Sayonara Macau, Viva Los Angeles!
I was deep in sleep, dreaming that there was an earthquake when I woke up with a jolt this morning to the peircing sounds of "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUSEKEEEEEPING!". As much as it scared the bejeesus outta me, I was darn glad she woke me up as it was 11AM on the nose - check out time! Fortunately, I packed up most of my crap the previous night so the exit scramble was more about getting my bearings straight than having to undo a disaster.
I bounced out of the room and down to reception. Have I mentioned that there is no video check out at any of the hotels I've been to? You actually have to go down to reception, stand in line with a bunch of other departees, go over your bill, sign some forms, pay, sign some more forms, sign another form if you used anything from the mini bar, then sign another form that states that you've signed all the forms submitted to you. There is an express checkout option wherein you write your contact information, credit card particulars and a few other details on an index card sized form and drop it in the express check out. If that isn't identity theft waiting to happen, I don't know what is.
I headed over to concierge to send out the pile of post cards I had spent the prior evening addressing. I was so tired when I did em that I'm going to have to apologize in advance to those who get them about the nonsense contained therein, not to mention the poor penmanship. Postage for each card cost HK$6 each. Yikes.
After I was done with the concierge I made my way out the door of Venetian Macao, completing my tour of Macau's casinos. I had originally planned to hit the last two before I headed to the ferry terminal. Upon the advice of Mrs. Mo via IM, I decided to let the research portion of this adventure go and start thinking about getting home to document it. I promise to go to Galaxy Grand Waldo when I return to Macau after the Cotai Strip is all built up, probably around 2010.
I dragged my bags through the lobby that lacks bell hops, out to the taxi line and straight into a cab to the Ferry. I managed to get tickets for a First Macau Ferry that was leaving in about a half hour, plenty of time to glide through immigration and drag my crap to the sloop. The ferry trip was quick but the water got rough once we got into Hong Kong harbor. Exiting onto the ferry pontoon reminded me of the scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Gonzo walk all rubber legged into Circus-Circus in the midst of their ether binge. Everyone was zigzagging from side to side of the gang plank.
Once inside the terminal I spotted a Starbucks and hoped it would make up for the lousy cup of drip I got at the Wynn Macau casino's Starbucks. I grabbed my joe and found a comfy chair that had a view of the ferry terminal/mall. Deeeep breath. My Macau adventure, has physically ended although the journey has in some ways only just begun. I've tried as hard as possible to document this trip, from the initial conception through to research and eventually execution. Hopefully some folks out there will find some of this information useful when planning their Macau trips. If so, I'd love to hear from you after you come back to exchange stories and trade tips. If you're going to Macau and want some advice, I'm your man. You can email me (charles@*thisdomain*.com) and I'll be happy to answer any and all questions.
Yeah, the trip portion may be done, but that does not mean the blog stops here. I've still got a hundred more stories, reviews and tips to post as well as writing all the full on reviews of the rooms of the five hotels i've stayed at and some of the restaurants or other oddball things I've stumbled across. Eventually, this blog will transform into a Macau centric news, site updates, the occasional photos and perhaps another trip to Macau.
I've got a wake up call at 4am so I can get to the airport early enough to stock up on booze from the duty free. Flight leaves at 8:15am Friday HK time and will arrive at 9:20AM Friday PT in Los Angeles. I'll probably write a couple of stories while on the plane and post those before my head explodes when I get home.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who've been sending messages to me via email, IM, and blog comments... it's been a great time going on this trip together. In a lot of ways, I feel that y'all have been my Verizon-style "network" - a posse of virtual travel partners that have kept me from losing my mind between the language barriers and cultural isolation. Thank you!
I'll see y'all on the other side of the world.
Signing off from Hong Kong,