Las Vegas 2021
Day 3: Tuesday, December 21
Since I did go to bed quite early last night, that meant I was up early again as well...5am to be exact! I had turned off the heat when we went to bed and just had the air running and it was quite chilly in the room. I tried turning on the heat, but it wasn't blowing out warm air anymore. Hmmm....I figured maybe I'd just go take a nice hot shower to warm up and this is what happened...
I wasn't really sure what was going on but I knew I was freezing. I couldn't brush my teeth, wash my face, flush the toilet...nothing.
I walked back into the room and looked toward the window and WOW.....WOW....WOW!!! This was the site of the sunrise this morning.
It was just insanely bright and red and I just loved every minute of it. It completely took my mind off how cold I was. Very mesmerizing for sure.
I worked on my notes with a blanket wrapped around me at this point and started making plans on what we were going to do today and the route we would take. I talked to Kendra a little bit and kept wondering why she was up so early. She is not a morning person. I forgot it was actually 9:30am back home.
The family was up and the water was back on at 6:45am. Both Sakari and I took a nice hot shower and I found this in the bathroom after she got out of her shower...I guess this means she is loving Vegas!
We left for the bus stop and was headed to either Blondie's or La Salsa Cantina were I knew that they offered a cheap $4.95 breakfast that came with 2 eggs, meat, tortilla, toast and potatoes. It sounded like a cheap deal to me and they were both in the same area at the Miracle Mile Shops area at Planet Hollywood.
Heading out to the bus stop. This is the entrance from off the street.
Down the street to the traffic light and across we went. Then back down the street to in front of the Luxor to wait for the bus.
We have arrived...
Now it is quite the chore to get to any place in Vegas. I was learning this really fast. You think things are just lined up in places but they are HUGE! I mean just to get from hotel to hotel was quite a walk. It's not like hotels lined up and down the street and you walk over to each. It's more like walking the entire block or more just to get to the next one.
Walking in the mall would be no different. We walked and walked and walked...
We did find a map of the mall and of course where we needed to go was all the way in the back and to the right.
Once we entered that section, which was full of restaurants and bars, it totally caught me by surprise. It was absolutely beautiful in that area. The ceiling was domed and resembled a sky. It was like it was almost nightfall and the lights were dimmed. So incredibly pretty. The pictures honestly do not do it justice.
This area was popping...a lot of people wanting breakfast. Both Blondie's and La Salsa Cantina had a wait list. We added our name to the list and stood around and waited.
I had Sakari stand under this lady just to show how big she was...yes, she had underwear on (the hubby ask...)
We were seated within probably 20 minutes and given our menu's. I immediately spotted the $4.79 breakfast. Score! Online wasn't lying about it. We were going to eat cheap this morning.
As the family looked at the menu, I told them we were here for the cheap-o breakfast and pointed to in on the menu. The waitress came around and took our drink and food order and Sakari tried to order an omelet for $10.75 and I immediately told her "no, we are ordering the cheap meal. She thought when I pointed to it, that I was just pointing at the page and she had to pick something from that entire page. Nope, you get the cheap-o just like us.
The food was a little slow coming out, but the place was packed for sure. When it came out, it was plenty enough to get you full and it was really good as well.
We headed back out to the very long mall and did a little shopping. There was a sock store that caught Sakari's eye when we first arrived. She wanted to go there. As we browsed, she found 2 socks that she wanted. They were the only display in the store with no price on them. When I inquired about them, I was informed they were $28 EACH! FOR PAIR OF SOCKS??? WOW! We decided to pass on getting the socks and I hated to disappoint her but geesh!
I was on the hunt for a bigger purse though or some type of small tote bag. I couldn't seem to find anything so out of the mall we went and started walking around.
We passed by the Paris hotel and I don't know why, but we just never went in it. I'm still kicking myself for that and I'll have to try it next time.
As we walked toward one of the escalators there was an "older" woman that set up her hoola hoops and "donation" bags and turned on her boom box. She was getting it. You just never know what you are going to see on the streets here.
We were heading over to the Flamingo. I knew that they had a Flamingo Wild Life habitat garden and I wanted to go there.
