Day 17 | Las Vegas to Los Angeles

We got up in a bit of a hurry as we needed to get the room squared away and checked out by noon. Somehow we have two new suitcases and they are all filling up with laundry. Las Vegas has few laundries in the hotels as most people stay for only a short time.

There is a quick-check-out mechanism available at the Stratosphere where the charges are viewable on the TV and approved on the pre-loaded credit card. You just leave the key-cards in the room and walk out. No ceremony at all. We also left another tip for our long-suffering house-keeper, Guadeloupe. They get assigned a number of rooms to deal with and they need to attend to them all and then they can go. The more people that have “do not disturb” on their doors the longer their day becomes. We were those people a couple of times.

We asked a cab driver about the location of this outlet place. There is one to the south (the airport end) and one to the north (oddly referred to as the down-town end). We had a couple of cross-streets to work with but the GPS wasn’t too sure so we thought we’d just have a go again (really, what can go wrong?). After a few “almost-making-it's" and Angus swearing like a sailor at the GPS voice-chick Kate, we got there.

This was, indeed, the best outlet mall so far. I say this as Angus and McKay spent at least an hour supping Starbucks, surfing the WIFI internet there and wondering how things were going. Needless to say another bag was purchased to envelope the new stuff. Shoes were a big hit so hopefully there will be a volume reduction as the boxes are peeled off in LA.

The next leg of the journey was to leave Las Vegas and go to Hollywood, some four hours away. First stop after the mall was the petrol station and the one that we chose was a neat slice-of-life number. As Angus was queuing to pre-pay for the fuel an argument was already brewing amongst the patrons about directions to give someone who asked where 4th street was. Just as the debate was getting to a climax, three firemen came in, complete with helmets and yelled “who called 911?” Everyone proceeded to look at them like they’d just stepped off a flying saucer and not say a word. The chief fireman pointed at the crazy bum in front of Angus and accused “did you call 911?” and the guy bowed and said “No, siree, wa’n’t me, sir, ah’d say if it was” straight out of Gone with the Wind. Anyway, we got our fuel and set off. Never did find out who called 911.

The trip was quiet, the kids having both dropped off as soon as we left Vegas. The views are amazing as you come out of Vegas the mountains are spectacular and as it was late afternoon by this stage there was changing light and shadows. Very pretty. The roads are huge all the way, a lot of the time the road seems to stretch out into the distance for ever, so it seems like you’re not going very fast but in fact we were travelling around 120kms a lot of the time.

We left Vegas a lot later than we had anticipated, dam those outlet malls. So we arrived in Hollywood around 9.00pm. We all raced each other to our room to use the loo as we were all busting, ahhhh. Then down to find out where to eat. Our hotel is great and only a 7 min stroll to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

We had dinner at Mel’s Diner Hollywood Boulevard which was very interesting. We were served by Amy-Lou who was as cute as a button. Apparently ‘a la mode’ means heated with ice cream – our desserts were ‘a la mode’ mmmm nom nom nom. We had Cherry pie and mud cake.

We have booked a Hollywood bus tour for tomorrow so will have to get up early for that. Kids were still tossing and turning at 1.00am – so will be interesting getting them out of bed in the morning. Neither of them does mornings!

Highlights of the day:

O’Regan – Massive sleep in the car from LV to LA
McKay – having access to the WIFI at Starbucks at the Las Vegas Outlet Stores
Angus – the amazing drive across Nevada back into California, the colours (or colors as they say here) of the hills were unreal
Rosie – The Outlet mall in Las Vegas and finally eating at a diner.

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