Holiday to Australia in Dec 2016

For my 50th we headed to Australia for 5 weeks - it was an amazing. Sydney, Great Ocean Road, Red Centre, Uluru and the Aussie Open.

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Another Starbucks in honour of loved ones
Another Starbucks in honour of loved ones
Another Starbucks in honour of loved ones
Another Starbucks in honour of loved ones

Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012: Day 24 – Bakersfield to Las Vegas

By Nige on Wed 27 Jun 2012 at 22:00
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012
Tags: Bakersfield | Barstow | Hilton | Las Vegas | Mandalay Bay | Mustang | Starbucks

Up at a reasonable hour and hit breakfast.  We like breakfast at HGI and today’s was no exception.  I tried the pancakes today and they were really thick, so I didn’t make that much progress into the three that were served up.

Plan today was to break the journey to Las Vegas in two: reach Barstow on current fuel left in the tank, stop for coffee and a refuelling and then finish off the journey and be there mid afternoon.

The first part of the journey was great – 2 lane highway all the way (apart from short stretches of single lane), and the landscape changed so much – we both decided that the landscapes are the key thing that keeps bringing us back to this part of the US.  We also hit some serious hills as well and this affected the fuel efficiency, so we quickly got to the position that we had more miles left to Barstow than the car thought that we had in the tank.  Consequently we started searching for fuel.

An arty photo on our travelsAn arty photo on our travels
An arty photo on our travels

After one false promise of fuel being advertised by the side of the road, us turning off and not finding any garage, we were pleased to find 3 garages all on one cross roads about 30 miles from Barstow.  Having filled up we finished off this first half of the journey once we reached our scheduled pit stop at Starbucks.  We kept our order to our usual coffees (thanks PK and JK), and cracked on with our journey.

We pressed on with the top down along the I15 but soon decided that we would need to put the hood up and the air con on as the temperature approached 100f.  We stopped at Baker which had a Subway, Pizza Hut etc, and took some relief from the heat of the sun, and lunch was a foot long sub (shared!)

In this last section of our journey we experienced two stretches of road which were completely straight – those that you can see the end towards the horizon and you wonder how far it is.  Well those two stretches were 13 miles and 10 miles.  Fancy being able to see the end of the road 13 miles away!

We arrived in Las Vegas around 2:30pm and dumped the car in self parking and headed for checkin.  Well that was the next shock – the checkin queue snaked around the foyer and it took us over an hour to reach the front of the queue.  Well if anyone knows what I am like having to wait in a queue I was not a happy bunny.  We met one family where the guy went off and spoke to someone and managed to get checked in through VIP Checkin.  We couldn’t think of a good enough reason to take this approach, so we waited until we got to the front of the queue and I asked to speak to someone to make a formal complaint.

Whilst waiting to speak to someone about complaining the checkin agent did his job and gave us a comlimentary upgrade to a room with a strip view.  Once we managed to speak to someone we got $100 credit added to our account, so overall it works out worthwhile complaining.  We only paid $285 for the 3 nights (15% discount on the best price off the Mandalay Bay website which was already discounted for last minute sales), we got an upgrade worth an extra $60 per night, and then got the extra $100 on our account.  Not a bad day’s business.

I did find a website advertising an interesting trick worth being aware of if anyone feels bolshy enough.  It’s here.

We were pleased enough with our room – decent view but one complaint about the fridge which we couldn’t use to cool our water bottles.  We would have to pay $35 per day for a fridge to be provided in our room.  I found that a way to get around this is to claim that you have medicines that need to be kept cool and they will provide the fridge free of charge.  Anyway enough tips for staying in Vegas.

We used the fancy beach resort at Mandalay Bay (MB) using the lazy river and the wave pool.  Then we headed downstairs to the Noodle Shop for dinner which we put on our room account and was fab.

We finished off watching Sideways late on (we watched the first half last night) and then it was lights out.  Another good day on our road trip.

Stats for Day 24: 285 miles.

Plan for tomorrow is to chilll out around Las Vegas.

Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Jun 2012

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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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