A tour of the flamingo area which had flamingo's, pelican's, ducks, swans, turtles, tons of very large fish and plenty of waterfalls.
Something cool I read about the koi fish here (there was a sign up there but I didn't take a picture), a Las Vegas site states that the koi fish can live up to 60 years old. However, I promise you, there was a sign stating that the Flamingo Hotel had the oldest living koi fish, which died (I can't remember when) and it was at some crazy age that was over 200 years old. I really can't remember the exact age but it was for a very very long time. Imagine that...a fish living longer than people for many many years and the next generation caring for them as well. So cool.
Sakari getting the perfect shot...
We headed out to find a bus stop because now I had our day planned to to go Circus Circus and ride the rides there. I knew that was something that Sakari would like to do. I knew they had a roller coaster inside and since she didn't get to "jump" off the Strat, maybe this would make up for it.
We made it onto the bus and I noticed this....the route's were on the door and it listed the stops. Remember I carried a paper with me that was the same thing so that we knew where to get off at.
Now yesterdays trip, I over heard the driver tell another passenger that the bus stop for Circus Circus was closed heading northbound. So when we got on, I told the driver we were going to Circus Circus and he said "I'll let you know when to get off since that stop is closed". Oh course I assumed it was going to be either the stop before or after and he knew which would be best.
As we were riding along, I noticed that we had just passed Circus Circus. So, I guess that meant that the stop before that was further away. We kept going and going and when WE seen the next stop, it was very far away and the hubby said "I don't think you can walk that far". The bus driver never did tell us when to get off.
So now the hubby is saying "we will just ride it all the way to the end and then circle back around and catch the stop on the right side of the street at Circus Circus." Ok, it looked like that's what we had to do. There was no choice. I also knew that it was still quite a ride to get there.
When we finally got to the Freemont Street area, the bus pulled up to a location and then told everyone that it was the last stop. People got out and people stayed on that were going back the direction we had came from. Then the driver made the announcement that everyone had to get off and transfer buses. Wait what? So, he really wasn't about to tell us about getting off at Circus Circus and should have known and said this when we told him where we were going!
We piled off the bus and onto another bus that was in front of us waiting.
Eventually we made it to Circus Circus, but it was such a long ride. When I took the picture of the doors with the routes on the bus (which we had already been riding for awhile and made a few stops at that point) it was 1:50 and when I took the first picture of us walking to Circus Circus it was 2:44pm. So almost an hour ride to get there and remember, that was starting from Flamingo and not Luxor.
We came in at the entrance and like all other hotels...you see nothing but slot machines. We are winding our way around the casino area trying to find the section with the rides and come across the Circus performance area. You go up some stairs and there is a small seating area with a small stage. There really weren't many seats to begin with and I can't imagine how crowded it would get during an actual show. We had just missed the show and it was another 40 minute wait for the next. So we decided not to stay.
This place was loaded with every kind of fair games, arcade games and enough to make all parents go broke in with the kids but it was PACKED! Kids everywhere and parents draining their pockets beside them.
We kept walking and walking and seen signs on how to get to the "Adventuredome", which was the theme park. Of course like everything else we did, it would be in the very back of the building, which was like 256 miles long
Once we arrived there was a long line, however...it moved very quickly.
You do go through security in order to get into this place. Then once you are in, you have to get in line at the ticket counter. You purchase your tickets, which are $40/pp and they are good all day up until midnight.
We paid for our tickets and got our wrist bands. The lockers cost $4/small, $6/medium and $8/large and you could access them at any time and not have to pay again. They worked just like the safe's, you put in your own key code to lock and unlock them.
There was a stage as you walk in and someone was doing tricks...it was funny because I remember this was one of those things they did on the ship with the kids club and they would put on a show for the parents at the end of the cruise with the tricks they learned to do with this rope and yoyo looking thing.
Now I really wouldn't know just how huge this place is until much later in the day. There were actually 2 roller coasters, 4D movie theaters and all kinds of rides for all ages.
We first decided we would get on this flat thing with a bunch of seats that started to sway back and forth until it was going around in circles and upside down. This was the Inverter! You spin 360 degrees around and 1.5g's. It started the adrenaline rush right off the bat. (It is the ride you see in the above movie of the clown, but in the background).
