A Travellerspoint blog

Las Vegas Trip - Day 4

Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Treasure Island, The Venetian

sunny 33 °C

Last full day in Vegas, boo! Woke up invigorated, planning to squeeze in as many last minute things as possible. Shower and get ready, then end up taking the bus down to Mandalay Bay to check out the south end. Getting off the bus the first thing you spot is the Luxor with its giant black pyramid and the sphinx out front. Unfortunately it does not fall on my list of priorities to get done that day, so a few snapshots and into the Mandalay Bay we go. We are planning to go to The Burger Bar for lunch and take a path outside to cross the resort. Passing by the pool area you can estimate how big it is, which is pretty large. You can see the lazy river and people floating by, and the sand that they supposedly shipped in to make it seem like an authentic beach. I yearn to swim and play around in the wave pool! But I didn't wear my swimsuit, so it's an unlikely course to follow that day.

We end up coming across the shark reef at Mandalay for a reason, which we were going to do after lunch, but end up taking care of since we are there already. Now unlike the gallery at the Bellagio, this is worth the price of the ticket ($16). Along with a variety of sharks it also houses alligators, piranas, a komodo dragon, jellyfish, stingrays, starfish, and tons of variety in fish, including a blowfish (my favorite). They provide you with a handheld radio that allows for you to key in a number and listen to info about whatever species station you happen to be visiting at that time. Towards the end of tour you actually find yourself walking through a ship hull that they have customized into a part of the aquarium which is very neat. I love aquariums and could likely spend all day in them if possible

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After the aquarium we walk around until we find The Burger Bar, nestled in with all the shops in Mandalay Bay. The menu does not disappoint from what I was lead to believe from restaurant reviews. You have your choice of burger, and then of multiple buns and side, and then of an extensive list of toppings that span from the top to the bottom of the menu. Everything from sprouts to grilled asparagus to peppered bacon and proscutto to homemade aioli to smoked salmon or foie gras or truffles. The patties themselves come in many forms such as angus beef, kobe beef, turkey, vegetarian, and others. I opt for the vegetarian and add pepperjack cheese, cucumber, and sprouts. As a side you can choose from skinny fries, regular fries, curly fries, onion rings, or zucchini fries. I try the zucchini fries and instantly fall in love. The burger too was absolutely amazing, and very very filling. I also indulged in a Nutella milkshake, which consists of chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, Nutella, chocolate whipped cream, whole hazelnuts and chocolate chips. It's like heaven in my mouth.

Mandalay Bay has an Urban Outfitters located just down from The Burger Bar, which makes this place my eden. Pick up a few more things while there since there were some amazing deals to be had. Head back to the hotel and decide to hit the pool, since I've been in Vegas for 4 days now and haven't been there once. The pool isn't anything overly fancy, it's very pretty with columns and statues and a large circular pool. But it's not anything really cool looking like that at Mandalay Bay. I sprawl out in a chair trying to soak up some sunlight and maybe get a shade of tan while reading a book. It gets so hot that I go for a swim in water that seems abnormally cold considering how hot it is outside (makes me suspect that they intentionally cool the pool down). Tan for a bit longer, then back to the hotel room to grab a shower and get dressed again, heading out to explore more of the strip.

Hop on a bus planning to head up and check out the Strastosphere, but en route I notice the time and that a showing of the Sirens at Treasure Island will be in a few minutes. So I hop off at the nearest stop and watch the show from across the street. I thought it would be more old-fashioned, kind of like singing from The Little Mermaid. Instead it's a bunch of scantily clad women dancing around and singing on a ship while men on another ship dance and hollar back. Then they launch some cannon balls, fire and fireworks ensue. The women sing and dance more, sink the men's ship and hoorah! More fireworks. It was actually pretty entertaining considering what I thought it would be versus what it was.

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I travel down the street and find myself just in time to catch the volcano eruption at The Mirage again, so I watch it from across the street to get another view. It's different to watch from afar, nowhere near the scalding heat that the pyrotechnics set off. Satisfied with my double viewing I then find myself wandering down to finally get a good view of The Venetian during daylight. I explore the insides, marvelling at how gorgeous the the painting on the ceilings and the general decor is, along with the indoor canals and the gondolas floating by. Inside there is a female gondolier, which is an interesting sight to see. She can definitely hold it up to the boys. I finally wander outside and set myself up to take my gondola ride.

