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Thread: Las Vegas & Grand Canyon experiences

  1. #1

    Las Vegas & Grand Canyon experiences

    Hello everyone,
    I'd like to share my experiences from my 11/26-11/30 trip to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. First off, thanks to those who posted info regarding Vegas and the Grand Canyon, it really helped us. I went with my friend/physical therapist, Lori. Lori's husband was an exec at JetBlue so she gets plenty of perks. Because of this, we were able to get a few extra helping hands getting the on/off the plane. I haven't flown since '97 and while I'm not afraid of flying, I'll admit I got a bit nervous when they started deicing the plane. Then, about an hour into the trip, the pilot had to lower the landing gear for a few minutes but gave no reason why. On top of that, we were in turbulence for at least the first hour of the flight. My friend and I stayed at the Mirage hotel. It was expensive but is a really nice place, well-run, very friendly staff and the place was very clean. The one problem I had with it was a big one, the bathroom sink was set so far back in the countertop I couldn't reach the sink let alone the faucet, even if I leaned forward in my chair I could not reach it. I can't remember for sure but it must've been a little over a foot of counter space in front of the bathroom sink. Otherwise the bathroom was very accessible with a nice roll in shower.
    Lori and I saw the Cirque du Soleil Beatles Love show which was incredible! This was my first Cirque du Soleil show and I loved it. Seats for able-bodied audience have speakers built into the headrest and for disabled audience the staff will set up a small speaker right beside your wheelchair, the sound from this speaker is excellent. I highly recommend the show for anyone that likes Cirque du Soleil or just about any Beatles fan! The next day we went from the Mirage down to the Luxor Hotel stopping in just about every casino along the way. She wanted to show me the different sites which were pretty incredible. There were curb cuts all the way and every building was accessible. We had to take the tram a few times (sorry, I forget which stations) which was very accessible, very easy to use. That Friday, my friend surprised me with a helicopter ride. She booked it through Sundance helicopter tours which is located next to McCarran airport. Lori arranged a couple of guys (not Sundance staff) to help me onto the helicopter. The trip was approximately 1 1/2 hours and was amazing! I know it's not for everybody but if you have the means, go for it! I think she booked the $400 tour which also includes a limousine pickup from your hotel. We didn't need this as we'd had rented a minivan (and getting my ass into a limo would be a major PITA.) Check out http://www.sundancehelicopters.com/.

    The following day we'd planned on going to the West rim of the Grand Canyon to check out the sky bridge. We'd checked out the directions from the Mirage to the sky bridge a few days earlier and the directions seemed pretty easy and a fairly short ride. Unfortunately, we didn't print those directions. We got them from the concierge at the Mirage but these directions were wrong. They directed us to the Hoover dam and then on another 40 miles where we'd come across the West rim tour area. Thing is, the road was closed immediately after the Hoover dam so we had to turn around and take another route. By the time we got to the West rim, the tour was closed for the day. We were bummed for not being able to check out the sky bridge but we still got to check out some of the Hoover dam and got some gorgeous views of the canyon during our drive.

    We also went to Fremont Street one night and while we didn't spend much time there, the place sure looks like a blast with the light show on the arched ceiling and at the zip liners going by. I suppose it has its seedy side too, we saw a couple of male stripper types and some chick wearing nothing but pasties and a thong. The last day there we checked out Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden at the Mirage. This place is great, with lions, tigers, dolphins and parrots. It's a small place but you can get very close to the animals. Siegfried was there greeting guests the day we went.

    As I said, we'd rented a minivan from Wheelchair Getaways (http://www.wheelchairgetaways.com/fr...sdale/home.htm) and I definitely recommend them to anyone needing a rental van. We had to change our pickup and drop-off time several times and they were very accommodating, the van was in excellent condition and their prices were very reasonable.

    This was my first real vacation in over 20 years and my first time to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We really had a great time but there was so much more we wanted to do. Problem was I was dealing with bad constipation and was feeling a pressure sore coming on even before the trip which kind of put a damper on things, sucks being in bed at 11 PM when you're on vacation in Las Vegas! Anyway, I highly recommend Las Vegas and/or the Grand Canyon to anyone looking to get away. It's very accessible and there's ssooo much to do! The people seem very friendly too, much more open and not in a rush like here at home (in CT). My friend said she wanted to prove to me that traveling isn't as difficult as I'd thought and that I'd go on more trips in the future. It worked, I'm already looking into other places to go. I hope this helps others, now get out there and have fun!
    Dan G. in CT

  2. #2
    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like you had a really great time. I have thought about going to vegas, your story did help. Hope you get that sore cleared up quickly.

