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Hedy 12-27-2008 09:57 AM

Hedy and Lexie Rock Vegas-A TR
Hello all! I’m Heather, AKA Hedy, a 24 year old vacation freak. I like cats, spending too much time on the Internet, and watch too much Food Network. I frequently travel solo, but this trip had a companion in the form of:
Lexie. Lexie is a grad student in physics. We met our first year of college. It was between semesters on a cold January day. I opened the door to my residence, decided it was too cold to go to my non-credit class, and closed the door. I then realized there was a girl I didn’t recognize on the front step. Lexie has no recollection of this. Lexie is my person, in the platonic Cristina Yang/Meredith Grey sense. Her grad program is in icy Chicago, and I miss her terribly.

What: A trip to Vegas. I’d been three times previously with my parents and grandmother in ’99, ’00, and ’01, staying at Luxor, Bally, and the hotel formerly known as the Aladdin, respectively. I’d been wanting to go to Vegas now that I was legal for a few years. However, I have a slight Planet Hollywood addiction, and wanted to wait until the hotel was open. I got an ad for it at the NYC one in August 07, and I planned to go in 08. When Lexie was visiting over Christmas, she mentioned wanting to go to Vegas. I suggested she join me.

Where: Where to stay..the key ingredient in many vacations, no? Inspired by Michelle/TheDISneyfamily’s TR from last year, I knew good buys were to be had in mid-December. After signing up for about every Vegas hotel’s e-mail list, and scoured, I ended up booking the Mirage.

When: After waiting for direction from Lexie (after all, I get vacation time while she gets school vacations), we decided on the second week of December. I had no difficulty getting the time off work, as it came after our busy season. (Hang onto that thought).

So we were planned-I continued to search for hotel deals. We decided to see a Cirque show-Lexie wanted to see either Mystere or Zumanity, Zumanity was dark so we got Mystere tickets. We also made reservations at Enoteca San Marco (Mario Batali) for dinner one night. Lexie does middle eastern dance, and she was able to arrange a class with a big name there (this lady danced at Celine Dion’s wedding).

Then in early November I got a new job (yay!) I was able to get my planned vacation off. On Friday (one week before we were going to go), I got an e-mail from Harrah’s, with a drop-dead awesome deal for Bally’s-I debated whether to suggest it to Lexie as it was so close, but then SHE was asking about a better deal, so we booked it the Sunday before we were leaving.

I woke up the day we were going to leave a bit worried-central MA had been hit by a nasty ice storm, and not only did I have to drive towards central MA for work, but I was worried my flight would be delayed or cancelled. I drove to work safely, but it was cancelled, so I drove home, to psychotically check my flight’s status on every 15 seconds. We drove to Logan with no issues-traditionally either an exit is closed or we get lost whenever I’m going someplace alone from Logan. I got through security, grabbed dinner at Johnny Rocket’s. The JetBlue terminal has really been built up since I was there last December-I think it’s due to them working with Cape Air. I waited to be called. Meanwhile, I was texting Googletext like a high schooler checking on the status of Lexie’s flight. It was delayed about 15 minutes, which wasn’t horrible-I think it’s the law that every flight in or out of O’Hare must be delayed. As I was getting settled in the plane, my phone went off-Lexie had been told her flight was delayed an hour-which would get us in at the same time. Of course, this came right as they were having us turn off our cellphones, so I left her a quick message to text me once she got in. This was my first time getting the extra legroom seats-they were well worth the $40 round trip. Also, while I loved the prices I got on SWA this summer, and how easily I could change my Fay ticket, it was REALLY nice to be able to go to Ferdie’s concert at school 24 hours before my flight was to take off and not worry about check in.
I landed in Las Vegas, Lexie had arrived maybe 45 minutes ahead of me. I got my shuttle Bells trans-no complaints-I was the only one in the shuttle. I got out at Bally’s, and was pleasantly surprised to see we had been upgraded to the (renovated) North Tower. I let myself into our room, and Lexie and I caught up before we went to bed.

Up next: Player’s Clubs, beware! We hit the strip.

