So after an amazing wedding, we had a 3 month around the world trip planned which would take us into Asia, and through it, and then finish off in Australia and New Zealand. As some will know, it was thrown up in the air after getting wrong information on how much I would get paid in Sept and October. However, everything was booked, well, the flights were and it was a matter of enjoying the wedding.
The wedding was fantastic and everyone had an amazing time. I only remember leaving the reception venue and not much after that. I am told that things got a bit crazy at the wedding from lighting the lanterns (which the fire marshal came as they are illegal in East Hampton) to the Police turning up at the house everyone rented as there was a report of a female screaming......hhhmmmm....lets just leave it at that, it was an amazing time!
So, the flight to Vegas was all set, Sat 6th Oct. Booked using miles with United in First Class. Now the issue here was that a couple of weeks after booking, United changed the flight times, and BMI didnt update the ticket. This resulted in us getting our miles back and the taxes we paid for the flight - but according to United, we still had a live ticket. Basically we had a free flight! Things were looking good and I kept an eye on it every other week. 3 days before we were due to fly, I check the status of our ticket and bang, problem starts. I ring United and they tell us that they have the seats for us, they just need BMI to update the ticket. At this stage it didn't look like we would make it to Vegas as we had already used the miles refunded for another part of the trip. A check on regular ecomoney tickets showed prices of over 300 dollars to Vegas as it was some sort of bank holiday weekend....what a nightmare. A quick email to a contact at BMI and it was all sorted. The taxes we paid were also uploaded from that day, which resulted in the tickets being 40pounds less per person....perfect!!! and oh, there was no mention of the miles....we just paid the taxes....beautiful! So Saturday 6th October came and off we went to Newark. In true fashion we got to the airport 3 hours before we needed to and once checked in we were bored. I spent my time looking at all the planes which was pretty amazing, but even that gets boring after an hour and half. Anyways, we got onto the plane and it was nothing to write home about, just a standard crappy internal first class seat. We got to Vegas and were met by Dennis who had his super streached hummer limo. This thing was a beast. Now at this point its worth mentioning that we didnt have a room for the night (for those reading this, you will notice a general trend throughout this trip that we dont have various stuff booked, or any solid plans, more of a case of just going with it). Anyways, Dennis took us to the Excalibur and being a Saturday night we had to pay 155 dollars for the night. Ouch!! But its Saturday night and Vegas, what do you expect? We checked in and the first thing Daria said to me was "if I wake up at 3am and you're not here you are dead"!! All I will reply to this was that the tables were looking good, they were paying out!!! I didnt get to play and we both passed out by 9p.m.!!
The next day we got up early and went for a walk down the strip. The Excalibur is located right at the top end of the strip near Luxor. It was around 9am and the sun was out, it was really hot. We walked around the CityCentre and checked out Aria, Vdara and Cosmo. All stunning properties. With all the new hotels being built, the older ones like MGM, Luxor are just been left behind!! We carried on walking till we got stung by some idiot trying to sell us a time share. Now to give a better picture, we had the next 2 nights for free at the Palazzo, one of the best hotels in Vegas, however our last night we had no where booked. So when this idiot says that if we come for a presentation for an hour and they'll give us 2 free nights, I think its a great idea. The more we get sucked in, I slowly realize that we wont get these 2 free nights any time soon. The end result was that we had to give him a 40 dollar deposit in order to make sure that we turned up for the presentation in order to get the free nights, and of course, that almost resulted in our divorce as I decided later I didn't want to go back for the presentation. I said to Daria to look at it like we just lost on the tables....no big deal. She was not happy I can tell you! Oh well!! Now normally I am switched on when it comes to this sort of a thing, I can't explain this situation. We then went back to the Excalibur and had a buffett. As it was 11am there was a mix of breakfast and lunch items. The buffett was s***. The food was awful. We only paid 16 dollars each and never again...or so I thought.
So after that we decided to walk off our buffet and walk, with our luggage down the strip to the Palazzo. We also walked the other side down the strip in order to avoid bumping into Mr. Timeshare. By the time we arrived at the Palazzo I was sunburnt, hot, sweaty and knackered. We checked in, got rid of the luggage and went straight to the pool. It was heaven. For anyone that has not been to Vegas, you need to go and stay at the Palazzo, it's simply amazing. It was really hot on the Sunday and the pool was very busy. We chilled here for a while and just lazed around.
In the evening, we went downstairs and wanted to say hello to a friend who works at the Palazzo. He was unavailable for 45 minutes so we decided to hit the tables...but this time it wasnt roulette, it was craps. I showed Daria how to play and within minutes we were up 50 dollars. Now I wish to clarify a point here; when we were up 50 I said to walk. Daria was having none of it saying she loves craps. We carried on playing and were even up around 100 dollars at one point. Instead of cashing out she kept playing and lost our winnings!!! Oh well, 2 more days to win it back right? We saw our friend Kelly and then went to eat at the Grand Lux Cafe. Its part of the Cheesecake factory brand so the food is amazing. I was still full from the buffet so had a light dinner while Daria had an amazing looking salad. We went up to bed and crashed. It was only 9pm!!
Day 3 was pretty much a lazy day. We were at the pool in the morning and then in the afternoon we went to the outlets to get some bits before we left for Asia. One thing I noticed at the outlets is that the prices have slowly gone up. Where as I used to buy CK shirts for 25 dollars they were now 30 dollars. T-shirts that were normally 10/15 dollars were now 20 dollars.
