Day 6: SQ503 BLR-SIN J Class B777-200 ER

After check-out in the morning, it’s time for me to make my way to a series of meetings before I head back to the airport. These days, checking out of hotels has become extremely easy and simplified. I was the only one at the counter with the whole process taking less than 2 minutes.

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The décor inside the hotel was magnificent, the last time I was here I recall seeing the huge space filled with a Christmas tree so this part never stood out as much.

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To reach my meetings, I give myself 2 hours and decide again to take an Uber instead of a hotel car. This resulted in a bit of excitement. My driver accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up on a one-way street, it was difficult for him to know it was a one-way street as Google Maps took him down this direction. There was heavy traffic coming towards us and unfortunately police came by and forced my driver to pull over requesting him to hand over his ID card. After around 30 minutes the driver paid a fine and then given back his card. We were then permitted to be back on our way. The police stopped everyone going the wrong direction.

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My meetings end and after being warned it may take a couple of hours to reach BLR, I decide to head straight to the airport for what potentially could get me in time for when check-in opens or a couple of hours early. Better to be early than late! Along the way, I spot one of many motorcycles and auto rickshaws (tuk-tuk) on the road.

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With little traffic and less than an hour on the road, I spot the ATC for BLR.

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As you can see, there’s still plenty of light outside and with my flight being a red eye, it was going to be a long wait inside the terminal before I could check in. Only ticketed passengers are allowed inside the terminal so there’s not much happening inside with most of the café’s and eateries situated outside. Also, once you enter the terminal you are not permitted to leave so for smokers, be prepared as after this you only be able to smoke once you are past immigration / security.

I grab myself a spot and stay here for a few hours watching a movie on my iPad.

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3 hours before my flight, check-in opens with the normal channels of separate desks based on travel class. All check-in desks were empty.

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After checking in I head for the departure area and again experience the joys of being pushed around during security. Not to worry, this adds 10 minutes only and eventually I reach the lounge. With the day being more than 12 hours already, it’s time to grab a shower and slip into travel gear for a red eye flight.

Shower was nothing special but comfortable enough to freshen up for your flight.

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Inside the shower room was also a massage table in case you wanted one on offer. The sign asks you to Respect the Masseuse.

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Back to the lounge itself, there was a bar, cooking station and with plenty of items on offer.

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Seating area was a plenty but it did get full pretty quick.

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View from inside the lounge is of the shopping area after immigration.

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For food, I go for a cooked to order pasta with a chocolate pancake for dessert. This washed down with a local IPA and a can of Pepsi.

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I was quite hungry so this went down pretty quick and I have to admit, it tasted quite good. After catching up on some emails, I head to the gate with around 10 minutes to go before boarding. The terminal is very nice, with a nice ambient feel to it.

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Next time, I think I will come here for a drink before my flight. Looks pretty chilled out and relaxing.

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The gate had security personnel dressed up in army gear. After your boarding pass is checked, the guards check to see if your carry-on luggage has been stamped by security otherwise they will rummage through your stuff before you are permitted to board. Separate boarding channels as expected.

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With this being a 777-200, tonight’s red eye in J class will be on the regional 2x2x2 layout.

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Entertainment is on the old set up. This didn’t concern me as the flight would be 4 hours 30 minutes only and after supper I planned to grab some sleep.

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Tonight’s supper menu….

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Chicken for main….

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Food so far was OK but nothing special. This on the other hand was delicious.

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With almost 3 hours to go on the flight, I decide to settle in and grab a few hours’ sleep before arriving back in Singapore at 6am.

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Overall, the slight out to Mumbai was excellent with the new J product. Loved it! Looking forward to one day trying this on the long haul routes to SFO and LAX.

The regional product is still good but I prefer to take this on a day time flight as the flat beds are slightly angled and not as comfortable for a long sleep (I did get the opportunity to try this not so long after fortunately).

Thanks for reading, please do look out for my future trip reports on recent trips I took to Tokyo via SQ, a week-long trip at the Singapore F1 and Hong Kong, and a trip to San Francisco via NRT on ANA J.

