Day 14 | Las Vegas

Another slow start today saw Angus and O’Regan go for a swim at the hotel at 10.00am. It has become very windy since yesterday and the pool is three stories up. Some of the gusts were so fast that pool water was being blown out. They alternated between the main pool (cold) and the spa pool.

We all got ready and waited for the hop-on hop-off double decker bus up the Strip for more exploring. It was sooooo windy we were being blown all over the place.  This didn't stop us sitting up on the top deck because it was so much fun.

During the circuit on the bus O'Regan saw the “Master Chief” (character from the Halo series of games) posing for photos outside the M&M and Coke stores but we were travelling down the other side of the road and O’Regan was very keen to see the guy. These guys dress up and put themselves out there for tips and I’m sure there are some days it’s not worth it.

We continued down the strip where we wanted to see the iconic welcome sign. There were queues of cars as everyone stops on the way in or the way out for the photo. The bus tour goes back round at the sign and we went back so O’Regan could get his photo with Master Chief. The guy under the costume was very polite and explained that he does this for tips only and we said okay and took a few photos. It was really hot in the sun and we decided $5 was about right, he asked if we wanted change. With O’Regan as chuffed as he was we said that $5 was more than fair. Very nice guy.

We popped back into the M&M shop to pick up some things we missed yesterday and saw their 3D movie – it was very cool.

Yesterday we got a discount voucher (there are a lot of them here) for the Rainforest Cafe like the one that we went to at San Francisco. This one is in the MGM Grand which proudly has lions in the hotel, but more of that later. They also had those cool bar stools that were like different animal’s legs. The Cafe was really good again and we continued exploring.The lions at the MGM are owned by some conservationist and they truck them to the Hotel where they can be seen lounging and sleeping (just like in the wild) behind glass in a controlled environment. They can’t see or hear us and they are used to the surroundings, the announcement said. It must be a bit weird for them to be trucked to this place for a day and then back to the park.

The next major stop was at the Venetian with the indoor gondolas which were just amazing. No detail has been left out. Even the security guards were in Carabinieri uniforms, looking uncomfortable. The serpentine laneways beside the canal was such a spectacle with the little hump-back bridges. Rosie popped into Pandora and the shop assistant was so fascinated with Australia she asked so many questions. Her main one was did we see actual Kangaroos – too funny.

Checking the timetable we tried to get to the Treasure Island for the outdoor pirate show. The kids had run out of gas and what appeared to be ‘two or three hotels up the road’ was about million other people trying to do something similar and actually about 3 km as the blocks are so large. Also as you cross the front of the major hotels the footpaths meander into the front or terminate, go up an escalator, it’s never a direct route.

We finally got there just a little late and there was a sign saying that the show may not go on if there is inclement weather of high winds. Never mind, hardly the Matterhorn, still we felt disappointed especially after the super effort the kids put in getting there.

Finally we headed back to the Stratosphere and it had got cold and the wind had returned. We took a trip through the casino on the way back and had mixed fortunes.

Highlights of the day
O’Regan – Master Chief at the M&M shop and getting more M&Ms. 
McKay – the Venetian with the gondolas – very cool. 
Angus – almost making it to the Treasure Island outdoor show. 
Rosie – playing the pokies and winning $30 (and less a highlight, losing $20), finally getting to the Venetian.

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