Day 42 - 06/08/2002 - Las Vegas USA
Got up early for my Grand Canyon tour. The flight to the Grand Canyon was beautiful in regards to the scenery but not so good in regards to the stomach department ... I have have flown a lot of the last forty two days and I have not had any problems in regard to flying, but on this small plane (with turbulence) gave me a really sick feeling on the stomach. When we got off the plane I was relived to find out that I not the only one that was feeling sick (half the people felt sick ... most worst than me). Apart from feeling sick, the flight was really good, because I got the front seat (in the cockpit) next to the pilot and he even let me handle the steering control (I have a picture below to prove it). The scenery was amazing as I had a great aerial view as we flew of various mountain ranges, Hover Dam and Lake Mead.
When we got to the Grand Canyon, my stomach had still not recovered and we had a short bus trip that did not help, but when we arrived at our first viewing area, there was a nice lunch waiting for us ... and this food made me feel better (as food always does) ... I also had some soft drink (which is rare for me) and that seemed to help. I then started feeling better, and decided to go back for more food ... which probably was not wise, considering that a had another small plane flight in the afternoon.
Now that I have got that story out of the way, it is time to talk about the Grand Canyon ... umm, what can I say? It is pretty much what I expected ... no more and no less ... has all my travel desensitised me to seeing amazing things like one of the natural seven wonders of the world. Anyhow, the Grand Canyon is beautiful and worth seeing if you are in this neck of the woods.
MOVIE: Grand Canyon [MPG 620KB]
One of the nice aspects of this tour was that a person whose family lived in this area took us around and told us some interesting information of the background of the area -he seemed to known what he was talking about.
When I got back to the hotel (I am staying at the Flamingo now, because I wanted to check out a different hotel for the fun of it), the first thing I wanted to do was use the pool ... it is hot here and you get tired and sometimes you want to just go to the pool and relax rather than go and visit all the exciting hotels that are beckoning you to come visit. The Flamingo has a reputation of having a great pool area and it did not let me down is was basically the same as the Mirage which was fantastic. In fact, the waterfall at the Flamingo was much more powerful than the Mirage ... I think it took several layers of skin off my back and broke my spine. I am surprised that they are allowed to have the waterfall falling so powerfully ... I mean, I think I can withstand a good amount of water pressure and I found ti to be pretty tough, so I can not imagine how many children have been crippled by this waterfall.
I then went and spent a long time in the spa and started chatting to some really nice people, Robin and Travis (from California). I lost track of how much time we spent in the spa, but I know that we were all unnaturally wrinkled at the end of it and we decided to have a buffet dinner together since I didn't mind having some company and they seemed to enjoy the stories from my trip etc.
The buffet dinner was good, as most of the buffet dinner in Las Vegas seem to be and I realised that American's have an amazing love of Prime Rib (which I thought was just ordinary beef, but it is like a premium beef) ... they love it so much that when you see buffets advertised, the "prime beef" words apparent before shrimp (prawns) and crab etc. We enjoyed the buffet and then realised there was another buffet of desert behind one of the walls/pillars ... so then my eyes lit up and I continued to eat some more.
After dinner we went to look at some hotels. I finally got to see the water/light show outside Bellagio and it did not disappoint me - in fact it far exceeded my expectations ... it was the best water/light show I have have ever seen in my life ... is was so so good ... my words can not express how awesome it was - you just simply have to see it in real life to be blown away. The are four different songs that have water fountains choreographed beautifully to music ... it might not sound like much, but trust me, this is a MUST SEE event if you are in Las Vegas. Also, the Bellagio hotel itself is as beautiful as the water show ... the outside of the hotel is very fine looking - I am not sure what it is about it, but it is simply stunning even though it is quite simple (I guess I will have to ask an architect why it comes across as such a beautiful building) and the inside is just as stunning - it is class, class, class ... everything about Belaggio is classy and looks beautiful - as you can probably tell, I really liked this hotel ... I would love to stay there, but at about AU$500 a night I choose to give it a miss this time.
[I have some videos of the water show that I will try and put up sometime]
MOVIE: Bellagio Water Show [MPG 840KB], Bellagio Water Show 2 [MPG 840KB]
We also had a look at hotel/casino Paris, which is obviously in the theme of Paris and has a smaller replica of the Eiffel tower, but when I say small, I mean small compared to the original because this building in Vegas is relatively large itself.
Last stop was Caesar's Palace - on the theme of great Roman times. This hotel/casino is full of beautiful replicas of statues (that I saw in Italy) ... it also has an "exact" replica of the Statue of David (so, fortunately, I get to see it again) - the sign on the statue says that it is an exact replica of the original (even using the exact same marble as the original), but it did not give any details about how they created this exact replica?
So, I got to see some amazing things today, but above all the things that I saw and did I have to say that one of the highlights for me was meeting people like Robin and Travis ... it is so good to be on holidays and be able to meet complete strangers and have such a good time with them - it makes me keen to always look for opportunities to meet new people. I was excited when I found out that they went to a church in California, and I thought it might have been the famous Willow Creek church that I wanted to visit while over in the US ... but it was not - maybe I can find out more about Willow Creek another time.