Ok, that was fun and got the blood rushing to my head...what do you want to do next Sakari?
We headed straight for one of the roller coasters. Now you did have to walk up stairs to get to them, so by the time I was up there, I was worn out. This fluffy lady with a bad leg has difficulty with this tasks. Oh how I long for the days before my accident.
The roller coaster we decided to get on was called El Loco. And it was crazy for sure. It was a small cart that held 4 people I think and off it went. It goes up 90 feet before it drops into twist and turns and upside down maneuvers. I can tell you that when it dropped and then went into the loop, my bar tightened and man did it hurt my stomach.
Next up was the other roller coaster. It was more like a roller coaster to me and we had to go higher up to get on it. This was the Canyon Blaster. We strapped in and off we went on a thrill adventure that I absolutely loved!!! Twisting and turning and it threw us into a corkscrew loop and then 2 double loops at 55mph. It was AMAZING and I loved it. My favorite of the day.
Now the lines were not long despite the amount of people that were in the dome. I was kinda shocked. Any ride we got in line for we only waited maybe 2 rides before it was our turn. I was liking that as well.
Next we went to see a 4D show inside. This was the Ice-Age show and I swear I had seen it before somewhere else. Maybe at another theme park. Scrat the Saber toothed squirrel was trying to save his nut and kept warping into another place with a time zone machine. It was funny and I love 4D movies.
After that, we decided to go to the Extreme Ride Theather. This was another 4D type of movie but this time you were on a seat that moved and had things touch your feet and poke your back. The movie was Angry Birds. It was fun of course. They did have another 4d movie, but I never did find it.
Now I have to say, I was extremely HOT in there. They do have locker rentals and we had put all of our things in there, including our coats, but I was still really hot. The family was hungry at this point and I just wanted fresh air.
We decided to head outside, winding our way around the 256 miles that we came in and outside to where I could cool off.
It was starting to get dark at this point. We talked about where we wanted to eat...whether it be inside the Adventuredome or at one of the food places we had passed inside by the casino. We headed back in to take a look and ended up at the food court at Dairy Queen. This was only after I got excited that they had a Popeyes Chicken...only to wait in line and be told "We're out of chicken" ummmm, how are you a chicken place and you run out of chicken? What are you serving???? Drinks! But, DQ had food...but they were out of drinks. Maybe these two should get together and franchise or something.
Now we eat Dairy Queen here and there at home and I can't say I've ever really had bad food from there. However... the fries were very bad and old tasting and everything else was very questionable as to how long it has actually sat there despite how long we had to wait for the food. The bread was so hard you couldn't even eat the insides. Ugh!
Once we were done, we headed back to the Adventuredome to continue with our fun. The day wasn't over with yet! There was no line this time and we walked right in (after security check of course).
They did have their Christmas decorations up...
When we were headed out a little bit ago, I went a different way to go to the restroom and discovered another area with even more rides we wasn't even aware of. So, we were ready to try them out.
Up next was the Road Runner which was a cart that went around in a circle and up and down on bumps. It was the "kid" version of the fair rides you see going really quick and it throws the person against the one sitting on the outside. Sakari and I made fun of ourselves for going on it to begin with and daddy sat this one out and just watched us laughing the entire time.
We got off that ride and headed to Disk-O Ride. This was a large round "disk" that would spin around at the same time it went back and forth...really high. It was a lot of fun. You sit on something straddled like a motorcycle and faced outwards. We had a blast...daddy sat this out too using the excuse that he had just ate and needed it to stay down in his belly where it belonged.
Next up was the pirate boat ride. Everyone has seen them at the fairs. You are in something that looks like a pirate ship and it goes back and forth getting higher and higher.
We had rode just about everything that was teen-adult worthy so I ask Sakari if there was anything else she would like to do again...the "must do's"... and of course we looked at each other and said "the roller coasters". We headed back to the Canyon Blaster (my favorite) and once again, had a blast. Somehow daddy's stomach was "ok" to keep his food down at this point and he went with us. Of course Sakari wanted to do her favorite coaster again, the El Loco. I have to tell you that this experience was probably worse than the last one for me. The bar tightened on me and it felt like I got the wind knocked out of me. I was gritting my teeth, I was holding the tears back and I just wanted it to end. It remained Sakari's favorite ride still.
