Holiday Tags: USA

Having holidayed in the Caribbean a number of times we decided to give Mexico a try as we do get a bit “buffet’ed out” into the second week of our stay, & Cancun offered a good selection of restaurants outside of the hotels.

We booked with First Choice & as the flight was early on the Friday morning we decided to stay overnight at the Sofitel at the Gatwick north terminal. This too allowed us to make use of the day before check-in & baggage drop. We were a bit surprised on checking in at five pm that we could not get a window seat as they were all reserved? The girl at the check-in was very unhelpful & rude when we queered this.

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November 22nd 2009. First up, you should know that I love Las Vegas. It’s hard to convince non-gamblers just why they have to go there, and until you have you’ll probably never understand just what it is about the place. The vibe of the Strip, the sheer extravagance, the architecture and the lights. Lots of lights! This was my second trip to Las Vegas and after staying downtown the first time, this time I chose to stay at the Encore Hotel, sister casino and look-a-like to the Wynn to which it is adjoined via an up-market shopping arcade.

I get excited just looking out the window on the plane as you land – the runway we came in on at Las Vegas (flying from LHR with BA) ran parallel to the Strip and at night it’s just an incredible sight. It doesn’t matter how long your flight was, the sight just puts you in the mood! You can see the Wynn and Encore to the North of the Strip as you come in, both looking identical and, by Vegas standards, understated. It’s a 15 minute cab ride to the hotel – $20, or $25 if they go via the Interstate.

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Arrived at the Excalibur late evening on a Friday after our flight to Las Vegas from New York had been delayed for over 4 hours. We were rather exhausted & as we made our way to registration (reception) we were approached by a hotel employee who asked us where we were from & ushered us over to a desk “to receive free gifts”. Turns out this desk was trying to sell us tickets to shows, sight seeing tours etc & there was in fact nothing free at all! Not that I was bothered as I wanted to get to my room but what a hard sell! Just as we had arrived & hadn’t even checked in!

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We stayed at the Holiday Inn hotel on International Drive over the Christmas holidays. Check in was quick but I would suggest joining the Priority Club (can be found on the Holiday Inn Website) for free. It will speed up check-in if there are a lot of people. We have a Priority Club card for several years.

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A little tour of sleepy St. Michael, Maryland in the USA.

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Rocky mountain oysters are not quite what they seem in Colorado.

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