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Saturday, September 7’th

 

7-9-13 should mean luck – but no totally for this day. The train to Copenhagen is an hour late. That’s no problem for me, but it is for those who miss their flight to Thailand because of that. One of the reasons that’s it’s not a problem for me, is that the flight to Chicago is 2 hours late. And it still is as we arrive in Chicago, so I have lost my connection to Las Vegas. Most other people on the flight will have to spend the night in Chicago, but I’m lucky – there’s a late flight to Vegas for me. It leaves at 10 pm – and 4 hours – and a good nap – later, we arrive in Las Vegas. It’s midnight local time. It’s 24 hours ago since I left Aarhus. I take a taxi to Excalibur. I get a card to a room, but it won’t open. I head down to the reception again, and they are very sorry – so I get an upgrade to a fine suite. There’s a huge bed, 2 rooms, a great view, huge bathroom, extra toilet, Jacuzzi and so on. So I end up being pretty lucky anyway. Unfortunately I’m only staying for 7 hours.

 

Sunday, September 8’th

 

And the reason for the short time, is that I start early with Lassen Tours for a 2-day tour. We are 18 people on board, and a deeply annoying guide, but that really doesn’t matter because for me this is just transport for places that I can’t go without a tour, now that I don’t want to drive myself. Today there are 2 sights – Zion and Bryce Canyon.

 

It’s raining from the morning, but it has stopped when we reach Zion Canyon. We drive through the park with it’s weird cliff-structures. There’s also time for a few breaks. Not as many and as long as I would like, but that’s the price for taking a tour.

Then we continue to the even so impressive Bryce Canyon. The distances here are long, so it’s 5 pm before we are out there. It has started to rain, but that’s not a huge problem. If it wasn’t because I was on a tour, I would just be standing there staring for hours. It’s so impressive, looking out over the red cliffs. The wow-effect is huge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there, it’s another 4 hours of driving before we reach hour hotel in Page.

 

Monday, September 9’th

 

We are leaving the sleeping-factory in Page at 7.30 am. The bus-trip is very short. A few hundred meters. It would have been easier walking, but you don’t do that in the states. There we change mode of transportation to some kind of open jeep, that takes us to Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is a spectacular place. It’s like a small creek between two cliffs.

 

It makes very good photo-opportunities. Some of the most spectacular pictures I have ever seen is taken here. I try my best with the gear I have got, to make it as god as possible. The guide gives good advice about where to stand when shooting. Her advice about standing in the shadow when taking pictures, is very good. The lack of light between the cliffs is a challenge – for me and for my camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this highly exiting place, we are going for a boat-trip on Lake Powell. But here things totally collapse for the absolutely jerk of a guide. For some unknown reason the idiot makes sure we are 10 minutes late for the trip, and the boat has left. Instead the bastard tries to compensate by showing some semi-sights around the area, that was not a part of the trip. A formal complaint has been made, and bad reviews to Tripadvisor has been given – but never ever use Lassen Tours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We end up with a long long drive back to Las Vegas. The trip into the city is spectacular, as huge rainclouds, thunder and lightning is hanging over the city – including a very fine rainbow. Make this a sign of good fortune.

 

I take a taxi down to Bally’s – my place for the next few days. I check in to my super room 541 – though not a suite this time, but less can do. I’m dead starving, so a Burger at the bar in the Casino makes good, before I head out for the Slots. A win of 25 $ may not be enormous, but I did pay for the dinner.

 

Tuesday, September 10’th

 

First a great buffet at Sidewalk Café and then a little gambling (+ 60 $ - due to Double Diamond, Double Diamond, Red 7).

 

Then I’m on to today’s highlight. The taxi-driver that takes me to the Pinball Hall of Fame, thinks he’s been there once before – but it’s not a major attraction in Las Vegas. I think it’s Fantastic. I huge room full of Pinball-machines. The oldest are from the sixties – the new ones from around 2000, where production seemed to stop. And they are almost all of them functioning. I try a decent part of them, and feels like a teenager again, when you lose your ball, because you act clumsy with the flippers. I spend a few hours here – before I head back to the Strip by bus. From the bus-stop I walk from Tropicana up to Bally’s.