DisneyJo 12-27-2008 10:59 AM

Great start Hedy, can't wait for more :goodvibes

Goofyluver 12-27-2008 11:17 AM

:hyper: I can't wait!

TheDISneyFamily 12-27-2008 06:54 PM

Did someone say Vegas, baby?!?!?! I can't wait to hear all about your trip. Sounds good to me so far. :thumbsup2 Looking forward to hearing about Enoteca San Marco. Tell me you took pics! I'm so glad you got to go, Hedy! :hug: I've gotta tell Jordan you started this TR. She is dying to go back to Vegas!!!

Take care,

LurrrvtheDuck 12-27-2008 09:54 PM

:cool2: OoooooH!! Vegas!!! I'm so glad you started this, I had seen your ticker and was wondering about.

I'm dying to go back too!

KatGarcia 12-28-2008 06:37 PM

Wooo Hoooo Vegas!!!!

Hedy 12-29-2008 10:12 PM

I woke up around 5:00 am Vegas time, or 8:00am home time. Lexie was kind of up and snivelling, she was on the tail end of a cold. We tried to stay asleep, but it was hard, coming from EST and central time. We eventually got up around 7:30. I called my mom and checked in, while she did the same with her fiancé. I suggested we meander the strip, and Lexie was amenable. I was slightly worried her perception of the strip would be slightly skewed-I kept ongoing back to the first time my grandmother went with us, and she said of the strip’s distance “I thought everything was going to be in a row.”
We exited via Paris, which we would do a lot this trip. Lexie wanted to stop and take pictures, she commented that it reminded her of France at Epcot. LOL (extra LOL given she hasn’t been to WDW since ’01).’m pretty sure I’ve seen these at France. We exited Paris, and headed along the strip. We popped into Bill’s, because they advertised $3 Coronas…I mean because they had a Tix4Tonight booth. Nothing earth-shattering in their theatre selection, but we found out they also have a discounted dining program-in fact, if we were willing to wait until Monday for the Village buffet for breakfast, we could get it cheaper. I was amused by the fact that they now make eBay slots. not getting anything at Bill’s, we pressed on.
The rodeo was in town. I had read this on the Las Vegas Advisors’ site before I booked the trip, but it didn’t really register until we got there-there were men in cowboy hats EVERYWHERE. Also, Crown Royal was sponsoring the rodeo, so there were offers for Crown Royal everywhere. We hopped the pedestrian crossing (which I love, btw) and we found ourelves over on the Caesar’s Palace side of the street. We admired the architecture; Lexie was impressed by the size of it. We then walked to the Mirage, where we had been planning on staying. We admired the aquarium in the lobby. Lexie wanted to go see the tigers, so we headed out that way (in my original e-mail discussing some possible hotels, my note for Mirage was “Mirage-they have tigers!”) However, Lexie decided it wasn’t worth the $15 each, so we headed onto the hotel formerly known as Treasure Island (is it now TI?)
We were greeted with a sign informing us that “The Sirens of TI” were dark the whole time we were there. Boo. I liked their old show, but was kind of apprehensive about the new one-a former co-worker had summed it up as “It’s just girls dancing on a boat,” and if that’s the review a 20-something guy gives it, I think that says something. Around this time, Lexie stated she wanted coffee from a “non-Starbucks coffee shop.” We located where the Mystere theater was, and headed out.
I was stunned by how huge the Fashion Show Mall looked compared to when I saw it last. We crossed the street again and entered the Wynn-which was new since I was there (amusing story-when the shuttle driver was asking when my last trip was, I said “The “new” Aladdin had just opened.” He replied “Oh, so the Wynn and Palazzo are new to you.”) liked the Wynn, but I really expected it to be knock-your-socks of fabulous. I found it on a par with the Bellagio (and I love the Bellagio). We window shopped a bit (and thought this sign was quite the economic indicator). stopped at a café called the drugstore and got drink-Lexie got coffee, I got a hot chocolate. It wasn’t overwhelmingly fabulous. We headed out of the Wynn, and crossed over to the Palazzo. The Palazzo’s shopping area was very nice, it reminded me a bit of Copley Place. We crossed over to the Venetian. I find the false sky at the Venetian a little hokey, but it’s cute. We debated a gondola ride, but decided it was too expensive. We admired some items in store windows. was shocked at how thirsty I was-I was so thirsty I bought a bottle of Aquafina (I hate filtered water, I much prefer spring).
We then headed out to go to the Imperial Palace. We poked around a couple of their stores, then headed over to Harrahs’. As soon as we got there, I noticed that their Total Rewards booth was open, so I got in line to sign up. No sooner had Lexie asked what we were doing, than we were called. We got beads, a two for one comedy act admission (only Tues-Sat, so we opted out), and a fleece hat/gloves. W00t! As we were leaving, Lexie turned to me “What does this card do?” “it’s like a CVS card for gambling,” I grossly oversimplified.
We passed the Flamingo, and decided to stop off at our room to drop our spoils.
Up next…the first slot pull of the trip

