A Solo Trip 28 Years in the Making-Oct 16-17th, 2012

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by DaveinFallsChurch, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. rokstedy

    rokstedy Mouseketeer

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    Haunting at night? That looked pretty haunting on my well lit laptop in my well lit room.
     
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  3. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Agree with you. It's such a stark contrast to how the statues appear in daylight - just gives you a completely different feel at night.
     
  4. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Arrived in Vegas last night, and spent the day with friends visiting the various casinos. Came across my favorite t-shirt sighting of the trip at the gift shop in Caesar's Palace!

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  5. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Just made a reservation for Napa Rose on the evening of the 17th!
     
  6. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    I just returned from a weekend trip to Las Vegas late last night and thought I'd share a TR with pictures with you while I continue to countdown towards my October DLR trip! A little background about this Vegas trip. In 2003, I joined a fantasy football league made up of my friends from my pediatric residency. Some were a year or two ahead of me and some were in my class. Since then, we made the draft a big get together event which continued way after we all went our separate ways in our careers. For the most part, the draft was hosted at one of my friend's house in Indianapolis every August. Then in 2010, the idea was suggested that we get together at a city other than Indy. 2010 it was Vegas. 2011 we got together in Chicago. This year, we decided to go back to Vegas. 9 out of the 12 friends in the league made it out to Vegas this year. It's such a great way to catch up with the guys.

    Most of my friends spent time gambling. I on the other hand do not particularly enjoy gambling so I had some opportunities to walk around the Strip and take pictures. We also got to try out some good food, and caught the Blue Man Group show.

    Night 1 (August 16th)
    I headed to the BWI airport straight from work to catch my 6:50pm flight. It always make me smile that I can spot the gates for a flight to Las Vegas just by looking at the people in the waiting area. :lmao: The flight was uneventful and we landed in LV at 9pm local time (which would 12am for my internal clock). For the first night, I ended up booking Planet Hollywood Casino/Hotel to save some money. Hotel was nice but definitely caters to a younger crowd. The room was clean. I lucked out with a room on the 31st floor with a southern Strip View.

    Views from my room - Not bad at all! I mean, where else can you get a view of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, AND the great pyramid shooting a laser into the sky in one sitting?
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    Across the street, I could see a rock concert happening in the swimming pool area at The Cosmopolitan. I never figured out who the band or singer was, but there were a lot of people packed in that area.

    I was starving since I hadn't eaten anything since lunch. They had a Earl of Sandwich in the casino! Always wanted to try it everytime we've been at WDW but never got a chance to. So I took this opportunity to try out their Italian sandwich. My expectations must have been too high - was not as good as I was hoping it to be. I called up my friends who had arrived a few hours earlier than I did, and they were headed to the Mirage. So I grabbed my camera, and made my way up the Strip while snapping some pictures.

    As I exited Planet Hollywood, the concert at the Cosmopolitan reached its finale with a release of confetti that eventually blew over to Las Vegas Blvd. You can sort of see the reflections off the confetti in this picture.

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    Starting making my way north. The fountains at the Bellagio finished its show right as I was coming out. I would have to come back at another time for that.

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    Walked past in front of Paris Casino/Hotel. Reminded me of Epcot. ;)

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    Also found it funny that on the replica of Arc de Triomphe, there was a huge projection of a British celebrity chef. :rotfl:

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    Crossed the street once I passed Paris. On the bridge and standing over the middle of Las Vegas Blvd, got a beautiful view of the strip. They had plexi-glass lining the whole bridge, so was hard snap a picture without getting reflections.

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    Walked in front of Caesar's Palace which now always makes me think of the movie Hangover!

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    And across the street was Harrah's.

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    I got to the Mirage and met up my friends who most I hadn't seen in a year. We walked around a bit at the Forum Shops which were of course now all closed. Then made our way inside the Bellagio. By then, it was already midnight, so I decided to turn in and planned to meet up with them the next morning. All of them were staying at the Wynn, so they caught a cab back to their rooms. After I got back to my room, I spent about 15-20 minutes sitting in a chair by the window and staring at the scenery outside. Then I turned in for the night.
     
  7. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Great shots of the strip. Someday I will get there...someday.
     
  8. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I've got more pics coming!
     
