Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Las Vegas Part 1: Getting There

The last part of finishing my 40th birthday celebration was going to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion in concert. She is one of my all-time favorite singers and I thought I would never get to see her. She played in Las Vegas for 5 years, took some time off, but is back now. When the idea came to me, I knew the only time we could go would be during Spring Break. I looked up her dates and discovered that she was playing the weekend before Spring Break. All of her concerts were sold out except for the Sunday night one. (It eventually sold out, but at the time we purchased the ticks, it was not). My mom and sister could watch the kids for us, so Roger purchased the tickets and we started planning our trip.

Roger found a trip package that included a nonstop flight to Vegas, and allowed us to stay at Caesar's Palace which is where the concert was going to be. Allegiant is the airline that flies nonstop from Wichita to Vegas. The flight time was a little over 2 hours, but on the way home it was less than 2 hours--it all depends on the winds.

Neither of us had flown Allegiant before and there were a few unexpected things about the airline we learned in the process. When we got to the airport, Roger told me he had paid for priority seating, but he wasn't sure exactly what that meant. We soon discovered that priority seating is a good thing to pay for when flying with this airline. When it was time to board the plane, people with priority seating get to board first. What that means is we have assigned seating, and are able to place our carry-on luggage in bins above our seats. Yes, believe it or not, I was able to pack all of my stuff in a carry-on. Hey, we were only going to be gone for 2 nights, so it really shouldn't be too much of a shock to all of you. My husband couldn't believe it, so he decided to take a picture for proof...

Continuing on...for those passengers without priority seating, when it is their turn to board, they do not have assigned seating, and can sit wherever there is an empty seat. The plane is divided with rows of 2 seats on one side, and rows of 3 seats on the other side. It was nice to know we had assigned seats and would actually be able to sit together in a row of 2 seats.

Another learning opportunity came when they brought the drink cart by and asked us if we would like something to drink. I asked for water and Roger asked for a soda. She said, "That'll be $4." We must have looked shocked to her. We had no idea we had to pay for drinks on the flight--$2 each. We paid it.

Before we left for Vegas, I had called Caesar's to ask if they had a complimentary shuttle which picked up their guests from the airport. They did not, but said to use a shuttle service called Bell Transportation. Their kiosk was outside by the luggage claim area and we bought a round trip ticket from them that cost $12 each. On the way to Caesar's, the shuttle had to drop other passengers off at their resorts, so we were the last ones and it took about 45 minutes until we arrived. Returning to the airport on the day we came home, we were the last passengers picked up and it only took 15 minutes to get to the airport. It was all very convenient and it meant we didn't have to rent a car which would've been crazy trying to drive on the Vegas Strip, and hopefully we saved money than what it would have cost to use a cab--I didn't look into that cost.

By the time we finally checked in and reached our hotel room, it was 9:00pm Vegas time; 11:00 Wichita time. No walking around taking pics of the neon lights this night. We saw them as we drove around in the shuttle, but the windows had some kind of screening on them that would not have allowed for good pics. Plus, it was pretty chilly and the winds were gusting. We were tired and found some food, took it back to our room, ate and went nighty-night.

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