woensdag 12 oktober 2016

sept 25th: Amsterdam - Philly - Vegas

wow... my 13th visit to the States! how is that ever possible??

In two minutes I’m officially awake for 24 hrs :-D (not countinng some Colaps Naps)

woke up 5.30 am and drove to Amsterdam. Robert almost made me puke out my breakfast because of laughter :-D and almost had to stop on the emergency lane but I got myself back together just in time.
So far so good, but we couldnt find the cheap lonng term carpark because our GPS is too old so that caused some minor nervous breakdowns, but we found it in time.
Already checked in at home so we just had to drop our check in bag and go to the gate. Long story short, sometimes I wonder how we manage to act as if we never traveled before. Must be the early hour.
Much to our surprise the plane was TINY.... 3 seats next to 3 seats! and we’re going to cross the ocean with THAT?
yep! they also didnt have seat-screens but I figured, hey, its a cheap flight.... food was ok though.

Long flight behind us. Almost in Vegas now. I’m kinda ready to get up and leave this plane.
First part took us to Philadelphia. Behind me in the plane was a guy that sounded like he was on his way (or should be) to a lung transplantation :-p and kept kicking my  chair. Serious if you’re with me on an airplane, dont worry, they’ll be behind me. (right now the tallest man on the flight is sitting behind me with his knees in my back) We had an fantastic view on downtown Philadelphia on arriving. 


bellpepper upgrade for airplane menu

we had to wave at the Stadium for Colt and yelled "GO STEELERS!!!" through the plane. Hope it was the right stadium   .
 NOTE: I KNOW this is not the Steelers stadium because thats obviousbly not in Philadelphia.
the game was held here later today.

lopsided view on Philadelphia

When we walked out of the plane in „Philly“ we wondered, what do we know about this town? „its historical important“ „something with a bell.... Freedom Bell....??“ „and wasnt this the US capitol for a while?“ yes, yes, and yes. Bonus points for the Europeans please! This is the town of the declarency of indepenndence in 1776. The „freedom Bell“ is called „Liberty Bell“ and a we saw a very cool replica made of Legos on the airport.

Even with the dealay we had, we had 5hr stop-over (we had the cheapest flight!) lots of time to explore the airport, buy magnets, try the rocking chairs, have some food, admire the election madhouse merchandise (we liked a tin with mints saying „they all suck“ :-D )

cool exhibition with election pins

oh help....

the rocking chairs were cool

I „was“ in Philadelphia once before, I saw the Greyhound station on a trip from St Louis to Washington DC :-)
 Learned more about the town esp food (do they think they invented the pretzel??) Crowds of people were flocked around TV stations that aired „The Game“ aka the footballl game between the Pittsburg Steelers and Philadelphia. everynow and then everyone started screaming what hit a few nerves :-D
Just after this flight took off, the flight attendant said through the speaker „as theres only 3 minutes more to go, its safe to say Philadelphia won the game’ on wich the whole plane started cheering and screaming :-) (sorry, Colt!)
when it was about time we went to the gate, only to discover that the flight to Vegas prior to ours, was delayed so much, it ended up leaving 5 minutes before we did, causing big chaos at the two gates, with people going to the wrong gates etc. Then we were delayed too, cos there was a flight attendant missing. After a while he quietly showed up and we were able to  board. 

„chasing the sun down West“ didnt last long.... we took off with spectacular sunset. for the first time in my life I was exited to get up in the air, hoping for amazing views, but it got dark quick.  Got a drink and Belgian cookies. After that we both collapsed. Right now still more than an hour to go! Insane, I always thought that the longest trip over the US was 5 hrs. saw a flight to LA that lasted 6! thats almost from home to New York!

hey if I just keep typing I can maybe ignore the fact that the plane is bouncing through the air like a pingpong ball right now :-S
Anyway its dark outside. every now and then some lights that indicate civilisation.

when we finally started to descend, we saw a huge town approaching. We saw Vegas from the sky at night once before, and that was pretty awesome with lots of flickering lights, but this just looked like a normal town. This cant be Vegas??? we even thought it was Phoenix Arizona (you can laugh, we had no clue how far this is from Las Vegas)
But we were descending pretty quick so this had to be Las Vegas. Seeing the dark mountains’ edge arond the city was a very nice sight though.