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This part of The Strip has changed a lot since I was here last time. At that time there was huge building land not used. Now it is – with more Casino’s, hotels and designer-shops all over the place – all made in glass and steel.

 

A pizza-slice and a coke is picked up on the way, and is brought back to the hotel for my afternoon-break.

 

My evening-trip is on The Strip. Across the bridge to Ceasers Palace, further up to Mirage to see the volcano-show, then up to Treasure Island to see another free outdoor show – Sirens of TI. Everything very kitsch. Before bedtime I lose 50 $ in the Bally Casino.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video - Las Vegas by Night

Wednesday, September 11’th

 

I start with my usual buffet in the café. The guests at the hotel are mostly in their fifties – or older – and from today, I belong to this category.

 

Then I get out to pick up at bus for Downtown Las Vegas. Las Vegas is two places – The Strip and Downtown. The Strip is the huge Casino-hotels, while Downtown is the original Las Vegas. There are not as many tourist just looking on down there – this is gambling for social-class 4 and 5. There’s also a Mob Museum – a museum of The Mafia. It’s in the old Court Building. It’s pretty exciting, with plenty of pictures and movie-clips. A short visit to the Golden Gate Casino – with no wins or no loses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I return on the bus, a break at the hotel, before today’s highlight. I have ticket for the show O with Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio. That is fantastic – I have never seen anything like it. There are acrobats, a lot of synchronized swimmers (never seen that in a show before), clowns, divers and a lot of good music and everything else. It’s hard to describe what it is. Maybe it has its roots in the old circus tradition – but it’s something different – and something much more than that.

 

Then I cross the street on the bridge back to my hotel. Fast-food of the evening is picked up at Sberro. Then a little gambling at the slots. It’s not going to well - but then I hit a decent win. So much that an attendant shows up to see what is going on, and the girls serving drinks immediately arrive with another beer, to make sure I don’t leave the machine. I take the beer – and leave anyway J - with a win of 150 $.

 

Thursday, September 12’th

 

This day has been declared the International Casino Day. It’s all Casinos and gambling. First I head over the my neighbor-casino Paris. Here is a reproduction of the Eiffel-tower and the Arch de Triumph. Inside it’s like walking around Montmartre. Then I head on to some of the of the older Strip-casino’s. First Flamingo and then Harrah’s. I have a limit of 2 hours each place. Then a break at Bally’s before I check out Bellagio and end in my own Casino.

 

The Casino’s attend to different kinds of customers. Paris to the semi-rich. Bally’s, Flamingo and Harrah’s to the not so rich, and Bellagio to the very rich. It’s a good thing I chose to stay at Bally’s. I try a huge number of different slot-machines on my tour today. Some old-schools with only Bars and 7’s. And some super modern electronic machines with fantastic sounds and graphics. It sounds almost like WW2, when you win 2 $. If you are into gambling and slots – and I am – this is dead fun. If not – then stay away. And did I win today – yes. About 200 $ all in all, by use of common sense – and leaving the places when you are on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 13’th

 

Leaving Las Vegas today. This is a place I could get used to visit now and then. The airport is a short taxi-ride form Bally’s. Fast check-in, and then with the cheap and efficient Southwest Airlines to Chicago Midway – the small Chicago airport. Then another taxi, that takes me to South Loop Hotel. The hotel is booked via Priceline, and is a bit away from downtown, but with huge and nice rooms. Evening burger and a beer is at the sports-bar of the hotel. It’s mainly local people hanging out there. This means that I’m the only white face around. The evening is spend with a baseball-game on the TV at my room.

 

Saturday, September 14’th

 

It’s a day for golf. The best 70 players in the world has gathered at the BMW championships at Conway Farms close to Lake Forest. That’s about an hour north of Chicago. I start with an early taxi to Union Station. Then I take a Metra-train to Lake Forest. The train-conductor doubles as a stand-up comedian. Every time he arrives in the coach he asks “who can I abuse this time”, and one of the passengers is described as “a nice guy but a terrible dresser”. In Lake Forest shuttle-busses are ready to take us to the golf-course.

