We didn't plan to go to Las
Vegas or Disneyland this year, but March 4th we received an offer from
Treasure Island in the mail. They seduced us with a free room for
three nights, a couple of free meals and a bit of cash to waste at the slot
machines. Since I had enough air miles points to get us each a free
flight . . . how could we refuse? And when we are so close to LA it
just makes good sense to add on a few days at Disneyland, don't you think?
were up early this morning, but we didn’t get an early start.
Our day started with a four family garage sale.
We joined three of our closest neighbours and dragged stuff out
onto our drive. We didn’t
have a lot to get rid of . . . fortunately!
There were very few “shoppers” out and we didn’t get rid of
much stuff until we started packing up.
Then we started giving a lot of it to the neighbours.
We will donate any leftover stuff to a local charity for sale in
their fund-raising store. So we only have about two boxes to take to the
charity when we get back home.
were cleaned up and on the road to Toronto by 1:30.
We have to drive about 170 miles west to get to the Toronto airport.
We checked in at the Carlingview Airport Inn at about 4:00 and
rested until dinnertime. As
we left the hotel to look for a restaurant we noticed some oddly dressed
teenagers in the lobby. Then
we saw more on the street . . . and more . . . they were everywhere.
We found out that there is a Convention called
North 2008” taking place less than a mile away. There are thousands of kids dressed as Japanese comic
characters roaming the streets.
like a Star Trek convention only weirder!
restaurant was full of character too, so were well entertained during
dinner. After dinner we
dropped by the pool for a swim and enjoyed a long relax in the hot tub
before returning to the room for some TV before bed.
was up 40 minutes before our scheduled 5:30 wake-up call so we had plenty of
time before our 6:15 shuttle to the airport.
There were no Anime characters in sight that early, so maybe they
aren’t as strange as we are. We arrived at the airport with lots of time
to spare so we had some breakfast. Then the strangest thing happened, our
8:00 a.m. Air Canada flight pulled away from the gate 10 minutes early and
we were on our way to Las Vegas. (if you have ever flown AC you know they
are usually late). It was a smooth and pleasant flight.
It was a brand new Airbus A319 with a small screen in each seatback,
and streaming video. Everyone
could watch a different movie or TV show, with over 40 items to choose from.
Gary is thrilled with anything that lets him push buttons, so the
touch screen kept him amused the whole flight.
took a cab from McCarran Airport and arrived at Treasure Island just before
noon. We were delighted to find
that a room overlooking the pool was available immediately. We quickly unpacked and headed back downstairs to waste some
money in the slot machines. We
enjoyed a nice lunch at Canter’s Delicatessen and then decided to go to
the pool for a while. We
arrived back at the room and noticed that the pool had transformed while we
were away. The backbeat from
the rap music played by the poolside DJ was rattling our 7th
floor window and making the pictures on our walls vibrate.
This is apparently a regular Sunday afternoon pool party, and while
it looked like the patrons were having fun, we would have preferred some old
60’s rock & roll or some country.
And it could have been several hundred decibels quieter.
Are we getting old? Could
After trying to nap
through the rattling of the windows we decided to go for a walk. We caught
the little monorail from TI to the Mirage, walked through the Mirage and
over to Caesars Palace where I had to pick up our tickets for Cher.
We are going to see her
Tuesday night. After we got the tickets we played a few slot machines on our
way out to continue our walk down/up the Strip. We stopped at the Bellagio
to watch the dancing fountain and then crossed the street to check out what
Planet Hollywood had done to the old Aladdin property. Not much has changed
inside, we did walk through what used to be called the Desert Passage and
stopped to browse in a couple of the shops.
were getting tired so we decided to just go as far as the Walgreen’s. We
purchased a few snacks and some pop (that would be soda for some of you) for
the room and then started the long walk back to TI. It was almost 8 p.m.
when we got back to TI so we dropped our stuff off in the room and headed to
the buffet. We had a wonderful meal and took our time eating and relaxing.
To finish the night off we spent a bit more time on the slots, neither of us
are big spenders so I guess we can’t be disappointed when we go back to
the room without winning. We were feeling the three-hour time difference and
were both exhausted so it was lights out.
May 26, 2008
internal clocks hadn’t adjusted yet so we were both up, dressed and ready
to go down for breakfast by 8 a.m. We ate at Kahunaville, a restaurant right
beside the pool. We sat outside and I walked around taking pictures of the
pool before people started arriving. We had originally planned to go over to
the Bellagio but with the early access to the pool and my legs still tired
from the day before we decided to just park ourselves on a couple of lounges
and spent the morning in the hot tub and pool.
around noon we went back up to the room and got dressed before heading over
to the Mirage for lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. It was very good
pizza but not very hot so when the waitress asked how our meal was I
mentioned it was only warm.
was too late to send it back since it was almost all gone but they did comp
us for it. After lunch we walked over to the Bellagio and took lots of
pictures of the conservatory, it is always a must see for us.
then crossed over the Strip and visited the Paris Resort.
