Posted by: mckenzie68 | May 24, 2010

Making contact on a new planet – Planet Hollywood in Vegas…May 17-19 or Days 29 to 31

After our check out of the Best (I use that word loosely) Western, we set off to find a Laundromat to get some clothes cleaned before we headed to our next destination.  We did find a good little place and Ray learned what it’s like to hang out at a Laundromat … it was really pretty fun.  The tiny lady that ran the place, gave me the low down on which machines to use and she was constantly cleaning.  I loved that!  Ray met a couple of people that were interested in what we were doing.  Ray’s really becoming quite an ambassador for travel.  LOL.

Once we were done, we were off to find our hotel.  I had booked us a room at Planet Hollywood through ‘tripres.com’ and had found a discount code that I was able to use as well, which got us 3 nights at PH with a 24 hour buffet pass … what’s funny is that this room with the buffet pass cost us less than almost any other room that we’ve had through the trip!  Beautiful!

We rode down the strip, found our hotel entrance and dove in.  We garnered a bit of attention with our very full luggage cart, and the bikes, well, they are just the true stars of the show.  It never fails, we get to our destination and people come straight over to speak to us about the bikes.  This was no exception.  Ray eventually got the bikes parked safely in the valet area while I checked in.

Our room was excellent with a hip decor, view of the strip and various bits of memorabilia from the Die Hard movies.  We unpacked, showered and were off to find out what Vegas wanted to offer us this time.

We wandered up and down the strip, watching the various people (EXCELLENT people watching in Vegas) and landed at the Hard Rock Cafe for supper.  We had a really nice waitress named Amber who made the time we spent there a lot of fun.  She was too funny and even sat at our table with us at one point to chat about our tip.  A cool chick to be certain!  After supper we went and booked a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.  Both Ray and I love helicopters and thought the tour would be a really fun way of seeing the canyon, Hoover Dam and the overall area.

We grabbed some soda (I’m speaking American now…notice I didn’t say pop) and a Chelada (that’s a bud with clamato mixed in) and headed back to Planet Hollywood to relax…which isn’t all that easy with those whacked out little porno card flapper guys.  If you’ve been to Vegas, you know what I’m talking about.  Now, I know you are thinking that we just went to bed, but we did gamble.  Yes…$20.  Oh yah baby…we’re big spenders! LOL.  But you know, we played for a long time on that money before we headed up to sleep.

Day 2 in Vegas dawned.  We got up late and found breakfast in the Miracle Mile mall at a place called Aloha…it’s…wait for it…Hawaiian themed.  Did you guess?  =oP.  Once we were fed and full of coffee, we headed back to our room to get ready for our flight to the Grand Canyon.

We were to meet the shuttle bus down in the garage, near the valet area.  We were pretty stoked, and while we waited, we watched various other groups being picked up for their various tours.  We continued to wait as our designated pick up time came and went.  That made us a little nervous.  Just when I was going to run up to the room to grab the phone # of the tour place, the shuttle bus came screaming in and came to a hard stop right in front of us.  The door opened and this wild looking older woman peered at us and pointedly said, ” YOU McKENZIES?”  We were still rather startled by the Duke of Hazard entrance she made using a shuttle bus and only muttered a timid, ‘yes.’  She told us to get on, which we did without argument and we were off like a shot!  We were late you see and the helicopter guys don’t like that since the tours are booked on a tight time line.  She passed cars, rode cars bumpers, you name it, but she got us there in record time!  I won’t lie to you, she scared the heck out of me (and various other people) both on and off the bus.

Once in the terminal we had to get weighed (lovely experience to do in public…but I am happy to report I’m down over 10 lbs from when I left home), be briefed on the safety aspects of what do if we crashed (I figured that if we crashed, I likely wouldn’t have to worry about it) and get divided into flight groups.  Our group had these 3 young guys from India (good kids), this pompous donkey from Italy and us.  Our pilot’s name was Rich and he was superb.  Super nice guy, and really a lot of fun.