The sun is starting to set when I climb into the gondola. My driver that night is a guy named Chas, who formally introduces himself complete with handshake. I share the gondola with another couple who are from New Jersey and seem quite nice. Chas seems to be quite the chatter and keeps striking up a conversation with me. I inquire as to if you need to be italian to be a gondolier and he says that he was in fact born in Italy, and all of them are of italian decent. While going through one of the tunnels he sings a song in Italian and his voice actually shocks me. I didn't expect such a strong, beautiful voice from him. I must admit the singing, the tunnel, the boat .. the sum of all the parts made the experience something memorable that I am likely not to forget anytime soon.

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I decide to walk the way back to the resort since it's only a block or two, making sure to stop inside Margaritaville and get a good look around, but passing on an actual margarita since the lineup is absolutely insane. Next time I suppose. I do end up stopping in Flamingo's though and indulging in a 99 cent margarita that has entirely too much tequila in it, but is very tasty despite the low low price. Not sure what to do to fill the rest of my night I roll around the idea of catching a Cirque show on my last day there. Unfortunately Tix4Tonight was closed, so I had to deal with the box office and full prices. I scoot over to the Bellagio and to the ticket office, and ta da! Tickets were still available. I end up settling for one in the balcony since the floor tickets are much more pricey ($180). Ka tickets are a little less pricey but the show starts in 30 minutes, hardly enough time to change and catch the show on time at the MGM. So I opt for 'O' which is at the Bellagio, and gives me an hour and a half to prepare. I purchase my ticket, slightly giddy and rush back to the hotel to change.

An argument ensues, naturally. I change into a black dress, slight curl in my hair, then throw on a cardigan and a pair of five inch heels that I will later regret. Why? It started with the cobblestone floors in Paris, and then the escalators, and motorized paths, and the stairs, and the fact that I'm not used to wearing heels. By the time I made it to the theatre I had to kick my shoes off and supress whimpers. Sure, I looked good, but at this cost? The theatre was full for the show, and from curtains opening until the curtains closing it was breathtaking. 'O' involves air acrobats, floor work, firedancing, and also synchronized swimming with its stage and the ability to go from solid ground to pool. It was captivating, beautiful, and worth every single penny of the ticket price. The good thing was even the worst seat in the house had an amazing view. Quality over quantity, which works for me. If I ever go back, Ka will be on my agenda.

After the show, having not eaten since The Burger Bar I decide to grab the early breakfast at Le Cafe Ile St. Louis in Paris. Maybe I was biased and it wasn't that bad, I figured. Not really actually. My pancake was undercooked, the eggs barely cooked, and the biscuit came with a ham gravy (not ideal for a vegetarian). So the meal overall left me somewhat disatisfied. But whichever. I crawled my way up to the room, changed into my pjs for a much deserved sleep after such a long long day.

Posted by ka'la 21:32 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Las Vegas Trip - Day 3

Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, random sites

sunny 35 °C

Overslept again, no big surprise. A simple day planned -- merely the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace which are relatively close (being across the street). Nonetheless I dressed appropriately this day in capri pants as to avoid further damage to my poor thighs. We decided to try another buffer for breakfast/lunch, and this time it was Le Village in the Paris. The food was good, in fact the gnocchi was some of the best I've ever had. I still find it ironic for a french buffet to have sushi, but I digress. The desserts were my favorite part of this buffet, where I had what I can only describe as a chocolate hazelnut tiramisu. I also had creme brulee for the first time and finally understand what all the hype is about. So good! At least I compromised with a sugar-free chocolate mousse that was to die for. Not sure if it was worth the $20 per person, but it was pretty decent.

We head over to the Bellagio first, and all I could do was feel like white trash upon entry. If entering from the overpass from Bally's then you walk right into the shopping area, which is where my feelings of inferiority stemmed. Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, to name a few. I peeked into a few stores, and even pondered going in, but never actually did since I probably couldn't even afford the shopping bags in any of those stores. This cemented my belief that I would have been uncomfortable staying at the Bellagio because I'd have felt this constant need to look perfect all the time. And while I have no issues with looking acceptable most of the time, perfect isn't how I really want to spend a vacation.

