After we returned home from Hoover Dam (it was when we got back inside) we had time to grab a quick late lunch in the buffet then went up to our room for a nap. Our intention was to try and see one of the shows on the strip in the evening. Meg really wanted to see Bette Midler but couldn't justify the $125 per ticket so we were leaning toward 'Menopause - the Musical' however when Wayne woke up his objective was to get to one of the half price ticket booths to see if it might not be possible to get cheaper tickets. Leaving Meg to get a bit more rest he wandered off along the strip trying to avoid the heat (it was 108°F) by staying in the air conditioning as much as possible.
It wasn't a long trip to the nearest half price booth but it was long enough for a number of shows to have already taken place. We were both stunned to realise that in a city that never sleeps (
As he headed through the
Meg jumped on the telephone to reception and about 15 minutes later a security man was knocking on the door. Over the next hour and a half we gave statements, had photos taken of our bathroom, made and received more phone calls and waited to find out what was going to happen. When we questioned the security man he wouldn't tell us anything at all about what had happened on the floor above. When it got to we still didn't know what was going to happen but we needed to head to the restaurant in order to have dinner before it closed. After we finished eating,
The outcome of our experience was that the
The next morning we had determined would be a relatively relaxed one as we made good use of the new room. Strangely, at the maid made her first appearance wanting to clean the room. We let her know that we would be checking out around and that it would be good if she came back to clean then. A couple of hours later we received a call to go down to reception to receive the compensation money for Meg's cosmetics, so we made a trip down the strip to find some replacement cosmetics. Not long after we returned, so did the maid, this time she started cleaning despite our request that she wait until we had gone. When she started to vacuum in front of the television while
Despite a request to the bell desk to send someone to collect our luggage at 3:45pm so that we could make the airport shuttle at 4:05pm no one turned up until 4:15pm (although the maid had made a couple of further visits) however once again the hotel showed some class and paid for a taxi to the airport for us. It didn't take long to check our luggage and we were able to move through security and up to the gate ready to board our flight to
Boarding the airplane was easy; however we started to worry a little when we had been sitting in our seats for quite a while without much sign of movement. After about 15 minutes two last passengers boarded the plane and we imagined the sort of announcements that must have been made in the terminal prior to that. However, almost immediately we received a message from the pilot saying that there were a few technical problems happening with the plane and that there would be a delay. Neither of us were overly surprised by this, having long got past the expectation that things would go smoothly when we travel.
It took a while, but eventually the plane started to reverse, with the pilot having made some comments about problems with the GPS. However, the terrible grinding noises that came from underneath the plane while we were reversing were a bit worrying and led to some comments that maybe the handbrake had been left on. We taxied out to the runway but it soon became clear that there was still something wrong with the aircraft. Another announcement from the cockpit confirmed that we would not be flying out on this airplane and, given the noises that it was making and the description that the steering on the front wheel had gone.
Exiting the plane we were asked to queue in order to make arrangements for what was going to happen next. Those people for whom
Around we were told that we would be given a night in another hotel. Northwest had also booked us onto the equivalent flight the following day, although they couldn't contact Air New
The following morning we went down for our complimentary breakfast and then determined to catch the hotel shuttle back to the airport to see if we could find out what was going on in person. We had been unable to retrieve our suitcases the night before which made the trip in relatively easy and then it was off to the Northwest Counter to see what could be done. The two women that assisted us were absolutely marvellous. They not only booked us on to an earlier flight to Los Angeles (with U.S. Airways) to ease any worries that we might have had about connections, but they also contacted Air New Zealand and made sure that we were booked on to a flight out of L.A. and a somewhat earlier one to Brisbane, so that our time on the ground in Auckland would not be too bad.
Checking in with U.S. Airways was (relatively) pain free, as was going through customs and making the flight from
We then set up camp in the Boarding area near our gate, where we could use the internet with the payment of a small fee (it wasn't free like it is at Las Vegas and some of the other airports which we have been to) grab some food and try to relax. It was fascinating watching some of the characters who passed through LAX and eventually we were able to board Air New Zealand Flight 5. This came not long after an interesting experience where we heard our names called over the loudspeaker and asked to report to another Gate. As it turns out we suspect that it was just to make sure that we were at the airport after the dramas of the previous day (because they didn't have anything to tell us when Meg got there). It was nice to be back on a 747-400 where there was a bit more leg room. As we sat we encountered a lovely girl from
Coming in to land at
Eventually the call came to proceed to Gate 2 ready to board the plane and it was at this point that we found out that things hadn't gone as smoothly as we might have liked when the flights were transferred. While
Once again Meg was able to get some sleep and even
While it had taken a long time (given that it was now Sunday afternoon) we were quite pleased to be back on familiar soil. There is only one question that remains; given that we finally boarded our flight from