In total there were 3 helicopters that were flying out together, I think a total of about 16 people were on our trek.  On the flight out Ray, myself and Donkey were in the front (and of course the pilot) with the three young guys in the back.  We were so lucky as the front of the helicopter was all glass to the sights were excellent!  We flew over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and eventually the Grand Canyon, landing on the floor for a snack and champagne.  I was all excited, because anyone who knows me knows how much I like champagne and I was prepared to get knee deep!

Once we landed, I sat down at a table and met Luuana (this amazing woman who is from South America and is traveling for a year by herself all over North America – she’s a photographer) and  Ivanka (who is from Calgary!).  I got so busy talking to these two gals, that I barely got through my snack let alone my glass of champagne, and we were there for 30 minutes!  LOL.  It was worth it though, these two gals were really excellent.

On the flight home we all rotated seats so Ray and I rode home in the back.  Sadly the one young guy from India got pretty air sick on the way back.  He held it together until we landed (THANK GOODNESS!) which was really a good thing as I can assure you that if he had hurled in the chopper, there would have been a chain reaction set off with me leading the way.  That would have been all bad!

The shuttle back to the hotel was a little van with just Ray, myself, my new buddy Ivanka and her husband Ed.  The rest went on the big shuttle driven by the crazy lady.  Our driver was named Dave.  He was amazing.  He is in his 60’s and has led a life that most people only read about.  He has held a number of different positions – he was in the Air force, an addiction counselor, limo driver for Planet Hollywood (good stories there!), etc.  It seems he changes careers when he gets bored.  Man did he have stories.

We flitted around for a bit, and ended our night by playing our allotted $20 and losing the works.  We had faith that maybe we’d win it back…tomorrow.

Day 3 in Vegas dawned bright and sunny.  It was about 11 am by the time we left the room and figured that today would be the day that we hooked up our 24 hour buffet pass.  Down to the ‘Spice Market Buffet – the #1 Buffet in Las Vegas’ we went.  I told Ray that it was my mission to eat my weight in sea food…so I did.  LOL.  No I didn’t, but I did give it the old college try!

When we felt we had eaten as much as we possibly could (that’s what a buffet is all about, right?) Ray went upstairs to update his daily diary entries (which is what feeds this blog most of the time) while I stayed downstairs to get a head start on gambling my half of the $20 gambling budget.  I almost lost it, but them made an excellent comeback and cashed out when I came up even.  Up to the room I went and got Ray.  In Vegas, you just can’t stay in the room!

We walked to the Luxor to check out the Titanic exhibit.  We’ve both seen it before, and after chatting with the exhibit’s expert (super well informed guy I must say) we decided to forgo the exhibit as there wasn’t enough new to see for the big price they were asking. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the various hotels and people watching.  I was going to get another tattoo, but …

For supper we decided to try the buffet at Paris (our pass gave us access to about 8 different hotel buffets) but the line was SO long, we went off to play the slots at Bally’s.  We did go back, but the line really wasn’t much shorter so it was off the the Spice Market once again.  I again tried to eat my weight in Shrimp, but didn’t succeed.  You’d think I’d get sick of it, wouldn’t you?

Towards the end of the night, we decided to stay another night to look at some LV properties.  The Planet Hollywood was sold out (they have over 2500 rooms and were sold out!!) so we transferred to the PH Towers which is their timeshare development, but also acts as rentals when they are available.  It turns out there was a movie premier happening at PH, so the place was full of fans and the like.  It was pretty cool to see the way the hotel got the red carpet and photography spot ready.  We didn’t know the movie, nor the actors so we didn’t plan on attending.

OH!  AND…we stopped at this place in the Miracle Mile shopping center called ‘The Sugar Factory’.  They have these lollipops with sparkly handles….which you can re-use…the handles not the lollies.  They were really cute and I did like the pink one.  I asked how much one was … and … ready?  It was $25!  I kid you not.  Normally, that lollipop would be $0.69 and the handle maybe $5.00…but not that one!  I picked up my chin and off I went.  Ray almost choked.  Good thing we gave up sugar.

We were both pretty tired from walking (and candy sticker shock) and wanted to hit the sheets early so we could get up and move our stuff to the towers before the bellmen got too busy.  You see, you must use a bellman in PH if you want to use a luggage cart – they’re attached.  So we gambled our $20 and off to grab our beauty sleep.

Rae

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