Gambler's Anonymous

November 18, 2008 - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Its just gone midnight here in Las Vegas and we're just back from a hard evening's gambling, but more of that later! Our last few days in Rarotonga continued the relaxation theme - we had a scooter hired so were able to get around the island on that, though it took a bit of getting used to.

We took in some of the canoe festival that was on while we were there as well as trying out some great seafood at some of the local restaurants. We made it to the market on Saturday but Cara was disappointed to find it was mainly food on offer, and little in the way of tat! In the afternoon we were back at the apartment for a bit of sunbathing on our last day there. We took another kayak out on the lagoon and saw quite a lot of fish swimming around the reefs there, so I went back out snorkelling once we got back to shore. It was great as the water was barely more than waist deep even out a couple of hundred metres.

I saw loads more fish in the crystal clear, warm water and was able to just sit on the sea bed with the snorkel above the surface ok and loads of fish swimming all around. Unfortunately there was no underwater camera this time which was a shame!

We went out for a meal on our last night to a restaurant which had great views over the ocean. We were picked up from there at 10pm for our transfer to the airport, which was driven by the apartment odd job lady who was also the cleaning lady for our place (and Vara's) and who looked and sounded like Rusty Lee (according to Cara, which means she looked and sounded nothing like her at all!) Our flight was at midnight so we were waiting in their outdoor departure lounge, which was a bit like the one at Airlie Beach. As we left the departure lounge we had a live band playing us farewell tunes - when we arrived they were playing some slightly more upbeat welcome music!

And so on to LA - our flight up took 9 hours and thankfully we managed to get a bit of sleep on the plane, eventually. On the way in we could see lots of smoke from the forest fires which are raging there just now and much of the city was covered in smoke. We picked up a hire car for a day, after much hassle with my credit card which hadn't been enabled for use in the US. It was complicated by the fact that none of the rental companies actually have offices in the airport and instead you need to get a shuttle bus out to each company's office all of which were about 10-15 minutes away. Thankfully we got a car from Avis in the end and set off for Hollywood.

We had a bit of a whistle stop trip, taking in the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. After that we returned to our hotel at the airport for an early night after the flight the previous night. Thankfully the sat nav on my phone worked like a charm so we didn't get lost at all, which would inevitably happened otherwise.

We took a short flight to Las Vegas this morning which ended with a rousing speech from one of the crew upon arrival when she said a big thanks to any US military personnel who were on board as its "thanks to them that America is the land of the free". She even got a round of applause when she finished her speech. I look forward to hearing that sort of bilge from Easyjet when we get back home!

Anyway, we got a bus up to The Strip and managed to get a room at the New York New York hotel after trying unsuccessfully to get a room at a couple of the other main hotels. We've had a look around our place (which has a roller coaster on and in it and has a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty outside - unfortunately Cara now wants to go to NY to see them for real) and the neighbouring hotels this afternoon. All of them are vast with thousands of rooms, numerous restaurants, shops and bars and the odd gambling machine too (of which there were lots in the airport too).

We visited the MGM Grand, Excalibur and Luxor hotels before coming back to our place for some food and a gamble on some of the slot machines. Cara has just informed me that she's hooked on one in particular where she managed to win a staggering $18.75 - it won't change us though! Cara decided to quit while she was ahead but will no doubt have another flutter tomorrow! I'll be hiding all the cash and cards just in case she gets up in the middle of the night for a shot.

We've got one more day here before we fly to San Francisco on Wednesday morning for our last couple of nights. Its all a bit depressing really!


November 18, 2008
Hiya, again sounds as if you are both having a fab time. Enjoy San Fran and if you can walk the Golden Gate Bridge :-)
Oh and hang on the rail on the outside of a cable car!! and feel like you are in a film!! tee hee I did when I was with bump in the tum!! X

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don't care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!
Mum & Dad McElhinney:
November 18, 2008
I have made an appointment for Cara at Gamblers Annon. just in case that large win has her hooked. Enhoy your last few days.
Lindsay (Ric's sis):
November 18, 2008
spend it wisely
Suzanne Lipsey:
November 19, 2008
love it! xx
November 19, 2008
Your trip is almost over
All good things they say must end
Now you can sing the "Wild Rover"
As homeward bound you do wend

It will be nice to see you two
And hear all your stories and tales
Back to auld claes and parritch noo
And home to cold, snow and gales
Vikki Reynolds:
November 20, 2008
It's been wonderful to read about your jaunts and see your fab pics. Doesn't seem 2 mins since I was admiring the photos of origami cranes in Hiroshima...Enjoy the rest of your adventure you two. Say a big Aloha Hawaii to any Elvis lookielikees!!oh and go steady with all that extra cash!

Love Vikki & Garethxx
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