Day 7 – Las Vegas to Salt Lake City (Part 1)

I apologise to all our followers who have woken up on Monday morning expecting to see a post about our journey today (Sunday) only to find this!

We arrived safely in Salt Lake City after a very long and very tiring six-hour plus journey  and after having a quick dinner the author of the blog was so shattered (well it’s very tiring being a passenger on a long journey!) she decided a quick nap 😴 was in order before writing today’s post. Well, we all know what happens to good intentions don’t we? 🤔The nap turned into a nice long sleep and it’s now rather late to be composing anything sensible. So, today’s post (well it is still Sunday here, albeit very late) will be delayed until tomorrow, Monday.

Now let’s get back to that lovely dream  I was having before I woke ………………………

Day 6 – Las Vegas and Harry Potter!!

We’ve had a full day today!

It started off with high winds again today but at least that kept the temperature down for a while. As today was our last full day we decided against spending time round the pool this morning in favour of getting out and about. We started off with breakfast at the Pool Cafe and as we will be leaving Vegas tomorrow decided we should indulge a little and had Mimosas with our breakfast. We were part way through eating when suddenly, whoosh, we found ourselves being splattered with a white substance ……………… the waitress had dropped a jug of milk and it went absolutely everywhere including on us! It was hilarious really but unfortunately there were one or two guests who did not find it so amusing! 😂😱 The poor waitress was mortified.

Enjoying our Mimosas.

No, they’re not both mine …. just the one!

We then moved on to the Fashion Show Mall for a browse and possibly a little shopping. As we wondered around we came across a Vans store where they have just started selling a Harry Potter range of sneakers. I only found out about them yesterday and lo and behold there they were, right out in front of the store. Well, what’s a huge Harry Potter fan supposed to do ………… I went in of course and treated myself to a pair of the Golden Snitch ones.

I also managed to find myself a rather lovely handbag (because I really needed one you know!)

There’s a new show in town too …………….. ‘Potted Potter ………….. all seven Harry Potter Books in seventy hilarious minutes’. The show only started last Tuesday and today was the first matinee performance and we managed to get tickets. It’s showing in a small venue at Bally’s Hotel and as the venue only holds about 220 people it was a rather intimate setting. The comedy-duo are British performers Dan and Jeff, who used to be on CBBC (that’s a British children’s television brand owned by the BBC and aimed at children aged from 6 to 15). The show was entertaining and really funny at times, even a small amount of politics managed to creep in about a certain President and that went down very well!

The ticket pricing was a little screwey!!! There were three levels of ticket prices, General, Gold and Platinum but when we arrived at the venue there was really no difference between the top price and the bottom with regards to seating. We were three rows from the front but only paid $49 each whereas the people in rows 1-2 had paid  approximately $109 each. We would have been very unhappy to have paid top price and then find we were all sat together!

The day seems to be full of everything Harry Potter. Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 are even on the television tonight!

I will just mention that we’ve had a couple of good wins again today courtesy of Mr Monopoly and 4D Wheel of Fortune so always good to finish on a high note! 😀

As always, we’ve enjoyed our stay here but it’s now time for the second part of our holiday and time to move on to the Grand Tetons National Park so better bring the thermals to the top of the suitcases! ❄️ We’ll collect our hire car in the morning and be on our way further down the holiday road.

See you next in our overnight stop in Salt Lake City.

 

Day 5 – Las Vegas and the cheese plate ….. finally!

Well, I can see most of you scratching your heads thinking ‘what on earth is she talking about …………. a cheese plate?!!’ 🤨

Some of you will know this already but for those who do not then I shall explain.  One of my great joys of coming to the Bellagio is visiting the Petrossian Bar to partake of the cheese plate and cocktails whilst people watching and listening to the pianist (it just so happens that today one pieces was ‘Somewhere in Time!). The cheese plate consists of the Chef’s selection of seven fabulous cheeses accompanied by various warm bread rolls, crunchy flat breads, sliced apples, apricots, dried raisins, quince jelly and walnuts.

Sand with her cheese plate and cocktail!

To go with this I had a ‘Raspberry Cosmopolitan’ (vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, raspberry liqueur, lime juice and ice shaken in a cocktail shaker then poured into a martini glass and garnished with a raspberry, or in this case two raspberries). Si had a ‘Park Avenue’ Manhahattan (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Cherry Herring Liqueur, Luxardo Cherry and Orange Peel).

As Si opened one of the cocktail menus he was given a little surprise! 

The ‘after’ photo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was an Irish gentleman’ sat on the next sofa to us. Our first impressions were not great as he was sat with his feet on the table. Anyway, our first verbal contact was when he asked us if we could identify the flavour of the popcorn! The first thing you get when you sit down in the Bar is a trio of popcorn and fabulous nuts. We were unable to identify the flavour (our server, who has been serving in the Bar since the Bellagio opened 21 years ago and who has served us many times over the years, informed us that it was truffle and truffle oil flavour). He turned out to be quite a character. He was from Belfast, had never visited Las Vegas before and had flown down from Chicago for a three-day visit before returning there for a business meeting. He was very chatty and turned out to be rather funny.

