FBT (freakin’ big things) Tour - USA 2018

And we’re finally off......flying out of Wagga just after lunch on Friday and arriving Sydney International Airport we realised that we had about 7 hours to wait until our flight and at least 4 hours until check-in. Why on earth did I book this flight when we could have flown out of Wagga about 4pm??

 We started with our traditional glass or two of bubbles and then hung around until it finally time to check-in at Hawaiian Airlines......only to find a very long snaking queue. By the time we got through it was almost time to board.

We have upgraded all of our flights to extra leg room and were delighted to find that the window seats we only two wide. We were also  in the second row....... right behind the people in front with babies (thank god for noise cancelling headphones).  The flight to Honolulu was uneventful and I managed to get quite a bit of sleep - unfortunately only seeing the start of 3 movies that I really wanted to watch before drifting off!

Arriving at Honolulu at 8.30am also meant arriving in the USA so we had to collect our luggage and go through customs. We had a 6 hour stop-over and were wondering how we would possibility fill in the time at the airport. Turned out we did manage to fill time - the lines at customs were very long and every time we got close to a terminal, a staff member would change the positioning on the ropes and we would end up way behind the people   who were originally well behind us - it was like being in a Monty Python sketch!  We went down to wait about 2 hours to collect our bags and then finally made our way to the domestic terminal where the lining up started all over again.

A bite to eat and a beer and we were ready to board our next flight to Las Vegas. Again with extra leg room but directly behind business class. We had 2 seats that were in a little alcove all of their own - just like business class except for the refreshing towels, 5 course meals, complimentary drinks, beds and free movies. Six hours later we arrived at Las Vegas just before midnight.

No time to waste we dumped our bags at The Mirage and went off in search of food and drink. It was Friday night/Saturday morning but the only eatery open in the Mirage was the pancake parlour.....so we went to one of the bars. The whole hotel floor in a casino and is sensory overload with the bright flashing lights, music and the voices of Americans cutting through. There are poker machines dedicated to every TV show, movie or performer and some are so big they seat three people.

At the bar we were “picked up” by a US marine on leave for the weekend and had to make excuses to slip away when he started to talk about ordering shots.

We went for a walk along the strip and although we weren’t surprised about the number of people out and about at 2am we couldn’t get over the fact that they were all walking around the streets with drinks - many of them yard glasses of cocktails. Most were drunk, the young girls were all scantily clad (all shapes and sizes) with high heels  generally in hand but the atmosphere was full of fun and friendliness. Every second vehicle was a stretch limo or a travelling billboard.

Even though still wide awake, we thought it best to call it at 3am to our room where we had just a hint of a view of the strip. 

Lisa Thomas