This was where we stayed when we were married seven years ago and it
was nostalgic just walking through the casino and under the Eiffel Tower. We
continued our way back to TI making an unplanned stop for ice cream at
back in the room Gary loaded pictures on the PC and then about 4:30 p.m. we
decided to take a short nap. I guess we were catching up on the time
difference because at 9 p.m. I rolled over and asked if we were going to
sleep the rest of the night away or get up! We could not believe it was that
got up and readied ourselves for the evening. We caught the tram over to the
Mirage and decided to play a bit before we went for dinner.
By the time we got to the buffet it was closed so we took the tram
back to TI and had a wonderful meal in the coffee shop. After that we played
the slots for a little while. We then decided to go back up to the room and turn in, we
weren’t really tired yet but thought we should try and get ourselves on
May 27, 2008
We must have gotten
back on track as we woke up at our normal time. We decided the day before
had been such a nice relaxing experience that we would do it again. We
headed down to Kahunaville for breakfast, we sat outside again and enjoyed a
peaceful pool. After breakfast the hotel patrons were coming in so we
grabbed a couple of lounges and made ourselves at home. By noon it was
getting quite hot so we went up to the room, got showered and headed out on
the Strip to do some touring.
We walked over to the
Fashion Mall but only took a quick look inside, we then crossed the street
over to the new resort called Palazzo, it is actually a part of the
Venetian. We wandered though to the Venetian and grabbed a quick lunch in
their food court. We were starting to get weary so we walked back to the TI
and settled in for a short nap. After the lengthy nap we had the previous
day I decided to set the alarm just in case. We had tickets for the Cher
show at 7:30 p.m. and I did not want to sleep through that!
When we got up we
decided to head over to Caesars Palace, that is where the show was being
held. Cher is playing in the Coliseum theatre that was built for Celine
Dion. We had a bite to eat and played a few slot machines while we waited
for the doors to open. There was a huge line and it took a bit of time to
get in. Once we were in the theatre we quickly found our seats and waited
for the show to start.
We were not
disappointed; the show was amazing.
was amazing! She sang all my
favorite songs and I don’t know how many costumes she changed into but it
had to be over 20! I didn’t want it to end, it is a show that I would
gladly pay to go see again.
After the show we made
our way back to TI and just wandered around the casino playing the machines.
I have found out this trip that I have more fun playing the penny slots.
I probably spend as much money but it just seems that I can last
longer before my money runs out.
went off to bed just around 11:30 p.m.
It was a nice relaxing day with a grand finish.
May 28, 2008
Our 7th wedding anniversary,
seven years ago on this day we were married in Las Vegas, my how time flies.
We got up and followed the same routine as the previous days, breakfast by
the pool, a little lounging, a little sun. We talked about going for a walk
up the Strip but when we actually got around to doing it we decided to just
hang around the resort. We played a few machines and then went for lunch.
After lunch we went back out to the pool for an hour and the decided we had
Back in the room we
were trying to get some IT support, we had lost our internet connection. No
one seemed to be able to help so we gave up. Gary decided to have a nap and
I started writing up the trip report in hopes that we would get connectivity
We hopped in a cab and
went to the Car Rental Plaza near McCarran Airport where we picked up a
Toyota Highlander for our drive to Disneyland tomorrow. Naturally, as soon as we had the car we had to head to the
Disney Outlet Store on the west end of Las Vegas Boulevard. I picked up a few bargains and then we cruised the Las Vegas
strip. We wanted to reminisce a
bit, so we went looking for the Candlelight Wedding Chapel where we were
married seven years ago today.
was gone! They flattened it to
make way for a new high-rise casino property.
Back at Treasure Island
we wasted a few more dollars in the slot machines before heading to The
Mirage for dinner. After our
dinner at the Mirage buffet, I have decided that I prefer the buffet at
few more pulls at the slots after dinner was enough, we packed it in early.
Tomorrow we drive 275 miles to Anaheim and spend a few days at
May 29, 2008
We hit the floor
running. We had hoped to be on
the road by 8:00 a.m. but Gary woke up at 5:45 . . . claims he thought it
was 6:45 . . . and woke me up.
threatening him with severe bodily harm I got up too.
We grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and were on the road by 7:00 a.m.
We made great time crossing the Mojave Desert, with only one stop, a
quick breakfast at Baker, CA.