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Day 5: 9W2952 GOI-BLR Y Class ATR 72. Hotel JW Marriott

Unfortunately, due to plenty of travel and friends visiting, my latest update on this report has taken a lot longer compile than expected.

Day 5 began with breakfast and then a quick 2-hour flight from GOI to BLR on board an ATR 72. GOI was nothing to write home about. High security before checking in at the airport followed by separate queues based on gender to go through departure security. The women’s queue was a lot shorter than the men’s with many folks trying to push in. Be warned that getting through security can take some time.

Once past security, the airport itself does not have much to offer. Not much choice for food so do ensure you are full before heading to the airport. I hate to see what the airport is like during peak travel period, not long after this photo was taken, the airport got crowded quite quickly.

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After a brief delay of maybe around 30 minutes, our flight is called for boarding. The notices for the flight were a bit confusing but eventually, myself and fellow passenger managed to work out where we had to go. Coincidently, she was going to be my seatmate for the next 2 hours.

We board a bus that takes us on a quick 30 second journey to our plane.

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For those interested, you board this aircraft from the rear and not the front.

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Seating is in a 2×2 format with 1 class only.

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Seating space was adequate.

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A snack consisting of sandwich and muffin was served almost immediately after takeoff.

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We arrive in Bangalore in good time and pleased to say there was no rain.

A quick shot of the front of the craft before we head off to the hotel.

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After collecting my luggage, I decide to grab an Uber, partly because the hotel taxi was going to cost around 8x more. I had to walk about 10 minutes from arrivals to the designated Uber pick up point. Taking an Uber was a great idea, but Uber really needs to signpost this better as it can be quite confusing.

In my Uber on my way to JW Marriott….

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This driver was a complete c#@k. The maps used by Uber (I am assuming it’s Google Maps) were slightly wrong and he had to drive an extra 150-200 metres to reach my destination. He demanded a tip from me because the maps were wrong, in fact he was quite threatening. Needless to say I told him I’ll be contacting Uber management about what’s happened. Anyhow, not sure if Uber are still associated with him.

After checking in, I make my way to my room and grab some quick shots of the view before I head to dinner.

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Semi view of the stadium next door…

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I head to the restaurant for buffet dinner before the evening rush arrives.

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The choice of food was quite excellent, especially the desserts. After 3 rounds, I decide to call it a day with my decision to go early a winner as after this, the restaurant got quite busy.

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The JW Marriott buffet restaurant is one of my favorite places to dine in during all of my stays here in Bangalore.

Some final snaps of the hotel room before I get down to work for the night.

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Spacious even with 2 queen beds in the room.

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A lot different compared to the shower in Goa…

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Bathroom with a view.

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JW Marriott is probably one of the best hotels in India that I have stayed in. It’s comfortable, spacious and has a lovely atmosphere. There is also a shopping mall next door with a number of restaurants. I ate in a Mexican restaurant the last time I was here, as well as a Chinese restaurant. None however were as good as the hotel hence why I decided to eat there this time.

My stay here lasted one night only. Once morning came, after a day of meetings it would be off back to the airport for a red eye flight back to Singapore.

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SQ / 9W: SIN-BOM-GOI-BLR-SIN with a Mix of J and Y with Various Hotels Part 3….

With a bit of time spare before a full day of meetings, I take a gander around the grounds of Park Hyatt Goa. Although I wasn’t too keen on the room, the grounds itself is quite exceptional. Especially for this part of the world, an unexpected hidden treasure.

The hotel entrance as expected is highly guarded. Once you pass security, you come to this wonderful looking complex.

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Hotel staff all courteous.

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I must add that the photos were only able to be captured due to a temporary break in the rainfall.

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View of the pool with the Arabian Sea in the background.

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Hotel gardens.

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View of the hotel from the garden.

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Reached the sea. As you can see it was quite windy.

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After this I head off to work for the day. Work finishes and I arrive back at the hotel with the rain still falling and the light beginning to fade.

