Had to wake up early as they had shifted our Grand Canyon flight pickup from 11.10am to 9.10am. So with only 6 hours sleep we blearily got on to the shuttle bus to take us to the airport. On arriving at the Vision Air terminal (or more accurately wharehouse) we were assigned our seats and settled in for a 45 minute wait until the plane arrived.
I found some nemisis’ to dislike while waiting, and they were known in my head as:
a) gregarious grey haired man who told bad jokes loudly
b) 1 asian man and 3 asian ladies who got on at our hotel
c) smoker man and smoker lady
Smoker man and lady only figured in my story at the terminal and the only thing they did to annoy me was that they smoked, and they could possibly be sitting near us on the plane. This was enough for me to dislike them, but luckily they weren’t on our plane and thus their danger dissapated.
Asian man and ladies annoyed me because Pauine wanted to sit in the front seat of the shuttle bus and I told her no, they were reserved for handicapped or aging people. If no one fits that discription then it’s first in first served. We sat elsewhere and of course the asians sat there as soon as they got on. They then got up a few seconds later and sat directly in front of us. It serves me right for reading books about riding on greyhound buses. Don’t they know the rules of the bus???
a) don’t sit in seats reserved for people who are old, decreped or drooling
b) don’t sit in front of someone when you have the entire bus to choose from. Fill up every second seat, and THEN fill up the seats between.
c) be nice to the bus driver
Grey haired man was just annoying the whole time. He was loud, really loud and he tried to be the comedian of the party but he was just crap.
The plane was big enough for about 20 people plus 2 crew and everyone got a window seat. Each seat had a pair of headphones that gave narration through the flight and music. We were bombarded with Elvis, indian music and Willie Nelson singing moon river. Pauline’s headphones didn’t work, but she was happy to sit without it. She wasn’t missing much as the narrator wasn’t riveting and it was hard to tell where he was talking about it. But the 1 hr flight passed quickly with it anyway. We passed over the Hoover Dam and I got some good pics. The change from the Las Vegas valley and desert to the dam and the mountains was striking. In fact all of Vegas is surrounded by mountains. The plane went over the western rim of the canyon which is the smallest part and we had glimpses of the Colorado river. There was a little bit of turbulence on the flight – not too bad but enough for the english lady who had looked ok in the terminal to throw up. Must have had a big night.
Landing at the Grand Canyon airport we were greeted by a cowboy in a big overcoat and cowboy boots and hat. We got on the tour bus and were driven straight to a holiday inn or something for lunch. It was a bit poor – especially after our Mandalay Bay buffet the day before, it wasn’t even as good as a sizzler. We then headed off to the Bright Angel Lodge passing elk and mules on the way.
The Bright Angel Lodge is right on the edge of the southern rim and has amazing views of the canyon. Like everyone says, it is so much bigger than what you expect. The clouds overhead gave it a bluish tinge and it was bloody freezing. There was a lookout studio made of stone that fitted in well with the rock and we got out close to the edge. I took tonnes of pictures – even of the raven that sat on the lodge and sqawked at us the whole time. We headed back to the tour bus at the alloted time, and this is when the asian man and ladies really pissed us off. They were 10 minutes later than the time which meant that we would miss out on time at the next location. Bloody inconsiderates!
Next stop was Yavapai point (or something named like that). This was even colder than the bright angel lodge and we froze our butts off. This was less touristy than the lodge rim and there were lots of walkways to avoid the crowds. Once again the Canyon was stunning, and we got better views of the plateau and battleship shaped rocks.
We then headed back to the bus and the plane. The flight back was uneventful, we only had music on the headphones this time, and it was just some sort of relaxation music. I think the whole plane fell asleep (except for the pilots) at the point where we entered some snow clouds. I woke up again around Hoover Dam and Pauline got a good photo of the plane’s wheel as we landed. I was dissapointed that we were shifted to the earlier flight as it was still light when we got back and I had picked the later flight to get the lights of Las Vegas. We were shuttled back to our hotel where I wanted to rest, but Pauline decided to power on so we did.
Here begins a tale of woe:
We headed for Bally’s buffet but when we got there we thought it was too expensive for $20.95 each. So we then thought we’d check out the Imperial Palace for food as the automobile exposition was our final destination. You know a buffet in vegas isn’t any good if there isn’t a line and there wasn’t at the imperial palace. So we passed and headed back to the Flamingo where we saw a good deal for $17.95 with seafood. Of course there was a line there so we waited, but when we neared the front to pay we noticed there was a bigger line after you pay and we said stuff that! Plus it was kind of a lot of money for dinner. So we headed back to the Imperial Palace to a dodgy Burger Palace where the woman who served us was as happy as we were to be there. The fries were nice though.
After refueling we gained a small wind and headed through mazes of halls and elevators and car parks to the Imperial Palace’s automobile display. When we got there Pauline realised it would cost us $8.00 each so she changed her mind. I had printed out free entry coupons but must have left them in the street. It was funny though because as soon as the elevators opened the whole place smelt of old cars. The cars we saw at the entry weren’t anything amazing though to make us change our minds. We’ve seen the same sort of cars in Brisbane shows.
So we took the elevator straight down to catch the trolley bus, but through the maze we couldn’t find it. A security guard asked us if we needed help and told us we would have to go across the road because we were going in the opposite direction. He then offered us a lift there on his golf cart and since we were knackered we took it. I think he expected a tip but we were feeling stingy so we just said thankyou and left. LOL!!!!!!!
We then trekked back to our hotel passing Caesers Palace and the Bellagio. I stopped at Haagen Daaz to get some ice cream and then we crawled into our beds looking forward to the sleep in tomorrow.
Verdict: Great day in the Grand Canyon, bad choices made in Vegas.