Laurel's Travels - Las Vegas - November 19 - 21, 2007
November 19, 2007 November 20, 2007 November 21, 2007 laurellynn.com Other Travels

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  2008 - 2014

 
 
 
 
November 20, 2007
 
Our first full day in Las Vegas, we decided to do some sightseeing along the strip.  Since we were at the more northern end of the cluster of hotels, we decided to go to the far south end and take a look at the hotels there.  To get there, we decided to purchase a monorail ticket and ride it to the end of the line.
 
 
Sunrise outside of our hotel window.  It was about the only worthwhile thing to see from there.  Our room had no view of the strip.
 

Some more views in and
around our hotel.

 
A view of the grand hallway facing toward the main lobby of the Venetian from the casino floor.


Sign at the hotel's entrance

The very blue (chlorinated) "canals" of The Venetian
grounds.  Trust me, the actual canals in Venice are

not this blue.  To see the real thing, go here...

 
 
The nearest monorail stop from our hotel was at the Harrah strip.  One thing you need to know about the monorail.  It is located behind the hotels.  So in order to get to each of the monorail stops, with the exception of the Hilton, you will have to walk through the entire hotel on the casino level to get in or out.  I believe to get the funding for this monorail, the city must have received it from these hotels who in turn hoped to get additional foot traffic and potential gamblers at their locations. Another hint to the funding of this monorail is that it is only on the strip and goes nowhere else in the city.


$9.00 for one day.  The monorail pass you get is similar to the tickets you get in New York or DC for their public transport.


This is the map that is in the center of Monorail Quick Guide
that you can pick up at the monorail stations.
Click on the image above to see a larger version.

It would not have been so bad if the hotels were small.  But in Vegas, you are dealing with mega hotels.  So you are talking about walking more than a quarter of a mile winding through rows of annoying slot machines.  I have nothing against walking and prefer to do so when on vacation, but the view of nothing but slot machines wears on you.  Just so you know, I bought nothing in the hotels I had to walk through, not did I gamble, I just got more annoyed.
 
 


Above the entrance at Harrah's

We entered the Harrah Hotel to get to our first monorail station.  Our plan was to get on here and ride the monorail to the last stop on the south end at the MGM Grand Hotel.  This would take us to Tropicana Avenue.  From there, were were going to walk over to the Excalibur and get on the the mini-monorail (more on this monorail below) and go to the end of the line, Mandalay Bay Hotel.


 
We got off the monorail at the MGM Grand Hotel and walked through their l-o-n-g winding lobby that you need a map to maneuver through.  Found the lion habitat. (poor babies)


In front of The MGM Grand

 

The only place to cross the street is to go over the pedestrian overpass on the Las Vegas Strip between The MGM Grand and New York, New York Hotel.



View of the Strip from the pedestrian
overpass looking north.
 
New York, New York Hotel on the corner of the Las Vegas Strip and Tropicana Avenue.  We walked in here to find the roller coaster.  I was determined to ride at least one roller coaster while I was here.  My travel partner decided to pass.  The line was short so I had my ride. Wheeeeee! Kept my eyes open the whole time!


The faux Statue of Liberty.
To see the real thing,
go here....


The entrance to the hotel that is using a replica of
the sculpture and clock at the Grand Central Terminal
in New York City.  To see the real thing,
go here...

 

We had to cross another pedestrian overpass to get across Tropicana Ave to reach the Excalibur Hotel.  The three hotels on this part of the strip (Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay) have a small free monorail that you can ride on, located in the front of the three hotels. We hoped on it at the Excalibur and headed south towards the Mandalay Bay.


Picture of one section of the Mandalay
Bay inside the lobby looking out of the
window towards the pool.
 
We wanted to see the wave machine in action, where you can surf in a swimming pool, but were told that it was now closed for the winter.  A shame because it was still in the 70's F outside.





Some of the decor inside the Mandalay Bay.
 
The Luxor Hotel where Ancient Egypt meets slot machines.  We stayed in here a while looking at the shops and the decor.  We also took a ride on the "In Search of the Obelisk" motion ride.




This is what you see when you
get off the monorail




This is what you see when you turn
around at the monorail station

 

The acting in this motion ride was corny as hell, but it was a hoot.  Sit up front on this ride, to get the full effect.  By this ride, I had figured out how to dissipate the energy of the whiplash shock you get on these rides.  The key is to distribute your weight.  Push down on your feet in your seat when you start to whip around.
This contraption was in front of the
ticket office for the Criss Angel Mindfreak show
 

Outside and Inside the Excalibur Hotel where medieval meets slot machines.
 
 

After leaving the Excalibur Hotel, we went back over the pedestrian overpasses to the the MGM Hotel to get back on the monorail.  We got off at the Bally/Paris stop and worked our way yet, through another long casino.  My friend wanted to visit the new Planet Hollywood hotel which had just opened and is near the Paris Hotel.


The faux Eiffel Tower


In front of the Paris Hotel

 

Inside the lobby at the Planet Hollywood Hotel.  The overhead lights in here cycle into different colors.  You are seeing the "magenta phase"
 
A section of Caesar's Palace Hotel.  This hotel covers almost twice the area of the other hotels. I think they tried to fit all of Rome here in one area.
 
The Mirage....or is it?
 
We topped off this evening with the Blue Man Group show.  We had good enough seats in the center to see the whole show and far enough back to not get wet from splattering paint on drums.  A high intensity show with plenty of quick and sometimes subtle humor.  Must be a quick reader to read all of the jokes flashing by on a video monitor.  And more crepe/tissue paper than you would ever want to see...
Fun and entertaining show!
 
   
 
October 4, 2013