LurrrvtheDuck 01-06-2009 03:29 PM

Loving the pics!! I wanna go to Vegas!!

Did you guys go into Ceaser's Palace? Their mall is pretty cool and they even have the hokey sky too. :rolleyes:

You used to be able to kinda see the tigers through a window, don't know about now though. :confused3

Sucks about the Sirens show :sad2:

I cannot believe that shoe sale :eek: Wow!

Can't wait to read more! popcorn::

Hedy 01-12-2009 10:05 PM

We stopped off at our room, where in the span of five minutes I managed to read through the myriad of coupon books and read them to Lexie like she was five (“There’s an atomic testing museum, do you want to go there?”) I suggested we head towards the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood, as I had a gift certificate for a Restaurant there. We entered, and after a brief stop in Sephora, we headed off to the Restaurant-it’s called Ocean One, and I recommend it highly-food was good, there were multiple vegetarian options, and it was very affordable-even without the gc. thunderstorm was going on as we passed into the casino proper. Given she had passed away right before we went away, I found this store a little noteworthy The casino itself doesn’t look that different than when it was the Aladdin. We found the a-list club and waited in line-it was the longest line we’d seen all day. Now, I love Planet Hollywood, and I was thrilled to finally be at their casino. I joke that I am notorious-I go into either the NYC or Orlando PH, order my Pasta Pomodoro, and get great service. So Lexie is ahead of me, and finishes first. I am taking a while*. I get my coupon book, my card, and an explanation on how to get $5 in free slot play, then $15 if I played $40. The coupon book included coupons for the buffet (which I remembered being good when it was the Aladdin) and Earl of Sandwich, I liked having a card that said “Planet Hollywood a-list,” and free slot play is free slot play..I was a happy girl.
There was a big slot machine where you could pull for free and potentially win something. Lexie had not won anything. The employee scanned by card and I pulled. 555 came up. Oh, boy, I thought, $5 more in free slot play. Then I re-checked the guide…$5 in free slot play…and two FREE TICKETS TO STOMP! Woohoo! I had to wait a bit for them to get the voucher, then we headed up and got our tickets (for the next-Sunday-night, as we had Mystere tickets for that night). After that, we went up to the holiday boutique they had advertised. That place was where skeezy went to die. Old bottles of perfume, hair products, some jewelry-it was like a flea market gone wrong. We then headed out to the strip.
I’m sure City Center will be nice, but atm it is a metric ton of construction. Also, did I mention it was crazy windy? I was worried Lexie might blow away, and the grit was crazy flying. We headed down the strip, Lexie pointed out the Walgreens she had been to the night before. We passed the Coke and M&M stores, then we headed into the MGM Grand. We stopped to look at the lions-they were being very cute. We then got our players club cards, as the person was taking my information, I started to say that I had a Dream Rewards card from the MGM Grand in Foxwoods, she immediately told me they were not related. We got our cards, and Lexie went to use the bathroom. I played $1 in a nickle slot and won $1.60. Woohoo. We debated going to New York, New York, but decided to head over to the Bellagio instead. We decidsed to take the monorail back to Bally’s-the 24 hour pass was spendy, but we figured we could also use it that night and to get to downtown Vegas the next day. On our long trek to the monorail, we stopped by an eyeglass shop and got free vitamin water (see, my read everything I see can pay off!) We bought our monorail tickets and hopped on. It says something about me that I expect to hear “Please stand clear of the doors…favor de matengase**…” on a monorail, right? I was surprised I didn’t see any remnants of the old theme park behind MGM. We got off at Bally’s, and headed up to the main level, pausing at this weird game/vending thingy Yes, those are real lobsters. I’m sure there are parts of the strip that benefit from the expanded monorail, but I felt like back when the MGM/Bally’s monorail was free we used it a lot more to get to the far end of the strip.
