Okay - time to wrap up this recap already...
Sunday my LA friends (all but one) were on the road by 7am (!) as they had things to get back for and did not want to get stuck in the horrendous Las Vegas to LA traffic. I got up and groggily hugged them all and thanked them so much for everything and then got all excited again because I get to see them in less than a month!
The rest of us got up later. We lolled about a bit, packed, cleaned and then schlepped two loads worth of luggage and extra crap over to the Hawthorn Suites just off the strip. Heather (who lives in LA) had her car so was kind enough to assist us in this endeavor.
We couldn't check in yet to the other hotel so we headed to the Hash House a Go Go for pancakes as big as pizzas and biscuits & gravy that came in a trough. It was really, really good. I wanted to go there since last winter when I saw the restaurant profiled on The Martha Stewart show. It was fun to be there and eat that yummy breakfast goodness. And it wasn't expensive either. Even better!
We still couldn't get into our suite so we spent the afternoon lounging in the hotel lobby - sleeping, catching up on the news (hurricanes & plane crashes) and reading. It was boring but oh well.
We got into our room, got "ready" and hit the strip. Just a little jaunt into NYNY (where I won $50 on "Cash Crop"), and then over to the Aladdin where we looked at clothes, jewelry, contortionists, sunglasses etc. We had dinner there and then headed back to get more ready for our night out.
We went back to the Rio that night so we could see the "Masquerade in the Sky" which is free entertainment. It was fun. The floats are cool but I think the dancers looked tired or lazy or bored or something. Oh well. It was free. We thent went up to the VooDoo lounge which was great. Such an amazing view. There are two rooftop patios - one on the 50th floor and one on the 51st floor. It was stunning to see the strip from this perspective. I had two delicious appletinis (and paid through the nose for them). I just had to have a drink in a lovely glass for such a view.
After that we went back to the hotel. Sarah's plane was the red-eye that night so she wanted to get there in plenty of time. Allison & I walked her over to the Hooters Hotel as they have a cab line and the Hawthorn does not. After more hugs & thank yous she was off. Allison & I stopped into Hooters' martini bar for a drink and some very good live music by a cover band. By 1am we were tucked into bed fast asleep.
Monday we got up in time for our free cooked breakfast (me likes free - can you tell?). After breakfast we laid at the pool for a while and then packed up and got ready to go.
The flight back was uneventful. We took off 50 mins late because it was TOO HOT outside (!) and there were weight restrictions but it wasn't too bad. My sister got on a different flight to Sioux Falls where she spent the night and flew to Mpls the next morning. We got to Minneapolis about 8pm and then waited FOREVER for our luggage. At least it all came.
I got on the road by 9pm and was back in Duluth by 11:15pm. It was a long drive, I was tired but not as bad as I anticipated.
I was SOOOOOO HAPPY to see my sweet Stevie! And he gave me my birthday present which is A NEW BIKE! I'm sooooo excited! I have never IN MY LIFE had a new bike. I'm thrilled. It's a birthday/wedding combo gift and we're going to go shopping for it in the next couple of weeks. He made a really cute "certificate" which is good for one new bike! Whohoooo!
Okay - so there you have it. I would upload more pics but I'm too tired right now - ha! So maybe tomorrow. It is a holiday after all....