is "The Big Piece", which completely blew me away.

On entering the exhibition, everyone receives a card with a traveler's details and story about who they are, who they were traveling with and how they ended up on the Titanic. At the very end, you can look for their name on the list of passengers and see if they survived or not. The Trucker & my "people" both survived.

I highly recommend this experience if you get the chance! Even The Trucker enjoyed it and found it more fascinating than he expected when I dragged him along ;)

From there we headed up the Strip enjoying the sights and lights. Apparently it wasn't nearly as busy as usual, being a Sunday night. But, it was busy enough for me :) Check that traffic in the photo! I took that photo at about 11pm.

We walked as far as The Bellagio where we stopped to watch 2 Fountain Shows before heading back to the Excalibur for a quick 5 USD go on the Slot Machines. On the walk, I tried a Strawberry Redd's. Kinda weird, I won't lie.

Did I mention there are slot machines *everywhere*. We saw the first ones in the baggage hall at the airport, you know the one where you collect your bags from the conveyor belt ... I mean who has time to play slots while waiting for their bags?! And then when we had a drink at the casino, they even have poker for you to play on screens mounted into the bar counter! Every. Where.

We didn't win big, rather we lost fast and then headed up to our room after midnight.

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