Monday, June 5, 2017

LV 2017

As the days go on I am getting a bit behind on here as usual.  I better fit in everyone's favorite type of information...stories about other people's vacations!  I was in Las Vegas recently.  I have visited there most years for awhile now at the beginning of summer with family.  We didn't go last year, so I was really excited about this year.  I couldn't even recall the last time I had been away from the kids overnight.  I have been away from one or two here and there but not all three since October.  I was planning to leave from a other city on Thursday afternoon but Ben's preschool graduation was scheduled after I booked the trip an I felt horrible about missing it so I did the unthinkable and tangled with Allegiant airlines on the phone, waited on hold for 40 minutes and managed to change my flight to leave from Bismarck late the same night.  Well...the trip didn't go as planned.  As we were eating supper at a restaurant to celebrate Justin's birthday my app on my phone notified me the flight was delayed.  I instantly got a bad feeling because the same thing happened last time I flew on Allegiant two years ago and my flight ended up being cancelled and I was stuck in Vegas alone for the night in an off-strip hotel.  (I was pregnant so the extra night of partying wasn't really appealing to me at that time.)

Just as I suspected, the flight was delayed again until 11:30.  Justin was tracking the plane and knew it was still on the ground in Las Vegas so I had a very bad feeling.  I knew it was coming but I was still very very angry when I was finally notified my flight was cancelled. 

I waited to see when it would be rescheduled so I could plan when to wake up in the morning when the real blow was rescheduled for 11:00 PM...PM!!!!!! the next night.  26 HOURS after it was supposed to have departed.  I cannot explain the rage I felt about this.  It is the worst feeling because there is no help from anyone and no one cares at all about the plans that are ruined and disrupted.  Wedding?  Who cares.  Funeral?  Who cares?  Extra day of child care to pay for and plan?  Who cares?  Hotel room already paid for in Vegas that you can't cancel?  Nope, no one cares.   Hey's an idea...maybe you should have an extra plane or two available for the times your junky aircraft break down on  REGULAR BASIS so people could at least leave for their travels that they have payed for less than 26 hours late?  The talk was that this was the third cancelled Allgiant flight out of Bismarck in May.

Meanwhile, in Vegas, the rest of the group was trying to check in at the hotel around midnight and the room for my sister and me was under my name.  Since I wasn't there they wouldn't give her the room.  Flight cancelled?  They didn't care.  NO ONE CARES! She had to sleep in my cousins' room.

There was a flight leaving from Grand Forks the next day at lunch time and Justin was heading there anyway with the kids so we thought we would try to get me on that flight.  Only one problem...we live approximately a four hour drive from Grand Forks and Allegiant doesn't answer their phones until 8:00 a.m.  So we wouldn't be able to be sure I was on the flight until then and their average hold time is 30-40 minutes.  I went to sleep since I had been up most of the night with my eyes pulsating with rage and Justin started dialing their number at 7:30 and actually got through right away at 8 and I got on the flight.  He drove approximately 90 mph to get me there in time and I made it on the plane with time to spare.  The plane even landed early and I was finally feeling better.  But then we boarded...and sat...and sat...and sat...for 45 minutes.  It turns out the toilets were not operating.  They didn't have enough of that blue liquid in them.  Then the truck they use to fill them didn't work.  So finally two guys with big plastic jugs of blue liquid came on and filled them manually so we finally took off almost an hour late.  I was in the second to last row of the plane and the people around me were all from the Bismarck flight and we were all filled with so much anger and despair we were laughing like maniacs at how absurdly bad our travel experience had been.  Some of them had drove from Fargo to Bismarck and had to drive back in the middle of the night then get up and race to Grand Forks like I had.  Because it's really hard to inform passengers that their flight won't be arriving within an hour when it's still parked at the airport in Las Vegas.  So hard.  One guy was so tall his head was about an inch from the ceiling of the plane and he of course lost his exit row seat he had paid extra to choose and was practically jammed into the back of the plane.  It was all really bad.  I had real anxiety about my trip home after having two Allegiant flights in a row descend into chaos for me.   

After all that I did finally arrive in Las Vegas and, after a short and pointless argument with the front desk people about locking my sister out of our room which got me nowhere I was finally with the rest of the group and able to relax. 

We stayed at Bally's, which you can see on the right side of the picture.  I was standing in my room in Bally's when I took it so that shows how huge Bally's is and on the continuum of hotels in Vegas it's really not big at all. 

Ceasar's that place is huge.  So is the Bellagio which you can see on the left.  The blue lighting is the huge fountain in front of it. 

My mom's 60th birthday happened two days ago so we thought we would celebrate in Vegas.  We (and by "we" I refer to my sister because she did all the work) secretly reserved a cabana at the pool and made some fun shirts for us to wear that day.

Cabanas are good because you get unlimited water included.  The price gouging over water is something I notice everywhere that involves tourists these days and I hate paying for it.  It is even overpriced if you buy it from the CVS stores on the Strip. 

The rest of the trip was good.  We didn't go to any shows or anything.  We mostly just shopped, walked around and tried different restaurants.  Oh, and played the slots. 

 I thought this floral carousel was pretty cool. 

So was this display of vintage bikes hanging from the ceiling.  Both of these were at higher end hotels which Bally's is not.  Who wants to pay a lot for a room they only sleep in though?

Within the last few years Bally's has had some improvements.  This is a new little market area with stores and restaurants in front of the grand entrance.  It used to be a rather dingy looking expanse of concrete with some old and faded fountains.  I don't recall them even having water in them. 

On the last morning I was the last to leave so I walked around by myself to check out a few things we missed.  The Bellagio has a seasonal floral display in their conservatory so I had to see that. 

The fountain shows were taking a break for a few hours so the pool could be maintained.  This little raft boat was floating around and people in wetsuits were picking up garbage and probably adjusting the jets.  That would be a fun job except I believe the fountains in Vegas are filled with purified drainage water like shower and sink runoff.  That is kind of gross. 

It was a pretty good and low key trip.  The city itself was quite wild (it always is but this weekend seemed even more so) because it was Memorial weekend.  Also, Nevada has recently legalized marijuana.  The law doesn't take effect until July 1st but no one seemed too worried about getting caught anymore and you could smell it everywhere.  Weed smoking has never been my scene so I honestly can say I have never smelled so much in my whole life.  I'm sure by this time next year there will be dispensaries on every corner. 

When it was finally time to take a taxi to the airport I had a knot in my stomach over the upcoming trip.  It went just fine except I had bought Ben and Tessa snowglobes and I had them in my carry-on...or I guess I should say my one personal item that is small enough to fit under the seat because Allegiant charges for carry-ons...and I got flagged going through security and the TSA agent almost confiscated them.  I know the rules about liquids but it never even crossed my mind.  I looked so horrified he let me keep them which I was very appreciative of.  The TSA are humans under those uniforms.  So...lesson to snowglobes on a plane! 

I'm glad they made it through because Tessa loves her snowglobe.  Milo also loves these snowglobes and I didn't get him one because, even though they are plastic, I knew he would throw it around and probably end up breaking it.  And that's exactly what he wants to do so they are fighting over them now and they have to hide them from him. 

My mom sent back these fun lollipops with little stuffed animals attached.  They have wire in them so they can bend around stuff. 

Milo loooooves his.  Of all three kids, he loves his the most and his is the smallest because he throws a huge fit when you take it away so I just let him carry it around.  This is a dentist's nightmare. 

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