Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Las Vegas Day 8 - Mother's day

I was so excited I found it difficult to sleep and was up at 5am. We were going on our helicopter ride!  So I was ready to go and got the kids up at 540am and dashed out only to find we went to the wrong gate. We eventually found our limo at South gate and off we went. There were a lot of people waiting at Sundance, and the kids entertained themselves looking at the helicopters outside taking off and repositioning.  Finally our name was called, we weighed in, and watched the video on safety, which also involved the kids having to wear their own life vests, in their size.  I remember thinking oh my gosh, they'll pull the red tags those naughty kids, but the kids hardly moved, and looked very meek and timid (surprisingly).

Our pilot, Fred was bubbly and fun and amusing, and he was really helpful getting the life jackets onto the kids.  We had 3 other ladies in our chopper and we were in one of the really nice helicopters with windows all around the front!  Fred said that our other chopper was broken so we got upgraded to that one, and I don't know if that was true or not but it really was better than the other helicopters.

We took off and flew over Vegas which is so flat - the only bits with raised buildings seemed to be the Strip and what looked like downtown.  Other than that it was all a flat valley.  We flew over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead (which is the largest man made lake in the northern hemisphere) and I got a few shots there.  I like these huge man made constructions.  The wonders of modern engineering always amaze me.  I took a video also but it's so bumpy it would make anyone trying to watch it seasick...  It was the only time we flew over it (I guess it's only for outbound from Vegas helicopters) because we came back via a different route.  Guess you can't have helicopters crashing into each other!  But I would have liked to get some better shots.  They have built a new bypass recently, because the only way to get through to Vegas was over the dam which was a 2 lane bridge and the queues could be really really long (especially now with security checks).

Then onto the Grand Canyon.  We flew to the Western Rim of the canyon, and gosh it's so vast.  Most of it belongs to a tribe of American Indians as their own sovereign lands but there are parts that are available for public use and we landed on the bit that Sundance was allowed to use.  Once there we all had cute little picnic baskets with a breakfast inside and champagne for me and hubby and juices for the kids.  We didn't actually eat much - there was a croissant and a muffin and a muesli bar inside but I only nibbled on the croissant - as there wasn't much time to eat because we spent most of our time walking around taking pictures.

All too fast our time was over and it was time to pile back into the helicopter.  We got to ride in the front on the way back which was cool!  Had a quick fly over the strip but it was hard to take any decent photos and before you know it we were back at the airport.  It was a great tour!   It was quite windy, so I'm glad we went in the morning - Fred said we were lucky that we went first off the bat because it was only going to get windier as the day went on.  One of the ladies was airsick on the way back!  Thank god for headphones, we didn't hear a thing.  Erika slept on the way back in the chopper (Julian slept on the way out).

In the afternoon we visited Madame Tussaud's, and headed down to Paris hotel only to find that the Eiffel ride was shut due to the adverse weather conditions (too windy).  That was a shame!  We walked through the Cosmopolitan (one of the newer hotels on the Strip) but there wasn't much to do there.  So we headed back to the hotel for some dinner at Wazuzu, but the kids were absolute shockers!  Misbehaving something shocking at dinner messing with everything at the table, crying their heads off, spitting out their food... hubby took Julian back early because he couldn't stand the noise anymore and I ended up with the bill.  We then headed out to Bellagio to try to catch the water fountains and they really are quite impressive.  Better as a video than a photo though.

Then back we went to the hotel for sleepies.  The kids were tired and it was quite cold too.

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