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My colleagues and I head off to a restaurant 15 minutes away. The name of the place is called Martin’s Corner.

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Had to try the light spiced Goan Crab. This was delicious. To go with this, we ordered a coconut chicken and a spinach dish. Also delicious.

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A lovely restaurant, named after the original owner now passed down to his children.

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After dinner, it’s back to the hotel for a bath and shower in one.

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Never seen this concept before. Wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or a bad one. Having a bath in this wasn’t very comfortable. This brings my stay in Goa to an end and the next day will see me fly to Bangalore for the final stage of this trip report.

To be continued.

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SQ / 9W: SIN-BOM-GOI-BLR-SIN with a Mix of J and Y with Various Hotels Part 2….

Apparently, the rain had been non-stop for 36 hours by the time I arrived at the hotel. Understandable with this being monsoon season of course. However, the next morning the rain did stop briefly. As I looked outside the window, there was what I could only guess to be a hotel security or staff briefing.

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The last time I was here was in November 2015, I don’t recall the progress of the construction opposite so I decided to add this for next time sake.

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Before I head for check-out, I grab a quick bite for breakfast. Lovely selection of cereals and fruits on offer.

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Congee cooking station…. better than many hotels I’ve stayed in around Asia.

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Other offerings include local and western…

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After breakfast it’s time to head off for my day of meetings before making my way back to the airport for a domestic flight to Goa.

Jet Airways shares a first and business class check in area with Emirates.

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Everything related to check-in was efficient except the check-in girl printed off a priority sticker for my suitcase but forgot to include this with my suitcase. Unfortunately, this meant when I arrived in Goa, my suitcase inevitably was last rather than first!

As I didn’t have time to get lunch, I decide to head straight to the lounge after security. There is no separate section in security for business class passengers. Queuing is not an option for many as a large number of passengers decide to walk straight to the front of queues and push in, in front of other folks. No one seemed to care about this either (including employees). It’s not worth the hassle I’m sure so after a delayed 15 minutes I finally make my way to the lounge and grab a bite!

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It is here that I discovered a love for Roti and Prata! The food wasn’t bad either.

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With the rains lashing down, every couple of minutes or so I still see a plane landing.

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Bar area…

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Lounge overall wasn’t so busy…

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I pop out for a walk after to see what the shopping is like at the airport. Goodbye lounge!!!

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I take a glance at the screen and it’s suddenly changed from being on time to being delayed by 35 minutes.

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The airport terminal has a nice ambience feel to it…

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So with the delay, it’s back to the lounge I go.

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Lounge is still nowhere near half capacity.

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45 mins to departure and it’s time to head to the gate.

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Another delay is announced so I do a bit more window rain staring.

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Eventually it’s time to board and I make my way on to the 9W 737 aircraft to Goa.

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There are 3 rows in business class each with a 2×2 layout. Total number of pax in business was 4.

Plenty of leg space, reminds me of premium economy on long haul flights on some carriers.

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Even on this short 1-hour flight there are light refreshments served.

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With a break in the rain, it’s time for take-off.

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Quick bit of plane spotting..

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And off we go.

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Shots of Mumbai as we leave.

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Light meal served not long after take-off.

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After food the flight gets hit with quite a bit of turbulence so we all remain in our seats until the end of the flight. Upon landing it’s a quick exit with the exception of luggage. As mentioned earlier, my luggage wasn’t tagged priority and ended up being one of the last bags to come out.

30 minutes later, I arrive at Park Hyatt Goa. I head straight to my room with high expectations.

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Nice hotel overall and will share the photos of the surroundings in my next update. However, I did expect the room to be better as I have had good Grand Hyatt experiences in Bangkok, KL and Regency HK.

To be continued….

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SQ / 9W: SIN-BOM-GOI-BLR-SIN with a Mix of J and Y with Various Hotels Part 1….

I hope my last trip report travelling around West Coast USA was enjoyable to read, well enough for you to be interested in this one anyway.

