Day 9, today was a visit to the downtown Vegas and Freemont area. Pooja & Nita still had the flu, however the painkillers were doing the magic and allowing them to move on. Getting Pooja and Neha out of bed was a task in itself. Quick shower and breakfast, then it was time to head out. Took 2 cabs to the Golden Nugget, this is where it all started (I think!!)
Arriving in downtown Vegas, could see the historic side of LV. The Casinos were different from the outside and in. The Golden Nugget, one of the famous ones, I remember it from a pic that I was in from 1986! Stepping inside, I could see the different style of the prior years. They did have a great outdoors area, kids were super impressed with water slide, I reckon this place would have been sooo cheap for accommodation and would have been more fun for the kids, but way way away from the strip! Also they tell us, downtown LV is not very safe at night, so definitely not staying around here with kids.
Stepped out to Fremont, a central mall with lots of shopping and other connecting casinos. Its roof is made up off of giant TV screens, unfortunately they were turned off during the day, we have however seen it in full action in “Ek Mein Aur Ekk Tu”.
There was a Denny’s Diner, time for a light lunch, unfortunately the place was too busy, and required a wait of 1 hour, why does all restaurants in US have these big wait times!!! It is soo frustrating.
We decided to head back to the strip for lunch, I suggested to Vik, the Earl of Sandwich @ Planet Hollywood, was longing for the Chicken Chipotle!
A healthy lunch, then we split up, Vik & family headed towards New York New York, Neha and Pooja were in no mood to do anymore walking, we decided not to pressure them (needed their energy for the evening “O” show). Dropped them both at the hotel, lucky the rooms were made, so hopefully no one will alert security on the abandoned kids!! Also put the Do Not Disturb on the door, just incase . Nita left her mobile with them, now time for us to explore other hotel casinos, first stop New York New York.
Got a Cab there, our legs were tired too. The place was very impressive and soo buzzing, Easter weekend had the entire Vegas strip packed. The interior was so different to Cosmopolitan, this place had more character and seemed more fun. They also had a Hersey’s Store, this was our first stop, lets get chocolates for everyone back home. Ended up getting a few kilos of chocolates!! Nita also picked up a Herseys Coffee Mug, her third Mug so far in this trip, not sure how many more to come!
Stepped back into the Casino and explored Time Square, the place was lined with small cafes, and restaurants, was very cool, I wish I had stayed here, the kids would have no trouble with food! Veena masi had selected the right hotel for her stay!
Next moved out towards MGM Grand.
Met up with Vik just outside MGM, apparently there isn’t much inside MGM other than a giant Casino. Gave that a miss and all headed back on the strip, making our way towards Cosmopolitan. Had to stop at the Sketchers store, Nita wanted to get her shoes. Once she was sorted, Vik and me headed off to United Van Rentals for the MINI VAN that we had hired for the next 12 days. Needed to get the paper work sorted today as we required the VAN early tomorrow morning for Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam trip.
Arrived at the United Van Rentals office and got it all signed off. Asked Tony (the VAN rep) on the best option for picking it up early tomorrow morning, he suggested something even better, we could take the VAN now! We were nervous, the VAN was not the size we had expected, this thing was BIG!! It was a 15 seater and Tony had removed the last row of seats to allow for our luggage.
Vik decided to take the wheel, I was more than happy to allow that. Plus I was better at navigation and using the GPS. We headed back to the hotel. Driving on the right side of the road was different, and I had to keep reminding Vik when turning on intersections, just incase we drove into oncoming traffic. I think we did very well for our first attempt.
Drove it straight to the VALET @ Cosmopolitan and left it with them, did not want to risk scratching the roof or anything such as that in the small parking spaces!
Back in the hotel room, it was time to freshen up and head out to meet Veena masi, Pravin Masa and Meeta’s cousin Sanjana and her husband Dharmesh (same name!!). We were meeting them at Bellagio, we were booked for the “O” show there @ 7:30, so did not want to risk travel delays and asked all the family to meet us there. Was a nice coincidence that Veena masi was also in Vegas at the same time, the last time I saw her was in Sydney in 2001.
Veena masi is also related to Meeta’s cousin Sanjana, this was a good way to get us all together at the one place.
Meeta was already at the Polio Café with her cousin, we headed there and joined in. Soon after Masi and Masa arrived, was so good to see them, Neha & Pooja took an instant liking to Masi! I had told them that she was dadi’s sister, they were expecting someone just like dadi but were surprised to see the sister more modern. Neha continued hugging masi, I was surprised with her fondness towards masi, maybe she was missing dadi and was finding the same love with masi!
Had coffees and good long chats, coffee was as usual full of milk, not sure why the largest economy cannot get its coffee right!
Soon it was time for our show. Said our farewells and off to the O show. Neha & Pooja were super excited for this.
The Bellagio theatre was big and very nicely décor’d. It was on a grand scale. Show started and I could hear the laughter from Aaria and Neha. These two were enjoying the shows comedians. The acrobatic stunts were very good, the highlight was the ever changing stage setting, with huge moving backdrops, the stage floor changing from hard surface to a giant pool, it was very very different show to what we have experienced previously. We booked for this show nearly 2 months back and at that time most of the seats were already booked.
Show ended around 9 pm, massive crowd spilling out, we had to stop by at the O show store. Pooja always wanted to get any memorabilia, or was it, she just wanted to buy something.
Being around 9:30, had to find a place to eat so why not @ Bellagio, found a good chinese place, but again the wait was super long and kids were not too keen.
Decided to head out to Planet Hollywood and try Gordon Ramsays Burgr joint.
First though, time for more photos on the way out of Bellagio.
Got to Planet Hollywood, same problem here, the queue was 1.5 hour wait with no option for bookings, you had to stand! Why!!! This was @ 10pm, by this time Pooja and Aaria were very very tired and sleepy.
Meeta suggested PF Changs that was in the same casino, this was supposed to be a fusion Chinese restaurant. Wait here was around 30 minutes, we decided to do that – time was already 10:30. Pooja was already sleeping on the floor of the restaurant lobby, she was soo tired.
Finally got seated, food was amazing, this place does very nice fusion chinese!
Would highly recommend PF Changs!
Back to the hotel, everyone was super tired, next day was a early start for Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon and also the start of our Self Drive experience! Other than me and Vik, no one had seen the TRUCK we were going to be driving around in, cannot wait to see their reaction .