So I’ve been lazy… i’m on holidays but anyhow chloe wrote this to keep her family up to date so i stole it… its very lightly edited, sorry if some parts are funny (its three emails into one.. love you all enjoy xx
I’ll start where I left off, at the airport. Demi and Lee arrived at about 1pm and found us fairly easily. Greg was having his lunch, so we sat and talked and then checked in. After checking in (here when you go through security you have to take off your shoes and belt and i have to take my laptop out of my bag and put it through separately) we sat in the bar until it was time to board our plane and even though greg and i spent the whole day at the airport, it didn’t feel like it went that slow. We managed to get upgraded to emergency exit seats (thanks to greg as always) and flew from fort Lauderdale to dallas. At dallas airport we had mcdonalds and then looked around for cowboy boots, because greg wanted cowboy boots from texas. The only shop there that had them was closed so he may have to look while we are in las vegas. Because we were so tired we slept most of the flight from dallas to las vegas and when we arrived it felt late, but it was only 10pm las vegas time. We took our transfer to our hotel and the bus driver was nice, she told us about the strip and gave some advice (such as not to get arrested). Our hotel suite is cool, we have a washing machine which i (and i think greg) were pretty excited about because it will be nice to wash our clothes, we have been washing some stuff in the shower but its not the same. After dropping off our luggage we went for a walk to the nearby CVS pharmacy to get some food and some antihistamines for me, i don’t know what it is exactly but i seem to be allergic to America, i cant stop sneezing and have a runny nose. At the bottom of our hotel is whats called the ‘miracle mile’ shopping mall, its a big circle mall and has lots of clothes shops, i cant wait to go shopping there (we will probably go later today). As we were walking along las vegas boulevard to get to CVS there were all these people with business cards for ‘dating’ services, they are known as flippers and ‘slap’ the card in their hands and put them in front of you to take, but if you don’t take it they don’t try and make you, its just amazing that they are everywhere and the sidewalk is littered with cards with these girls on them. At CVS we bought cereal (there was one ‘cereal’ that was just mini choc chip cookies!) and chips and alcohol, all the necessities! We walked back to our hotel room and went to bed, by then it was 1am and we had to be up in about 4hours for our grand canyon tour. We were waiting at our bus stop at 6:30 and another family showed up for the same tour, the bus didn’t arrive so after half an hour i tried calling them, but the payphone wouldn’t work, so i ended up using lees phone and they said someone had called in sick but they would be there to pick us up soon. The bus drive to the grand canyon took about 3 hours, we stopped at Hoover dam along the way to take photos and have a look and a stretch. In between the bus driver telling us about the scenery, grand canyon etc we napped. At the grand canyon it was cold but sunny, there were white patches on the ground which i thought were sand at first and they turned out to be ice! We jumped on the first shuttle to the skywalk and got in line for it, we didn’t have to wait long. On the skywalk you cant take anything and they make you wear bootie things (like shower caps) over your shoes. They take some photos of you out there that are pretty average and overpriced, we did buy one though which looks like demi and i pushing lee and greg over the edge. It was amazing to see so far below, they told us its 4000 feet. Some girls in our group were nervous about walking on the skywalk and our guide told them not to worry, if you fall you have ten seconds before you get to the bottom! Then we bussed to the next place and had lunch, it was fairly decent (shredded beef, beans, corn, mashed potato) and took more photos. I had a lot of heart attacks because greg and lee were getting too close to the edge for my liking. We got the bus back to the start, looked in the gift shop and then it was time to get on the bus back. Once we were back we had drinks and got changed and went out for dinner. We ended up going to a pub kind of place in miracle mile which had two for one cocktails so we had strawberry daiquiris and they gave us the second ones to take away. Then we went to planet hollywood casino, they don’t ask you for id when you walk in because underagers can walk through, so every time we stopped at a table we all were asked for id. I won some money in blackjack and then lost it at casino wars, greg won then lost then broke even after playing craps, lee did the best he went from $5 to $400 by the end of the night. While we were in the casino a guy came up to us and asked if we wanted vip entry, no cover charge, into gallery nightclub which was upstairs. We thought why not so we went in, it was pretty empty and expensive. It also said on the wall ‘pussycat dolls burlesque saloon’, there was a stage, but by the time greg finished his beer nothing happened (we thought there might be something happening because more people started showing up), so greg, demi and i came back to the room and went to bed, lee stayed and went to the casino for a bit. I slept all the way through from about 11:30 until 9:30! We got ready and took the bus to las vegas premium outlets which is to the north. I went the craziest i ever have shopping! But because everything is cheaper here, i only spent about $500 which is good. I bought too many things to describe, but so far this trip i have bought 5 pairs of shoes! Definitely using the other suitcase greg brought, he bought himself a tommy Hilfiger carry on suitcase as well. He bought a suit and a leather jacket as well, and while we were shopping the suit was altered so he could wear it. After shopping we took the bus back to the hotel, the bus passed through old las vegas which i found interesting because i didn’t know there used to be a different strip. Then we got changed and went out for dinner to hooters. We can see it from our hotel so figured it wasn’t that far, i was wearing shoes i bought yesterday and they hurt so much we had to stop at Walgreens so i could buy some ‘rollasoles’ which are those ballet flats that roll up and you take them out with you. Then we got to hooters just in time to order, they were closing in 5 minutes (it was almost 11). I put $1 in the pokies (or slots as they call them here) and won 20, so i was happy. The food at hooters was yummy, i had quesadillas, they were good but i could only eat half but i could take the rest with me. (i just remembered, when we got off the plane in vegas there were pokies right there in the middle of the airport!) we came back to the hotel, taxi this time, then demi went to bed and lee greg and i went to the Bellagio casino. I came out even and greg lost a little bit, lee put $5 in the pokies the other day and through roulette has turned it into $1000!
