USA Sept 2010 – Viva Las Vegas!

At last! After 9 months of hard planning, researching and spending precious work time on Internet forums, we’re off! The stars of this story are myself (Mrs Fletche) and the hubby (Mr Fletche). Mr Fletche has been to the US before (Midwest only) but I’m a US Virgin. I’m a meticulous planner and have a full A4 folder full of itineraries, maps, coupons, restaurant recommendations and heaven knows what else…

Our British Airways flight from Heathrow is fine – complimentary drink service, standard food, a good selection of films, TV & music on the IFE. But everyone is just waiting to see those bright lights of Vegas twinkling in the distance! Selected window seats on the right-hand side of the plane to get that first vital sighting…. WOW! There it is! It’s amazing how distinguishable the hotels are, even from this distance. And I can’t understand why everyone complains about the length of the Strip – from here, the Stratosphere Tower looks like it’s practically neighbours with Mandalay Bay!

We get through immigration reasonably quickly – smile for the camera here, fingerprints there, thank you Madame, have a nice day (how many times will we hear that this holiday?) – but as usual for the Fletche’s, our suitcases clearly decide to take a snooze in the hold and finally emerge when all the others are merrily on their way to their hotels. Maybe it’s because my suitcase is huge, pink and flowery – maybe it likes to make a solo late entrance so as not to overshadow all the drab black and navy suitcases?

By the time our suitcases make their appearance, the Arrivals hall is practically empty. Luckily, ours is the only flight landing at that time, so there is no queue for the taxi rank. Mr Taxi Driver is very friendly: I utter those immortal words I’ve been waiting to say for months – “MGM Grand, No Tunnel”  He asks how we know about “The Tunnel” and I explain about Trip Advisor and their wise words of advice. … He entertains us by trying to guess where we’re from (“Newcastle? You sound like Geordies. Edinburgh? You sound Scottish”) I guess my dulcet Brummie tones aren’t that recognisable in the States…Cab costs a very reasonable $12 to the MGM; we tip an additional $3.

Entering our First Vegas Hotel!

Bearing in mind that the MGM is the first Vegas hotel we had been in; Mr Fletche & I are in raptures about how luxurious the MGM is. Of course, after spending days trawling around the other hotels you realise that MGM is actually quite a poor relation to some of the places on the Strip – what, no Aquarium in the lobby? No Sistine Chapel? No beautiful blown-glass flower covered ceiling?

However, what they do have is a big gold lion, and a lobby the size of a small airport. After anticipating long winding check-in queues akin to a theme park ride on opening day, we were pleasantly surprised to walk straight up to a check-in clerk. “Is it your first time in Vegas?” she asks. Is this not clear from our beaming excited little faces? “I’ll try and get you guys a nice Strip View”. Just a couple of minutes later and we are ensconced in Room 24-402 on the 24th Floor with a stunning view of the Strip. And we didn’t even need to try the “$20 trick”…

A quick change of clothes and it’s time for a bit of a wander around to try and keep us awake, bearing in mind it’s about 5am UK time and we’ve almost been up for almost 24 hours. Must fight the jetlag! We discover just how huge MGM is – and probably don’t even scratch the surface! We finally find our way outside via the exit near the Rainforest Café, and there it is – we’re officially standing on the Las Vegas strip! Photo opportunity ensues.

View of the Strip from the MGM-NYNY Skywalk, Las Vegas

View of the Strip from the MGM-NYNY Skywalk

We’re not hungry – amazingly the airplane food has sustained us – but my God, do we fancy a drink! We use the skywalk to get over to NYNY – wow, there’s a bridge over the road with escalators and elevators and everything! Vegas is already overwhelming my tired little mind…

After oohing and aahing at the jelly-bean Statue of Liberty for a while, we settle on Pour 24 for a couple of drinks. Bartender is friendly, we can sit at the bar and watch the world go by and we’re having beer for what is technically our breakfast. After two drinks, the time difference is taking quite a toll and we need to sleep!

Jelly Bean Statue of Liberty, NYNY, Las Vegas

Jelly Bean Statue of Liberty

We mosey on back over to the MGM – after another ooh and aah at the jelly-bean Statue of Liberty – and Mr Fletche can’t resist a quick gamble on the slots. We’re not big gamblers, so we look for something nice and simple – a 1c machine with Bars & 7s…. It doesn’t take long to figure out the combination of bets (after a while of betting one line at one bet – lasts a long time but not much chance of winning big…) but I decide to save my hard-earned money for when I’m feeling less frazzled. However, I’m loving the whole cocktail waitress thing – they’re happy to serve me even though I’m not gambling! Two Jack Daniels & Cokes for the princely sum of a $2 tip!

Eventually we cannot keep our eyes open much longer, and we make our way back to our room about the same time as we would normally be getting up for work back home! Viva Las Vegas indeed!

In 2010 A Brummie Home and Abroad headed off to Las Vegas for the very first time. This is a day by day account of Las Vegas for beginners


  1. March 16, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    Sounds like the start of a great holiday.

  2. March 16, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    I love Vegas! So much fun, even just people watching! 🙂

  3. May 30, 2017 / 9:12 am

    Neil (From Edinburgh) has been to Vegas, while I, from New York, have not. He said it’s great just for the people watching alone, and I’d love to go just to be there. The plan is to go and renew our wedding vows when we hit ten years together, a little over two years time. Purple dress and Elvis impersonator, ha!

    But I would just go to see the Statue of Liberty as Jelly Beans, so thanks for that!


    • May 30, 2017 / 12:15 pm

      It’s definitely an experience! And that renewal sounds amazing 🙂

  4. May 30, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Sounds like an exciting adventure.

    • May 30, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      It was… we’re much more experienced travellers now so maybe we’d approach Vegas in a whole different way these days!

  5. May 30, 2017 / 11:26 am

    You just made me look up “No tunnel.” Lol!

    • May 30, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      Ha ha…I was obsessed with the idea that we’d be horribly cheated by the cab driver – scaremongering from Trip Advisor forums 😀

  6. May 30, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Shoot; was that a real jelly bean Statue of Liberty??? I mean real sweets??? not that I like sweets you understand (Imagine Homer Simpson drool). Looks like a well cool trip 🙂

    • May 30, 2017 / 12:24 pm

      Yes!! I mean, I didn’t get close enough to lick one but…. 😀

      • May 30, 2017 / 12:38 pm

        Don’t tell me; you photographed it from that side because there were bits missing round the back!!! 😉

  7. May 30, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    We were lucky we got upgraded on our flight. We were also in awe when we arrived at our hotel (to be fair we were staying at the Bellagio and not slumming it in the MGM haha, only kidding). Did you try the $20 sandwich trick when you checked in? Loved the fact you get drinks when you gamble! Well, except when I wanted a morning coffee that ended up costing my $40 but that’s another story. I’m really looking forward to reading your other Vegas posts! And other travel posts too as you have a similar ‘travel review style’ to mine I think. Mine are very tongue in cheek and I don’t think I’ll be writing for Lonely Planet anytime soon. Nice to meet you! Steve x

    • May 30, 2017 / 6:28 pm

      MGM was a step up from our usual Travelodges 🙂 To be fair we got great rooms at both MGM and Mirage, wasn’t confident enough to try the $20 sandwich! And thanks for the nice comments about my writing style – I’d rather tell a (rambling) story rather than just list stuff we’ve done! Welcome to the inside of my head 😀

      • May 30, 2017 / 6:29 pm

        We tried it and guess what? It worked!! Rambling style is good. If you read some of mine and you’ll see inside of my head is maybe worse than yours lol

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