It was a 5am alarm start this morning, packed and a cab on the doorstep at 6am. I think we need to allow more than an hour next time…
It was a quick trip to the Ronald Reagan National Airport. Then the chaos began. The EFTPOS machine broke down on the taxi and it took forever to pay… That left Mark in the taxi organising that while the rest of us tackled the check in queues (but he had the record locator number…). I had been on the phone to American Airlines in Australia and managed to get exit row seats allocated to us. In the last couple of days I had checked the booking on their website and there we were – row 10.
First issue, we queued in the cluttered space for the self check in and managed to find our way through the process. Except that it didn’t ask us about luggage and produced no luggage tags. Headed for the next queue which was the Resolution queue and was long… No explanation was given for the lack of baggage check in but then the next issue arose. We didn’t have seat numbers on our boarding passes. We could only get those at the gate… We had better still have those exit row seats!
Then we had the security queue. Then the gate queue with 15 minutes until boarding. We made it to the counter with about 5 minutes to check in. Of course our exit row seats had disappeared!! We were allocated row 26, the last one on the plane and non reclining! For a nearly 5 hour trip! No amount of complaint fixed it and we had to board and walk past row 10 which was empty at that point.
Then we found that there were no entertainment systems! It was going to be a very long trip!! We had WiFi but it just failed to download any entertainment which would have cost us anyway. We also had to pay for food!
It was a bumpy flight at time and we just got into the zone. It didn’t seem to take too long before we saw Vegas!
Collecting our bags and exiting Las Vegas airport was fairly efficient. We headed for the taxi queue which didn’t look too long. Until we realised that that was just the queue for the queue! It went on forever, snaking around! I estimate 1000 steps in the taxi queue!
Our taxi ride was short to the Excalibur and the good bit was that the time zone worked in our favour. We gained 3 hours. So we left around 8 am and arrived around 10am. Bonus!
We loved seeing the Strip from the plane and the taxi driver was most entertaining as he drove us. The 12 year old sat in the front with him and he gave us lots of tips.
We were hit with an onslaught of staff in the Excalibur trying to sell us show tickets before we even got checked in. Then the horror of seeing and smelling people smoking inside the casino (which is the whole entry to the hotel) set in. Yuck! We had to queue in it to register. We managed to get early check in for an extra $25 per room. It was worth it rather than waiting until 3pm. I thought that the resort fee was optional as everything else was paid before we got there but no it was mandatory at $29/room/day. For the pool, gym, WiFi etc.
We finally made our way to our rooms on the 10th floor. They have been recently renovated so are in fairly good condition but ours stinks of some pungent deodoriser. Probably trying to hide old cigarette smoke even though they are non smoking rooms. There is no bar fridge (the space has been stripped bare) and not even a kettle to boil water. Everything in this place points you towards the stinky entry level where they can try to extract money from you.
We unpacked while the boys headed to the pool then we met them down there. We all had to walk through the stinky casino to get there.
Then we headed out for our first walk on the Strip and to get some lunch. It is looking expensive here with no fridge to store any food in. We had lunch at California Pizza which was very nice (until the garlic kicked in afterwards – I am intolerant to garlic and the Americans douse everything in it).
We then did a marathon walk up and down the Strip in the heat which was supposed to be 27 deg C but was probably more. We searched for supermarkets and food and at least found the drug stores (CSV and Walgreens). We also purchased a foam Eski and ice to keep some breakfast foods cool. Problem solved!
Then we collapsed in a heap on the bed. We need to work our way into this new timezone.
Despite 5 hours on a plane, we still managed 20 000 steps.