Mojave showed a few signs of recent rainfall and there were blossoms evident
all the way across.
Tree blooms were well past their prime, but the yuccas were spectacular in
We were in Los Angeles
by 11:30 and I just had to make a stop at the Disney Character Outlet in
nearby Fullerton before we went to our hotel.
After picking up a few bargains we arrived at the Candy Cane Inn.
We really like this hotel, it is so homey, the staff is so friendly,
and you can walk to Disneyland.
were checked in by 1:00 and Gary dropped off the rental car while I
After a short rest we
hopped on the hotel shuttle with plans to spend the afternoon at Downtown
Disney. We discovered that we
could upgrade our 3 day passes to 4 day passes for only $15.00 each, so we
bought the upgrades and spent the rest of the day at Disneyland.
magic started almost immediately.
picked up anniversary buttons, since our wedding anniversary was the day
before, and headed directly toward the newest attraction, the new Nemo
submarine ride. On the way we
shopped our way through the Emporium. In the watch store the phone
rang and one of the ladies called us over. Mickey Mouse was on the
phone singing Happy Anniversary to us! A little while later we noticed that Buzz Lightyear was temporarily closed – the Cast Member
leaned over and whispered, “Wait nearby, it will be open in about two
minutes.” It did, and we were
first in line to board.
went to the Nemo ride.
at the gate indicated that the wait was over an hour but we got in line
anyway. More magic – Cast
Member Christina noticed our anniversary buttons and said, “Let’s make
some dreams come true.”
took us out of line; up the exit ramp to the loading
and we were the first to board the next submarine.
Thank you Christina!
Alice in Wonderland and then headed to Frontierland to see Billy Hill and
the Hillbillies. When we got to
Frontierland we decided we had time for something before the show.
There was only a 10-minute wait for Pirates of the Caribbean so we
hopped in that line. Then we
went back to the Golden Horseshoe to watch The Billies.
A great show as usual.
over to New Orleans Square and I shopped while Gary waited for our seating
at Café Orleans. Our dinner
there was great. We both had
French onion soup and I followed with Caesar salad with blackened chicken
while Gary had the Monte Cristo sandwich.
Our server, Keith, asked if we had room for dessert and we both
replied, “No, we have no room.”
Keith had noticed our anniversary buttons and out he came with two
complimentary “Mickey” beignets . . . complete with candles.
They were wonderful . . . better than we had at Café du Monde in New
Orleans a few years ago.
magic just keeps on happening!
wandered down Main Street after waiting for the parade to finish.
We had planned to spend the night at Downtown Disney, but by the time
we got through the gate I turned to Gary and said, “Why don’t we just
head back to the Candy Cane Inn and hop in the hot tub.”
He didn’t need any persuasion, so off we went. After a swim and a hot tub we relaxed in the room for a while
a magical start to our Disneyland adventure!
May 30, 2008
Our first full day at Disneyland, we were up and at the park just before
rope drop. We wandered through the Emporium while we waited for the rope to
drop and then headed directly to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. This is a must do
for us since we can no longer ride it at WDW. After Mr. Toad we went
directly across to Pinocchio and the right on to Snow White. So far there
were no lines and we had walked on all three rides. However, no so for Peter
Pan, the line was as long as it is at WDW, so we decided to go over to
Indiana Jones and get a fastpass for later in the day. From there we
wandered over to Splash Mountain and again, it was a walk on. We rode in the
center of the log, at Disneyland it is single row seating. I figured I
would be safe in the middle . . . WRONG! There was not one inch of me,
I mean not one inch that wasn’t soaked when we got off. I can’t figure
it out, I watched other riders get off with the usual few splash marks, but
me, totally soaked. It was a good thing that we were having perfect weather
and the sun was shining, so I dried out in about 4 hours.
Our next stop was the Haunted Mansion, again somewhat different than WDW and
we walked right into the stretching room. When we got out I said to Gary
that I had never been to Tom Sawyers Island at Disneyland so we caught a
raft over to the island just in time to see the pirates perform their last
song and Jack Sparrow come bounding by. We toured the island, it is a great
place for kids to run around and play pirate. When we got off the return
raft we walked right over to the train and rode it around the park to Main
Street. I love the train ride through the Grand Canyon, I wish WDW had
something like that. When we got off the train we walked directly back to
the Carnation Café for a bowl of fully loaded baked potato soup, to our
surprise they we not seating anybody, trouble in the kitchen! The CM said to
come back in a half hour and they should be open so we took the opportunity
to go and sit through the 50 Years of Magic show, hosted by Steve Martin. It
is a very good tribute to Walt.
