2010
07.19

Grand Canyon

One of the main features of the holiday was the trip to the grand canyon and to be honest I cannot really do the pictures justice so I will just leave you with the pictures.

2010
07.19

Vegas Day One

Woke up on the first day and had breakfast in the room then ventured out on to the Las Vegas strip, camera in hand. I got numerous photos and here are the best ones.

After viewing the Belagio fountains we then went inside to find a conservatory garden with many sculptures made out of flowers.

2010
07.19

Getting to Vegas

We got to the airport to find that the flight that we were meant to be on had not in fact taken off from Philadelphia and so the first hour of the journey was stood in a queue in Manchester airport waiting for the flight to take off. Once it had taken off and we knew the plane was coming we were allowed to check in and go through security. Even though the plane was delayed about 7 hours, it allowed us time to relax in the airport, read magazines etc and we eventually boarded the plane at around 4:30pm BST. We then had to wait in the aeroplane for a fuel truck to come and refuel the plane which added about 40 minutes to the flight time which when the flight had been delayed for 7 hours Manchester airport really should have had sorted, ready and waiting. Still, we got into the air and had a good flight, little turbulence and good film selection for the headset TVs, Sherlock Holmes is well worth a watch and Finding Nemo is always nice to watch when you want something to pass the time
We always knew that with the delayed transatlantic flight it would be an incredibly tight connection to the flight to Vegas, especially having to go through immigration, pick up the luggage and go through customs but even so it doesn’t excuse the fact that Philadelphia airport did not in one bit try to speed our passage through the airport. Alright there were at least 300 other people on the plane all likely with connections of their own but when you only have an hour in an airport even small delays count. First off was baggage, we were stood round for 5 minutes before they told us which carousel the bags were coming out of and then another 5 minutes waiting for the first bags to arrive. Then customs added to the delays and finally we had to go back through security.
This however was a vastly different experience to security at Manchester. At Manchester, a lot of money has been spent making the process as efficient as possible and I accept that at Manchester when we went through security it was 9am compared to 8:30pm local time in Philadelphia, but even so, the airport knew the plane was delayed and there would be many people trying to get connections. But in the face of all that there was only one scanner open for business when there are in fact 8. Add to that TSA rules about what you need to put where i.e. you have to remove footwear yet didn’t at Manchester. But the woman in charge was from another world, rather than trying to help us through swiftly, everything we did was not right. Katy and I, both carrying passports and boarding passes had put them in one of the trays with my shoes and belt. Then she said she wouldn’t let us through without our boarding cards/passports and so we had to spend 5 minutes arguing with this woman that we had put our passports/boarding cards through the scanner rather than holding them. We all came away with the overall feeling that the staff at Phili where the most unhelpful.
Still we made the plane to Vegas which was noisy but quite empty and so everyone could spread out to sleep. With it being a night flight all the lights were off and so that made the flight seem quite long with others sleep. We got into Vegas at about 11pm PDT and eventually got to the hotel at about 00:30. The hotel is absolutely huge and as a result took us half an hour to find our own room after being directed to the wrong elevators.
That is all for now, I’ll put another post up later with pictures of the strip.