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One Step Forward…..

May 27, 2008 by Barbara

One small step….we were able to check in….had to wait for 2 minutes though….

as is BCbythesea’s….habit….we were early….and according to Delta Airlines…6 hours means 6 hours…not a minute sooner…(or 2….)

We can now move further into the airport….

onto to the security…. drivers licenses out.. prized boarding passes in hand….and….

we are chosen to be scanned further….

no huge surprise considering we are last minute…really hours….7 &1/2 long hours…. (mentioned in previous post)…passengers…

a quick …loud …yell….and we felt like we were in an E.F. Hutton commercial….everyone was listening….

we were sent down a separate passage way…to the special screening personnel…. all our stuff put out in various gray trays……and through the “puffer”….

the guy before me…feeling the effects of a real Las Vegas weekend….had a few choice words…. not to smart…

although….a little levity…always helps these awkward situations….

1-2-3- puff….and on to the rest of the check…using a pad that looks like the ‘Stridex” pads of our broken- out youth..he swabs the interior of each bag…each item…and files them in what looks oddly like a CD holder….

all clear…boarding pass returned after ….4 old fashioned punch holes were put in it….how strange…all this new hi-tech machinery and the results….are in 4 plain ordinary punch holes like they used at events before scanners…. eons ago….

On to the tram….to the designated gate area….

Upon entering…we find the Las Vegas Aviation Museum….which really entails 4 kiosk looking cabinets….explaining its development…. the history and progress made … both politically and culturally….through the years…

Back to the long walk to gate D40….we see repeats of all the major staples found within the airports of the present time….Burger King…Starbucks…Cinnabons…Quiznos….and such…

ahhh…now that was progress that was not included within the 4 kiosks of the Aviation Museum displayed at their entryway…

An abundance of seats….a gorgeous mountain view….more junk food than anyone could imagine….we’re set…

4 &1/2 hours to go….

Just paged ….missing passenger.. Too Win….really!….

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You Can Get In….But You Can’t Get out

May 26, 2008 by Barbara

A booking snafu has left us stranded for an extended stay in the La Vegas Airport….

Wrong date on the ticket….and we are at a standstill…. a holding pattern….on the ground….

Lucky for us….this day…… a Rep. for US Airways…was actually at the outside desk….and went over and beyond….the call of duty…

Thankful…is the appropriate response… especially when all that is on the front page lately is the downside of air travel….and personnel…per the Sun Sentinel..a few days ago…

She managed to find us a straight flight to Fort Lauderdale…..on another airline….7 &1/2 hours later….

the alternatives were really bad…..we are so grateful to her…and you can bet an email to her employers will go out ASAP!….

Had some food in the airport southwestern restaurant….found a couple of seats….and hunkered down…with computer….papers….and taking turns walking….until the luggage can be checked in….

Final comments on Vegas….

a few extras….see previous posts …under Misc. category…….a few thoughts….

I wonder if the meticulous Mr Wynn….is aware that his cocktail servers are wearing the identical outfits as those at the Golden Nugget?…. Would he be chagrined to learn this…..or is he fully aware and paying homage?….

If you have a choice….turn away the taxi vans….the drivers are definitely not as savvy as those driving the sedans….they were infuriating with adding time …by using longer routes….

It is mind boggling the amount of disposable income….from young twenty-somethings….especially young Asians….

Young Asian women …in the Louis Vuitton store buying the luggage pieces like they were knock-offs…

everywhere you looked….major bags and baubles….

We fortunately had the chance on our way out…to finally see The Wynn pool area…. ( put on the back-burner …. due to cooler temps)….it felt like walking into another time…. of affluence and decadence…simply awestruck by the details ….( as we were with all of the never-ending special details throughout the rest of the resort )……..cabanas….with flat screen TVs….2 tiered pool choices…many hot tubs….a european type adult pool…complete with a band-shell…tables and chairs in the pool itself…and of course a huge bar…..upstairs was even more luxurious for those who were staying in the “Tower” suites…

A two tiered system was definitely in play….if you were in the Tower..you had a “fast pass” to restaurants etc…as well as special accommodations at poolside…

Amazing also …is just how many are in the employ of the hotel…not only in the casinos… almost all are connected by earphones….and an observant guest can appreciate the dynamics of it all…

Just a few minor negatives….we found …the beds were too hard…surprisingly…. not the pillow-top expected at most such highly rated hotels of late….