It was our intention to go and visit the Fashion Show Mall after lunch to take a look at the many shops (well, it’s been a couple of days since we last shopped!) and to visit a couple of the other casinos but by the time we had finished our cheese, cocktails and various other beverages, we decided it would be wiser to leave that until tomorrow …………….. if you get my drift!!! 😂 So, instead we visited ‘Mr Monopoly’ and once again he rewarded our loyalty with a nice little win. We are so easily pleased!

The winning combination

Our win!

We did go round the pool for a couple of hours this morning and had breakfast at the Pool Cafe. It’s lovely in there, very informal with lovely staff.

Breakfast at the Pool Cafe – caramalised pink grapefruit and cereal

Cereal and cinnamon raisin bagel with Philly cream cheese

I don’t know why we didn’t think of going there earlier in the week! So many places to visit and so little time. It was a little cooler today, 95 degrees but very windy. So much in fact, that we were told for safety reasons to put all the sun umbrellas down. 💨

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post about The Hunger Games what our archery scores were. We had various exercises to perform and on one we actually scored 94% and our overall score was 74%. Considering we had never used a bow and arrow before we felt rather pleased.👍 Also, we were both rewarded with a Hunger Games’ pin because they could see we were going to make excellent warriors in ‘the Revolution’! Wow!

Last night we ended up eating at Sadelle’s again

Si’s not so healthy dinner last night!

And mine wasn’t that healthy either – well the tuna was okay but not the fries!

and it was our intention to eat tonight at the Forrest Gump restaurant Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. but after our lunchtime indulgences we are not exactly hungry so another thing to go on the ‘tomorrow’ list. It’s a good job we’ll be coming back here to finish off the holiday!

Tomorrow is our last day here and so I was just checking out the weather for our next ‘port of call’. We are heading to Salt Lake City on Sunday and on Monday to the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. On Sunday, Salt Lake is forecast to be sunny and 62 degrees and on Monday the Tetons and Yellowstone, cloudy and 63 degrees. In fact tomorrow in the Tetons, snow is forecast with a temperature of 44 degrees. Good job we bought warmer clothing with us. After Vegas I think we are going to need it!

Thanks for reading and all the comments. We’ll be back tomorrow from what is sure to be a very busy Vegas ……………… the weekenders are arriving as I write! 😱

 

Day 4 – Las Vegas and The Hunger Games

We decided against lounging round the pool this morning ………………. us oldies decided we needed a break from the hot sun! It’s 2.00 pm and at the moment the temperature is 101 degrees and is forecast to rise even further before the day’s out! 🌞🥵

I apologise in advance that most of today’s blog is only really going to be of interest to fans of The Hunger Games. Maybe now’s the time to pop out and put the kettle on!

After another delicious breakfast at Sadelle’s

Si had a healthy breakfast today!

Sand’s breakfast

we headed over to catch the monorail at Bally’s Hotel that would take us down to the MGM Grand Hotel to take a look at The Hunger Games Exhibition. We decided it was too hot to walk. We were very lucky because today was the first official opening day for the exhibition and for most of the time we were the only people in there.

Entrance to the Hunger Games’ Exhibition

 

 

If you are a HG’s fan then it’s a real treat. It’s not a large exhibition but there are a lot of the actual costumes from the films plus actual props including President Snow’s desk and chair, set recreations and hands-on interactive exhibit elements allowing visitors to engage with behind-the-scenes content and explore the technology that brought the films to life. The best part for us, apart from seeing the costumes was taking part in Beetee’s Archery Training. It was fantastic ……………… I’m thinking of taking up archery!

Here’s a sample of some of the costumes …..

Katniss Everdeen’s wedding dress

The Mockingjay dress

The Victory Party costume

The ‘Girl on Fire’ costume

The Tribute Parade costume

Peeta Mellark’s Tribute Parade costume

Tigris shop costume

Effie Trinket’s Victory Parade costume

Sat at President Snow’s desk and in his chair!

Sat on the train to the Capital!

The Capital Train

Katniss’ hunting costume

I haven’t seen a map laid out of Panem before but it was interesting to read where all the Districts are supposedly located. It’s based on a map of the U.S! For example, District 10 is in Texas/New Mexico. How did I never know that!?

A map of Panem

At the end of the exhibition we had our photos taken pretending to fire arrows and there was of course the gift shop!  I’m now the proud owner of items of THG’s memorabilia. Who would have guessed it!?

Here’s me and Si in action!

On the way back from the exhibition we stopped off at one of the other casinos and this is what greeted us ……….. they must have known a shoe-aholic was about to walk through the door!

