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?

May 24, 2008

We 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.  We 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 “Anime North 2008” taking place less than a mile away.  There are thousands of kids dressed as Japanese comic characters roaming the streets.  It’s like a Star Trek convention only weirder!


The 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.

May 25, 2008

Gary 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.


We 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 it be?  

Our home for a few days The Sirens - battling outside Treasure Island

Fountains at the Bellagio

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. 


We 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

Our 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.

Breakfast beside the Treasure Island pool

The pool at Treasure Island

Just 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.  It 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.

Treasure Island

A fountain in front of Caesar's Palace Bears in  the Conservatory

In the Conservatory at the Bellagio

The Bellagio fountains with Paris in the background

A gondola at the Venetian

We 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 Ghiradellis.

Once 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 late!

We 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 track.

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.

Breakfast poolside at Kahunaville

In front of Treasure Island

Goldolas at The Venetian

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.  Cher 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.

We 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 enough sun.

Treasure Island with The Mirage in the background.

A waterfall at The Wynne

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 again soon.

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.  It 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 Treasure Island.

A 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 Disneyland.  Yeah!

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.  After 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.  The Mojave showed a few signs of recent rainfall and there were blossoms evident all the way across.  The Joshua Tree blooms were well past their prime, but the yuccas were spectacular in some areas.

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.  We were checked in by 1:00 and Gary dropped off the rental car while I unpacked.

Arriving at Disneyland

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.

The magic started almost immediately.  We 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.  Then we went to the Nemo ride.  The sign 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.”  She took us out of line; up the exit ramp to the loading platform and we were the first to board the next submarine.  Thank you Christina!

Christina takes us to the head of the line

Nemo submarine ride

Gary's favourite - Billy Hill & the Hillbillies

We rode 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.

We walked 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.”  Well, 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.  The magic just keeps on happening!

We 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 before bed.

What 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.

The Candy Cane Inn

The Fire Hall

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 rest.

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.

Mrs. Toad

Captain Jack Sparrow

The Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Oscar has worked at Disneyland for 52 years!

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.

The Partners statue

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.

His own private raft!

Genie steals the show!

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.

The Finale of Aladdin

The Pixar Play Parade

Roz from Monsters, Inc.

The Incredibles

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.

The Electrical Parade - our favourite!
The Electrical Parade The Electrical Parade

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.

New Orleans Square

Big Thunder Ranch - a petting area for kids

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 Mountain.
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.

The Parade of Dreams

I finally beat him!

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!

The Astro Orbiter

June 2, 2008

12:00 p.m. - AC792 to Toronto - It was a smooth flight and we arrived back in Kingston at midnight.