Anyways, we went back to the Palazzo and on the way up to the room one of the tables was paying out. We both started to play and even though I was winning, Daria was losing We were getting no were. Daria decided to stop playing and let me get on with things. Within 10 minutes I was up 200 dollars and we were walking away. Perfect!!! That night we got ready to meet an old friend of mine who is a Police Officer in Vegas. His wife and him came to the Palazzo and we went out for dinner. Before we knew it, it was midnight! We had been chatting for over 4 hours! We both went to bed and passed out. I was knackered!! (one thing to add here, on the way to meeting Antino and his wife; there was an accident as we passed the roulette table, that 200 we won we lost - enough said).
Our last day in Vegas and we didnt have anywhere to stay, so that was the first issue. I rang to reception and asked for a late check out. As a VIP I was given free late check out till 6pm!! Perfect!! We then checked rates and Hooters hotel came up at 10 pounds, Circus Circus was 20 pounds. Can't go wrong with that so we booked up at Circus Circus and went there. On the way out of the hotel, we hit the tables again, and again, I won 150 dollars within minutes. We were getting somewhere!!!
As we walked into the reception area I was thinking that the place was a s*** hole. It smelt dirty and looked grim. I had to keep telling myself that it was only 20 pounds. How can you go from the Palazzo to Circus Circus? Anyways, we checked in and went to the room. The room, to be fair, was pretty basic and not that bad. We got rid of our bags and headed out for dinner. We passed the buffet section and I wasn't keen, but Daria was. I knew this was going to be s***, but wanting to keep my wife happy we went with it....and it was s***. In fact it was awful! I only had a small plate of food and two desserts and I was done. Daria grabbed a brownie for the road but I made her throw it in the bin! No thanks!!! After dinner we took a walk and went into the Encore and Wynn. On the way out of the hotel is the casino, and here we lost the money I won when we left the Palazzo. So annoyed!! However they are both stunning properties. I have never stayed at either, but I am sure the rooms are pretty fancy. We then walked into Treasure Island and took a cab back to the hotel. Our Vegas trip was over and we had broke even. I was hoping to win a couple of grand, but oh well, we didnt lose anything so thats good!!
Next morning we had an early flight to San Francisco. Daria's cousin met us at the airport as we were staying with her and her boyfriend at their house they recently bought. We got picked up and once at the house we got rid of all our luggage and drove into San Francisco. We stopped at Subway for a quick sandwich and once in San Fran we walked around the Pier. It was so hot and I didnt drink much water which was to be my downfall. By the time we got back to the house I started to get a headache. I took this down to being hungry. We decided that we'd go for dinner at the Olive Garden as this would be the last chance to get some real decent food before our trip. As I didnt have anything decent to eat the night before I was really looking forward to this. Korin's boyfriend drove us to the restaurant and by the time we got there I felt awful. My head was pounding. I tried to drink some water but it was having no effect. By the time we ordered and my soup came, I couldnt even eat it. I knew I was going to be sick, it was just a matter of time. The others were chatting and all I could think about was that I wanted to get out of there and go to bed. A few minutes later I ran to the toilet and was sick. The strange thing was I was sick once, and after I was sick I felt slightly better....so not sure if that was down to too much sun or something from Subway?? The others finished up and we drove back to their house. As soon as we got back I jumped into bed and passed out.
The next morning I woke up and felt great. I was happy as we were about to take the long flight to Seoul and I didnt want to feel crap for that. Before we left I had to book up a customer for a Vegas trip so I took care of that and got the confirmations out. Everything was set and we drove to San Francisco airport. We got there in no time and checked in for our flight. Now before we left, Daria's mum asked why we were going to Seoul and what was there. My answer was very honest; Asiana is an amazing airline and they have a great business class. Its true!!! So we checked in, went through security and into the lounge. The lounge was small but they had a decent amount of food on offer. I had some sandwiches, a bowl of noodles, and some fruit. We had a great breakfast and I said my last goodbyes to a few people on skype in London. We left the lounge and walked to the gate. As we were walking, there was a Korean airlines plane that Daria saw at one of the gates. She then says "oh look at that plane, it has the pepsi logo on its wing tail, thats cool"..........I'm not even going to comment on this!
We boarded the plane and all I can is WOW! We had our own booth and it was amazing. The seat was comfortable, the space was amazing, this is one way to fly. It was 11 hours and 15 minutes flight time to Seoul and this is the way to do it. The 2 main stewardess and cabin manager came over and introduced themselves and welcomed us on board. What amazing service. They then brought out the menus for dinner. I thought you had to pick one starter, one main and one dessert. I was wrong. They bring out everything on the menu along with your main. In total there were 6 courses! I was stuffed. After the meal I had a power nap, and then started to watch a movie. About an hour into my movie the stewardess asks me again if I would like a snack? I wasnt even hungry but said yes as I wanted to try the noodles. Next thing, she comes over with a massive bowl (George won ton soup style bowl) of spicy noodles. It was so nice I polished it up!!!
About 3 hours before we landed, they had their last meal service. Now I thought it would be like United or US Airways where they give you a crappy meal. I was wrong. It was a 3 course meal. Daria and myself were stuffed. Amazing food, amazing service!
So we landed into Seoul and cleared immigration within minutes. We headed to the luggage claim area and got our bags within a few minutes. From de-boarding the plane, to getting our bags and leaving the airport, 10 minutes in total! Now that is how to run an airport! Now like Heathrow having to walk 15 minutes just to get to immigration and then waiting 20 minutes to clear it!