  9. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 (Friday, August 17th)

    Having gone to bed at 1am, I was hoping to sleep in a little but that proved to be challenging given the 3-hour time change my body was still getting used to. So I woke up at 5am, and after a futile effort to fall back asleep, I finally got out of bed around 6am. I was ready for a BIG breakfast. I texted all of my friends to see if anyone was up and interested in going to breakfast but got no replies. I would later found out that the texts did wake a few of them up prematurely, which they were extremely appreciative of……not.

    I walked over to Hash House A Go Go located in the Imperial Palace. This was one of those breakfast places that had several locations on this side of the country, the first one being in San Diego. I had my heart set on trying it when I was in San Diego with the kids, but couldn’t get to it. So I was excited to try it here in Vegas. Plus, it has the Adam Richman’s Man vs. Food stamp of approval so what more could you ask for? I really wish I had brought my camera along because the restaurant had some fun décor. I ordered the Tractor Combo which came with a pancake and home fries. Ordered a side of sausage too. The diameter of the pancake was equivalent to a small size pizza! It tasted very good!! Would go back in a heartbeat!

    After breakfast, I walked back to my room. It was only 8:00am. I loved walking down Las Vegas Blvd this early in the morning. So empty and peaceful which is a complete contrast to how things look at night time. As soon as I got back to my room, one of my friends calls me and says a few of them are thinking about going out for breakfast at a place in Caesar’s Palace. A second breakfast? Hobbits do, so why can’t I?? I packed everything up quickly and checked out of my room, and grabbed a cab to meet them over at the Wynn. I think this hotel and Aria were my two favorites. The lobby area is very well done although I’m sure in 10 years will start looking outdated.

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    The view from my friends’ room.

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    That’s the golf course that belongs to Wynn/Encore Resort. Couldn’t see a single soul on the course. I guess golfing in 90-100 degree heat is not appealing.

    Saw this in their bathroom and had to snap a pic.

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    Thought it was funny that they went out of the way to point out that it was an emergency/backup roll of toilet paper. As opposed to for some other use?

    After stashing my bags in one of my friends’ room, we headed to Caesars Palace and sat down at a restaurant called Central. While we were waiting for a table, I walked around the lobby area.

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    This view of the lobby reminded me of one of my favorite dialogues from The Hangover between Alan and the front desk staff.

    Alan: Can I ask you a question?
    Staff: Sure.
    Alan: You probably gets this a lot. This isn’t the real Caesars Palace, is it?
    Staff: What do you mean?
    Alan: Did Caesar live here?

    I actually was going through that scene with a friend of mine when we entered the gift shop and came across this awesome t-shirt!!

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    And another Hangover shirt with……Carlos!!

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    The restaurant was nice. I was still very full from my first breakfast only an hour earlier. I ordered a side plate of fruit and their yogurt parfait which was excellent.
     
  10. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Posting this from the National Zoo with DD on a Snore and Roar Sleepover. Finished the flashlight tour of the zoo and DD is fast asleep in the tent. I'm just sitting outside the tent enjoying the night time noises of the zoo and browsing DISboards. Will try to post pics at a later time.
     
  11. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    My dining reservations for both the Anaheim and San Diego portions of my trip are almost complete. These are all for dinners.

    Tuesday, October 16th (Anaheim): Roy's (Gardenwalk)
    Wednesday, 17th (Anaheim): Napa Rose
    Thursday, 18th (San Diego): Nobu
    Friday, 19th (San Diego): Jsix
    Saturday, 20th (San Diego): Georges Ocean Terrace (La Jolla)

    Nobu is the only one I don't have a reservation set yet as they only take them one month ahead of time. Only place out of these restaurants that I've tried before is Georges Ocean Terrace which I enjoyed quite a bit. Food was pretty good, but it's the view and the atmosphere that really had me sold. Also looking forward to dining with some of my friends and colleagues at the conference in San Diego, some of whom I haven't seen in a long time!
     