Our destination is the art gallery within the Bellagio, but along the way we get thirsty, stopping in a little ice cream shop and getting a chocolate gelato (so good!). After that we hit the gallery, which is actually doing a feature on Contemporary artists. So I got to see some Lichtensteins and Warhols (I very much liked the daisies). I'm more of a pre-raphaellite fan, so it wasn't exactly my cup of tea but cool. I think the Leighton I saw in Texas is still at the top of my list, just because he's my time period. I don't really think it was worth the cost ($14 a person) but whatever, it was fun. We hit the casino for a bit and I played a bit more roulette, at which I ended up learning a few more tricks (placing a chip between two boxes is 17.5:1 payout, on the corner of four boxes is a 8:1 payout, and putting at the end of a row is a 12:1 payout). I think I lost about $10 but had fun doing it at least.

Afterwards we played some slots, at which I ironically ended up being up $20 on a penny machine, which was rather crazy. Craving something else we checked out the gardens and conservatory in the Bellagio which were actually really astounding. It's amazing the amount of flowers that were contained within that one room, along with the amazing fountains that they housed. Over the walkway into the greenhouse (which houses birds instead of plants) there are these arcs that look like glass, but are actually streams of water. There are also characters such as frogs, ladybugs, and even bears that are made out of growing flowers. The amount of work put into it all really is amazing.

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Oxygen and vitamin D levels restored after the visit to the gardens we head off to Caesar's Palace, to which the casino actually was rather dismal when compared to that of the Bellagio. When you enter the Bellagio you are just floored by how large the casino area is. In fact, it's very very easy to get lost in it, which happened twice. The main lobby has this gorgeous fountain with statues. Most of Caesar's Palace has statues located here and there, and all are exquisite. Along the drop off/pick up outside there are actually three statues on either side of the entrance, each with a fountain the base. I snap a photo of each since I found them very pretty, even if they're all partial nudes. We don't really spend a lot of time in the casino since it was pretty poorly laid out in my opinion. We opt to head back to the Bellagio instead, where I end up losing the winnings I had won on the penny slots earlier. Nothing lost, nothing gained in the end.

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Back at the Bellagio we disagree over something, one of many on the trip. We go our separate ways and I end up wandering up the strip to do some exploring of my own. I had a few things on my list of things to do that I figured I could knock off during my free time that night, so I head up past Caesars Palace (oh the parthenon!) and the Forums Shops (beautiful fountain outside) and end up stopping up at the Mirage to watch the volcano eruption. Standing right against the railing I got an amazing front row view, and how they manage to make water look like lava with the use of red lights is really cool. Also the pyrotechnics with it made it all the more entertaining. Granted I think it burned all the hair off my arms with the heat from the fire, but definitely entertaining and worth seeing.

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I went to catch the show at Treasure Island, but found there wouldn't be another showing for about a hour, which was too long of a wait for me. Instead I decided to head back south and check out The Venetian. I stood around for awhile watching the gondolas going by, listening to the gondoliers singing which was really relaxing. I needed to pick up a few things (i.e. water) so I stopped in at Walgreens to grab some stuff. There I ended up finding Snowballs to bring back for people at work, along with ice cream flavored Mike 'n Ikes, and jalapeno flavored Doritos, something unfamiliar to my canadian roots. Along the way I pass by Margaritaville and Flamingos with all their flashy lights and music. Back to the hotel.

Upon getting back we decide to grab some food, so we check out Le Provinciale in the Paris. Their vegetarian menu was rather disappointing, but in the end it worked. After grabbing some grub it's time for bed.

Posted by ka'la 19:31 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Las Vegas Trip - Day 2

MGM Grand/New York New York/Excalibur

sunny 35 °C

Slept in (it is a vacation after all) then got ready to head out to the Spice Market Grilll in Planet Hollywood for a late breakfast/lunch. I had read that the buffet was extensive and one of the better ones to check out in Vegas. I can safely say that it did not disappoint me at all. Though a bit costly ($18 per person for lunch) I think it was worth it, especially considering lunch for 2 was cheaper than at Le Cafe the day before. And wow, the hummus there was absolutely amazing. Also the dessert bar was rather extensive, with a very yummy carrot cake .. along with the four other desserts I grabbed like the chocolate dipped coconut bar .... ugh. I could have lived at that buffet.

