April 2007 we made a trip to Las Vegas for our anniversary. Since this was our non-cruise vacation year, and we were taking a break from Disneyland. We figured we would go to Las Vegas and catch a few shows.
We decided it might be fun (and cheaper) to drive to Las Vegas. Since it would be about 530+ miles from our house to the Las Vegas Hilton where we were staying. We thought we would stop by the Los Angeles area and do a few things we have not done in the past. Most of the time we drive to Disneyland and back and do not venture out much beyond that. This also let us break the drive into hunks of under 400 miles or a lot less.
It turned out that the Maverick/Comet forum that Tony likes to read had some posts about the all fords show being held at Knotts Berry Farm the weekend prior to our being in Las Vegas. So we figured we would go to that and check our KBF after the show. Here is a slide show from that day (THIS CAN TAKE SOME TIME TO DOWNLOAD). We also found a great place to eat. It was called Hof's Hut on Knott Avenue in Buena Park.
The next day was wide open with no plans. Cheryl was checking out the various pamphlets in the hotel lobby and found some $2.00 off coupons for the Los Angeles Zoo. So that is what we did. We always enjoy the zoo when we go and this was our first trip to this zoo. With the discount coupon it was only $8.00 each to get in, free parking and even the food and drinks were priced at a reasonable level. Needless to say this was/is one of the best values for the money. The zoo is real nice and takes a few hours to see it all. We would recommend it to anyone looking for a great way to spend the day and save a few bucks in the process. Here is a slide show of some of the photos we took (THIS CAN TAKE SOME TIME TO DOWNLOAD).
On the way back to the hotel near KBF we made a quick trip to Downtown Disney . It is an open air mall of shopping and eating located between Disneyland, California Adventure and the Disney hotels. This stop did not make it a 100% Disney free trip but they do have a couple of shops that we always enjoy. We had enough time to see what we wanted and leave before our 3 free hours of parking were up.
The next morning after a quick stop by the Hilo Hatties not far from Disneyland to check out the latest in BBQ shirts, we headed to Las Vegas. It was about 265 miles to Las Vegas from where we started out the day. Not a bad drive at all. It was the first time we have driven I-15 across the desert. Tony enjoyed the drive and was nicely surprised at how scenic it was. We did not expect the big changes in elevation that we encountered and had many more hills then one would expect when crossing the desert so close to Death Valley.
Just as we were exiting I-15 into Las Vegas, we had our only car problem of the entire trip. When Tony signaled to exit the freeway, we got that very fast clicking noise telling us that one of the lights had burned out. It turned out that the bulb for the right rear turn signal was out. Other then that we did 1393.3 miles from home to home without any other problems and got just shy 28 MPG in the Mystique.
The day after our anniversary we had tickets to see "O"-Cirque Du Soleil at the Bellagio. This is the Cirque Du Soleil that has a water theme. The stage changes from a pool to a hard surface and back during the show. We had front row seats and were close enough to get a few splashes of water on us. Cheryl saw this show a few years ago with her mother. It was Tony's first time to see it. It was a fantastic show and well worth the money. The way the show room is set up they even have a snack bar for drinks and popcorn. We would highly recommend this show. They would not allow cameras in this show, I guess the flashes could cause the performers to be distracted and take a bad fall.
We had to make our way down the strip to the Bellagio to pick up our tickets at least 2 hours before the show. We took off late morning by jumping on the monorail from the Hilton to the stop for the Bellagio. Got our tickets, had some lunch and jumped back on the monorail to the stop for the Tropicana to catch a few exhibits. We caught both the Titanic artifacts exhibit and the Bodies exhibit. Both were very interesting. The Titanic had a bunch of stuff brought up from the ocean floor as well as recreations of some of the rooms and decks. The Bodies was just plane unbelievable. It is real human bodies that have been treated in such a way that they can be shown in the open air. Neither exhibit would allow you to bring in a camera. After the two exhibits, we took the Monorail back to the Hilton to relax before going back to the Bellagio for the "O" show.The following day it was time to start to head home. Once again we planned a stop in the LA area instead of the long drive back to San Jose. This time we had planned on getting back to LA on Friday afternoon and going to Universal Studios Hollywood on Saturday. Cheryl had never been and Tony last visited so long ago that the Munsters was still in production. Needless to say, things have changed a lot over the years. Overall it was a fun day and Universal Studios is worth a visit. I do not think we will have an over powering feeling like we need to go back soon. We did get to make $15.00 each that day. The paid us to watch a new show and provide feedback about it, the characters and a bunch of other stuff. It took a little over an hour to watch the show and give them the info. Also had a love it, hate it button to push during the show. Anything you like press one button, anything you do not like press the other. The show was called Chuck and is on the fall 2007 lineup on NBC.
Then on Sunday, we got an early start and headed home. We left our hotel about 6:00 AM and was home about 12:30 that afternoon. Ready for a rest after our vacation.