And there we were! Fifth time Las Vegas, first time McCarran airport. For some reason I always thought  this was a small airport doing only national flights (also because its so close to the strip)
How wrong I was! Its huge! Betty Lou soon would find out too :-D
it was a long walk and complicated to find our lugguage. Then we also had to find Betty Lou. We found the belt, but the number of the flight dissapeard without any information leaving everyone clueless. All of a sudden we heard a scream: Betty Lou found us!! (next to the trashcan)
what a fantastic reunion :-)
she told what she had been through to find us as its apperantly very complicated with the all the different flightnumers (ours had 5!!) that change as soon as you’re on a domestic flight, but she found us.
The lugguage showed up at the end (yay) and we took a cab.
It was nice and warm outside, not too hot!

Polo Towers was not too far from the airport and it looked very nice as soon as we arrived. The guy at the hotelentrance (probably has a name) opened the cab door for me and said „welcome home!“
They dont do that at our Red Roof Inn or Ibis for sure :-D :-D
Even more impressed as soon as we walked in the big lobby and on to our suite on the 5th floor.
And then we opened the door, and we didnt believe our eyes! A whole appartement! with view on the strip! Huge kitchen! Huge bathroom! Huge livingroom! Huge bedroom! with balcony!
we were walkiung around going „whaaaaat????!!!“

now I hear you think „how come those two end up in a posh suite“
well I tell you; only because of Betty Lou had it arranged for us! she knows how to take care of friends.....
I walked around opening doors and drawers and checked out evrything in the kitchen. Huge American stove, and microwave the size of a truck (maxi wave according to Robert) it was more complete that our own kitchen! everything was there! (apart from two things; kitchen towel, but they had a dishwasher, so probably didnt expect crazy europeans to do the dishes by hand, and a cleaning rag, but I guess they use paper towels for that over here.)

we threw down our stuff, grabbed the shoppinglist and the Delhaize shopping bag and went to the „biggest WalGreens on earth“ on the corner for breakfast.. Not sure if its really that big for a WG, but it was big. They had everything we looked for (though we had to look very hard) execpt for tomatoes and cucumbers. Other than that everything. They were a bit pricy but you cant blame that for a shop on the Strip.
we bought a loaf of bread, cottage cheese, eggs, cheese, jelly, fruit, milk, water, etc. what we needed to make breakfast in our huge kitchen all week.
It took us a while finding everything and I got grumpy, also because of all the party people we had met on the strip. I’m not the biggest fan of the Strip at night to  be honest. I wasnt the biggest fan of Las Vegas either. (I’m still not, but i did learn to aprechiate it more during the week. But thats for later)

Delhaize goes Vegas

Thought it was cool to slap our Belgian durable shoppingbag on the counter instead of getting 50 plastic bags. They do say „thanks“ when you bring your own bag, and in some shops you even get a discount.
Back over the Strip with our groceries :-D
We dumped them at home (it felt like home straight from the start) 

the huge kitchen!

and we checked out the rooftop pool and hot tub!
I arrived without bikini so I hoped I would find something here for a decent price.
The view from the rooftop was STUNNING and we were more than impressed.
Across the road from us were the gigantic highrisers of the Aria and Cosmopolitan. A bit too the south New York New York andd the MGM. Our other „next door neighboours“ were oa Planet Hollywood and we could see the Paris balloon, and their hotel, and the LINQ ferriswheel that was beautifull lit but not moving.

rooftop pool!!

view to the south with a.o. Excalibur, New York New York and Monte Carlo

time to go to bed now....

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