Sunday, July 24, 2011

We're here!!

Hi everyone,

We made it!  This is no small feat considering that at every moment until the plane takes off I’m contemplating running up and asking to get the heck off.  But I held my tongue, bit the bullet and spent 4+ hours alternating between panic and a nervous resignation that there’s nothing I can do so I’d better suck it up and pretend I’m just fabulous. I think I was mostly believable for the kids. Unfortunately as we’re landing both my son and I were overcome with nausea and wanted to vomit.  This feeling lasted for quite some time.

On the happier side, check out the pictures I snapped from the plane of the kids enjoying the flight.  We kept trying to figure out what we were flying over – once I calmed down enough to look out the window.  We figured the plane took a southerly route since we were treated with an amazing view of the Grand Canyon.  My picture doesn’t do it justice but take a look.  Considering we’ll only be seeing a small section of the canyon when we visit, it was a great opportunity to see almost the whole enchilada.

It’s always stressful when you travel, especially when you’re flying and half your family is nauseous and one of the remaining half is coming down with a migraine.  But we persevered and went to pick up our rental car.  If you remember, I decided to go with a smaller name because the prices were far more reasonable and they weren’t charging me the drop off fee. Now Las Vegas airport has a bus you take to the car rental hub.  All of the car rental places are in this one place.  So you can imagine my panic when we get off the bus, enter the hub and I don’t see a Fox Rental desk.  

 Luckily I have my handy dandy notebook (like in Blues Clues!) and I check my confirmation e-mail.  I read a few paragraphs down and see that there’s yet another bus we have to take to get to Fox’s since they are off site.  My son and I suck it up and all four of us get on the Fox’s shuttle and travel about 2 miles down the road.  Bill, our very nice driver, tells us how the other major rental companies, if you ask them where the Fox counter is, will tell you that Fox’s is about 20 miles away and that they just missed the shuttle which won’t be back for 2 hours, but they (the major company) would be happy to rent you a car.  Meanwhile, because Fox’s is off site, they don’t have to charge you a whole bunch of taxes and fees that these other guys do, running about 30% less than the major guys.  I saved even more. Yes, we did have to take another bus and yes I did have to stand in line, BUT
they were out of my standard SUV and upgraded us for free to the large size with no fuss.

We then looked for some lunch because it was now past 2 o’clock EST and most of us were hungry.  We found an interesting looking “Nevada Style” pub called Steiner’s.  We learned what “Nevada Style” meant when we walked in and they informed us they didn’t serve children.  We weren’t hungry for children but left immediately since we didn’t think it fair to make the kids sit and watch us eat. We were exhausted and hungry and went to the next nearest restaurant, Chili’s. Not exciting but it did the job.

Then we headed for the hotel.  We got to drive down the strip – very cool!  I’ll get pictures for the next post. We saw the Luxor pyramid, the fountains in front of the Bellagio, the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty from the NewYork, NY hotel and lots of people.  Our hotel, Circus, Circus, is just beyond the busiest part of the strip.  Check in moved quickly and we were in our room in no time.  Upon which we promptly fell into bed and took a 2 hour nap.  This was the smartest decision we made all day.  It refreshed us, got rid of the nausea and headaches, and prepared us for staying up late since even 8pm was going to feel like 11pm.

One last note.  We didn’t go to the Hawaiian fusion restaurant.  I did my least amount of research on Vegas and didn’t realize that Roy’s was out of the price range we wanted.  I pulled out the laptop and we found a local Italian restaurant that got very good reviews – Nora’s Cuisine.  It wasn’t fabulous but it was still good.  My daughter’s spaghetti and meatballs were as delicious as advertised and my son’s pizza was also very good as was the really garlicky garlic bread. The cannolis were yummy – we brought those back to the room to eat – we should have ordered only one instead of two because they were large.  My dinner was okay – I had the orange roughy fish which wasn’t bad but they served it with a big glob of angel hair pasta which was inedible.  My husband ordered a pasta dish with chicken, artichokes and capers which he said was good but nothing special. He said he’d return if in Vegas again.  I don’t know if I would.  I would make a reservation next time, though, because that place was packed.  They seated us right away because we were willing to sit in this little area along the kitchen.  Very noisy but we’re with kids so I didn’t care.  Also, this meant no one forgot about us!

More later – Our first full day in Vegas.  Everyone up around 5-6am.  Getting used to the time change!