The Wynn rates 41/2 stars in the guide books…

No newspaper delivered each morning…at the door…

Charging to use the fitness center….seems a pass on this charge would go a long way…. heard some grumbling at check-in….

and finally…. using the BCbythesea hubby’s long-time personal rating system….the hotel pen….it was lousy…again a surprise for us after hearing of Mr Wynn’s overlooking everything personally in his hotel….down to the smallest details…. regaled by the papers…just not the pens…. so it seems…

Still…highly recommend… The Wynn….definitely…a win-win…..for us!

only 6 hours to go…..

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Walkies part 2…. Final Thoughts….

May 26, 2008 by Barbara

Day 2 of traveling the strip….hotels…. and casinos….north and south….

pre- fueled by room service….and ready to get going…

took a taxi to….

1. Mandalay Bay Hotel….absolutely gorgeous…if we were not at The Wynn…this would be it…art deco crystal light fixtures throughout …the hotel…shopping…restaurant row…casinos ….real show stoppers…

palm inlaid tile…a beautiful fish tank and atrium….and a surprise tucked in back…

The Four Seasons Hotel……stunning huge long stem flowers distinctively set in individual crystal…sleek vases…set against a wood paneled lobby with Chinese accents.. very classy…as you would expect from this establishment…with their 5 star reputation….

back to the Mandalay…to walk … endlessly… around the overwhelming property…. including their restaurant row…with top tier restaurants…including one that caught our eye…

The Aureole…contained a glass enclosed modern wine elevator…2 stories high… know a wine enthusiast …who would be enthralled by the sight…

convention centers…north/south…a shark reef…wave pool…this was the place for younger families… and they were there in droves…

the shops …more of the same…including Peter Lik Gallery #3…

connected to ….

2. The Luxor…. Egyptian….can’t help conjuring up the “Walk like an Egyptian” song…. by the Bangles …

rooms are all around the pyramid…as they are at Disney World’s Contemporary Hotel…..

contained what you would expect …the Sphinx…King Tut’s Tomb…. fun for a quick look…pools etc…not up to the hotels we have seen so far….

a fast obligatory look at the casino…shops…that again connect with large “people movers” to…

3. The Excaliber… a Medievel themed experience….again…many families….and theme carried on in all areas…pool…lobby…shops…. lots of tattooed …pierced …..guests…suddenly appeared….

connected with a bridge….

4. The MGM Grand…to get a real look after being unable to take it in the day before….

the largest it seemed….with all the MGM stuff you would expect…including a $9 million dollar glass enclosed lion cage…that you can walk underneath the lions…and hear the fake roars recorded in a studio… we were told during the lecture……by the theme dressed announcer….huge amount of families…. here too…

This was the place to stay…for quite some time…when coming to Vegas…and it looks like it still is…to them…

took a walk on the shopping side of the strip… opposite the “girly cards”…across the street…….this side was M&M bags in the hands of young and old from the shop….just mobbed with travelers… what’s the deal….why such a run on M&M’s?….

5. Planet Hollywood Hotel…in and out for this one…wins the “ugliest Lobby” award…..casinos….like a large version of all their tired restaurants…thought they were on the verge of going belly- up not long ago?…

6. The Paris Hotel…A total change…old Paris..the streetscapes…as the Venetian and New York, New York……aisles of the most beautiful crystal chandeliers line the ceiling of the lobby….with inlaid tiled floors…gold leaf accents….period paintings….another era indeed

shops and casinos…stay in the same themed presentation…. surprised how long the check- in line was….

7. lunch at the Caesars Forum shops..

