Journey in Las Vegas
December 29, 2000 thru January 03, 2001
(photos have not yet been scanned for this)

Dec 29, 2000:

Tracy got up around 4:00am to get ready for our 6:30am flight. I got up around 4:30am. We arrived at the airport, with plenty of time to spare. They boarded us on the plane so that we could take off on time, and then we sat at the gate for an additional 90 minutes waiting to be de-iced. After finally being de-iced we got to take off. Several people were concerned about their connecting flights, including us. When we got to Denver, we rushed off the plane and headed to our gate. Luckily our connecting flight was late coming in and we got to board.

We were getting tired and couldn't wait to get to the hotel to check in. After getting to the hotel, our room wasn't going to be ready till 3:00pm. We were disappointed but understood. We left our luggage with the bellmen and headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel to meet up with some of Tracy's friends, who were in town for the Styx's Show. We had lunch and talked for about 2 hours. During that time our waitress came over and told us that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were at the hotel, but we never saw them. We then headed back to our hotel. We got back there about 2:30pm.
Our room was not yet ready, so we sat in the lounge till 3:00pm. I went back up to the desk and it still wasn't ready. The clerk called housekeeping to see if they could do that room next. So, we waited till 3:30pm, and we were in a pissy tired mood. The room still wasn't ready, housekeeping was down at the front desk and said that that room was trashed and it was going to take a couple of hours to clean. This was unacceptable to me. He looked for another room to give us, but they were either not clean or already rented. I finally said downgrade us back to the Garden rooms; we just wanted a room. He said that I wouldn't be happy with that style of room, but I didn't care I was just tired.

He was right, after we got in the room, we were not happy. The room was unacceptable, and I’m not that picky. We finally got a hold of a hotel manager, to help us. They gave us a room in the Tower Island that was a Queen and a sofa bed. Since sofa beds are not comfortable to sleep on I told them that we would need a Rollaway, and that it would be at no extra charge. They agreed. And we also got dinner and drinks for 2, free for that night.

After we finally got up to the room we collapsed. We then unpacked and went down for dinner, we weren't all that hunger. After we got back up to the room, we were in bed by 7:30pm and a sleep.

Dec 30, 2000

We woke up around 6:30am. We had rested and were ready to go. We went down to breakfast around 9:30. After that we were ready for another nap, but we decided to head over to Mandalay Bay. We wanted to see where the Event Center was, and how to get there. They now have a tram that goes between Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay. We walked around Mandalay Bay till we found what we thought was Red Square Restaurant. We decided that we would have dinner there that night. We then found the event center; it was near the restaurant.

We didn't spot any of the guys and Rindell, Journey’s tour manager, was somewhere in the event center, so we decided to go shopping. Tracy wanted to hit the Chanel store at the Bellagio. As we walked up the strip; we hit the M&M store, the Coke store and then the Chanel shop. We then went back to the room and took our time getting ready for the show. We headed back to Mandalay Bay around 5:30pm. We were seated right away at the restaurant, which we later discovered was not Red Square but 3950. After we were seated I went downstairs and picked up our aftershow passes. During our dinner LeeAnn Rimes and friends came in and were seated in the back corner of the restaurant.

Then while we were eating our main course, Jonathan and a friend walk in and sit down at the bar. He didn't spot us but we spotted him. I went over and said "Hi". We chatted for a bit and he introduced me to his friend Lenny. I then went back and sat down so he could enjoy some peace and quiet. A little bit later on I could tell that he was talking about us to a waiter. He told the waiter that he wanted to buy us a round of drinks. That waiter came over to our waiter and said, "The gentleman at the end of the bar would like to buy a round of drinks for these two ladies." Our waiter, "Which gentleman?" "The one on the end with the long hair." Tracy goes, "That's our friend Jonathan Cain of Journey." We had being discussing the Journey show earlier with him. And it always comes out that we know the band. But like most people they just don't believe us. So he was impressed that we were telling the truth. We were just about done, and we were going to thank him on our way out, but he left before we could thank him. We found out later that all they order was a salad and it took too long to get there, so they left without eating.