When the show got out we walked back to the Carnation Café and were
immediately seated in this beautiful outdoor café. We had an excellent
server and we both ordered the bowl of their wonderful potato soup. You have
to try it to believe the flavor, I can’t describe it other than it is
really, really YUMMY. We also asked if Oscar was working, he is the longest
tenure Cast Member in Disneyland, 52 years on the job and quite a legend. He
came out and had a nice visit with us, always friendly and quite comical.
After lunch we walked to the back of the park to ToonTown, it is a very cute
part of Disneyland. We rode Roger Rabbit, there is always quite a line for
it but we decided to wait since we didn’t think we would get back to this
area again. Gary did a good job at keeping the car from spinning, otherwise
I don’t think I could ride it.
It was getting close to naptime so we made our exit passing by Space
Mountain where I picked up another fast pass for the evening. We then went
out to the shuttle pickup area and went back to the Candy Cane Inn for a
Refreshed, we caught the shuttle back to the parkin time for our 5:30
reservations at the Blue Bayou. We got there in time to ride the Pirates
before dinner. The ride goes right by the dining area and we could smell the
food and see the people dining. The exit from the ride is right beside the
restaurant entrance so we checked in right away. I asked for a
waterside table. They said it would be a bit of a wait but I didn’t mind,
this was our anniversary dinner so we were not in a rush. We were seated in
about 5 minutes and had one of the best tables in the house. After our
delicious meal the server brought us a special anniversary dessert, it was
very nice, but all chocolate. Gary does not like chocolate so I got to eat
it all by myself. The CM noticed this and asked Gary if something was wrong,
he then went to the kitchen and came back with a plate of huge strawberries
garnished with mint leaves, how nice was that.
After dinner we walked over to Big Thunder Mountain and got fast passes
before going over to ride Indy. I love the Indy ride, yet I do not like the
Dinosaur ride! Same track, same type of ride vehicle, but it is very
different in my books. We left the Indy ride and walked over to Space
Mountain, we were watching our time since we planned to see the fireworks
and then Fantasmic. Our plan was working, we got off Space Mountain and
walked onto Main Street with just enough time to get some popcorn and a cold
drink. The "Remember – Dreams Come True" fireworks are amazing,
I hate to say it but I think they are better than Wishes. Once the fireworks
were over we went with the crowd, and I mean crowd, over to the Rivers of
America to watch Fantasmic. The show is on Tom Sawyers Island and everyone
sits across the water from the Island on the pavement in New Orleans
Square. It is most uncomfortable but very nice at the same time. The
show is different than at WDW and the star is Peter Pan. I really enjoy the
difference but I like them both the same.
One last stop before heading back to the Candy Cane Inn, Big Thunder
Mountain. Again the ride is different, a little bit longer and the staging
is different. It was a good thing we got the fast pass, the lineup was huge,
the park was open until midnight and everyone wanted to ride the coasters.
We left the park after 11:00 p.m., tired but satisfied that we had just
experienced a wonderful Disney day.
May 31, 2008
Once again we were up early and on our way to the park. This was our Disney
California Adventure day but it didn’t open until 10 o’clock so we went
into Disneyland for a bit. We rode the Main Street fire truck down to the
castle and then proceeded directly to the Peter Pan ride. The wait wasn’t
too bad yet so we hopped in the line. This is another classic ride and a not
to be missed for us.
By the time we got off Peter Pan it was time to head over to DCA, it seems
so odd to be able to just walk to another park. Once in DCA we went directly
to Soarin' and picked up a fast pass for later use. The park was near empty
but we figured it would get busy later on. We continued on towards Paradise
Pier passing Grizzly Run, again there was nobody in the line so Gary had a
ride, he had the whole raft to himself. I declined, I had enough wetness the
day before from Splash Mountain. When we got to Paradise Pier we walked over
to Screamin', I had decided that I did not want to ride any midway rides so
Gary got in the single line. I was standing at the side waiting to take his
picture when he walked up beside me, he had walked right on the line and was
finished before I got to the other side. He then went for his second ride
before we stopped for a corndog and cold drink.
We both find that this area of the park seems very non-Disney for us and
decided to go over to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot section. Once there we
had a quick look in the Animation shop and then headed over to the Tower of
Terror for fast passes. We then got in line for the Aladdin show, we waited
to be able to get in the mezzanine, this is the best seating area to watch
the show. We got lucky and had front row seats. The production is amazing
and the genie steals the show. When we left the theatre we walked over to
Monster Inc. – no line again! I really love this ride, it is so cute.
We then decided it was time for a break so we walked back out to the shuttle
and headed back for a nap, and then returned to DCA afterwards.
