Well it feels like I'd been away for ages. I finally jetted across the pond to sunny Las Vegas, accompanied by mother Lesley and sister Linda.
Over six days and nights of shows, shopping, sightseeing and sun, we had lots of laughs, fab food and saw some incredible sights – some, courtesy of mother! If mum was Thelma, sister was definitely Louise and I was turned into Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous (yes, the sensible one).
It's funny because before we went, my sisters' friend found out she was going with me, and said "hope your sister behaves herself!" Linda said "it's not her I'm worried about!" Anyway, here's a sample of what mummy Lesley brought to the party in the midst of Caesar's Palace one night (note the Tiana B dress!)
The breathtaking Grand Canyon
Just like with so many visitors, one of our most memorable trips was to the breathtaking Grand Canyon. We enjoyed an entertaining coach ride, with Bob our ex-military coach driver, who gave commentary all the way in Morgan Freeman stylee!
Two hours later, past the Hoover Dam, we reached the short helicopter ride down to the Colorado River. It was a really great experience – particularly liked steering the boat, courtesy of 'Indiana' Troy our captain!
We went to see a few shows too, which were fabulous. We saw Rat Pack, Le Reve – a kind of 'Cirque de Soleil in water', and Matt Goss was a real surprise. He's making waves over in Vegas with a show that's a mix of his own surprisingly good songs, great soul musicians, bit of Buble and bit of Sinatra.
We had a weird serendipitous experience when, after getting the timing wrong for Donny and Marie (who were also very funny – proves how 'Dr Showbiz' can help in times of sadness for Marie), we wandered past Gossy's show and a guy at the box office desk asked if we wanted two free tickets. So that one was unplanned but certainly very much appreciated!
A third ticket purchase later and we were in, loving his spot-on vocals and much matured style since his days wondering when he and his Bros bandmates would be famous! In Vegas, at least, that time is now!
And of course there were loads of free shows at the various themed hotels. Up and down the strip you can see so many spectacles – it comes alive at night with the lights and our room on the 22nd floor had a bird's eye view!
One of the must-sees is of course the fountains at the Bellagio – we walked up behind some newlyweds, gazing in amazement over the display, to the tune of Celine's greatest…
We shopped till our feet dropped. They sunned themselves – I preferred the Spa, but my Ultrasun kept me in it a bit longer than usual! And we all loved being in a fabulous posh place – even if Katie Price did get married at the same hotel just after we booked it!
All in all, I'd say this is a place everyone should go at least once in their life. And thanks so much to everyone who sent recommendations. We did a lot more than I can list here, but just wanted to bring you a little update for those who wondered how we got on!
The next holiday is going to be the something completely different – the York Writing Festival in April and a Stonehenge trip in September!