  12. 204charity

    204charity DIS Veteran

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    Oh, that sounds like so much fun Dave! Maybe reading your DL PTR will make me want to do DL after-all! And having my favourite Dis-er go before me will just make our time there that much better, cause I am sure you will have loads of tips and suggestions for us should we decide to go there. My family lives in San Clemente, and I am trying to figure out which airport to fly into.....you wouldn't have any idea would you? :confused3
     
  13. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    I think that's almost exactly halfway between San Diego and LA. I would guess that either should be fine and pick one that is the cheaper airport. :goodvibes
     
  14. NStramler

    NStramler Mouseketeer

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    Just be glad you are not in San Diego today. That area of California is a rockin' and a rolling.... gotta' love our earthquakes.
     
  15. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Was relieved to hear that there have been no injuries so far and minor damage (per CNN). We're a bunch of newbies over here in the East Coast when it comes to earthquakes - most of us didnt know what to do when we had that 5.8 in the DC area a year ago and afterwards couldn't stop talking about it. ;)
     
  16. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Day 2/ Night 2 (August 17th)

    We walked down through Bellagio then took the tram to City Center and made our way to Aria. I once again regretted not having my camera with me so I decided I would have to come back by myself at a later time. At the Aria, learned how the craps game works by watching a couple of my friends play. It had always been a mystery for me whenever I see a scene on TV or in the movies with people hooting and hollering at the craps table but at least now I finally understand how it works.

    We took a cab back to the Wynn around 3pm and I picked up my bags and checked in at Treasure Island.

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    I had to take one for the group since we needed a room big enough to host the draft for our fantasy football league which meant booking a room at one of the relatively older hotels. Really wish I could have stayed at the Wynn though. My room at the TI was nice enough – can’t really complain about it. Once again, lucked out with a Strip view, but of course that meant getting a full view of the Wynn and the Encore just to rub things in. :rotfl:

    Views from my room.

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    I tried to take a short nap before heading out again to meet up with everyone for dinner. Couldn’t really fall asleep even though I was exhausted. Dinner was at 7pm. So I headed out to do more sightseeing on my own at 6pm. Crossed the street over to the Palazzo Shops and walked around the connecting mall of the Grand Canal Shoppes as well. Both malls were beautiful.

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    Over on the Palazzo side, I came across……

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    Divine! Oh, there’s more than one!! Does Disney know about this? ;)
    I may be biased, but I didn’t think they were as good as the one in Animal Kingdom.

    There was a wine and cheese tasting party happening in this atrium so I couldn’t get close to the fountains for pictures.

    Walked over the Canals. Live entertainment of singers and jugglers were out on the stage.

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    And of course, the gondola rides fully equipped with singing gondaliers.

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    Walked over to the Palazzo lobby which was also a lot more pleasing to the eye than Treasure Island’s.

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    Finally it was dinner time at a Asian restaurant called Zine located in the casino area of the Palazzo. Food was decent, but nothing to rave about. I had to Sczechuan scallops. They wouldn’t give me a side of fried rice, only white rice was available for the side. If I wanted fried rice, I would have to order a full entrée portion. Talk about being stingy. Had some dumplings as appetizers, but once again was just ok. Wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference from the dumplings I later got from one of the buffet brunches.

    After dinner, we watched the Blue Man Group. It was entertaining but it seemed to be the exact same show I saw 10 years before when it was back at the Luxor.
     
  17. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    That's just....weird. Divine is all vine and leaves and does not belong in the middle of a shopping mall. Just weird.....


    Dave, I don't know how you do it...first your pictures made me want to go back to Williamsburg when I hadn't thought about that trip in years. Then I really wanted to see DC again and all the monuments. And now....well now I just HAVE to go to Vegas! Great pics!
     
  18. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    The weirdest part of that scene was when the two Divines started posing with some of the VIPs in the wine/cheese tasting event for pictures in the middle of the mall.

    Thanks for the kind words! I'm trying to get as much practice as I can for the big event in October. Hoping to upgrade my standard lens before the trip, but not sure if I'll have enough money saved up by then. Got a new memory card though which has room for 4000 pictures. That should be enough for my trip, right? :rotfl:
     
  19. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    The National Zoo welcomed two cheetah cubs a few months ago and they were introduced to the public last month. Here are some pics I got when we went to see them.

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  20. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Awww...how adorable! I want a cheetah to play with too ::yes::
     
  21. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    We're headed out to the zoo again tomorrow to get a look at the new American Trail (Sea Lions, Seals, Bald eagle) that is opening this weekend. :thumbsup2
     

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