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Trip Report Vegas Girls Trip

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Finally I got a chance to go to Vegas! I would never go by myself, but my friend Susan offered to go since her husband wanted to stay home that weekend. OK, there were deals on Expedia, and we got very inexpensive deal (and we live in Eastern Canada, so usually it's difficult to find better deals that flying from the States). Expedia sometimes has deals on particular days of the week (Tuesday/Wednesday), so you have to grab it. Well, Susan knows everything about deals, so she knew. Of course, because Susan was booking the trip, she somehow arranged for all plane seats for her to be aisles or windows, leaving me middles, but she is like this, she is trying to take advantage of everything around (see below about sales in Vegas).

Our trip was for 3 nights staying at Luxor hotel. We booked transportation using the same Expedia, some Bell Trans company (www.bell-trans.com/), it was $13/round trip from the airport. It's a shuttle for several people, so you get a view of Vegas before being dropped at the hotel. Regular shuttle, all went went.

The hotel however was overcrowded. We arrived after 11 pm, and still it was a huge line to register, and they did not even have non-smoking rooms available right away, so they offered us a room with king bed for one night as an "upgrade", which I definitely refused, even though Susan really wanted to try that hot tub in the room. But we got two-bed smoking room for one night and then next morning they moved us to a non-smoking. The first smoking room was in the "tower", which is nothing special, but too many hallways. The second day they moved us to the "pyramid", where all windows were slanted. However, that room was on one of top floors, and you have to take a strange elevator up, because it shakes all the time while going up.

So, we moved, settled down and went to the Strip. Susan has been in Vegas many times, because her ex-husband liked to gamble, so she immediately started checking out all deals offered on the streets. We found a guy who was offering a Hoover Dam trip for $39.99+tax (=$45), but Susan started to "negotiate" that like she saw some deal on internet for $29, and so after like half an hour of negotiation under the bright sun and 110F, she got a "deal" for $40 total. They also sel deals to go to Grand Canyon, tours of Vegas on helicopter, there are a lot of people just standing there and offering those booklets (don't mix with prostitution booklets though).

The Strip is great, we stopped at so many hotels just to see, then had lunch at a French restaurant at the Paris hotel (very, very nice, in spite of Susan's desire to go to McDonalds). If you sit outside (which we did not, because it was really 110F), you can see Bellagio's fountains going up and down, fabulous! To help travelers to move around the Strip there is $7/day bus pass, and you can hop on the bus practically at every hotel. It is a double decker bus, and if you get front seats on the 2nd level, you can get like a free tour of the Strip.

I've heard so many people go gambling in Vegas, but if you go just for a vacation, nice meal, entertainment, you can do it in Vegas and without gambling. You won't miss a casino, because they are everywhere, you have to go through casinos if you are inside and want to enjoy AC-ed areas, but there is much more to Vegas than just gambling. One thing though is that all casinos are smoking, and for some it might be not pleasant.

In the evening we have a Cirque du Soliel show, Zumanity. Well, don't bring your kids there, it is a very sexual show. But acrobatics is very, very good, very professional, so we enoyed it a lot.

Next day was a shopping day, since Susan was dreaming to go to Premium Outlets. There are 2 malls, to the North of the Strip and to the South, so since we stayed at Luxor (and it is close to the southern end), we chose the South Outlet mall. The Strip bus ends it's route at Mandalay Bay (last hotel on the strip), but then the regular city buses come to continue. People on the bus stop already know, and since Susan talks to everyone around, she quickly found out that info. It's about 3 bus stops from Mandala Bay to the outlet, and the mall is huge. You get inside and then walk through th whole mall inside, while there are some restaurants outside too. Susan immediately started signing for all stores' credit cards, trying to get 10% off the first purchase, but if you just shop it would go much faster. Though the mall is very, very long. The bus comes probably every 15 min, so it's quite easy to get back to town. And every bus stop has machines for buying bus tickets, however you have to have an exact change.

In the evening we did not do much, by our package we had only one show included, and Susan would not spend a full price on any other show. The next day Susan went on that negotiated $40 tour of Hoover dam, but I went to the Strip to enjoy more Strip shopping. Wow. Bellagio has great gallery with stores of all kinds, and then the main mall Miracle Mile mall is great too. Venetian also has like a gallery of stores, but less than at Bellagio. Bellagio actually seemed as the most attractive hotel in general, and next time I'll try to stay there.

The last day we were leaving at 11 pm, but the hotel's checkout was at 11 am, and even Susan with her sweet talking to everyone could not arrange for more time than till noon, so we just booked the next hotel. However, if you will try doing something like this, think twice. Check-in lines are so long, that you'll spend a lot of time to just standing in line. We first thought we might need some rest during daytime, but easily you could just sit at a restaurant or casino, so I would not bother with another hotel next time. However, Susan still dragged me to McDonalds (yeah, I know, it's cheaper), so it was not so enjoyable.

On the way back, if you are using that Bell Trans shuttle bus, you have to call them in advance to arrange for a pick up, and it's an automatic service, you never talk to a person. Of course, Susan used my cellphone, because hers was too expensive to use. So the pickup went fine, and we were at the airport on time. There was some mixup with plane seats in the end, Susan got all middle seat, so she was like "Wow, how come? I can't have a middle seat!", but eventually she talked to the airline agent and they changed her seats. An interesting fact, when you go through security they might miss some liquid items in your bags. I was trying to be honest and asked if I can bring my yogurt with me, and they told me no, so I had to eat it right there (well, I chose to eat it). But Susan squeezed the same yogurt in her bag, and it went unnoticeable. Another tip: if you have a transfer, they will make you check your Duty Free liquor in, and depending on airlines you can pay a fee. So think twice before buying some liquor bottles.

That's my reflections on my first Vegas trip!

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