We got up late and took awhile to get ready and just had a lazy morning/arvo. We went and organised our tickets for the shows and looked at the shops in miracle mile, had late lunch/early dinner at panda express which was just typical asian food. That night we went and saw peepshow starring holly madison, it was good and interesting because i didn’t really know what to expect, i had heard about it but not much about what happens. After that we went to the casino for a little bit, lee kept winning more money! Then we ate at a place that was open late at miracle mile, just fast food kind of stuff, although over here they don’t seem to be in any kind of hurry to get fast food out quickly, it definitely takes longer than at home.
The next day we slept in again, not quite so late but we still didn’t get out until midday. We took the bus to gold and silver pawn shop, where they film the tv show ‘pawn stars’. I didn’t expect much so i thought it was just another shop, greg thought it would have looked nicer considering its on a tv show now. There was a line up to get in and the shop was full of people, but it didn’t take long to get in and we didn’t stay long, no one bought anything. After that we took the bus to the stratosphere, which is a really tall building with rides on the top. Lee and demi aren’t ‘rides’ kind of people, so we sat at the bottom while greg jumped off the top! He got a dvd of it, so you’ll be able to see when we get home, but its a 250metre jump. While we waited for the dvd to get burnt we had lunch at roxys diner downstairs. On their menu they had a burger that was 4 pounds (i think all up, i cant remember how much the meat weighed) and greg and lee decided to take on the challenge. When they were ordering the guy said ‘ok so 2 for the table?’ and greg and lee said ‘no thats what were having, they’re ordering separate meals!’ these burgers were ridiculously huge. When they were made music started playing (i don’t know what its called but it was very dramatic) and the guy bringing them out (one at a time) had a microphone and announced to the diner about it being the biggest burger, 5000 calories, and people came over and took photos of the burgers and wished greg and lee good luck. I was sitting opposite greg, and from where i was it didn’t look like he had touched his burger when he was done, he got almost halfway, theres photos. They could have split a burger and still struggled. Greg and i bought novelty stratosphere cups with cocktails in them and got refills before we left, we also had cocktails in another novelty glass the night before, so we have more for the collection, they are everywhere in vegas and they refill them for pretty good prices. After the stratosphere we took the bus to mgm grand and swapped our voucher for tickets for david copperfield that night. We went back to the hotel, started packing and then went back to the mgm grand for the show. We had really good seats, im not sure if it was all that was available because people bought all the cheaper seats at the back, but we were second row, its all tables and chairs which is nice. The show was really good and guess what? I got to go up on stage and help out with a trick!!! It was great, but i was so nervous and shaking. I had to put on rubber glove and so did another girl (we have a feeling she wasn’t ‘random’ from the audience but worked for him) and we held a box with a scorpion inside. Then he got the other girl to hold the box and tried to get me to pick up the scorpion, he got my hand pretty close but then said ‘nah just kidding’ thank goodness! There was a deck of cards he got me to shuffle, i was so nervous that i couldn’t shuffle them properly and dropped one on the floor. I checked they were a normal deck, he got me to pick a card while his eyes were shut and i held it up to the camera, then put it back in the deck and shuffled it again. He fanned the cards in a circle and held them together with a big clip, picked up the scorpion and the scorpion picked my card out of the deck! Then before i left the stage he got me to kiss him on the cheek. It was pretty cool to go on stage, greg really wanted to but he was so excited when i got chosen. The rest of the show was great, there were alot of tricks that i think i could guess how he did it, but there was one where he made a car appear on stage that we could not work out at all, it was amazing! After seeing david copperfield we went to the mirage to see the volcano because we thought we would make it to the last show at midnight, but it turned out the last show was at 11 L so we went to caesars palace on the way back, i won on roulette. When we were walking on the strip greg and lee had collected quite a lot of the cards the flippers hand out, so greg tried to be a flipper and give them back out, it only worked once but it was pretty funny. Then we went back to the hotel, finished packing and went to bed. We had to get up at about 7, which is early compared to when we have been getting up. Fitting everything into our suitcases was a struggle, i had to take some stuff out my suitcase and squish it in my carry on so i wouldn’t get charged for excess baggage. Its been one of the more annoying parts of the holiday, that we have to unpack and repack. Not for much longer though. They just announced our flight has been delayed by half an hour. We don’t have any plans for san Francisco apart from going to Alcatraz one night, so it will be good to take it easy, apparently theres a lot of nice places to eat there.