We headed over to the event center and found our seats. We were on the floor about 1/3 of the way back. While we were sitting there we kept looking at this one really cute blonde guy, and thinking that we should know him. Tracy finally asked the guy next to her who that guy was, and they said "David Spade". We were like “that isn't David Spade”. They said the guy in the baseball cap was David Spade. We were like okay, but what about the cute blonde guy with him. They didn't know. David Spade was 4 rows in front of us. There was this one girl who kept bothering him during the show and they finally threw her out.

REO Speedwagon was first and they were good, but I was ready for Journey. During the set change I spotted Liz, Barb and Madison walking out and taking their seats; so we knew the show was getting ready to start. They were filming the show that night for a new Journey DVD and for a Direct TV special. It was going to be interesting to see how the filming was going to be done. We had found out that they ran through the entire show the night before and filmed that one also. That way they would have two tracks to edit from. All the guys looked great. The show consisted of the Greatest Hits plus La Raza Del Sol, Message of Love, Higher Place, All the Way and Intro to Live and Breathe. They had a large screen behind them that had a lot of special effects on it, it was really cool. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out and for it to be on Direct TV.

They finished with Faithfully, and left the stage one by one during the Whoa-oo's. I do believe they did the same thing in Central America. We made our way over to where Liz and the family were sitting. Present were Liz (Jonathan's Wife), Barb (Liz's Mom), Madison (Jonathan's Daughter), Tyra (Jonathan's Brother's Wife), Ayla and Brittany (Jonathan's Niece's), a friend of Madison's and a couple who are friend's with Jon and Liz, the guy was Lenny and his wife. We then waited with everyone else for the aftershow. While standing in line, we started talking to a couple behind us and found out that he was/is an old friend of Steve's from Brooklyn. After we finally got into the room Rindell pulled Tracy and me out of line and told us we could mingle with the families till the guys got done with the line. I spotted Deen's wife Julie first and then Neal's fiancée' Amber next, then Steve's wife Lydia last. We got hugs, kisses and warm welcomes from them all. Of course we asked Amber about the wedding plans. It's going to be in the spring and very elegant.

After the room cleared and the guys got done; we got our kisses, hugs and warm welcomes from them. Neal was the first over and then Deen and then Jonathan came over with Madison at his side. We then got to thank him for the drink he bought us in the restaurant. There wasn't much time to do a lot of talking they had to get back up to the room and get the kids to sleep. They had an early luggage call for going to Phoenix. Jonathan asked if we were taken care of for the next night and I assured him that we were well taken care of. Steve came over with a bag of bread that his friend had brought him, he was offering the bread to everyone and we indulged ourselves. We were so hunger after the show. We took the tram back to the hotel and went to bed.

Dec 31, 2000

We got up and left for the airport around 9:30am. We arrived safe in Phoenix and headed to the hotel. We just chilled in the room and got some Macho Nacho's for lunch. We had 5:30pm dinner reservations at the Hyatt in the Compass Room, it is at the top of the Hyatt and it rotates. I had to eat there. We were a little late for the reservation but for us that's normal. But we did look fantastic! I was disappointed with the dinner; it was a little too fancy for me. I would have been happier with a pizza. And Tracy discovered that she doesn't handle rotating restaurants very well. She was surprised at that.

We made our way over to the arena, got our passes and tickets and found our seats. Our seats were over with the families. The show was the same as the night before. I did however get to photograph the first three songs of this show from the pit and then I shot the rest of the show from my seat. They timed the encore to be around midnight and the families went up on stage and they toasted to the New Year with their loved ones. After the show ended; we waited and went backstage. I pulled Tracy and myself out of the line so that we could talk to Jonathan after the meet and greet was over. Tracy and I were talking and all of the sudden I hear my name. I was being paged by Deen.

He was seating at the table and called me over to say "Hi" and give me a hug and kiss. Then I got the same from Neal and Tracy got her Deen hug and kiss. By then the line had started and we went back over and sat down. Rindell came over to make sure that we were okay and we got a hug and kiss from him as well. After the line was done, Jonathan came over and we discussed some web stuff, and his CD and the new tour. I also wanted a picture of him and I together, and we also did one with Jon and Tracy. Jon mentioned that one of the pictures that I took of him would be on the new T-shirt. He and Liz didn't like any of the pictures that were taken, so Liz pulled out one of mine and suggested that they use that one and they are. Woo Hoo!!! (This is a secret till the shirt comes out.)