After stuffing ourselves silly we explored Planet Hollywood some more and played a bit of slots (no winnings, fail). There doesn't seem to be a lot to it, other than the mall that is attached (drool!). We head south down the strip towards the Hawaiian Market where these two women try to sell me this skirt that is, essentially, a double-layered sarong. I think they're cute and try some on, then find out they're around $90. What?!?! But it's okay because they'll cut me a deal of $55. Thanks but no thanks since I could easily make one of them myself at home. No sale.

We walk by the Coca-Cola store which is crazy in its glass bottled shape storefront, but don't enter. We do check out the M&M store though which is simply crazy. They have like every color of M&M that has ever been produced and available to be purchased, but none are bought. Instead we stop by the ABC store and I grab some chocolate covered macademia nuts for my coworkers (since they are now addicts after I brought some after my Kauai trip). We brave the outside heat to get into the MGM Grand which is ... expansive. It is seriously huge. Hot and thirsty we stop in at the Rainforest Cafe for a quick drink. I end up ordering the orangesicle, which is a combination of orange sherbet and fro-yo. It is a delicious brain-freeze. From there we head over to the Lion Habitat, which (according to the voice-over) has a total of 37 lions that rotate in-and-out of the habitat. That day there were only three, three very sleepy lions. Apparently lions do sleep about 14 to 20 hours per day, on average about 18. There is a glass/plastic tunnel that you can walk through the get a better view from inside the habitat. Walking through you find the lions sunbathing/sleeping directly above you. They look so cute, until you get a good look at their paws and how absolutely huge they are. Not your standard kitty.

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From there we go and check out the Ka Theatre (Cirque de Soleil show). The videos that play make it look like a very enticing show to visit, but it's not showing that night so nothing is purchased. We head back through the casino and notice the trainers are visiting the lions. They still are pretty much sleeping, but the one trainer tosses a chew toy at the one lion and you watch him sink his teeth into it .. wow. Again, wouldn't want to meet one of them in a dark alley. We head out of the building and get a glimpse of the MGM golden lion fountain which is .. massive. Across the street is New York New York so we head over to scope that out.

New York New York has to be one of the coolest theme hotels on the strip. Just crossing the street we found ourselves sweating in the 100+ degree weather. Air conditioning, even after only about 5-10 minutes in the heat, is very welcoming. On my list of things to do in Vegas was to eat a slice of NY pizza, since all we have in Canada is the crappy Pizza Hut version that tastes like cardboard. So we spot a Nathan's and grab a slice .. meh. I was still pretty full from lunch at the Spice Market Grill, so that probably didn't help for my enthusiasm at eating the pizza. I got the standard cheese and I found it kinda bland. The crispy crust was amazing, but overall the taste was meh. Needed some tabasco or chili flakes or something. And it didn't help that my next activity was to ride the Manhattan Express while there. It looked pretty tame from outside and from the pictures I've seen .. especially when compared to some of the other coasters in Vegas (i.e. Stratosphere rides). But holy crap, it was long, and had more loops and spirals and twists than I anticipated. I had an absolute blast, no regrets on taking it, even on an overly filled stomach.

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M decided to not go on the coaster with me and instead hung out playing games in the Coney Island Arcade. He kept trying to grab a prize on the toy claw games and kept failing. Finally we sit down and try to figure out what we're going to do next. We're both pretty tired (M from the heat, me from wearing a skirt with all that walking). Since it was on M's list of things he'd like to do we decided to hit the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur since it was next door. We end up picking up tickets at Tix4Tonight (yay for discounts!) and head over, killing time before the show in the games room. I suck hard at the ring toss, very hard. M ends up winning a prize for his niece, and eventually we enter the theatre for the show. We (ironically) get seated in the France section. The irony falls in the fact that we stayed at the Paris, sat in France, and I'm a french-Canadian. They serve the food immediately, which was a surprise. We both feel like dying since we're still full from (a) the buffet, and (b) the sub-par pizza. Dinner consists of potato wedges, broccoli, and a whole chicken. Surprisingly they have a vegetarian option, veggie lasagna, and with a fork! The prissy girl next to me gives me dirty looks while I use it, daintly picking at her chicken.

