Early start today, bags all packed up, kids ready and breakfast fed, shuttle arrived at 8:40am, all loaded in, farewell San Francisco & Fisherman’s Wharf, we had a great time here, now bring on Vegas.
Arrived at the Airport in good time, checked-in without issues, then headed in to departures. Security was very strict, shoes, belts all had to be removed, the queue was very long and it was a slow process going through. Finally made it to the other side, off to the gates, stopped by a Café for a coffee and quick breakfast croissant. Whilst we were having a light snack, kids were busy on their i-devices!!!
Had to go through the typical Southwest boarding process, we were in group C, therefore had the last pick of seats. By the time we entered the aircraft, most of the rows of empty seats were gone, we were however lucky to find double seats at the rear. Flight took off on time @ 11:15am, arrived in Las Vegas @ 12:45 pm.
Getting off the aircraft, first thing we notice next to the gates were the rows of slot machines, me and Vik had to get on to that first, let us open our gambling account from the word go. Only used $1 in the slots and ended up with $5. Kids were getting impatient, collected my BIG winnings and headed down to baggage claim.
Vegas airport baggage claim is in another terminal connected by monorail, had to use that to arrive at the baggage claim hall where more slot machines awaited us.
Lining up to collect our bags, I realised my carryone luggage was missing, this had my passports, cash and our booking documentation!! This was the scariest feeling I have ever had on any trip, could not believe I had forgotten the bag at the slot machine near the gate we arrived at! I also could not simply go back, we were now out of the quarantine zone, required me to go back through departures security screening. Headed to the Southwest counter where the guys assisted me with a temp pass to get through security. Ran across to departures, security took a while and for some reason the guys thought I was the ideal candidate for a full security check, all this while, I am super nervous about my bag going missing! Finally through, then onto the monorail to the gates another anxious couple of minutes wait, what a relief when I saw my carryon still there where I had been playing slots about 10 minutes back! All my belongings were intact, lucky no one had picked it up, this was my super lucky day. Back the baggage claim, Nita and Meeta were in tears, everyone had been super nervous and now happy that the bag was found, it would have been a disaster if this one had gone missing – an important lesson learned. Those documents are going to be very close to me from now on.
After all that drama, time to get our shuttle to the hotel, I had booked a private shuttle to our hotel, turns out the word PRIVATE is just for kicks, the shuttle company had us waiting with other shuttle passengers that were to be serviced by mini buses. I would recommend anyone coming to Vegas, to not book a shuttle beforehand and simply organise one at the airport, there are loads and a quick couple of minutes survey would indicate which ones were providing the best service.
Shuttle finally came around, reached our hotel “the Cosmopolitan” around 2:30pm. This was a nice place. Got our interconnecting rooms on the 30th floor. Into the rooms, quick freshening up, time to hit the road.
Outside the hotel, we realised how central this was, it was between the Bellagio, New York New York and Planet Hollywood. Quick hop across the walkway to McDonalds – kids were sorted! And it was COLD outside, I was expecting summer, but the breeze was COLD, more long sleeve and jackets to be worn.
The first stop of the day, M&M and COKE worlds.
M&M world was great, had a chance to pack lots of different M&M’s, saw a 4D M&M movie. Pooja was enjoying this place with all the M&M goodies, she helped me pack up the different M&M colours from the massive towers.
Next stop COKE world, loads of Coke memorabilia. We tried the 16 coke flavours from across the globe, was interesting but not trying that again – Pooja was adamant we do that, her teacher had told her this was a good experience!
Next stop was Javiers Mexican restaurant at the Aria resort. This one was recommended as fine Mexican dining. Pooja was feeling off and did not have anything. The ambience was very nice, however the food was just average, nothing to rave about except for the price, too $$$ for average food.
Out of Aria, it was nightfall and the Vegas lights were in full swing, Neha and Pooja were loving the multicoloured neon lights everywhere. They were however having mixed thoughts about the place being “inappropriate”, with bikini ladies doing table dancing at casinos and people handing our girl cards to everyone! Well that is Vegas and it really is not a place for kids.
Got back to the hotel, kids were exhausted from walking, Pooja was still feeling flu’ish and having a slight temperature, the Nurofen was not working, tomorrow we needed to go see a doctor, I needed her well for Disney.