We had so much fun in Vegas! Mr T cracked 40 years. We did a tour of the city in a HUMMER LIMO (thx so much to our friend from England, who organised it all!!) Absolutely wild ride. We went out on the town that night, hit the roulette and black jack (and a bottle or three of champas too!) We had a really good night (kids were with a sitter!) The following day was Miss Ms 14th birthday, and we celebrated in style by going on a helicopter tour of the grand canyon! Got picked up by a limo (downsized from the Hummer!) and went up in the helicopter!! WooHoo!!! I suddenly realised just as we were walking out onto the tarmac, that I'd be strapped into this tiny tin, with a rotor on top, waaaaaay above the ground!!!! As we took off, panic set in... this is worse than the swing ride at California Adventure Park! I don't think I've ever sweated so much in my life, but eventually got used to it - maybe it was the awesome scenery?!!! If you want to see the Grand Canyon - you MUST do it from the air. Absolutely amazing!!! H-man and Tiny slept for half of it!!! Oh, we stayed at DESERT ROSE RESORT, which was BRILLIANT! It was just off the strip (behind Hooters Hotel, which is opposite MGM Grand) it was also a non-gambling resort. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite - which was SUPERB. It also had a full kitchen, and little balcony that we sat on, and had drinks, after we'd put the kids to bed. It was super cheap ($120 a night, I think?), very clean and well maintained. Pool area had lots of seating, plus little kiddy pool & hot tub. Its located up the south end of the strip - I thought the south end was better than the north. MGM Grand is a great hotel, lots of shops & the monorail starts from there - so it was great that it was so close to us.
Miss M requested Cheesecake Factory for dinner, so we went to Circus Circus for some fun - then walked back to Caesars Palace Forum Shops, to the Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately we got stuck in the Treasure Island show crowd, took forever to get through!! We were eventually seated at Cheesecake Factory at around 945pm... latest dinner ever, I think!!! Was an excellent dinner though!
Next day, we had to check-out and headed back toward LA, for our last leg of our trip - Santa Monica. We accidentally took the 101, and ended up in the middle of LA peak hour traffic, in Hollywood... YOU PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!!!! My lord. I don't think we've EVER experienced traffic like that. We eventually got back onto the 10West - to go to Santa Monica. Then it took us about an hr to find the hotel!!!! We drove past it 3 times before we found it!!! We're done driving in LA. Its all private cars & taxi's from here!!!! Just gotta give a bit of a review on the hotel. We're staying at the VICEROY Santa Monica. Three times the price of any of our other hotels. I have great expectations. Yes, its fancy. Yes, its trendy. Yes, its relatively comfortable (although they are only double beds, not enough towels, internet is $12 a day!, mini bar is insanely expensive, the shampoos & lotion has a tag on it, saying we'll be charged $45 if we take it home, and the basin & shower don't drain properly). But. Its certainly not a hotel for families. The staff are brilliant and VERY good with the kids.... the other guests however are so snobby & definitely not impressed with families. Sad. Its left a bit of a bad taste in our mouth, for the final leg of our trip - we're forever getting mad at the kids, because they're talking to loud, or laughing, or not sitting still. (so they're sad, coz we're cross at them, and we're sad, coz we have to be constantly on their case) It annoys me a bit - coz they are children. They do talk too loud, they do laugh and they don't sit still.
We got up at the crack of dawn and jumped into (yet another) limo, with our friends, and went to Universal Studios today. Had a great day, but must say, I thought there'd be more there?! You definitely only need one day to do everything. We have our friend's kiddies over tonight, so their parents can have some "alone time", and they'll return the favour tomorrow night! Woohoo! Think we'll just chill out at the beach tomorrow. Soak up the sun!
So thats where we're at! 3 more days in USA, then back to freezing cold (and work) in Adelaide... ahhhh... such is life.