For this trip, I was lucky enough to visit 3 different places in India staying at a different hotel chain at each one during monsoon season.

The itinerary in early August was as follows:

Day 1: SQ424 SIN-BOM B777-300 J Class new layout. Hotel Sofitel Mumbai.
Day 2: 9W426 BOM-GOI B737-800 J Class. Hotel Park Hyatt Goa.
Days 3-4: Hotel Park Hyatt Goa.
Day 5: 9W2952 GOI-BLR Y Class ATR 72. Hotel JW Marriott.
Day 6: SQ503 BLR-SIN J Class B777-200 ER.

The day began on a rainy afternoon in Singapore. My journey to the airport took me past some iconic views from around the city.

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Blurry picture of MBS…. The rain began to fall not long after this.

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Business class check-in area of Terminal 3 was empty. With this being a Sunday afternoon, I did expect a slightly more packed airport.

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Time to head out to the back….

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A quick visit to the lounge….

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A very empty lounge I must say……not that I minded.

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There are seats inside the lounge that provides good viewing of the transfer area. Unfortunately, no windows to see any birds.

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Just to show how quiet this lounge was…..

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Food wasn’t particularly appetizing so I ended up with some chicken wings, meatballs and potato.

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Drinks counter.

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After food, I head to our gate. B10 if I remember correctly.

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I couldn’t get a shot of our bird for the night but I managed to take a shot of the plane parked next door.

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Time to board and I make my way to my seat 20K.

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I didn’t realise I would be trying the new J class layout until boarding. Small storage area. Adequate.

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Nice touch screen remote…

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The bed layout still directs your legs towards the corner. Although the seat is wonderful, if sleeping it can be a little restless.

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IFE screen.

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Plenty of leg space.

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View from the side.

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Food menu.

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Champagne and wine offerings….

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I went for my usual champagne…

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As we approach for take-off I do a little plane spotting, ironic I spot a couple of Jet Airways birds.

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Heading off…

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And off we go…

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Flight information on SQ has improved a lot.

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Headset, slippers and socks!

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Seat view…

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Time for food beginning with the traditional satay!


Seafood starter with garlic bread. Delicious!

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I went for book the cook. Beef fillet with mash potato and roasted vegetables! Great choice.

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Ice cream dessert and cheese and crackers! I love cheddar cheese with crackers. I always ask for more.

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After food I get some rest and the flight map indicates we are an hour away from Mumbai.

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Wifi was available on board but came at an expensive price.

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$19.99 for 50MB, other options include 30MB for $12.99 or 15MB for $6.99.

As we land, it’s raining extremely heavy. No more photos as it was pointless until I reached the hotel. It is monsoon season after all.

This is my 3rd time staying in Sofitel Mumbai. It’s a lovely hotel with great ambience about the place. I didn’t have time to visit the gym or pool as I arrived late and my stay here would be for less than 12 hours. When I arrived they took me straight to my room to check-in. I am not a big fan of this as sometimes I like to enquire what my room is like before I reach.

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Restaurant entrance where I would have breakfast the following morning.

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Room was pleasant with a nice feel to it. I can’t complain really as it’s my 3rd time here and it’s the same quality of stay as my previous visits.

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Separate bath and shower….

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Time to sleep before another days flying begins.

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To be continued….. 

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USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 – Day 14 SQ11 LAX-SIN via NRT

What a great 2 weeks this trip has been, after visiting San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. it was time to say farewell to my friends where my wife and I would leave first taking SQ 11 from LAX to SIN.

Our friend also residing in Singapore was booked to be on BR departing a few hours after us with a transit in TPE. The last of our group would be taking VS from LAX to LHR.

We leave our Airbnb apartment just before midday and arrive at the car hire location within 45 minutes. We hand our vehicle keys back and pack our luggage onto the shuttle bus that would take us to the terminal. We arrive at the terminal 2.5 hours before departure.