The food was okay but it was the entertainment that took the cake. Even though I had zero desire to do this activity I actually had a blast. It's like Medieval Times but with magic, acting, and pyrotechnics. France kicked Ireland's ass, and Russia was the complete bad ass in the bunch. So cool. Also France was the only one who didn't act like a prince with a stick up his ass. He continuously was mouthing stuff to the audience like 'dude? Like come on!'. Very princely. Didn't hurt that he was cute too. After the show we head back to the hotel where a fight ensued. So I decided to take off and get in some shopping therapy at the Miracle Shops next door at Planet Hollywood. I have a particular weakness for Urban Outfitters and end up snagging a few good finds there. Visit the ABC store to get some essentials, then Bath and Body Works to pick up a few things for some people. Head back to the hotel, more relaxed and balanced feeling. I took another bath and then promptly fell asleep while watching Jimmy Fallon.

Posted by ka'la 20:54 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Las Vegas Trip - Day 1

Travelling. Paris/Bellagio/Fremont Street

sunny 33 °C

I seem to always arrive like five hours early at the airport no matter what the time is of my departure. It's like a nervous tick or something. Regardless, I learned the lesson of check-in kiosks not opening prior to 5am - word to the wise! I'm already exhausted from having not slept the day before and then running for the shuttle bus, so standing in line is not at all desireable to me right now. It goes fast however and I end up checking in at the first class counter. I think the agent is being friendly ... a little too friendly. Especially for 5:30am. He laughs at my lame jokes and doesn't charge me for my checked bag. Very odd and suspicious. I keep looking for a camera, or waiting for agents to swoop down on me for conspiring to rob the american economy of my precious $15 USD.

I decided to keep Lantlig tucked in my bag this time to avoid any weird stares, but he's still tucked in close in my backpack. I pick myself up a grande coffee light frappucino with a sugar-free vanilla shot. Oh yes, I have become this person. But when will I ever learn that coffee this early in the day destroys my stomach? Never apparently. I'm sure it'll do wonders to feed the growth of the volcanic zit I feel on my chin. At least my veggie sandwich was pretty tasty, but really how can you go wrong with that? God I could not wait to get on the plane and sleep! I end up having a window seat, which rocks pretty hard.

The plane ride goes by with few issues, other then getting stuck to two people who would not stop talking for like a second. It was a son and mother who were going to Vegas for a 'belated mother's day present'. But ironically the mother didn't seem very enthusiastic and the son spent the whole time talking about what he was going to do. Either way, some of us wanted to sleep and instead got pounded with an experience akin to listening to Charlie Brown's teacher. Lame. The plane lands and I meet up with M. Starved, we head to the hotel and check in. The Paris is just amazing. I seriously cannot believe the amount of detail they put into making it feel like you are authentically in Paris .... well a Parisian casino maybe. The room itself is gorgeous (luxury suite, bargain basement room even) and has a separate shower/tub combo which makes me squeal like a child at xmas. The view however is somewhat lacking. At check-in the girl explains at the strip view rooms are reserved for the higher priced rooms, but we could upgrade to one for an additional $65 per day. Hrmm no, but thanks for asking.

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I unpack and then we head down to Le Cafe Ile St. Louis which is in the Paris. Originally the plan was to hit the buffet there but the lineup was ridiculous. There was still a line at Le Cafe but it was a lot shorter. We split the smoked salmon platter (which wasn't actually smoked but instead was lox) and I order a salad nicoise, which looked more like a piece of artwork than something edible. And it was okay, but nothing really wowed me. In fact the salad seemed overly salty to me, so I ended up only eating about half of it and filling up on bread instead. Overall I didn't think it was worth the price of the meal. Then again, the atmosphere at the Paris tends to make up for what the food lacked.