Now this is what you call a shoe!

We haven’t decided about dinner tonight so if we go anywhere very exciting I’ll report back tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

Day 3 – Las Vegas

Hope you’ve got an hour or two to spare, today’s post goes on a bit!😱

It’s been very hot again, 92 degrees this morning at 8.30 a.m. with lots of sun, sun, sun.🌞

After enjoying another lovely breakfast at Sadelle’s

we spent a couple of hours round the pool. We found an excellent spot right next to the pool and with no smokers! Yesterday we managed to be sandwiched between three lots of ‘puffers’. It always comes as a bit of a surprise to us when we see people smoking these days. Of course, here, people can smoke in the casinos and round the pool. There are special ‘no smoking’ areas but they are smaller than the ‘smoking’ areas.

One entrance to the Bellagio pool area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Si having a dip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me trying to look cool in very hot conditions!

We were saying yesterday that another thing we tend to forget until we get here is just how much walking there is to be done. If you wanted to walk from one end of The Strip to the other you would be walking 4.2 miles! Still, it helps to keep us fit by walking off all the food we are eating and cocktails we are drinking!

This afternoon we’ve been doing one of my favourite pastimes …………… shopping!! Well, it has to be done!. We walked over to the Forum Shops attached to Caesars Palace Hotel. It is a major 677,138-square-foot shopping mall. Measured in terms of sales per square foot, it is the highest grossing mall in the United States! It has great shops. I could probably spend all day there!

On our way to the shops!

 

Adding Las Vegas charms to my bracelet!

I spent some time in the Pandora store buying Las Vegas charms for the travel section of my bracelet!

We then came across one shop where a young lady handed us body butter made from green tea. Before we knew it we were in the shop and I was being given a sample collagen treatment being assured that in a very short space of time I would look 10 years younger and where the key ingredient is black Caviar! According to the young man carrying out the procedure, it was a ‘Premium Non-Surgical Instant Wrinkle Eraser’. It’s to be used once a week together with a special moisturiser. Si was amazed at how it worked in such a short space of time! 😱The next time any of you see me, please tell me how young I’m looking because I ended up buying this ‘incredible’ product. 👧 It seems to be a big deal in the beauty world! I’m not going to tell you how much it cost but we did get an excellent deal with the moisturiser and face wash thrown in for free! I know what you’re all thinking ………….. suckers! 😂Time will tell!

Do I look any younger?

I’m going to break away for a while as we are having dinner at one of the new restaurants here at Bellagio called Largo by James Beard Award Winning Chef Julian Serrano who we are told “sets the evening in motion with his stunning interpretations of Italian, each packed with distinct and unmatched flavours.” Tour the bolder side of Italy with innovative small plates. All sounds rather interesting ……………. I shall report back later.

Hi-de-hi, we are back! Well, food excellent, seating excellent, we were right next to the Bellagio Fountains so magnificent all round …………….. except maybe the price for all that excellence!!

Small plates it was …………. you could call this Italian tapas. For a party of two they recommended having four plates to share but more could be added if required. We shared the two slices of Bruschetta Al Pomodoro, small Margherita pizza, two pieces of Cannelloni with pulled short ribs, Linguine Pesto, one Limoncello, two glasses of Merlot, one G&T, two coffees with liqueurs and a bottle of Pellegrino …….. grand total with tip ……….. $230 (approx £184). Well, “hello” Las Vegas! Would we pay that back home for the same meal, probably not, but will we pay it in Vegas …… yes! Expensive, but it was fabulous and I think we will visit again. For all those who like to see photos of the food here they come, apart from the one of the Bruschetta, that wasn’t fit to be published!

The pizza!

The Canelloni

The Linguine

 

 

 

The Merlot

The Limincello

Si’s coffee and liqueur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those not particularly interested in culture it’s probably best to look away now ………………… we saw the fountains play at least four times and one of the tunes was a heartstrings-tugging version of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43. (theme tune to the film Somewhere in Time (1980) …………… fetch me a hankie please! 😢 If you have never seen the film then please, right that wrong immediately!

There are many versions to be found but this is just one …

I’ve now managed to find the actual one from the film, it’s a shorter version … enjoy!
Sniff, sniff, sob, sob ……… if that didn’t stir your emotions then you must have a heart of stone!! 😢
After all the indulging we decided to finish off the evening with a little flutter and I’m pleased to report that luck was on our side as we played $20 and came away with $140! 😀
Fingers crossed for more luck and lots of sunshine tomorrow! 🤞

 

Day 2 – Las Vegas

Well, we’ve had a hot day today! It’s currently 95 degrees at 8.00 pm!