Tom Bradley in the past used to be a good spot for us as our group of travellers always departed from various terminals. We would sit upstairs at the back of pre-departures in the seating area and have dinner together at one of the many eateries available. When we arrived we were surprised to see this was no longer there. Shucks! An earlier goodbye than expected.

A couple of shots from the terminal at Tom Bradley. Notable airlines such as Etihad, JAL and China Airlines check-in at section A of the terminal.

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Section B includes Emirates, BA, KLM, and Korean Air. Forgot to blur the folks out on the right hand side. Sorry.

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Our 3:45pm departure points us to check-in at section C. Other airlines in this section included BR.

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Despite the recent renovations in Tom Bradley, I see they still use the old style system for departure information.

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Automated check-in options available for many airlines.


Time to check-in…

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My friend takes a shot of Mrs Mlee888 and I waiting to check-in.

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This is where the check-in process got slightly complicated. Due to a last minute aircraft change, with my wife and I originally scheduled to sit together in seats 96 D/F, with the replacement plane no longer being an all upper business deck, this meant that our seats were no longer available. On top of this, with us having separate bookings (wife took an earlier departure to US at the start of our trip), their systems automatically seated us quite a distance from each other. For a few hours this would be OK but with this being a 16.5 hour flight time overall, we would prefer to be seated together.

The SQ staff couldn’t think of a way to change our seats to begin with but continued to try their best to see what alternative arrangements could be found. The supervisor eventually managed to work out a solution by calculating who had checked-in and who hadn’t. Everyone in business class had been given a new seat in the last 24 hours so anyone who checked-in online prior to this would not had known of any aircraft change until they arrived at the airport. The supervisor switched our seats to 26 D/F for the first leg and told us we would have to wait until arriving in NRT to be given new seats for the second leg. She explained she could only override the system in LAX but was unable to do so for NRT, she did say she would make sure we would be seated together.

What great service this was. I was so impressed with the way they handled this. I can see why SQ is one of the worlds best airlines.

So to the below…’s flight would be the following:

Plane: A380
Class: J
Seats: LAX-NRT 26 D/F, NRT-SIN 22 D/F (both upper deck)
Departing Airport: LAX Tom Bradley
Arriving Airport: SIN Terminal 3
Via: NRT (Tokyo)

We say our farewells to our friends and head for the departure lounge. Tom Bradley has an express queue for Business Class passengers so going through immigration and security was relatively quick and easy, compared to my experience when arriving a few weeks before.

The Star Alliance Lounge was packed! There was not a spare seat in the house and when looking at the departure board, I saw quite a few other Star Alliance flights departing around the same time.

The food also didn’t look that great to be honest, I took a quick shot and then walked around the lounge briefly. Poor quality photo sadly.

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There were more people inside the lounge than in the shopping area downstairs.

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Mrs Mlee888 and I decide not to stick around and head to gate 150 where our flight would depart from. Quite a bit of heavy traffic here so looks like a full flight.

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The staff getting ready and with T-45 mins no one is queueing up just yet

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Our beautiful whale that would take us all the way back to Singapore.

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Boarding is announced with Suites first followed by Business Class and PPS members.

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Seat 26A with the older generation business layout. Still extremely comfortable and one of my favourite J class seats.

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Today’s LAX-NRT first meal options.

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Snacks during flight available.

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Due to the timing of the flight, when you land in NRT it is evening time so a second meal is served on board before landing.

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Dinner menu from NRT-SIN.

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Having a glass of bubbly before take-off.

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Having a bubbly before take-off. Drinks were the same as on the way out so I didn’t take a photo of what was on offer.

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Flight map shows a flight time of 10 hours and 45 minutes.

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An hour after take-off, the meal service began.

The marinated crayfish with gralic bread. Delicious!

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Mrs Mlee888 used Book The Cook option and selected sweet and sour fish with fried noodles. She said it tasted quite good.

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My BTC option – Steamed crab ravioli in creamy lobster sauce with mixed vegetables. It was nice but the portion wasn’t filling.

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The yoghurt cranberry cake with cheese and crackers served together. Went well with my vodka and coke.

