Monday, February 7, 2011


Finally! After 10 years we get to take a real get on a plane and fly the fuck outta here vacation!

Got good prices on flights - not the best because I was still waiting on approval for the time off. :(

Got great hotel rates - $38/night at the Luxor - woo hoo!

It started on Wednesday - finished work and took the bus to Livingston so we could drop Hef off at Scott's sister's. It had started snowing sometime in the afternoon and was pretty bad by the time I got on the bus. The bus even got stuck at a few stops, but managed to get through. I finally got off the bus and walked through calf-deep snow to their house. We had dinner and left for home, leaving our little Ootums behind. :( It was our first time without the little guy.
So, the drive home, which should have taken 40 minutes, took 3 hours. Snowy and slippery and eeeccchhh!!! And the snowplows plowed us in as we were on the ramp to 280. We couldn't wait to leave for warmer weather.

Got up super early the next morning to find out our flight was canceled. Booked another flight out of JFK for later that evening. Slept a little more, packed up and headed to the airport.

Flying out of Kennedy and Into LaGuardia - where should we park? We decided not to risk hitting traffic and head for JFK already. Got there 3 hours early - even had a snowplow there to clear out a space for us - got on the shuttle bus to the airtrain.

And that's when it started. Waited with a bunch of people for about 20 minutes until the airtrain showed up. But we couldn't get on because it was an employees only break train or some shit. That train left and another one came in about 10 minutes and we got on. After about half an hour of closing and opening the doors, they decided the train was broken and told everyone to go downstairs and take the bus. It was a giant clusterfuck where nobody knew what the hell was going on. After about 8 buses left for not our terminal, people started coming down the escalator and asking us why we weren't taking the airtrain because it was running. Back upstairs, they told us to go back down and take the bus. After a bit more back and forth, we were finally on an airtrain moving toward the terminal. Got to check in 15 minutes before our flight so they could tell us we were too late. :( Rebooked on a Continental flight out of Newark and then sat down on the floor in the terminal and ate the sandiches we had made for the flight.

We paid our $18 to get our car out of parking, then drove home. Got to bed at midnight so we could wake up at 3 AM and try again. Everything was cool - got to the airport super early, got the attendant outside to jump the HUGE inside line and check our bags for us, took off our shoes, went through the metal detector and off to the gate. :D Only to find out our flight was delayed TWO MORE HOURS! :( We could have slept more. So we hung out, checked out some shops, charged our phones, etc. before going to the gate. We watched them de-ice the plane as we were waiting to board, then watched more de-icing after we were on the runway. It started snowing and I was thinking "Come on! Let's get outta here before we get stuck again!" But we finally took off for Vegas.

A long flight and two bad movies later we were in McCarren airport looking for my dad at the baggage claim area. I hadn't seen him in a while, so I was just looking for a big bald guy in a bright orange shirt. Scott saw him first. We got the bags and enjoyed the scenery on the 2 hour ride to Dad's house.

It was nice to change into warm weather clothes! We went to pick up Grandmother and got a tour of her house, which had an interesing game room off of the living room with a Harley Davidson style pool table and a jacuzzi. 0_o Then we went out to a great steak place for dinner and great margaritas!

On Saturday we went to Oatman - a little old mining town where Clark Gable spent his honeymoon. There were lots of shops, staged gunfights and donkeys roaming the streets. Very cute!

We went back to Dad's and sat out on the roof for a little while before going out to dinner at a nice place next to London Bridge.


The next day we were off to Vegas for a few days. When we got to the hotel people grabbed us right at the door and offered us free show tickets. While I was looking over the list, Scott figured out what it was and said we weren't going to be in town that long, so no thanks. It was a timeshare thing. So we brought our stuff up to the room and walked around a bit before stuffing ourselves at the buffet.

On Monday we got all day bus passes so we could go up and down the strip and see stuff. We went all the way to the north end to the Stratosphere where they had this ride on the roof that shot you over the edge and left you hanging. No. Thanks. We then worked our way south, stopping at Bonanza, the forum shops and M shops before taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel.

Then we went to see the fountains at the Bellagio:

After that, we went to dinner at the Excalibur, which was less spectacular than I remembered. While we were having dinner, I checked on our flight home for the next morning - it was canceled. :D When we left, we went straight to those timeshare people and signed up to sit through their schpiel the next morning so we could get free tickets to see Criss Angel - OMG!

I never sat through a timeshare presentation before. It was long, but not that bad. And at least they gave us good coffee and food. My favorite part was how the price started at $41,990, then they kept cutting it in half. It was $9,900 when we finally shook the sales guy's hand and said goodbye. We had to stop to fill out paperwork for our tickets, when another guy cut the price in half again. 0_o When we finally got on the shuttle bus with our tickets I asked if someone was going to come on the bus and try to get us to sign for $2450.

We went back to the hotel, did some more touring and went to see the show. Unfortunately, the timeshare only buys tickets in the last row. Fortunately, Scott was able to schmooz the usher to get us into the $150 seats up front. :D The show was AWESOME!! I have no idea how he does any of the stuff he does.

Afterward, we tried to go on the rollercoaster at New York New York, but it was closed because the weather got unusually cold. So we walked a bit, and I decided since it's Vegas I couldn't leave without playing a couple games. Neither one of us gambles, but I think the video games can be fun. So I put a dollar in the Wheel of Fortune game - nothing. Another dollar - nothing. Then Scott suggested why not pull the lever instead of using the push button. So I tried it and won $25! Played a few more games - video poker and blackjack, more slots, etc. Went up, went down - ended up cashing out around $23.

We got into Newark around 7 pm - broke ALL my nails trying to get our bags (apparently TSA does not care if you walk around the airport with a bloody hand, but they do care if you try to bring a bottle of water through their security check), sent Scott to get the car and later realized I had the ticket for parking in my purse. We went to Linda & Paul's to pick up Hef, who we were told we were not getting back. He had a great time, but was happy to see us. He hated the car ride, but was so happy when we got home.

So all in all it was challenging but fun. Plus now we know what NOT to do if you're flying when it snows is rely on the stupid Airtrain!

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