We woke up late. Not surprising since we didn’t get to sleep until some time around 2am … bloody jet lag. The problem with waking up late on holidays is that it throws your plans out. Of course that’s only an issue if you’d meticulously planned your day, filling it with a bunch of activities … like we had. Yup, I had even written a hasty itinerary on hotel paper (and then swiped the very nice Signature pen).
First on the list was the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden about 15 minutes from The Strip. OK, I’ll be honest – breakfast was originally our first thing on the list but it got scrapped as we rushed out the door – we ended up each having chocolate tasters and a bottle of water, lol. The factory was OK but small and do you got through it really quickly. The cactus garden? It was rather dry … ah, see what I did there? Haha. But seriously it was really boring – seen one cactus you’ve seem ’em all I reckon. After 20 minutes we were on to the next activity – shopping!
I’m not going to bore you with the details of our shopping adventure. All you need to know is that we went to the factory outlets at the South end of Las Vegas Boulevard and ended up buying 11 pairs of Converse all-stars. They are SOOOO cheap it’s mental … and since it’s pretty much all we wear we were super stoked. Oh, and we heard another Aussie accent which was funny – I think we all must sound like Julia Gillard to Americans. So embarrassing 😉
Back to the hotel and we got into our swimmers and headed to the pool at the MGM Grand. They have this cool river thing that you travel around lazily in big plastic tubes. The trick is to navigate carefully around the very inebriated 20 somethings – all tanned and buff and tattooed and scantily-clad. The boys came running back at one point telling us how they jumped out of the ‘river’ early to avoid a fight between two men over a woman. We then all sat together and watched our very own live ‘Cops: Vegas’. Ah, Vegas, bringing the family together. When that fun was over we headed back to the hotel room to get ready for dinner.
If you’re vegetarian – like our family – it can be hard getting a decent meal in the US. I know that may not be true for all places, but my experience has been that finding fresh fruit and veggies plus alternative protein sources like legumes, beans and tofu is hard bloody work. So far the boys have been living almost entirely on bread and cheese – there’s heaps of that in the US. But in the MGM Grand food-court we were pleased to get a stir fry with our choice of veggies and *gasp* tofu!!
The rest of the evening comprised of losing $20 to the pokies (slots for my US mates), being chased by life-sized Nintendo characters (Mario, Luigi and Yoshi) on The Strip and staying up until 1.30am watching ‘Mother In-Laws from
Hell’. Vegas, we don’t love you but we will always remember you fondly …