My husband Damian and I have been Owners since 2003 and have enjoyed many wonderful holidays within Australia, but for our 20th Wedding Anniversary we wanted to do something really special. We both have been to the U.S.A. before but wanted to visit places we had never been. What better place to go for a Wedding Anniversary but to VEGAS! We decided we would go and renew our vows with Elvis and that is exactly what we did.
This was also our first trip without our two children, aged 17 and 15. We have never been away from them but decided that 20 years was something we really deserved to celebrate and if we were going to go to U.S.A. we decided to look at where to go before and after Vegas. This is where our membership with WorldMark was a Godsend! We booked everything online with ease and ended up with an itinerary that looked like this: Waikiki, San Francisco, Las Vegas, road trip to Palm Springs then back to Waikiki. We filled our days with tours and nights with shows, and had the absolute holiday of a lifetime!
Going to Waikiki first really set the holiday mood with its culture, people, music and dining……..what a paradise. We have already decided we will be returning in 2 years and taking our teenagers to witness its beauty for themselves. The resort was absolutely stunning and really central to walk to shops, beach and for tours, just awesome. We did everything from horse riding, snorkelling, riding, sailing and visited Pearl Harbour and the Polynesian Cultural Centre. We could not stop grinning for the entire five days.
Next we flew to San Francisco and experienced our very first Independence Day on Pier 39. There was red, white and blue everywhere! We did all the traditional things like eating Crab Chowder and visiting Bubba Gump Shrimp.
We had an amazing time and decided to walk everywhere (certainly kept extra kilos at bay walking those steep streets of San Fran but glad we did!) We were so excited to visit Alcatraz and see Lombard Street, we had to keep pinching ourselves that we were here on the 4th of July. There was a delay in trying to get our Wi-Fi sorted to Skype our children but the staff were so helpful and apologised for the delay with a gift of wine and chocolates with a card wishing us Happy Anniversary.
After four days in San Francisco it was time for us to fly in to Las Vegas for our vow renewal and five days of tours and Vegas shows. To say we were excited would be a huge understatement.
As we flew over the desert and spotted ‘the strip’ we began to giggle and squeeze each other’s hands like a pair of children. We caught a limousine from the airport so that we could get going straight away. We needed to check in and beautify ourselves in preparation for meeting Elvis for our upcoming nuptials. We felt like a million dollars and everyone could see from how we were dressed we were obviously going to a chapel. The staff at The Grand Desert took photos of us and made us feel so special and again we were treated to a beautiful bottle of red wine and card wishing us Happy Anniversary. After our vow renewal, we went to the Hard Rock Café, (we have been visiting them in every city we travel to) and we were treated to free drinks and the band sang “let’s get it on!” while everyone wolf whistled at us while we danced together. It was so funny!
The most amazing thing about Vegas is that by going to the strip you can visit, Venice, Paris all in one! We spent so many romantic moments watching the Bellagio fountains from the Eiffel Tower, having a gondola ride at the Venetian as well as a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon with a champagne breakfast near the bottom! If you have never been to Vegas I cannot recommend the Grand Desert enough! Shuttle buses to the Strip every half an hour (simply due to the heat not distance!) and the most stunning resort!
From here we hired a Chevrolet with a sky roof and drove to Palm Springs. The scenery was absolutely amazing. It was a bit scary driving out of Vegas having never been on the ‘wrong side of the road’ but once we were on the open road it was all good. We arrived at WorldMark Palm Springs at about 4:30pm and stepping into 41 degree heat, it was crazy hot! From here we did a couple of day trips in to Los Angeles to go to a Dodgers Baseball game as well as visit Hollywood and Disneyland. We did some small hikes and really found the scenery to be breath taking and we are so glad that we put this destination on the end of our holiday.
Finally, we spent two more days in Waikiki to just unwind and rest after such a jam-packed itinerary and then flew home, three weeks away in all. The Royal Palm Resort, Waikiki and The Grand Desert Las Vegas were the two most luxurious hotels and made us feel like royalty. As I mentioned, we wanted to return to Hawaii and we will most definitely be including Vegas on this trip again as well!
Thank you WorldMark for helping us to create life long memories, we feel truly blessed!
P.S. I took over 2000 photos so it was hard for me to decide which ones to send!!!
Helen & Damian,
Wyndham timeshare Owners since 2003