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To keep myself entertained, I watched Zootopia which was great followed by London Has Fallen. I started watching Ip Man 3 but with about 5.5 hours of the flight to go before reaching NRT, I decided to take a nap.

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Mrs Mlee888 already asleep at this point but this is a shot of how the flat bed appears on SQ on the A380. Your feet go into the corner which for some may not be comfortable.

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I sleep around 2 hours and check on the flight map to see where we were.

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I watch the rest of Ip Man and then decide to put Race on. An inspiring movie. I realised I watched more movies during this flight sector than on the whole way out.

With around 2 hours to go, the lights come on as the cabin prepare for the second meal to be served.

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The prosciutto ham for starters….and more garlic bread.

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Not sure what wifey ordered here on BTC. Possibly the lamb.

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My order – Peppered fillet mignon with mustard jus, chanterelle mushrooms, fava beans, and paprika red potatoes. Very yummy!

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40 minutes to Tokyo and the mood lighting is switched on.

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As we arrive in Tokyo, I spot SQ12 preparing for NRT-LAX. They both arrive in Tokyo and refuel around the same time.

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SQ staff in LAX were true to their word. As we entered the arrival area there was a big board with our names on it to get our attention. A staff member was there ready to give us our new boarding passes. We were given seats 22 D/F and would be seated together for the second leg. Excellent service overall.

Back to the ANA lounge for a quick visit and game on this.

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Offerings at this lounge aren’t that impressive. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go see what the main lounge was like.

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Famous Japanese snacks. I end up leaving with a couple of boxes of Tokyo Banana.

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Waiting to be called up for boarding with order as shown in the photo.

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Back on board for the 6 hour flight from NRT-SIN and we take our new seats. Time to get comfortable!

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An hour after take-off the food is served. After satay, they dish out the smoked duck breast starter with vegetables and a helping of garlic bread (again).

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Mrs Mlee888 main course on BTC would be Grilled fillet of beef with pesto. Same as what I had on the way out.

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I went for the chicken stuffed with prosciutto and mushrooms in creamy sauce with braised turnip, spinach, and potatoes. Again another great meal by SQ.

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I accompany my meal with the movie Dirty Grandpa starring Zac Effron and Robert De Niro which I had been watching since the start of the flight. This would be my 5th movie of the entire flight and also my last. The film was much better than I thought it would be. After it ends I settle down and grab nearly 4 hours sleep and wake up around 30 minutes before departure. The lights come on and the cabin crew prepare for arrival.

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We arrive 30 minutes before schedule and after immigration and customs, we eventually get home around 3:30am. 2 days later. Lost out on a whole day due to the international time zone but this just balances out how we gained a day when we flew out. 😀

Hope you have all enjoyed this trip report and I look forward to sharing my next adventures (that’s worth posting of course).

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USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 Day 13 – Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica

So our last full day in the US was upon us and we decide to spend the day on Rodeo Drive and visiting Santa Monica. We have been to Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyworld Anaheim on past visits so no point in going to either of these again.

Our day began roughly around 10:30am with a quick stop at the Urban Lights at LACMA. Not my kind of thing however but my wife and friend seemed to enjoy it. I doubt I will come again.

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Off we go to Rodeo Drive, a short 10 minute drive from LACMA. We find street parking that cost less than $2 for an hour. Not bad.

Some shots of the famous street and designer shops. My wife was a bit disappointed that we didn’t see any celebrities though.

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The whole place just seemed very superficial to me. Oh well, at least I can say we have visited now as I always skipped it in the past.

Back to the car we go and a 20 mile drive to Santa Monica. We arrive in Santa Monica around 2pm parking in the main shopping district.

Where to eat???

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Oh look, another Cheesecake Factory. After San Francisco and Las Vegas, this would be our 3rd visit to this chain.

I went for the Steak Diane and Chicken with Fries.

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Tasted great! This was a much needed meal. After lunch we take a walk towards the beach and make our way to the pier.