We were off to the Bellagio, I loved their conservatory. However, I do find it funny that I was excited it was snowing inside…not it snows in MA or anything. Also, I’m a little bepuzzled by the Bellagio’s under-18 policy-I saw strollers every 10 feet. It was back to Bally’s for primping before Cirque.
We started combing the guidebooks for places to eat-Lexie was looking to save money, so we were struggling to find a cheap place that was vegetarian friendly. We finally decided on a Vietnamese place at TI. We headed out, and took the monorail to the Harrah’s/IP stop. Getting out of Harrah’s was not fun…it’s not like I read about how out of the way the monorail stand is on Bendy’s blog or anything….We originally started going down the strip the wrong way (oops) and then we got where we needed to be. We crossed over to TI, then found the restaurant.
By this time it was 6pm. According to our Cirque tickets, we needed to be in the theatre by half an hour before the show started, Aka 6:30. Now, I am psychotic about being early, this has been going on since the day I was born. To say I was anxious would be like saying that water is a little wet. The waitperson came after about seven minutes.
“Hey, I know this isn’t your problem, but we have tickets to Mystere, so prompt service would be appreciated as we need to be out of here around 6:30.” I smiled.
“Oh no problem, don’t worry, it doesn’t start until 7.” She replied. Now, I try to think I’m a fairly easy customer to deal with-I spent much of my teenage years working in retail, and I just finished two years in a call center. But I kind of think she should have taken my comment about 6:30 and run with it, given that Mystere is located in the same dang hotel that she works in. She arrived, my Coke was iceless (yay!) but my spring rolls were gummy, and Lexie was not a fan of her pho. I paid the bill, and headed out to get in line for the cirque tickets. There was a bit of a line, also, people seemed a little puzzled that if you had paid TicketMaster you had fees which made your tickets more expensive than the listed price. I got our tickets, and we were shown to our seats.
Now, I’m going to blatantly pat myself on the back-I had gone back and forth on which of the cheapest sections to buy our tickets in, our seats rocked. They were right at the split of two sections, so we could see a lot both on stage and right in front of us. As neither of us had eaten much dinner, I got a thing of popcorn-it was $6 for a huge tub, which I thought was pretty reasonable. Apparently no one else had gotten the be there at 6:30 memo, as people were continuing to trickle in to the theatre. There was a brief sort of pre-show thing, which was very funny. But sakes alive, there were people on either side of us that would not shut the heck up. Now, Lexie and I love to snark on people at times, but these people would not shut up the entire show! So the show is going on, and from the divider thing there pops a performer in annoying girl’s face. As I later put it to Lexie-there is karma, and then there is a scary French clown to the face. I really liked Mystere, as did Lexie. I recommend it highly, although it is the only Cirque show I’ve seen. We took the monorail to Bally’s, and returned to the room, planning on going to brunch at Paris and Downtown Vegas the next day.
*My license is slightly bent at the corner, which made it slightly hard for them to scan it. This gave a couple of ID checkers pause. Irony is that I bent my license when I was doing a secret shop to check on ID’s.
**This is the text alert on my phone. True story.

DisneyJo 01-13-2009 07:14 AM

Great photos Hedy, I really must go there one day :thumbsup2

LurrrvtheDuck 01-14-2009 04:08 PM

OMG the Bellagio conservatory is so pretty!! :lovestruc

Is Ocean One on the actual strip? Your food looked yummy.

I would love to see a Cirque show, but they're so pricey. :faint:

Great update !

