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Some friends who have a time-share at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas asked me if I would like a free hotel room for a week in January, 2000.  Not one to pass up free gifts with no strings attached, I jumped at the opportunity!  Las Vegas in January isn't exactly tropical, but the added bonus was the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).  For a confirmed gadget freak such as myself, CES is pretty close to nirvana!



The Strip - Las Vegas Boulevard from north to south


CES - Consumer Electronics Show - gadgets for your vehicle, your home, and your person.


Hoover Dam - only an hour away by car, and well worth the trip


Grand Canyon - To get so close to the Grand Canyon, and not make the trip would be a shame. It is an easy day's drive from Las Vegas over mostly interstate freeways.  If you don't want to drive, fly there in only an hour!

The Horizon Air flight from Victoria to SeaTac was a direct flight. Last time I flew this route, we stopped in Port Angeles to clear US Customs. The flight from SeaTac to Las Vegas only took one hour and 48 minutes instead of two hours and 15 minutes, since we had a tail wind. Lunch on Alaska Airlines consisted of a small cold chicken Caesar salad made with lettuce. Only adequate. I ate the breakfast bar I saved from the Horizon flight to fill me up. They do serve Seattle's Best coffee - a nice way to end the meal.  This is the first time I have flown with Alaska Airlines - they appear to be a discount airline.  I'm spoiled with the superb service from my preferred airline: Canadian Airlines...perhaps that's why they had such financial problems, and are now part of Air Canada.

The airport was as I remember it - decorative palm trees, moving sidewalks, high ceilings, sandstone columns, grand spaces...and of course, slot machines!

After arriving at Las Vegas airport, I have to take a shuttle to the Alamo car rental office. There are no signs from the car rental companies directing arriving passengers to the  shuttle bus area. If you are renting a car at the Las Vegas airport, and your car rental company doesn't have a booth in the airport (most don't), please be aware of the shuttle service.

 I checked in to the  Flamingo Hilton Vacation Club, and find some pretty impressive and spacious suites. My friends have two suites reserved.  They have a one bedroom with a dining area, full kitchen, washer/dryer. My bachelor unit has a kitchen nook, and is very roomy. Both units have Jacuzzi tubs, as well as showers, and all the comforts of home.  As stated previously, this is a timeshare.  It is located behind the main Flamingo Hilton hotel complex.


The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes the next two days of my vacation, and what a show it is!


The Grand Canyon portion of my holiday following three days are set aside for .  The main reason for renting the car is to drive to the Grand Canyon and tour around there. I took a helicopter tour, and saw some spectacular sunrises & sunsets.  The scale of the place is hard to do justice to with photos...lots of wide angle shots.


The Hoover Dam is only a short one hour drive from Las Vegas, and well worth the time it takes to get there and tour the facilities. We took the Hard Hat Tour which is no longer offered, however I would still highly recommend visiting this landmark construction project.

Best of Vegas is a great source to help you plan your next Las Vegas vacation. Find great deals on shows, tours and attractions.

When I checked in at the Alaska Airlines counter for my departure flight, the woman booked me on the 4:30pm flight, instead of the 6:30pm flight. Here I am waiting at gate S16 at SeaTac airport. It's still cold in this airport, and my  only entertainment is a bunch of Russians waiting for an 8:30pm Aeroflot flight to Moscow. Cranky kids, old folks, and everything in-between. They all look pretty affluent...but I suppose these would be the only ones with enough money to fly to the USA.  The duty-free shop opens for them, and they seem to be buying just about everything to take back with them! My flight from Seattle to Victoria is uneventful and since I am booked on an earlier Horizon Airlines flight, I get home much earlier than planned, . Good thing I have my car waiting for me at Victoria Airport.



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