I ended up playing a bit of roulette to kill some time -- Jeff's strategy of black 17 failed ... 4 times. Probably didn't help either that I had no clue what was I doing until a nice lady explained it to me. Then, ironically, my red 5 hit and I ended up with $35. Sweet! I played another round and lost, so I cashed out and ended up making my money back. I was probably even up a few bucks. We decide to grab some monorail passes and head up to check out Fremont Street. Let me tell you it is hot as a mo-fo outside, but I'm coping okay. We get off at the last stop on the monorail (the Sahara) and walk over the Las Vegas Blvd and catch the bus up to Fremont.

Immediately we are disappointed -- it turns out the light show only happens after dusk, and it's only 4pm. Very lame. Either way the sights at Fremont are classics. You see Binion's, the 4 Queens .. as I said, the classic gambling houses. Outside this place called Mermaids there are these chicks with macarena outfits on. They advertize their specialities of deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Oreos. I am appauled. We do go in however with the intent of trying their 97 cent daiquari. The bartender explains that it's almost more like a shot and talks me into a brain freeze for half price ($6) which someone ordered and then decided they didn't want. The brain freeze has orange juice, vanilla milk, and everclear (which I had never heard of before). It tastes like pure evil. Pure, delicious evil. We play the slots for a bit to enjoy the air conditioning and to allow me to finish my drink. I consume most of it in a rush until the urge to vomit rises. I swear to myself I will not drink another drop of alcohol on the trip after this. Especially if taking the bus is required after the consumption .. ick. We skip the monorail back and just stay on the bus all the way to the Bellagio where we chill and watch the fountains for awhile.

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I can see why everyone says the fountains at the Bellagio are a sight to be seen because they really are amazing. Though my counterpart seems underwowed, I feel I am overwowed enough to compensate. I just can't fathom how much time and effort gets put into designing those shows. Wow. Also as an ironic twist we spotted a shoe floating in the water and a guy standing over the railing, clearly pondering whether to go in or not. I'm thinking to myself there is no way he would jump in there when ... splash! Oh yes, he did. He reclaims the shoe and climbs back out. Tourists are crazy in Vegas.

We ponder dinner and decide to check out Ah Sin, again at the Paris. It's only open Wednesday through Sunday, so it's one of the few days we could check it out. Plus it had good reviews and was said to be one of the better places for sushi in Vegas. I ended up getting the miso soup (not good) and a vegetarian roll with soy paper. I fell in love with this sushi -- so good! The table was also in an open area that allowed for you to see the Bellagio fountains at night while you ate. It created a great atmosphere.

After dinner we decided to check out the Eiffel Tower. I hate heights .. hate. But it was worth it since the view was spectacular and I kick myself repeatedly for not bringing my camera. The view of the strip at night is amazing, especially since there was a showing of the fountain show from the view up above. Again, the show is just so very cool. That particular piece was an italian opera and the movement of each fountain matched perfectly to the music.

Exhausted, we decide to stop and grab some dessert from JJ's Boulangerie (again, in Paris). After my five billion calorie drink I feel guilty and indulge in their sugar-free chocolate mousse cake. So ... friggen .. good. Especially since they sneak berries into the middle and they get all sweet and oozy .. mmmm. After dessert we head back to the room and to bed ... after a yummy bath in the awesome tub. Did I mention marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs are excellent? Well, they are.

Posted by ka'la 10:28 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kauai Trip - Day 7

Travelling

sunny 21 °C

Well the flight out of Lihue seemed pretty uneventful. Checking in sucked because M saw me a far as he could go. The presence of M. isn't what made it suck, but moreso the fact that we were actually separting. As much as I want to be an independant creature and know I cannot handle a full-out relationship at this point in time ... I still have to acknowledge the fact that it felt nice being with him. I know mentally we are linked on a constant basis, but to physically do so was definitely a step-up from where we had been. I hold no regrets about the trip and getting to meet him, because other than the odd tiff here and there it was rather spectacular. I have literally become quite fond of him.

