My second (ever) trip to Las Vegas began on the morning of July 4th. We managed to pack and finish cleaning our house within about 2 hours, then threw our luggage into a taxi and headed to the airport.
Our plane from Key West to Miami was on time, and while we waited, Scott took a Dramamine and I took a Benadryl. I managed to stay awake long enough to snap some great shots of the water and then crashed for the remainder of the half-hour flight.
Touching down in Miami we were met by a bus to take us to the gate. After off-loading into the terminal, we prepared for the 3 hour layover by eating a personal Pizza Hut pizza and finding a spot to nap. As the boarding time grew closer, we collected ourselves only to be notified by the P.A. system that due to the thunderstorms in the area, the American Airlines ramp was closed.
Our original departure time was 3:30pm and we watched the announcement board change to 4:00pm with disgust and then hope, as we boarded the aircraft at about 4:30pm. Sadly, once on board we sat at the gate for about another hour, waiting for the ground crew to finish loading our luggage. Apparently the union has a rule that if there is any lightning, the ground crew is not allowed outside. Why they think lightning would strike a person as opposed to any number of the other much LARGER objects nearby is beyond me.
Touchdown at McCarren airport was about two and a half hours later than anticipated, but we managed to get our bags and a taxi to the hotel by 8:30pm, despite the 114 degree heat.
Scott's parents, sister, and brother-in-law met us at the front door of The Paris, swapped us our bags for beverages, and we made our way to our room. We took about an hour to decompress and then took off walking for The Venetian.
If you've never been to Vegas, you don't realize how big it is. Not just that the buildings are big, or that everyone is "over-the-top", but that The Strip is several miles long. Just because you can see another casino/hotel from your own quite clearly, does not mean it is a ten minute walk.
We dodged slow tourists and finally arrived at our goal, only having to wait about 15 minutes for a table at the Grand Lux Cafe.
Dinner and drinks down the hatch, we walked at a much more leisurely pace back to our hotel, where I went to bed and everyone else went back downstairs with the intention to gamble, although Kevin was the only one that really managed to stay up. It was to his fortune though, as he won about $775 playing poker.