We made it back to DCA in time for me to do a bit of pin trading before the
new Pixar Play Parade. It is a great parade but once again I got wet! There
is random shooting of water guns and I seemed to be the target! After that
we had dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria, it was an excellent meal.
We had some time before the Electric Parade so we used our fast pass to ride
Soarin' and then walked through the Grand California Resort to Downtown
Disney. I had not been to the World of Disney store yet. Much to
Gary’s surprise, I came out empty handed! We still had some time to kill
before the parade so we walked down Hollywood Boulevard to the Tower of
Terror and did not have to use our fast pass, we just walked in. On the way
back to the parade area we had to walk past Monster Inc. and there was no
one in sight so we rode it again.
Now it was time for the Electric Parade so we got an ice cream and sat at
the tables in front of Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream and watched the parade. The
Electric Parade is my favorite Disney parade, I really miss it at WDW, even
though Spectromagic is very good, the Electric Parade just seems more
Disney. When the parade had passed we followed the crowd out through the
gates, most of the people were heading back over to DL since it was open
until midnight but we had pushed the limit, it was time for some sleep.
June 1, 2008
Our last day, wow did the time fly by. If you
ask most people they will tell you that you only need 2 days for Disneyland
& Disney California Adventure. I agree that you only need one day
for DCA but not DL. I could spend a week in DL and never get tired of it.
We arrived at the gates to DL about 9 o’clock
and it didn’t seem too busy yet. We got on the horse drawn trolley and let
Holly the Belgian horse pull us down Main Street. Our first stop was the
Little Green Men pin store, it was the first of the month so lots of new
pins were released and I had a list from home of “pick me up please”
pins. While I stood in line to get into the store Gary went over to Space
Mountain to get some fast passes. He got back before I actually got in the
store so when we got in he helped me find the pins on my list. Goofy pins
for one friend and Chip & Dale pins for another. When we had completed
the purchases I traded with a couple of pin traders but didn’t spend too
much time, we wanted to see the Nemo ride again. By the time we got over to
Nemo the line up was over an hour long so we decided to come back later that
evening and try again.
We walked over to the Alice in Wonderland ride
and rode it again, then Mr. Toad again. We also wanted to see another Billy
Hill show so we walked along the back path to Frontierland. This walkway
goes by the Little Patch of Heaven Petting Farm at Big Thunder Ranch that
has never been open on our previous visits. It was open as we walked by so
we went in and had a look around. Very cute! After that we continued along
the route, it is a nice tranquil walk and one that I think a lot of people
miss. We arrived in Frontierland with some time to spare so we took a ride
on the Mark Twain River boat. We got another fast pass for Big Thunder
Mountain when we got off the boat and then got in line at the Golden
Horseshoe to wait for the Bill Hill Show.
After the Billy Hill show we rode Big Thunder
and then decided to try and ride Indy again, it was closed so we went into
the Enchanted Tiki Room instead. I love seeing the original show again. When
we exited the Tiki Room we tried Indy again but it was still closed, they
said it would be down until the evening so we walked back over to
Fantasyland and rode Snow White then got another fast pass for Space
It was naptime again so Gary rode the Omnibus
down Main Street and I made my way down through the shops. When we got back
to the Candy Cane Inn I started doing some packing while Gary had a nap. We
were ready to go back to DL on the 4 o’clock shuttle.
Once back in the park we rode Buzz, looked at
the long line at Nemo and then rode Space Mountain. We were getting hungry
so we went to the Plaza Inn for dinner. I love this place, the food is good
and the décor is as it was when Lily Disney did the design. It is a
beautiful Victorian restaurant with ornate detailing and offers a grand
setting for buffeteria dining. I had the fried chicken and Gary had the Cobb
salad, both very good choices.
After dinner we watched the Parade of Dreams and
then checked Indy one last time and it was still closed so we rode the
Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain again. By this time it was getting close
to Fireworks time so we went back over to Finding Nemo, the line was down to
35 minutes so we got in the queue. It went quite fast and I am glad we
waited until the evening, it was great seeing it with the lights on. After
we finished the ride we walked right into Buzz and this time I beat Gary!
The park was still open for an hour but we
decided we best get on our way, the fun was over. It is always sad when you
leave a Disney Park, it doesn’t matter which one, but I find it more so
leaving Disneyland. I just never know when I will get back. It is so much
easier for us to go to Florida and I always have a WDW trip in the planning.
We had a wonderful week celebrating our 7th Anniversary, not sure how we can
top it next year!
June 2, 2008
12:00 p.m. - AC792 to Toronto - It was a smooth flight and we arrived back
in Kingston at midnight.