Jon's brother Hal was there at the show. I thanked Liz for the gloves that they got me for Christmas. They were exactly the type I was looking for. Then Rindell came in and said that they needed to get everyone to the van. We said our good-byes. I then also said goodbye to Steve and his wife Lydia. We then started back toward the hotel. I had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot. My feet were so swollen!!! They were blown up like balloons. We got into the hotel elevator, the doors closed and Tracy and I looked at each other and just busted out in laughter. Neither one of us knew what floor we were on. We knew our room floor in Vegas, but not here. We had to go back down to the front desk and ask. We fell asleep pretty fast. We had to be back at the Phoenix airport by 10:30 the next morning.

Jan 1, 2001

It was a somber day. We got to the airport and then back to Las Vegas on time. After we got back to the room in Vegas we decided that we need a 20 minute nap. The nap turned into a 2 hour nap. We then got up showered and headed to the Island Buffet; they have really good prime rib. After that we went to the Hard Rock Hotel for dessert, great milkshakes, and a little gambling. And then we went back to the hotel and got ready for bed. We were in bed by 8:00pm again. This was very much a sleeping trip.

Jan 2, 2001

Today is really the first day that we felt relaxed, we didn’t have to be anywhere at any time. We ate breakfast in the Calypso restaurant. We went back up to the room to decide what we wanted to do for the rest of the day. We decided to go see a show, At the Copa with David Cassidy and Sheena Easton. We called and got tickets. I wanted to ship some things home so that I wouldn't have to carry them in the airport, so we went and got a box, I packed my clothes and they shipped it out for me. Then we headed over to Mandalay Bay. I wasn't feeling too good. I had a cough that I could not get rid of. I needed some Dayquil and Mandalay Bay was the only place we found any. We had to get some for Tracy on Saturday.

We then went to the Luxor; I wanted to see the King Tut Museum. We finally got tickets and went through the museum. We were disappointed in it. I thought it was going to have original items and be more in depth then what it was. We then headed down to the casino part. We played a few machines. I wasn't having any luck, so I went and sat next to Tracy. She was playing a nickel slot machine and won a bonus race. She ended up winning $151.00. Woo Hoo!!!! She was a happy camper.

We then headed to Excalibur. We didn't have much luck there, so we headed back to our hotel. We got ready to go to the Rio for the show and dinner. We had dinner at the Mexican restaurant in the Rio. And then went down to be seated for the show. David and Sheena were really good in the show. And it turns out that David is retiring from that show soon. So it was a real treat to be able to see him perform in it. We got back to our hotel and as we were going up to the room we decided to see what kind of luck we'd have here. Tracy did okay and so did I. I hit $10.00 and cashed it in. On the way up to the room I bought a bottle of Nyquil with my winnings.

Once we got back up to the room we packed up and made our wake up call for 4:30am, we had a 7:10am flight.

Jan 3, 2001

I felt like crap!! We get to the airport okay, but I couldn't stop coughing. Cough drops weren't really helping. We get boarded and luckily there is no one in the middle seat so we had the row to ourselves. I try and sleep hoping that I can curve the coughing that way. I slept a little. We landed in Denver, luckily we didn't have to switch planes. We take off a little late, we waited for a connecting flight to get in. I slept more on that one and did a little less coughing, but I started to feel worse. By the time we landed in Chicago I was in a pissy mood. We called for the shuttle to come pick us up, we had to make two more phone calls, and then 40 minutes later our shuttle arrived and took us to the hotel, where we left the car. We get back there and we have to unbury the car. I then drove Tracy home. After dropping her off, I headed home. I made it home in good time. But kept feeling worse and worse. I finally got home and I got everything in, in one trip, I took my temperature, 100.8. Ouchie!!! I took a dose of Nyquil and veggied. I felt better after Nash Bridges, so I figured that I would finish typing this. So there it is in a nutshell. The trip had its up’s and down’s, but overall, well worth it.