Greg wasn’t feeling so good this morning because he had a few drinks last night, so we had to stop at the restrooms once or twice. Our flight was delayed by half an hour because san Francisco had bad weather and could only use one runway instead of two, so we wouldn’t be able to land. Once we were on the plane, there was another half hour delay and we sat on the tarmac, greg and i slept because we only had about 5 hours sleep last night, we both slept most of the flight. Im getting better at sleeping on planes and buses but it hurts my neck. We arrived in san Francisco and got our transfer to the hotel. It is the best hotel we have stayed at so far, nice modern clean room (our las vegas suite wasn’t as clean as it should be, the stove looked dirty and we found an empty bottle behind a table). We are right in the heart of the shops and union square which is good because we don’t have to walk far for anything. We went and got some lunch at the nearby westfield. There are more homeless people here than we’ve seen anywhere else so far and most have signs asking for money. We’ve seen some strange people, a guy in a long coat with a huge stick walked past, greg said he must have been a wizard, and we saw a guy power walking with poles, kind of like ski poles. We had starbucks which is across the road from our hotel and now ive tried all their holiday coffee flavours (peppermint mocha, pumpkin spice latte and crème brulee latte, pumpkin spice latte was my favourite). The weather has been cold in las vegas and now san Francisco, i would guess low teens (13ish degrees) its hard to know exactly cos they say it in Fahrenheit. Im glad i bought a coat the first day in la, ive worn it a lot in vegas and prob will wear it alot here. Gregs leather jacket is keeping him warm. We watched some tv and relaxed then went out for dinner. We went to dennys, which is a chain here in America so we thought we better try it. We both couldn’t eat most of our meals, but didn’t take it with us cos we weren’t sure if we had a fridge (i found it now). They give free refills of soft drinks here which is cool. I had a strawberry lemonade which is fairly common over here, its fresh strawberries in lemonade, but their lemonade is more like homemade lemonade, more lemon and not so fizzy. It is delicious. Another thing that is delicious, for an entree or side over here you can get chips (or at hooters its potato gems) with melted cheese and crumbled bacon on top. Yum!
we slept in and then went shopping, i bought a handbag and some more clothes. we had dinner at a restaurant at westfield, it was singapore food, i had pad thai and greg had curried lamb shanks, it was nice. then we saw the new sherlock holmes movie, it was great but didnt start until 10:30, so i was so tired by the time it finished. the next day we got up and went to a nearby diner for brekky, then caught the cable car to fishermans wharf. we had to walk along to the pier where our tour left from, the whole wharf smelt like the fish factory. we got on the ferry for our alcatraz tour, it didnt take long to get over to the island. we followed a guide who told us about the escapes while alcatraz was a prison which was really interesting. then we did a tour of the cell block, you have headphones and can hear about the different areas from people who used to work there and prisoners. we got to see the cells where some of them escaped from. outside you could see san francisco, its only one and a quarter miles away, so apparently it was hard for the prisoners to see, sometimes hear what they were so close to and missing out on. we caught the last ferry back and then had dinner at johnny rockets. we took a taxi back to our hotel, the taxi driver was cool. greg said san fran has a few strange people around and the taxi driver said not enough. he reckons its too expensive for the arty/creative people to live there anymore. then we walked down to the shops and i bought another suitcase to fit everything in. today we did an open top bus tour so we could see a lot of san francisco, then we leave for la tomorrow. greg reckons san fran is like melbourne, i dont like it much because the sidewalk is so crowded and the people seem grumpy, theres always horns honking. apparently its the busiest time of the year here, the weekend before xmas because of all the stores.