 

I am inside the golf-course before 10 am, just in time to see Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose walking up 2. Hole. Then I use my strategy by walking the course, and then falling down now and then to the next group of players. Ernie Els walks past me, and between 3rd and 4th hole I could have said hello to Bubba Watson. At 5th green – a par 4 hole – I get a good space. I stay here for some time. Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Luke Donald passes by. Then the group with Sergio and Tiger arrives. Sergio’s approach hit the green, while Tiger lands his just 8 meters short of where I am standing. It’s pretty cool when the TV-crews come to ask your where he ended. This means a bogey for Tiger, but then he birdies the next 3 holes. I continue in a group with Steve Stricker.

But now there are too many people around, so it’s better to find a decent place to watch the players pass by. I get one at 16th fairway – just around where the long drive is landed by most players. Tiger, Sergio and Stricker passes again, and Jason Day’s drive is just 2 meters away from my spot. I have to move so he can send his approach right at the green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But now there are too many people around, so it’s better to find a decent place to watch the players pass by. I get one at 16th fairway – just around where the long drive is landed by most players. Tiger, Sergio and Stricker passes again, and Jason Day’s drive is just 2 meters away from my spot. I have to move so he can send his approach right at the green.

 

It’s time to go home now – before closing time and all spectators do so. But I’m not the only one with that idea. It’s absolutely chaos at the exit, where everyone have to pick up a shuttle-bus for the train or for the parking. It takes more than an hour to get to the bus – and for some much longer. People are really pissed. But I just reach my 5.30 train in Lake Forest, and is back at Union Station one hour later.

 

Then I grab some dinner and a taxi back to the hotel for relaxing. At the TV I can see that Jim Furyk is in front, followed by Steve Stricker and Brad Snedeker. Tiger is 5th, so he’s probably going to win.

 

Sunday, September 15’th

 

Football-day today. The American kind, where they mainly use their hands. A ticket to Soldier Fields was 300 $ for the game between Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

 

I take a no. 29 to Roosevelt at 10 am, and another one across to Soldier Field, arriving at 11 am. That’s an hour before the game starts. My ticket gives me access to more luxurious parts of the stadium, but the main advantage is that this part of the stadium has a roof. That is useful since it’s raining for most of the game.

 

First a traditional American lay-up for the game. And then kickoff. It’s not a good one for Bears. The kickoff is returned by Vikings to a 7-0 score. But that’s just the start of a fast a furious first half. It’s 24-21 Bears at halftime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second half is not so entertaining. Vikings is the best team, and Bears has problems with running back Adrian Peterson. There are plenty of turnovers and a number of field-goals. Vikings is in front 30-24 with 10 seconds left of the game. Then QB Jay Cutler finds Martellus Bennet in the corner, touchdown, and the stadium goes berserk. It’s high-fives all around – even the tourist that doesn’t really care about the result is becoming a part of this set up.

 

The rain hasn’t stopped because of this, so with a few bus-routes I return to my hotel. The rest of the afternoon and the evening is used at my hotel. Dinner is at the bar – a chicken-sandwich and a couple of Miller Lite.

 

Video - almost touchdown

Video - decisive touchdown

Monday, September 16’th

 

It’s my 3rd day in Chicago, so it might be time to take a look at the city. After breakfast I take no 29 to Harrison, where I change for the Chicago Metro – known as “The L”. That takes me downtown – also known as “The Loop”. It’s all skyscrapers down here. I take a walk around, following a guide in my guide-book.

 

I also head down to Millennium Park, with the famous sculpture “The Bean”. It’s not the official name, but what everyone is calling it, due to the shape of the thing. If doubles as a strange mirror, giving plenty of photo-opportunities. And a lot of people use this opportunity.

 

There also another piece of art-work in the park, known as the Crown Fountain. It shows faces on an screen, now and then spitting water. It’s all placed in a kind of water-mirror, so you have to get your toes wet to get decent pictures here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it’s time for more skyscrapers, and a visit to what was one the tallest building on the planet. At that time it was known as Sears Tower. Now it’s called Willis Tower, and is not even in top 10 anymore.

