It’s good to know where your journey ends…

And that is a song lyric blatantly stolen from Peter Allen, ‘I Still Call Australia Home’. Appropriate, because as I write this I am sitting in an airport lounge in Hong Kong waiting for my flight home!

The last week or so of my holiday has been quite eventful!

I arrived into Vegas around 6:30pm on a Friday which was also Cinco De Mayo. Probably not the best plan, in hindsight. Any Friday night, as the lady who checked me in to the Luxor, is always busy what with the Americans getting away for the weekend. Cinco is probably even worse!

So I didn’t actually get into my room until after 8:30 and went for a wander around 9ish. Given my arrival time I hadn’t planned anything for Friday – just a walk down the Strip to stretch my legs. I’d forgotten how long the Strip is! And how hard it is to get around, with all the overpasses etc!

I was going to go into the Irish pub at NYNY which is kind of a Vegas tradition, but there was a $10 cover so I decided against it! Last time I went there I bought the CD of the house band, so I can hear them for free any time I want!

The other thing making Vegas particularly busy was the fact that there was a big fight on Saturday night which I found out at check-in – I made a mental note to stay away from wherever the fight was!

Pretty much every venue had a Cinco fiesta – this was NYNY.
Cool statue outside NYNY!
The Bellagio fountains never get old!

So Friday night was pretty quiet – just a wander, reacquainting myself with the area, and also checking out a few of the shops!

Saturday was all about shopping – I had put aside the day to go to the Premium Outlet Mall – I only had time to do one, and chose the northern one as that one had lululemon. I must say the whole outlet experience was not as good as previous times – I didn’t get much stuff (lulu was a bit of a disappointment!) and there were definitely not as many bargains. Maybe the advent of sales tax had something to do with it!

I did find this awesome gelato place, Amorino, which had heaps of vegan sorbets! I had chocolate, pistachio, and the most amazing blood orange and ginger! It was a pretty hot day too, so it was a welcome relief!

Amorino – where have you been all my life?

Saturday night I had a show to go to, but before that I grabbed an early dinner at Slice of Vegas Pizza in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes, right next to the Luxor. I went there specifically because they have a vegan menu – I had a feeling vegan food was not going to be quite so easy to come by in Vegas than in Portland!

Yummy sandwich and the awesomest sweet potato fries!

After picking up my ticket for Human Nature I went for a look around the Venetian shops – such an amazing setup they have there! The Venetian was where I stayed on my very first trip to Vegas and nowhere else has come close!

Yep – that just about sums it up!
If you haven’t been to the Venetian, this is all indoors!
Complete with singing gondoliers!

Human Nature were fabulous. I’d only seen them once before – at Carols by Candlelight in Adelaide in 1996, back when they were a boy band! And I was delighted to see them do an homage to boy bands as part of their show, including some of their own stuff! These guys are the total package – all-singing, all-dancing, funny, a brilliant show!

They weren’t afraid to take the piss out of themselves!

After the show, I thought about going back to the Irish pub but thought better of it – the fight wasn’t far from there, so I decided not to even bother going! Besides, I was going to have to be up early in the morning for my flight to San Francisco, so I decided instead to go to the piano bar at the House of Blues – not too crowded, really fun, and I managed to get a seat at the bar!

Duelling pianos at House of Blues!

I managed to squeeze all my stuff into my one suitcase, meaning that I wasn’t going to have to pay for a second bag on the flight! Anticipating a big haul at the outlets, I had fully expected to have to get the second bag out for the flight to San Fran. Once I got to San Fran there was no issue because on the flight home I could check 2 bags free of charge.

I was up and away early the next morning – my shuttle pickup was at 8.

Well, I was up, but I wasn’t away!

Because when I got to the airport and went to check in for my flight, I found out that it was cancelled!

I went to the check in desk and was told that I couldn’t get a flight to San Fran until the following day. They weren’t going to pay for a night’s accommodation, because the cancellation was known more than 24 hours ago, but they weren’t able to contact me to rebook me. She gave me a voucher for a discount on one of the airport hotels.

I contacted the travel agent