27.08.2016 - 27.08.2016
My bed at The Grace was sooooooo comfortable but I had to be up at 6am to get my packing done (this morning I'm kicking myself for not doing it last night!!). Really, I've not got that much stuff but it's an art getting everything to fit in perfectly - and what I mean by that is getting everything in so neatly that I can actually zip the thing up. I'm a bit sad to be leaving this lovely hotel because it is absolutely gorgeous but Vegas is calling again.
I'm meeting Richard for breakfast this morning as he's very kindly offered to drop me off at the airport. I'm meeting him at a place called Brenda's which serves Louisiana style food - ahh I'll be reminiscing about the start of my trip. Richard had told me to leave my bags at the hotel and we'd pick them up after breakfast - disobedient old me decided that I'd save time and haul my stuff with me - not only was it about a twenty minute walk but it wasn't the nicest part of town - there were homeless people everywhere and Richard had said it might be best for me not to walk about looking like a tourist - suitcase and rucksack on, I looked very much like a tourist!!!! I made it safe n sound though - and to be honest if anyone had tried robbing me, I had no money on me and a big case full of mucky clothes- that'd have been quite funny!!
Brenda's was a big old industrial looking building with a huge crack down the wall but it was pretty busy, the staff weren't particularly welcoming though when they saw my suitcase even though I said I didn't mind where it went because I didn't want it to be in the way.
Richard made me try a Beignet which is a bit like a square donut which was nice but not really my thing and then I had scrambled blackened tofu and potatoes which was lovely and finally some delicious coffee - which they kept refilling as often as we liked - I had about four cups! I think they put a dash of something in it like cinnamon, it wasn't a strong taste but definitely there - it was lovely!
After breakfast was over, there was still plenty of time before I needed to go to the airport so we headed down to the ferry pier market which has a farmers market on a Saturday morning - wow, what a fabulous farmers market it was. The fruit and veg was so colourful and all sorts of different and unusual kinds of stuff, it was really nice that all the stall holders were so friendly and as soon as you walked near them they wanted you to taste their produce - and not just teeny tiny bits - big chunks of their wares. If I didn't have to jump on a plane I'd have spent an absolute fortune. But I did have to get to the airport and head back to Vegas so my pennies were safe!
We headed back to Richards car and he very kindly dropped me off right outside the departure terminal and I said goodbye to my lovely friend for now. Check in was a doddle and I headed up to my gate (it was still only 10.30am). As I was sauntering up I spotted Kim and Mick having a cuppa so had a natter with them until they had to go for their plane.
I wasn't heading straight to Vegas, I was going the scenic route via Portland in Oregon - I'd saved a bit of money by using last years air miles but I could only use them on certain flights so my trip to Vegas included a touch down for a few hours in another US state. I got sat in the extra leg room bit next to a lovely young lady who had just graduated and was heading to Europe for a five week break before heading back to a new job in Yosemite, she also loved climbing and we chatted all the way up to Portland - the poor people sitting near us - ha ha!
At Portland airport I went for a wander round and was amazed at all the veggie food options - there was looooooaaaaads if stuff which is so unusual for an airport so I had to treat myself to something - I eventually chose an endemame bean bowl which had beans, rice, salsa, avocado and seitan (a veggie thing) in it - it was deelicious! On my way back to the gate I had a look at the flights and realised I was looking at LA flights instead of Vegas - oops! The flight was alright, there were some really noisy obnoxious blokes behind and there was quite a bit of turbulence but other than that it was an ok flight and went really quickly. Picking my bags up at the other end was quick and easy and I headed to get a shuttle to my hotel, while I was waiting for my shuttle I got talking to a fabulous lady - she looked like a taller, smarter Oprah Winfrey and she told me that she had been an air hostess for Delta airlines for 40 years, working in first class, apparently, for a year or so she did a secondment to British Airways and was the first black airline hostess flying with British Airways and help them set up their first class training programme! She never stopped talking but was lovely and very interesting.
I got dropped off at my new hotel - New York New York - it is huge!! We'd walked through the casino part of it the other day when we came to the Rollercoaster but I haven't realised just how big it was. I had put a special request on my booking saying I was staying here as a treat for my birthday and could they give me a good room - I did get a really good, huge room but I don't know if it was cos I asked. It wasn't as nice as the Pineapple was in San Francisco but there was two gigantic beds - it took me ages to decide which one to sleep in. My room overlooked the MGM, the Rollercoaster and the back of the Statue of Liberty replica!
It was about 9pm by now, so I headed out to have a look round the casino and shops in the hotel (the hotel is about the same size of Barnsley town centre) and also look for a snack (I feel like I've eaten a lot today!) The veggie options are few and far between even in Asian places which is unusual. I ended up at a place called Toms urban diner and had trusty mushroom pizza and couple of wines. I strolled back through the New York New York casino - it was about midnight and the place was absolutely packed with people gambling - amazing to see.
I got back to my room and was supposed to be planning the next two days but promptly nodded off before getting anything planned!
Steps: 12,040. / 4.9 miles