After that, I ask Sakari what she wanted to do and she said she was done riding. We gathered our things from the locker and headed out.
We headed to the bus stop and I confirmed with Sakari that she had a good time and she agreed. When the bus came, it was a little crowded, but still places to sit. My goal was to get off at Bellagio and watch the water show.
Once we arrived, it was already packed but we managed to find a spot behind another "short" family so it all worked out and we could see. While waiting, Paris was putting on their show as well full of lights all over the tower.
It wasn't too long before the Bellagio water show started. It lasted around 3 minutes and was very pretty.
After the show, my goal was to go to the Bellagio's botanical garden. I had seen pictures online of it and it was absolutely gorgeous! They do change it every so often and as much as Sakari wished to see the display with the mushrooms, it was Christmas and I told her I'm sure they have it decorated for that occasion.
My poor legs carried me up to the entrance and into the hotel. I was in a lot of pain at this point.
We spotted more Chihuly's on the ceiling in the entrance. I loved these displays of glass.
We walked into the Winter Wonderland and man was it BEAUTIFUL!
In case you are wondering...yes, everything is made out of flowers. It was just so pretty!!!!
They did have a gift shop there as well so we decided to go in and browse. Sakari immediately found her rock trees. They were a lot cheaper than the Tree of Life store in our hotel, but still very expensive.
Inside this shop, they had these vases as you walk in the door. They were multi colored and resembled flowers. I thought they were glass of some sort because they had a lot of glass in the store. Well me being me, I just had to touch one and found that it wasn't glass at all. It was like a rubber substance. I picked one up and it basically folded in my hands and was not steady at all. It was very heavy. I had thought they were plant vases but I don't think you want to put your plants in it for fear it might be ruined and if you ruin it, it would be a very costly mistake, which I found out after turning one over to see the price of $1000 or so for one of these. YIKES!
They did have a lot of cool items in the store, but way too expensive for my taste. My dogs would eat it all.
Back out to the gardens we went to continue on in the winter wonderland of flowers.
It was definitely a beautiful place but I have to admit, when I looked at pictures online (of their other displays) prior to going, I did picture this area to be much bigger than what it was. I don't know why.
We headed out...
We went over to the shops at Aria. I had heard that it was pretty in there and had some artwork. However, I have to say after going through other places, and especially after what we just came out of at Bellagio, there was nothing impressive in there...so we left.
I do have to say that most of these "malls" you find here are high-end retailers like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Tiffany's, Coach, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Versace and all kinds of places I've only heard in rap video's. Just saying...
We quickly made our way out of the mall and to the bus stop where we would wait and wait and wait. It was probably the longest wait we had ever had since coming. (They do say the buses run every 15-20 minutes but I guarantee it was more like 40 minutes this time around). Sakari had made several comments about "we could probably walk back to the hotel faster than waiting on this bus!" Well, after the bus came, we discovered exactly where we were at...right next door to New York New York, which is across the street from the Excalibur, which we could have easily walked over the bridge and caught the tram back. She was right. Maybe daughter knows best in this situation.
We headed to the room and Sakari was so tired that she went straight to bed. I decided that I had not tutored myself enough for the day and I wanted to go down and play the slots for a little bit and try our luck out.
Ya win, ya lose some. I was the later half at losing and the hubby did ok.
We did find this game that kept us playing for quite some time. It would be my "go-to" game from here on out and I always had to play it just for the thrill factor that it would keep me playing.
I did like this Jumanji game as well. It hit pretty good but of course I didn't know when to walk away and when I did...I was left empty handed.
The hubby walked out with his $54 win and we called it a night and headed back up to the room to find Sakari already passed out. We managed to wear her out tonight and honestly I think I over did myself as well. My leg was in so much pain and getting really swollen and stiff. I was afraid I was going to pay the price the next day for such a long day filled with so much walking. My head hit the pillow and I don't remember a thing after 11:15pm that night.