 

After downtown I take Blue Line to Logan Square in the suburbs. It’s been recommended. I don’t understand why. It’s kind of boring, with huge houses and a boulevard. I walk from here to another station – California.

 

Here there’s a baker-shop like I saw them in Mexico. It’s a self-service thing, where you pick up the cookies you want, and pay by the number as the cashier. And it’s all yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usually on a day like this I would take a break in the afternoon, but since my hotel is a bit out of the way, I have skipped this today. So instead I now return with “The L”, and no. 29 to my hotel making this a day. Dinner is at the hotel’s restaurant and Monday Night Football is on ESPN. That’s not bad either.

 

PS: The golf tournament ended today, due to a rain delay Sunday. Steve Stricker won the thing.

 

Tuesday, September 17’th

 

Another typical tourist-day. First no. 29 to Downtown. Then a short walk down to Chicago River, that crosses downtown. From here there are several boat-trips. I pick up one for 1 ½ hour that sails Lake Michigan and the river. It’s a nice ride, and gives you a good look of all the high buildings in downtown Chicago. And there’s even a good guide on board, telling what is nice to know about the city and the history – but nothing more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 1 pm we are back on ground again. Then it’s a fine walk up “The Magnificent Mile”. A nice street, but not living up to the name though. It’s mainly up-scale shopping and big hotels. I end at John Hancock Center. That’s a huge building with a great view from the top. I pay the entrance and take the lift up to 96th floor. And the views are great. I stay for some time with a cup of coffee from the café. Or “cup” is a mild form for that enormous bowl the Americans use for their coffee.

 

Down again – and cross over to Navy Pier, that sticks into Lake Michigan. It’s an entertainment area, some restaurants and that kind of things. Very nice for a stroll, and with more great views of Downtown Chicago. No. 29 has it’s terminal out here, so when finished, I pick up my bus back to the hotel, and todays tourist-things are done. The Sports-bar hosts my dinner. A very decent chicken-salad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 18’th

 

I have this feeling that I have seen enough, so it’s a quiet day today. I take my busses in to see Chicago’s Museum-Island. It has for an island that special feature, that it’s not even an island – only a half. But there are museums though. First I check out the National History Museum. That’s huge and nice. There’s a dinosaur-skeleton named Sue – though they don’t know the sex of the thing.

 

Then along the promenade, with even more great Chicago views to Adler Planetarium. It’s a bit of a disappointment. It’s seems like you don’t get access to the interesting parts without paying extra. And the chicken-sandwich was very disappointing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I take my 2 busses back to the Hotel. I spend the rest of the day and evening relaxing. It’s book time – a Jo Nesbø book is nice.

 

It’s a good decision to take it easy today. Because later in the afternoon and most of the evening, it’s miserable weather. It’s lightning and there’s heavy rain. Those returning to the Hotel are soaked. Burger is at my ghetto-bar, where the play ghetto-music, while it’s all lightning and rain outside, and all TV-channels are down.

 

Thursday, September 19’th

 

It is still raining in the morning, so instead of getting soaked before my trip back, I sleet until 10, take a late breakfast and then heads down into the lobby with my book.

 

At 4 my shuttle shows up and takes me to O’Hare. SAS is leaving at 8.10, but there’s almost a 2 hour delay because a passenger gets sick onboard, and they have to call for medical care and take her off the plane.

Friday, September 20’th

 

We are still 2 hours late as we arrive in Copenhagen. It’s 12.30 local time as we land. The flight was reasonable comfy though. In Copenhagen it’s easy to get into the train for Aarhus, and I’m back home at about 17.

 

 

Zion
Bryce Canyon
Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon
Lake Powell
Wild West
Pinball Hall of Fame
Pinball Hall of Fame
Vegas by Night
Vegas by Night
Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas
Vegas by Night
Vegas by Night
På vej til golf
Conway Farms
Soldier Field
Soldier Field
The Bean
The Bean
The "El"
The "El"
Fra sejlturen
Fra sejlturen
Fra Hancock Tower
Fra Navy Pier
Sears Tower - fra Museum Island
Museum Island