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Beach looks lovely. I remember seeing a womens beach volleyball game once in LA. That was awesome. No volleyball match today though.

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Rollecoaster on the pier. $8 a ride

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Fishing in the Pacific Ocean.

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View of the amusement park and beach from the end of the pier.

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I realise the park has a name!

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Back to the main high street.

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Santa Monica is an extremely pleasant place. I always enjoyed visiting in the past and this was no different.

Rodeo Drive, done. Santa Monica, done. Where to next? OK, let’s go to Citadel Outlets in Commerce, LA. Only 25 miles or so from Santa Monica. We head off at 4:30pm and due to traffic we arrive about 6pm. Oh well, last minute shopping never sucks. Last day complete and it’s time to pack our suitcases one last time.

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USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 Day 12 – Los Angeles

Day 12 began with what probably was the most depressing part of the trip. Leaving Las Vegas to drive to Los Angeles. We set off at 10am and give one last wave goodbye towards the Las Vegas sign before we hit the road to LA. We stop off about 90 mins later at the infamous world’s largest thermometer located in Baker and grab a bite to eat at Arby’s. More fast food! No photos though as it literally was just a quick bite and then back on the road.

We arrive in LA about 4:30pm and instead of checking into a hotel, we decided to give Airbnb a shot. For privacy reasons I won’t be sharing any inside photos of the apartment. The Airbnb apartment was located a stones throw away from the Chinese Theatre. Literally 2 minutes walk away. It was a 2 bed apartment with 2 queen beds in one room, and 1 queen bed in another. Perfect for our group. The apartment also came with 2 parking spaces! We had one vehicle only but we were still more than happy with this.

Internet connection was strong and the apartment was extremely spacious and felt very cosy. Lovely view from the balcony.

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After settling down, we make our way towards Canyon Lake Drive which has some of the best views of the Hollywood sign. To me coming to LA is always a bit of a downer after Vegas but it does help ease me back into the pattern of going home. One member of our group had never seen the sign in person before so this was another reason to come here to get the mandatory tourist shots.

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Nice view of part of the city from here.

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Action…….all of a sudden these helicopters come out of nowhere.

More helicopters join, shouldn’t they be reporting the traffic around LA?

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A police helicopter arrives….

Turns out that there’s a man that climbed up to the top of the “D”. There was a camera crew next to us who were really excited. The one guy kept shouting “my best friend is photobombing all your photos right now!”………

This was the story.

After this we had back towards the Chinese Theatre parking back at the apartment.

We spot the Dolby Theatre….

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The shopping mall next door…

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Lame Hollywood Walk of Fame…

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Back to the mall….

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Chocolate anyone?

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California Pizza Kitchen with Hollywood sign in the background.

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Hollywood again…

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After dinner a quick visit to the Chinese Theatre itself…

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A nearby souvenir shop had this awesome display of Terminator.

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After a depressing long day where we left the biggest fairground in the world, it was time to head back and grab some sleep. Only one full day of our vacation remained after this before I begin my trip back to Singapore.

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USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 Day 11 – Las Vegas Part 4 (Plus Hoover Dam)

Time does fly when you’re having fun. We begin day 11 with a drive to Hoover Dam leaving our hotel around midday arriving at Hoover Dam just before 1pm. For all first time drivers to Hoover Dam don’t be fooled by the car parks that cost so and so to park your car. If you carry on driving across to the other side of the dam, there is parking further up that’s free to park. Yes it’s a tad further to walk but it will save you $15.

I have been to Hoover Dam quite a few times now and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful this piece of engineering truly is.

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A photo of how the water levels here have dropped over the years.

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Fine engineering.

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As Hoover Dam lies on the state line, one side shows Arizona time…

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Whenever I used to visit during November, due to daylight saving time one side of the Dam would be an hour ahead of the other. At time of this trip both timezones were the same.

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The bridge designed to stop traffic jams that used to hit Hoover Dam. Gone are the days of drive through traffic.

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Wonder how long it will take for the water to all disappear….

