Wednesday, June 24, 2015


OK, you all get to finally hear about my trip to Las Vegas. thought I might forget didn't you?  No worries.  You will hear all about it! 

I arrived Thursday evening just in time to have a late supper and hit the slot machines for awhile.  Everyone else had arrived earlier that day and spent time at the pool so everyone was tired, especially with the two hour time change.  I took the following picture up in the room I was sharing with my sister (we had one of those always fun rooms that connected to the room my two cousins were sharing).  Cell phone pictures never do justice but it is still nice.  That giant wheel was not there the last time I was in Vegas two years ago.  We didn't ride but it continually moves at a slow rate so riders can enjoy the views from an enclosed pod that holds up to 40 people.  Yes, it is huge up close. We walked under it.  If you are willing to shell out more cash you can get a pod with a fully operational portable bar in it. 

We were staying at Bally's, which you can see is in the picture.  It shows how huge these hotels are.  Bally's used to have a rather run down and dated walkway with fountains and landscaping that was kind of a waste of space and in the last two years it has turned into a fun outdoor shopping area which made the walk to the strip mush more enjoyable. 

On the first morning it was my grandma's 84th birthday.  She is still full of the energy required to walk around in Vegas.  At the airport TSA allows people older than 75 to keep their shoes on during the security check and when she walked through without removing her shoes they chased her down because they thought she was under 75.  WRONG! 

We young ladies were heading out shopping. 

That night we ate at the warm weather tourist hot spot "Carlos and Charlie's" and they had a balloon artist circulating.  We got them to make an "84" hat to bring to my grandma in the casino and a "30" for a college friend, my sister's former roommate, who joined us on Friday to celebrate her birthday.  Then she made one for everyone else too.  Can you tell what mine is?

It's a striped cat...duh!
The rest of these are not in any particular order. 

Here is a different view of the wheel.  The street you see here used to be the location of the old Imperial Palace casino, which my grandparents used to visit and which many ND residents recognize as the casino owned by Ralph Engelstad.  A new hotel and shopping complex called The Linq is there now.  They also weren't here two years ago!  I can't believe how much changed in two years!

Here is the atrium at the Bellagio, which is filled with lavish plants and themed decorations which change throughout the year.  Currently, it is done in an ocean theme.  It was hard to get a good picture because there are people everywhere!  I don't want to know how many European and Asian tourists will be seeing my pregnant physique in the background of their vacation photos. 

And speaking of...

Here I am, the most sought after woman at the pool at Bally's, hiding out in the shade with my book and water. 

Here is another shot in The Linq alley.

My cousin and I.

It rained twice when we were there!  It was very strange.  On Sunday we were at the pool and some clouds rolled in and raindrops started falling and there was even some thunder and lightening so the pool had to close. Don't worry lifeguards, I was one of you, I understand. There is nothing more thrilling than an unexpected weather break for a lifeguard and I bet those in Vegas get one approximately never. 

More Bellagio ocean.

On Monday we all headed to the airport at different times and I headed to the airport last with my newly 30 year old friend Kari.  I was leaving at 2:00 and she at 4:00.  As I was sitting at the gate a look of dismay came over all the people staring at their phones as we all received a message from our Allegiant app at the same time.  The flight was delayed...until 9:00 PM!  So I would be leaving Las Vegas at 9, arriving in Minot around 1 AM and then driving to Bismarck and arriving home at 3 in the morning just in time for Justin to leave for a 5 am flight for work.  Ugh I was irritated.  I went and found Kari at her gate in another wing of the airport and just when we were about to part ways so she could go to her gate the even worse news came...flight CANCELLED.  I got back to my gate as fast as I could to be the last in line of several hundred people to get a hotel voucher and flight information for the next morning.  This of course caused endless irritation and upheaval back at home.   There was a flight to Billings, MT that was cancelled also and Justin found an article in the Billings newspaper about it this week which made it sound like the passengers were lucky to be "stranded in paradise".  Well, I saw them and I can say that none of us were happy about this.  Although I do love paying $4.00 for more airport bottles of water and soda and spending $12 for fast food meals, I and everyone else was ready to get back to regular life. 

I found my suitcase randomly circling on a carousel that said "Chicago" down in the baggage claim, got on the shuttle and headed to the hotel for the night which was a strange place near the Strip called the Alexis Park.  It was kind of like a Mexican resort. 

I thought it seemed OK until I found my room which didn't face the pool but was on the ground level of one of the buildings facing a parking lot and a chain link fence.  I don't like to live in fear but it was a bit unsettling!

Here is a map I found in the room.  You can see The Strip and the Alexis Park near the bottom right across from Hard Rock.  It could have been worse but it wasn't very much fun being in a non-casino hotel in Vegas.  The next morning I was happy to assemble a presentable outfit (the ONE TIME I manage not to excessively over pack is the time I wish I had more!) and get back to the airport.  I stopped on the way home and picked up Ben and Tessa, who were with a friend's mom who graciously took care of them at the last minute so Justin could go on his work trip.  I brought Ben a novelty tourist paperweight shaped like an airplane that is clear with little stars and dice and playing cards floating in it.  He played with something similar and a friend's house and loved it so I was glad I found one.  Tessa got a flamingo from the Flamingo hotel. She likes it! 

While I was gone they were kept busy by a visit from my dad.  They did all the essential summer activities around town, including the zoo, amusement park and swimming. 

Ben and Grandpa in the tiger observation dome. 

I think they were having fun?

Ferris wheel with Grandpa.

Super slide!

Until we meet again Vegas...I will look forward to the time I can visit you non pregnant!  I was last time I visited too! 

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