Hedy 01-14-2009 04:13 PM


Originally Posted by LurrrvtheDuck (Post 29672515)
OMG the Bellagio conservatory is so pretty!! :lovestruc

Is Ocean One on the actual strip? Your food looked yummy.

I would love to see a Cirque show, but they're so pricey. :faint:

Great update !

Ocean One is in the mall connected to Planet Hollywood-so right off the strip.

LurrrvtheDuck 02-03-2009 08:33 AM

Anymore updates? popcorn::

Hedy 02-21-2009 06:29 PM

Sorry this installment took so long. New job has kept me busy.
We woke up, and headed over to Paris. Harrah’s will swipe your Players Club card for points at their restaurants, so we each paid separately. Breakfast at the Village Buffet did not disappoint-it was excellent-with croissants, crepes, and cheese. Both Lexie and I are vegetarians who do not like eggs, but we each ate well. We then trekked back to the monorail. We rode to the Sahara. On the way, the monorail voice told us that monorail came from “mono, meaning one, and “rail,” meaning, well, rail.” Lexie thought this was stolen from the Simpsons. Lexie also said that my mother would be proud of us-the only gambling we’d done for far was my $1 at the MGM Grand, and we hadn’t had any alcohol yet. View from monorail. This poster was between the monorail and the Sahara. It was a lot funnier when we were there (about 6 weeks after the presidential election). We got off at the Saraha, and after getting directions, caught the bus to downtown. The bus was pretty much a locals bus, until all the tourists who weren’t us got on by the Stratosphere (while I had found the Stratosphere to be a total yawn on previous trips, I did have one of my cooler vacation experiences there-as I was browsing in their Bath and Body Works in ’99, a woman who was auditioning for roles in Vegas shows came in and gave the cashier the run down of the biz). We got out at the Fremont Street Experience.
Now, I was not a fan of Downtown Vegas in ’99, and generally requested to stay in an arcade or mall on the strip when my parents went there in following trips, but I was hoping that I might like it better. We started off going into Fitzgeralds, which I picked out purely because my parents got a free digital watch there in the mid-90’s and gave it to me. got our player club cards, and set to playing. We played deal or no deal for a bit, Lexie did not win, I won around $5. We then started walking down the downtown areawhen I saw it-it being Mermaids, where I heard they had deep fried Twinkies.
“I’m getting a deep-fried twinkie. Want one?” Lexie declined. Mermaid’s deep-fried snack bar stood up to the descriptions I had read online-slightly dark, reeking of oil, and like something out of a 1950’s B movie. I ordered my Twinkie. Lexie went into the bathroom, perhaps to call my mother to assure her that she had tried to stop me, and to ensure that my cats would be taken care of in the event that this Twinkie did me in. My twinkie came out, covered in powdered sugar as all deep-fried sweets ought to be. I nibbled-it actually wasn’t half bad-the deep frying added a layer of crispy goodness. I had a few more bites, then we headed out of Mermaids.
Our next stop was the Golden Nugget, which, while pretty, was not terribly exciting. Lexie and I then mutually agreed that while we had seen downtown Vegas, we were ready to head back. The bus stop for our bus was next to the bus station, and showed a different side of Vegas. There were billboards for bailbondsmen (noteable as the OJ verdict had come down only weeks earlier) and a plethora of “no-tell motels,” of which it was hard to tell the abandoned ones from the active ones. boarded the bus, and got off at the Sahara. As we were walking to the monorail, we directed a pair of women towards the Sahara-Lexie noted that a bag they were carrying was from a supermarket in Australia/New Zealand. We boarded the monorail, and headed back to Bally’s.
Lexie wanted to rest, as she was fighting a cold. “You can go gamble, and get a big drink to drink, or something.” She offered.
Would I take her advice?

KatGarcia 02-21-2009 06:53 PM

Why on earth would you go to freemont during the day?? :goodvibes It is soooo boring in the daytime, the night is when its much more fun! I had a deep fried twinkie too, it was decent, very sweet but edible. And yes the stand was gross where you buy it lol, but oh well.

Glad you updated! I miss Vegas!

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