8. Madam Tussauds…….something we always wanted to try…too expensive for what it was… $24 a person….and if the wax figures truly look like those it they present…the camera really distorts the originals!…

9. connected to Ballys…stained glass overhead…and as is the way here in Vegas…inlaid tiles… shows its age by the plainest lobby we’ve seen ….located just off the casino…

back on the “people movers”…which run everywhere…over streets…

HMMM…a “people mover ” over A1A…at Commercial….just kidding…heard a few years back the President of the Chamber wanted an overhead pedestrian walkway….

10. Bill’s Gambling Hall…a quick step in….and a quicker step out….smoke filtration…none…

11. The Flamingo Hotel…as expected….a photo-op for a tourist or two ….with the show girl out in front…interior…pink…fuzzy…mirrored….and loud….

the lobby more sedate…shops….the usual ….. and out in back….

a garden area with…pink flamingos…huge koi…turtles….and a few of the more colorful tourists….wearing tiger print bathing underwear etc…that would have made Liberace proud!….

12. Harrahs…YUK!…gaudy…tired…fake fireworks and waves…in this motif…a definite come down…way down from where we began this journey….

only one place more troubled to witness….

across from The Wynn…all that is left of the the old Frontier Inn… sits the sign….

we are told the leveled property sold to some Middle Easterners for 36 times what Steve Wynn paid for The Wynn….

13. back to the hotel….downtime….

waited for dark….took a taxi …previous post…to old Las Vegas to see the 5 block shell and the free light show…along with the old Las Vegas…safe under the shell….with lots of security on bikes…

show was a let down…really a video overhead…that connects like a kaleidoscope…

street bands…doing oldies…complementary buffets and $1.99 shrimp cocktails… all to get some business inside…

condos are rising…but the taxi driver says…as fast as they put the wire and cable in…etc….transients steal it…for cash…

so like everywhere else…a development slowdown…..

back to the strip….in previous post….the night was full of stories….

gamblers…actually beating the house…fools getting married ….like the movies….and young people lined up out the door …hoping to get in the hot spot… only to be relegated by looks…clothes….and connections…..

Final thoughts….

we came…we saw…..we walked…and we walked…..we watched and we watched…and… no we did not bet…sorry Vegas….

…..once is enough for us…..

now to get the plane…and deal with the time change…. back to reality……

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Asides…

May 26, 2008 by Barbara

Travelogue …day 2 to come…

interesting…asides…

last night…

The Wynn…we’re on 54th floor…

elevator goes on high floor stacks…28- 39…..then 50-60

no 40-49th floor…

we asked …

the answer….we were told….is due to the large number of Asian guests….

just as Americans think 13 is unlucky…no 13th floor in most elevators…

Asians think 40 numbers are unlucky….is it true?…will have to Google…

Does anyone else pay attention to door handles?….

the amount of time that goes into them is worth more looking…

examples…

The Excalibur….are swords….

New York, New York…N.Y….. skyline…

Paris Hotel…2 Ps facing each other…

The Venetian..Mandolins……..

Planet Hollywood…..PH…….

Luxor Hotel….pyramids……

Next time…you enter a building….take a look as you grab that door handle……

Ate at a Sushi Bar in The Wynn…next to a young man…with a story….for real….his buddy was off to get married to a girl he met today!…

The bartender told him not to worry…as fast as you can get married here…you can get it annulled!

Watched in the high roller room…a man played 3 slot machines simultaneously….$100 per pull…and won over and over again…$750-$2500-$3000-$5500- $7000 almost every game he played…and he was still going an hour later…

he claimed there was a problem with the computer…

we watched him winning….which was quite something….but the desk of employees….with ear monitors…and phone calls from higher ups….was like watching the secret service ….quite a show….

The topper…went to the light show in downtown Las Vegas…the Golden Nugget…Freemont Street…

parked outside the EMS ambulance …..AMR!…

more to come

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Walkies….

May 25, 2008 by Barbara

Day 1 of walking in Vegas….yesterday….

walk we did from morning to night…with more to come today….

There is no recession in Vegas….just lines of people…in stores…hotels…restaurants…shows…and casinos….