Our day started with our leisurely breakfast. They’ve revamped what used to be called Cafe Bellagio and changed it’s name to Sadelle’s. I was trying to think of how to describe it now and Si’s come up with “more sophisticated”. Si’s first holiday breakfast was quite restrained, he usually starts large but today he just had an omelette with smoked salmon, I just had the yoghurt parfait.

Si’s first holiday breakfast!

It’s right next to the famous Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. where they are currently celebrating a Japanese spring.

Japanese Spring

Si took some video too!

After breakfast we joined the ‘beautiful’ people (I’m not including us in that description!) at the pool but limited our time as its been a while since our lily-white skin has been exposed to really hot sun! 🌞This is just one of the, I think, five pools and it’s Olympic size.

We wondered down to the MGM Grand Hotel to check out where to buy tickets for The Hunger Games Exhibition (more about that later in the week) and managed to win a few bucks on a Monopoly machine. Mr Monopoly has always been very kind to us in the past.

On the way back we saw a very interesting sight ………… two young ladies advertising a night club, dressed, shall we say, very skimperly! It was a real eye waterer and something we’ve never seen in the 30 years we’ve been visiting. Unfortunately, we will not be posting any pics as this is a family-friendly blog!!!! Just use your imagination!!  😱

My early 3.30 start this morning caught up with me this afternoon and I had to retire for a nap. I now have my ‘second wind’ and we are off for a bite and a gamble.

More tomorrow!

 

Day 1 (Part 2) Where we arrive, albeit late!

It was my intention to finish yesterday’s blog when we arrived but we were so tired after the delay (more on that below) and the 10-hour flight etc, that we just fell into bed. I’m now writing this at 3.30 am because my body clock’s telling me it’s actually 11.30 am.

When we checked in at Terminal 3 and were told our flight was on time our hopes were raised for an easy getaway. Alas, our hopes were dashed of course and we ended up leaving 90 minutes late, due they said to the incoming flight being late on its stand and the time it took to clean etc.

We flew BA this time. We were flying on a 747-400, that means it would be about 30 years old and having read reviews I have to admit our expectations were not too high. The last time we flew it was on a Dreamliner so comparisons were bound to be made! But, credit where it’s due, everything turned out okay. The crew were all youngish, very friendly, attentive and helpful, the plane’s condition was good and the food was fabulous. They even offered us two drinks each with more to come with our meals! I wondered if they thought we were the nervous flying types 😱 but no, everyone were being offered two.

The result of too many G&T’s (I’d already had one in the lounge) was I filled in one part of the Customs’ form wrong and had to start again. 😀 Customs do not like amended forms!

We had ordered special meals, meaning, paid for. I ordered the ‘Vegetarian’, even though I’m not vegetarian because the reviews on it were 9 out 10 so I was hopeful. I was not disappointed! I’d recommend that to anyone. Si had the ‘Taste of Britain’ and included his beloved pork belly (Wiltshire, no less) and he couldn’t fault it at all. I’ll have to post a pic of his pork belly later, it’s on his phone and I don’t want to wake him up!

If there are going to be any problems with the plane then you know who the recipient of that problem will be ……………. Si of course! Sure enough, his TV screen wasn’t working (well, it wouldn’t be would it!) but in two jiffs one of the crew had it sorted and came back a couple of times to make sure all was well. I have to say, we were impressed.

Even the boarding was different, instead of row numbers we were boarded in groups, from 1-5. I wasn’t at all sure how that would work given the hundreds of people who were waiting to board and at the first sign of a door opening would all rush forward. Note: I’m always amazed how no matter what day of the week you fly to Vegas, the plane is always near to capacity!

Anyway, we arrived after a good flight (I slept for about five hours so it seemed fairly short to me), only a little turbulence, and made our way to the dreaded Customs and Border Control where we have been known to queue for some length of time. However, when we arrived we saw they now have six self-service style Customs’ machines and as long as you’ve entered the US once before on your current passport and have an ESTA (you are part of the visa waiver scheme) then you can check yourself into the country. We’ve used the machines once before so happily headed that way instead of joining the long queue to be ‘checked in’ by a human.

So, it should have taken no time at all but ……………. and you’ve guessed it folks, there was a problem with Si’s fingerprints (well there would be wouldn’t there!) where the machine just couldn’t ‘read’ his little finger. 😂 He pushed down firmly, wiggled it, even had a ‘helper’ come over and hold his hand down but it kept saying ‘try again’. After about six attempts (after which I felt certain someone would come over and declare “no entry for him, get back on that plane and go home”) it eventually said “okay, approved” and off we went, straight to baggage reclaim where our cases were among the first to be delivered, then outside into a taxi and straight here to the Bellagio where we are ensconced on the top floor of the Spa Tower with a wonderful view of the famous fountains and of The Strip. The temperature when we arrived was 90 degrees, so very pleasant!

Room at the Bellagio

We are going to take it easy today, have a leisurely breakfast, go round the pool for a while and take it from there!