  3. #3
    How is the sore now?

  4. #4
    Thank you for the info! We're planning a week in April in Vegas and have rented a house. I appreciate your experiences as want to see and do as much as we can while there. I wasn't sure about the helicopter ride for my son but if he can lifted into it, we'll do it! Also, appreciate info as to whom to rent van from!

  5. #5
    Vegas is so fun be sure to go to the NY NY while there and go to the nine fine irishmen and get the chicken pot pie! It is faboulous.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  6. #6
    Has anyone rented a hoyer lift in Vegas? Would sooner rent from someplace recommended than guessing yellow pages. It would have to be delivered to a house, not hotel. Thanks for any suggestions.

  7. #7
    Senior Member powerwheels's Avatar
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    I was in Vegas for my first time too just 3 days later after you. Kinda crazy! I went from December 3-7 with a group of friends (13 in all including me) and was one hell of a time. It was the first time I had flew since my injury too which was way back in 2003. I don't know why I was so nervous to fly...because they make it very easy to transfer in and out of the isle chair and the stewardess go out of their way to make sure that I was comfortable. Actually, 1 of the stewardess' bought me a drink LOL. We stayed at Treasure Island and honestly don't have one complaint. Everything was so accessible. Treasure Island supplied me a hoyer lift, but I needed to bring my own net.

    I also went on the helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon and it was incredible. I never felt to small in my life when you are starring at the gigantic walls on each side of the helicopter. I went with the helicopter company Maverick though. My dad was able to left me in the helicopter but it's not the easiest left. The height of the doors was a bit of a struggle for my 5'8" dad...but we managed. I could believe how beautiful the colors of the mountains were.

    We spent an entire night at Fremont Street. That was the funnest night I had of the 4 nights I spent in Vegas. There's so much to look at and so many weird people to look at LOL. Craziest thing I seen was these 2 girls in probably their 60's or 70's that were dressed like nuns but had both their large breast hanging out. Not the prettiest picture. A couple of my buddies went on the huge zipline, that was fun to watch.

    Walking (or for me, driving in my powerchair) the strip was great. The Bellagio water fountain show was cool, and the Mirages' volcano was great too (especially at night when it was a bit cold, the fire felt so good It's impossible to see even 1/4 of all the hotels but tried to go in as many as I could to see what they all offered but Ceaser's Palace to me was the most impressive. It's so damn big. And how the hell do those curved escalators work. Boggled my mind.

    Saturday, December 6 I had booked tickets to a UFC event. There was a lot of great fights. They were at Mandalay Bay. Geez is there so many different conference rooms. And the aquarium was, like most things in Vegas, HUGE. Very impressive. I'd like to go back now or in the summer and check out the big fake beach. It looks awesome.

    But the best part of my time in Vegas was how wheelchair accessible everything. During my time there it almost felt like I was able to walk again because there honestly not a place I could go. If only the rest of the world was like that...

    I will have to go back again soon and continue to try and see what else I all missed.

  8. #8
    Appreciate all the info powerwheels, I can see my son partying on the strip, just like you!

  9. #9
    Senior Member powerwheels's Avatar
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    You're welcome timbits mom. No matter how old you are in Vegas, I really think it's impossible not to find fun. It really is one place in the world that age isn't important because there's something at any age that you'll be able to to enjoy

    But can I ask what level your son is? Or more simply, is he para or quad? If he's a quad and is looking for an amazing travel cammode/shower chair then I would strongly suggest buying one from http://goesanywhere.com/. I am not affiliated with the company WHATSOVER but their chairs are amazing. The chairs are made to travel with and are so easy to put together. And they're so comfortable
    Last edited by powerwheels; 04-16-2015 at 05:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timbits mom View Post
    Has anyone rented a hoyer lift in Vegas? Would sooner rent from someplace recommended than guessing yellow pages. It would have to be delivered to a house, not hotel. Thanks for any suggestions.
    Timbits,The Bellagio has some HP rooms with the lifts and tracks already in the ceiling. The track goes from the bed right into the bathroom. I believe you just have to make arrangements with them to get the sling (or maybe bring your own....not sure).

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