Disposable income….it’s all here…big time…and not all from overseas!….

That cold …overcast…rainy weather turned out to be a godsend…in normal desert heat…it would have been brutal…

Sustenance required….. pre-outing….

Breakfast at the Wynn Buffet….$33 per person…the array of food offered could make any traveler forgo going on any journey….after sampling all the vast stations… from serious …tempting over-indulgence…

Here’s the travelogue….

1. The Palazzo…connects to the Wynn…approx.4 months old…even more of a beauty…even more high- end shops…

a visitor from Massachusetts told us at the buffet…….stayed there last week…his input….better rooms than The Wynn…

they get you at the door…with a coupon for a free chocolate dipped strawberry….

ahh…freebies….even with wads of cash and platinum credit cards in their wallets….a line for a free strawberry ensued…

2. The Venetian…connects to the Palazzo….astoundingly gorgeous…as all who had been there informed us it would be…

as we took cell phone pics to send the the BCbythesea offspring….we realized….we were the only ones…looking up…. at these incredible ceilings!….

also saw the canal…gondoliers…moving “statues”…opera….the whole experience….

Eye popping gallery …the first of two he has here… that we saw so far…..photographer Peter Lik…has a website…www.peterlik.com

saying one is “blown away” by his work….is an understatement…incredible ….no wonder he is associated with Sothebys….

3. Treasure Island…again the casinos were full…lots of Asians playing …Pai Gow Poker…and Mini Baccarat…and a big interest in Casino War game….

4. tram to The Mirage Hotel…saw the huge fish tank…  .

all the casinos have BMWs to win….and motorcycle “choppers”….

5….Caesar’s Palace… “Revel Without a Cause” it proclaims…and the tourists were doing just that…

Pete Rose was looking his age…pretty bloated…as he signed memorabilia for old time fans….

Peter Max was to come later to sign work in his own gallery…the picture out front though….40 years old….after seeing Pete Rose….better to leave what Peter Max now looks like….to your imagination….

shops for each headliner…Cher…Bette…Elton John….Jay Leno was in for evening….

faithful readers remember BCbythesea Judith Lieber bag….story…

went in Judith Lieber store…like walking into an art gallery….crystal creations that look like the familiar …pooches…various animals…but new to this visitor…cupcakes…dragonflies…candy….the hours that go into these….a luncheon re-enactment…as in previous post…a must…for those who can afford it…..in dollars and time…

A funny aside: 1st at Caesars….then at New York,New York….and again at MGM…”Was that Vin Diesel?”….

The real deal….or an outstanding look-a-lot….. fun to ponder…

much better than the constant look-a-likes…that flick their “girlie cards”…to all that are making their way past the construction…

so many …it reminds us of Chinatown in N.Y. and all the knock-off purse peddlers…hawking their much more appealing cards… in the eye of the beholder…I know…

so many tossed from the walkers….the sidewalks now looked covered with confetti…of the X -rated variety…

Construction was due to the ultimate Condo- Hotel project …going up…prominently ….being sold with extensive models of each tower…salespeople armed with red laser spotters…and …videos…at each hotel…

totally glass…totally huge….totally non-height restricted….a massive few blocks in all directions…any buyers?…….

6. The Bellagio….the lobby ceiling covered in glass flowers…by a world renowned glass artist…truly spectacular…the conservatory…and of course the casino…which now are overlapping in our minds…

twenty-somethings walking around with Eiffel Tower held drinks….

seen elsewhere through the trek…out and about….drinks in various containers…from boots…to what appear to be bongs….

no open container laws in this town…just kidding…this is the ultimate “Entertainment Overlay District’…no problems….

