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2019 - West Coast USA - Day 20

Unforgettable that’s what this trip has been.

We almost had a relaxing start to the day planning to not leave the room until 8.45am to go down to the pool today. I managed to listen on TMS to the last 30 minutes of the cricket which was terrific. I was cheering every Ben Stokes shot. Today I remembered to take my kindle with me to the poolto make sure that I kept myself occupied. Karen wandered in to get a couple of sun beds whilst I queued up to spend our breakfast credit. I had another ‘Begsy’ whilst getting Karen a small bucket of Cappuccino.

The pool area was definitely less busy today and I soon got lost in my book. I was reading my first book by Elly Griffiths who sets her books in Norfolk. It was light but engaging. I think I must be mellowing because the music didn’t seem as loud or as bothersome today. Then they did a soundcheck for a live performance in the pool next door and it sent shock waves through my kindle. Fortunately we left around noon before it actually started.

After having a few snacks for lunch we decided to walk along The Strip again. Karen was keen to get as far as Mandalay Bay which I feared was wildly optimistic given our plans for the evening which meant we would need to leave the room at 5pm.

Initially we walked across to the Bellagio where we managed to watch the fountains from the cool viewing spot of the Starbucks (and remarkably no coffee was purchased). We walked on in the searing heat now 42c.

If there weren’t so many bridges over the road and diversions through shops and casinos then we may have made all the way but we also made an error by trying to get on the tramway at Crystal Mall to save some time. We walked twice as far to get to the station at the distance it saved.

Instead when we got to New York, New York we gave up. Karen did buy a Starbucks which she drank whilst we played on the Horse Racing game. Again I won with my first dollar and the winnings kept us going for about 15 minutes. It had taken over a hour to get this far so we decided to slowly make our way back.

We did stop at Shake Shack to get Karen a Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt that she really enjoyed. We called in a CVS to buy a couple of cold drinks to help us on the way back.

Just after 5pm we left the room again this time for an appointment with Alyssa the duty manager at Outback. At the start of the trip, we decided that if we would were happy with something or a service we would send a message saying so, and not just so if we were unhappy.

As I had not had a response to our complaint about the over worked staff at the first Outback, when we then got the best service ever in the second I decided upon a different approach. Rather than just fill in the usual satisfaction survey I found the email address of the VP for Customer Service.

To my surprise I got an immediate reply and exchanged several emails with him. The end result was our appointment with Alyssa this evening.

We made ourselves known and were told that our entire bill tonight was on the house. This was just as well as it had the most expensive Outback menu ever. We started and ended our meals with cocktails which were delicious and a real treat. A treat because they were over $12 each, but also as I am normally driving I just have water. We shared Crab Cakes for starters which were out of this world. We resisted the steaks they recommended to use as they were $48 each and we felt that would be taking the proverbial. Instead we both had the Fillet Mignon which just melted in our mouths. Sadly Karen was too full to have a dessert as well. Despite having no bill to pay we left a sizeable tip.

After this we had tickets to see Matt Goss perform at The Mirage. He has now had residencies on The Strip for over 10 years and won numerous awards for his Rat Pack style show. We joined a small queue as there was no reserved seating. Karen was keen not to be at the very front or very back. We were put in a booth at the front but just to the side, less than 10ft from the stage. It was a very intimate venue and felt very old school Vegas. Sharing our booth were some other fellow Brits, including one famous TV actress who we both recognised but could not think of her name. I tried to discretely take her photo so when we see what we think is her on TV we can double check. She was very friendly.

The show was all we hoped for and far and far more. The whole 2 hour performance had nothing in common with his days in Bros. He was excellent. He worked the crowd and he came over and shook the hands of everyone in our booth. His band were outstanding.

He covered some of the swing style big band songs you would expect like ‘Luck be a Lady tonight’ and My Way’. Neither came over as crass or karaoke but instead as polished and professional. He interspersed these with some songs he had written in the same style and these were excellent and Karen said she actually preferred these.

‘Unforgettable', though was a real show stopper song for both of us.

His interaction with the audience was smooth and easy, and he came across as a genuine guy. The show finished with his two big Bros hits which sounded really good done in a Swing style. We came out of the show beaming, both of us saying we would definitely like to see him again sometime. It was without doubt the best show we have seen in Vegas by a long long way. It just a shame when you tell people about seeing Matt Goss they have the wrong misconceptions.

I would have loved to have been here during the old Vegas when the Rat Pack were here. I think this was the closest you can get these days.

As usual we got lost in the Casino on the way out but eventually found our way out and back to our Hotel.

This marks the last night of our Vegas stay and indeed the last night of our trip. I think Vegas was too much of a culture shock for me initially after the splendour of the National Parks. I have adjusted somewhat.

Although I would never say it was my favourite place in the world I have quite enjoyed myself. This is a place everyone should get a chance to visit just once as it has to be seen to be believed. Everything is done to excess, even the weather.

Unforgettable thats what Vegas is.

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