Arriving so early means you have idle time to kill. I wandered around the gift shops a bit. I got a nice album/journal that has slots for photos and then lines for you to write your thoughts down. It will work very nicely for a travel blog, but I'll definitely need to pick up an album itself for all the other photos. I'm tossing around the idea of doing something like this for M., a little book with photos and my thoughts/feelings on the time we spent together. We'll see how lazy I get. This older couple questioned me about Lantlig, whether he was a duck or a goose. I told them goose and we talked for a bit before I started reading. A lot of people at the airport were intrigued by Lantlig, especially security people who thought he was a real goose. I'll never forget the flabbergasted look of the woman at ticket booth when she saw him, asking 'is that a real duck?' (transportation of animals from the island is prohibited). She still seemed skeptical even after seeing he was plush. The security guy had a lot more fun with Lantlig, calling people over to see him, then grilling me on where he could get one of his own. Apparently they have no IKEA in Hawaii since the name was lost on him. I told him to check ebay and spelled his name out ... three times. At the last security checkpoint before the plane, I guess the guy was at the earlier checkpoint in the airport because when I put my bag down he laughed and said 'now that goose looks familiar'. All in all, it was an odd experience. I slept on most of the flight to LA, which was nice. I'm becoming a huge fan of having the entire row to myself, and have been rather pampered in this treatment during almost all of my flights.

Once I arrived in LA, well this is where things got very .. annoying. In Lihue the ticket agent told me she could only print out the first leg of my trip since I was changing carriers. I didn't understand the fuss since the first carrier did this on the way down, but whatever. She said that any gate agent could do it and I wouldn't have to leave the secure area. See this is where I get pissed off, when people talk about things they know nothing about. Because LAX is not like Lihue where all the carriers are in one terminal. There are seven terminals. I landed in 4, which was specific for American Airlines. I asked the gate agent and she said I would have to go to terminal 2 for US Airways. Fine. Take the shuttle down to terminal 2. No, apparently US Airways is terminal 1. Get there, wait in line only to find out that my flight with US Airways is being done through United, so now I have to go to terminal 7. At this point I have spent 45 minutes walking around and still have no ticket. The shuttle passes right by me, so I get fed up and start walking through the parking lots to get to terminal 7. I arrive there, then travel up to the ticket booths and stand in line. At this point it is 7am and my flight leaves at 8:28. The girl has problems finding my flight, but eventually succeeds. I was quite irate at this point but kept my patience. She gives me my tickets, I go through security (again), then proceed to walk from terminal 7 to terminal 6, since that's where my plane is departing from. I get there with 30 minutes to spare, and they start boarding moments later. *sigh*

Entire row again, small miracle. Sleep for the entire flight to Las Vegas. Arrive and find that, despite the insistance of the people at LAX, I have to change gate areas at LAS, meaning (you guessed it) I get to go through security again. At this point I'm a seasoned pro at what goes into which baskets and what needs to be put through. I was amused to find that I had to go through that new x-ray machine that photographs your entire body. I know it's optional, and many people are against it as an invasion of privacy, but I found it kinda fun. Not at all harmful, so I don't see what all the fuss is about. I grabbed some food at chili's that just ended up upsetting my stomach more than quenching my hunger. This also might be due to the fact that I am absolutely exhausted, having only slept sporatic bits for no more than 2-3 hrs at a time. I'm starting to think it's likely I'm crashing at a hotel tonight when I arrive unless I can manage to sleep the entire flight to Toronto.

I end up gambling for a bit, spending about $8 on the slots. I really don't understand why people are so into these things, they're so boring imho. Press button, lose. Press button, lose. Press button, win $1. Press button, lose. Etc. I end up stopping at Cinabon to get one of the rolls since a guy at work raved about them. I found it rather disgusting, but then again my tastes are all weird being a vegetarian and whatso. I spend some time blogging, some time reading (trying to finish Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse). Board the plane and nap for a bit. I wake up out of nowhere and am unable to fall back to sleep, suddenly (eventually) feeling refreshed. I finish off the book (what a peculiar piece of literature), and try to finish watching Quantum of Solace (which I started on my flight between LA and Lihue). Of course, with 5 minutes left I have to put the laptop away (grrr), but we land with minimal issues. Make the necessary messages/calls to let people know I arrived intact, smoothly go through customs (no issues at all, wha?), collect my luggage with ease (5th suitcase to come off the carousel), and find myself experiencing the shortest time ever from getting off the plane to getting to my car (roughly 25 minutes). It's a cool -6 celcius, no snow on my car. In a sense, the perfect end to the perfect trip.

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Lantlig in transit home.

Posted by ka'la 12:46 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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