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If you ever come here, do stop off at the viewing point for Lake Mead.

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Those water levels that used to be….

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No rest for the wicked….it’s time to head back to Vegas to grab some late lunch. We head to Boiling Crab for a lunchtime feast.

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Catfish and Fries basket.

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The Boiling Crab half naked crawfish with corn, potatoes, sausage, and mushroom. Bargain at less than $20++.

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Wife had some Snow Crab Legs but it was all in this big bag with some crazy combination sauce. It tasted great but the pictures of the bag didn’t come out well so no photos sadly.

After lunch we head back to the hotel and freshen ourselves up for a night of entertainment at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace with……..

Celine Dion!

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The security took away my camera (along with everyone elses) to prevent photos from being taken inside the concert hall.

Out came the mobile phones to take sneaky pictures of the auditorium.

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Celine belted out some fantastic tunes. I have to admit she really does have a great voice and sings with so much passion.

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Full house…

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Coming towards the end of her show…some folks got stopped taking photos but being sat where we were sat, we could clearly see many folks on the ground level taking photos freely without being asked to put their cameras away. Perks of having expensive seats. 😀

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The encore being My Heart Will Go On from Titanic.

I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this concert. I can see why she’s such a huge role model to many of those out there.

After the concert had finished, we grabbed something to eat at the food court inside Caesars Palace and then headed back to Marriott Grand Chateau to pack our suitcases. Next morning we would be leaving for Los Angeles.

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USA California / Nevada / Arizona Road Trip May 2016 Day 10 – Las Vegas Part 3

After an exhausting trip to Grand Canyon South Rim, it was time for a more relaxing day that began around midday. After a quick stop at the Fashion Mall for a bite to eat, we make our way to Fremont Street. With this being the older part of Vegas, it has never appealed to me to stay at any of the hotels here, however saying that I do enjoy coming for a a walk and spending an hour or two there.

I remember from my last visit there is now a zipline here. Seeing this brings back memories of mine from 2012 where I spent a whole day doing ziplines at Red Rock Canyon near Boulder City, about 15 miles outside of Vegas towards Hoover Dam.

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It looked fun but nowhere near as good as Red Rock Canyon.

A shot of Fremont Street with 2 of what would have been at one point the most popular hotels in Vegas.

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After an hour, we head back to Las Vegas Premium North Outlet for some more shopping. The great thing about outlets in US is that outlet shopping outside of the US is extremely expensive. For a quick comparison I once purchased a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for around $50 USD and the same shirt in Asia would cost $120 USD.

2 friends of mine from the UK arrived in Vegas this day so we met up with them at the outlet for a catch up. As it was approaching 9pm, we decided to eat at the outlet. My friends and I used to meet up in Vegas quite regularly (even going on vacations there together) and each visit always included a meal at The Cheesecake Factory. Luckily there was one at the outlet so off we went for some Steak Diane. We continued this mini tradition.

And each time I always ordered a chocolate milkshake…..

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After dinner we head back to the strip together for some group shots at the Bellagio Fountain. I won’t embarrass the group so here’s a few shots of the Bellagio. I will never get bored of visiting this place.

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Billie Jean by MJ starts to play and the fountain begins its magic.

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The Cosmopolitan looked wonderful in the background.

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Time for a midnight stroll along the strip heading past New York New York along the way.

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The mini Statue of Liberty…

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The Excalibur always looks better at night.

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Inside Luxor they have a Titanic Exhibition and a small version of the Sphinx.

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Outside Luxor is a bigger version of the Sphinx and a Pyramid which is actually the hotel itself. Apparently the light you can see from space.

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We also saw the light from some distance when we drove back from Grand Canyon the previous night.

Before we head back to our hotel, here’s a shot of New York New York with the rollercoaster and Statue of Liberty.

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The walk started about 11pm and ended about 1:30am. I recommend if you ever go to Vegas do spend some time walking up and down both parts of the strip. A wonderful experience.

A chilled out day, but again extremely exhausting. Time for a good nights sleep.

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