August 12th, 2008
We decided to take a break in Vegas before heading over to Asia. From Lima we flew to Las Vegas, where we got to meet up with Nik, Ma and Pa. Unfortunately Amma and Appa couldn’t make it there, but that’s just the way life goes sometimes!
Our flight was tiring, but got us safely to Ft. Lauderdale, where we had to wait for 5 hours for our next flight. The flight to Vegas was supposed to be direct, but ended up stopping at two other cities before finally making it to Vegas. But we were finally there, and were happy to be spending a couple of days in North America before heading to Indonesia.
We got to Vegas on the 12th, and were hella tired from long flights and layovers, and planned to sleep until Nik flew in that night. But it’s really hard to catch a nap in Vegas. The casino downstairs was too tempting and exciting to resist. And then after Nik came – there was no way to go right to bed. It was awesome to see him after two months. We ate, and then introduced him to our favourite casino game – Pai Gow Poker.
Parents flew in the next day, on Pa’s birthday, and had rented an apartment suite. There we all were – just like back home. Mom cooked us a whole bunch of indian food, froze it and brought it over. We had to have it right away! Actually, we were enjoying it so much that it was hard to break away from enjoying it to even talk. So we all relaxed, chatted, ate, and then headed out shopping. After shopping we had some authentic Mexican food – huge entrees, and yum food.
The three days there flew by – with shopping, hanging out, late nights at the Pai Gow table, and free booze! Before we knew it, we were finishing up our lunch at the Wynn (a snazzy new casino in Vegas), and Nik had to leave to catch his flight. Quite a sad moment!
We stayed back with mom to indulge ourselves in the rich and oh so yummy desserts this gourmet buffet offered. Then it was off to packing, and being dropped off at the airport for our flight out. It was good to know that the flight was delayed – as it allowed us to hang with the parents for another half an hour. So with the handy GPS that Pa had recently bought, we headed to a Starbucks to just be. Another sad moment when they left us.
A short flight to LAX, where we discovered that we have to buy an outbound ticket from Jakarta to obtain visa. So pressed for time, we bought an open ticket from China Airlines. The long flight wasn’t all that bad – considering we slept for 10 hours, even though our seats were super tight. The food was terrible. The air stank. The only highlight of the flight was being able to watch the plane take-off and land on the TV screen as the airline has cameras attached capturing the front and bottom view of the plane.
The 5 hour layover in Taipei also didn’t seem all that hectic for some reason. We had some coffee, got some local change for Karthik to collect, and sat around – mostly out of it.
Another 5 hours of flight to Jakarta, with same bad food, but an empty seat beside us was a bonus.