BCbythesea…opinion….LBTS…should get with it….

finally stopped walking…and ate a very late lunch/ dinner at Cafe’ Bellagio…. thanks to MBTs…previous post….no sore soles…after all these hours….

next stop the casino…..more of the same….

on to the shops…

saw the world’s largest volume chocolate fountain….2 tons of chocolates flowing through 500 feet of stainless piping…after 2 years of engineering…think Willie Wonka….

now even the stores are all blending into each other…think Galleria…Adventura…Town Center…only a few notches above… with Jimmy Choo shoes….Graff Jewelers…and the like…

7. The Monte Carlo…tired…and sad…even the casino dealers look tired and sad…

like old throwbacks…to the movie ‘Casino’ …which coincidentally was shown on the plane ride here….

8. New York, New York…too much…ready to leave on arrival…

9. The MGM Grand… so overwhelming….so spent …. as in…. no more today …please…no $’s involved….yet!….need to re-start there….on day 2….

Zonked….

more to come….

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Wynn Workout…It’s A Winner

May 24, 2008 by Barbara

Stunning spa and salon area…

earthy…neutral tones…..Zen inspired….

1st class workout room…

Top of the line equipment… providing… large/small flat screen TVs… Sharp LCDs

An abundance of each machine…. lined up…and well placed…

good thing …seems most of the guests are the religiously…regular workout room crowd…

Water/fruit….even chilled towels in the fridge….what a great touch!….

Wipes for sanitizing the machines…and staff that saw to it …. after each user…

$65 per person 3 day use…

Arrived just before the crowd…

Looked like the spa/ salon amenities were going to be maxed out for the day…. by the ladies…and men….should see the results tonight!…

Time to pull out the guide book…and step out for day 1….

more to come….

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Morning Views

May 24, 2008 by Barbara

Lights are off…do they ever really go off in Vegas?…..

Incredible mountains views…….

and for those of you in the majority …politically in LBTS….looks like height restrictions outside of the town itself…from this view….

of course from the 54th floor…that’s easy to say….

What happened to the hot…hot…temps?…. it’s colder than home!….

a knock on the door at 4am…Vegas time…a girl…but just confused on rooms….

Items for purchase sitting on the bar area….on top of a “pad”….with a note…

‘feel free to check out the items…ingredients…for 60 seconds”….after 60 seconds….sold …you purchased it!

Who would have thought this one up….the same guy who came up with American Airlines charging to check in a bag for $15?….

on the way to the workroom… to rev up for a full day….

more to come….

Watch for a petition toting Mayor coming to your door soon?….according to the Pelican..that’s her plan…

Watch for snow in LBTS in July….. this….according to the Pelican article on the Vice Mayor’s remarks to the V.P. of  Suez gas port company….with their chances for their floating port where they want it….

well…it’s raining and cold in Vegas….so snow in July?….who knows?…..

Anyone ready to bet on this one?….

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It’s Vegas…Baby

May 24, 2008 by Barbara

Took the flight on Delta…

no big deal…got the seat situation cleared up…

tip from BCbythesea…hairdresser…

ask for the exit seats… as soon as you get to the gate…we did…we got them…

uneventful flight …. landed early by a few minutes…

then got stuck on the plane…moving connection platform would not lock onto the plane…

finally found a temporary solution…and we were off…

baggage was already on the turnstile…

taxis were all around…with lines of tourists…and airport coordinators to line them and the taxis up…10 at a time…at different points on the curbs…like an orchestrated ballet…

our driver… a woman…from Ethiopia…by way of Indiana…to Vegas…

quite industrious…and political…

a Hillary supporter…who worked hard to get the 12 thousand registered Ethiopian voters to the polls to vote for Clinton…

What she like about U.S….”this wonderful country that adopted me”.. …she said…”first come…first served.”…

Does not like Obama…and still holding out hope for Hillary….

Arrived at the Wynn…

newest hotel in Vegas….is glorious…overwhelming…and host to a large majority of Asian workers and guests…

who seem to love a game called mini-baccarat…

The room has a view of the city…54th floor…

outside…

The Mirage…Treasure Island…Trump…and lights …lights…lights….

inside…the room…a beauty…with large bathroom…large comfy bed… flat screen TVs and lovely decor….

Downstairs….the sights…the tables…the stores….eye popping…

time to call it a day….after 22 hours awake…

more to come….

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