22 April, 2013

USA Adventure: Part 1 - Las Vegas!

Well, not only am I home AND back to work (for this week at least) but I’m also back here. To my REAL work and home. My blog. I have so much to share with you guys and this holiday really was of epic proportions! So I figure what better way to share it with you (and prolong the holiday high) than by breaking it down into a series of posts. After all, there is A LOT to share.

I guess I might as well start at, well…the start! And Vegas sure was one hell of a start! I’ll keep my VLV experience in a separate post all to itself but for now, lets look at my first week in Sin City! We arrived in Vegas by about lunchtime on Friday feeling all kinds of messed up from the flight but a lovely trip in our stretch limo along The Strip and to the famous ‘sign’ lifted our spirits. And what luck, when we stopped off at the sign not only was it not very busy but who should be there but Elvis of course!

A little rest time at the hotel and then off to The Strip where we enjoyed (maybe a little too much!) yard-sized double shot frozen margaritas that were some of the best of the trip! We spent lots of time in the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile shopping, particularly at the Bettie Page store. However, beware drunk shopping! Trust me, I’d know ;) haha

Saturday we were off to the Monster Jam World Finals which was SO. MUCH. FUN!!! A definite highlight of the trip, I enjoy watching these monster trucks on TV at home and knew I would like seeing it live but I never realised just how much I would love it! Safe to say I was up out of my seat, yelling and cheering more than a few times (read most of the time). I even got to ride in one of my favourite trucks, Grave Digger!! More on that once all cameras are fully downloaded ;)

Sunday was a little more relaxed during the day with a sleep in and a bit of shopping before heading back to the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile to catch Vegas The Show at the Saxe Theatre. This brilliant production showed us Vegas through the ages. From the early mob days through the glitz and glamour of its 50s heyday and swingin 60s and into the tourist attraction it has become today. The performers were SO talented, the costumes were amazing and the footage of stunning hotels like The Stardust being torn down bought a tear to my eye.

Monday was off to the Grand Canyon and this is a day that will stay firmly in my memory for a long time. This natural attraction is simply breathtaking and mind-blowingly vast. Pictures just do not do it justice and it is certainly something everyone should see in their lifetime. We did the bus, helicopter and boat tour and let me tell you, this is THE way to see the Grand Canyon. We visited the West Rim and it was simply spectacular. I had SUCH a great day!

Tuesday we hit the Neon Boneyard for an insight into the beautiful old neon signs that used to dominate the Vegas strip. As a 50s-o-phile, it was so exciting to see all the famous old signs and atomic stylings! It’s so great that a not-for-profit museum is putting in the time and effort to preserve these timeless treasures! Then we went for a wander down Fremont Street where we saw the famous neon cowboy Vegas Vic, as well as the Glitter Gulch, Golden Nugget and Binion’s Horeshoe signs! A nice spot to explore, particularly at night, for a taste of the old Vegas.

Tuesday night was off to Frankie’s Tiki Room where the very strong drinks preceded to get me rather trolleyed rather easily. A really fun night meeting lots of great people! Having only had 3 (or 4?) drinks, I don’t remember leaving Frankie’s, the cab ride back to the hotel, getting back to the hotel, going to bed or anything. The last thing I remember was ordering another drink and the next thing I knew I was waking up in my bed in the hotel with the worst hangover of the trip! I had so much fun though!!

Wednesday we dragged our hungover selves to Ronny Weiser’s party which was the unofficial kick off party for Viva. There were plenty of bands jamming, lots of friendly folks and plenty hair of the dogs. It was a great day meeting people from all over the world and Ronny’s house is simply amazing! This guy is so lovely and generous, every year he opens up his home to all us rockabilly kin for a fantastic afternoon. After the party, we went and visited a special shop just off Fremont Street for the best souvenir of the whole trip…but more on that tomorrow. Can you guess what it was??

Thursday was the beginning of Viva Las Vegas, but not until the evening. We spent the day doing a very American past time. After all, when in America…you’ve just gotta go shooting!! A whole group of our Aussie crew went to a range just down the road from our hotel and had ourselves a time. Having never even toughed a real gun before, I was slightly scared but mostly excited! I chose the zombie package and got to shoot a Glock 9mm, an AR-15 Rifle, an AK-47 and a pump action shot gun! For a first timer, it sure was a baptism of fire!! It was a little scary but mostly fun and although my aim wasn’t the best it was a real rush to fire those weapons!

Phew! Well, that was my first week in the US and that’s before we even hit Viva! Now you can see why I needed a few days to recover once I got home…and that’s not the half of it yet!! Stay tuned this week for more posts on my USA adventure including my Vegas tattoo, the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender, the wild west and tiki bars of Arizona, our San Diego experience, making it back alive from Tijuana, Long Beach and the Queen Mary, amazing Palm Springs and all the adventures of Hollywood!

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