Las Vegas Stratosphere Hotel

USA West Coast Tour | 2012

USA West Coast Tour (2012)

We went to USA together as 4 friends in 2012. One of our friends had to go back to Turkey earlier than us in August, so we were left only 3 people for our vacation time. Since I have already traveled on the east coast in my work and travel adventure in 2010, I was thinking to travel nowhere but the west coast. Besides, we were working in New Jersey all summer and we had the chance to visit close states like New York and Philadelphia a few times already. There was no need for an east coast tour.

In 2010, we bought a 5 day tour to travel east coast. It was really mesmerizing. We have seen many old structures, museums and important landmarks but there was a little problem catching up with the tour. We couldn’t spend enough time in many locations. We were like running around all the time. So, I have decided to rent a car, book the hotels we want and travel freely.

Our Program:

You can see our program above. We bought our round trip flight tickets (Philadelphia – Las Vegas) from Expedia. Hotels were booked through Expedia and Booking. For the car rental, we listened to our experienced friends in Wildwood and rented the car from Fox Rent a Car.


  • 07-10.09.2012 – Las Vegas

The Stratosphere Hotel Las Vegas USA

The Stratosphere Hotel Las Vegas USA

We went to Philadelphia from Wildwood by bus and headed to the airport. Our 4-5 hours US Airways flight departured at 20:35 and landed to Las Vegas at around 22:48. Again used the shuttles to get to our hotel. Our hotel was the Stratosphere Hotel and it was located in the beginning of the famous Las Vegas Strip with LA’s tallest 350 meters tower. As all Las Vegas strip hotels has, our hotel had casino aswell. As soon as you step into the hotel, you are between the slot machines, roulette and blackjack tables. Since we arrived to our hotel after midnight, we stayed around the hotel and checked the casino inside the hotel a bit.

Our first LV day plan was to walk along the Las Vegas Strip and check all the casinos one by one. We started from the left side and turned back from the right side. We woke up a little later than we expected and started our trip at around 10 am. In USA, everything is HUGE. It was really taking some time to check out the casinos, play games and walk between the casinos. We were able to reach to Mandalay Bay which is at the end of the strip just before sunset. When you enter the casinos, your sense of time disappears. Some casinos are connected to each other from the inside and you are stuck inside for hours without seeing any daylight. Casinos are full of light and some of them are designed to look like regular sky so that you don’t know how long you have been inside.

On the way back, we continued our trip in the legendary casinos of Las Vegas and watched famous water shows and theaters from Bellagio and Mirage. Being the cheap students, we fed ourselves from mc donalds and subway during the day. When we turned back to hotel it was already after midnight and we went to top of the tower to see the awesome Las Vegas night view. Our little journey started at 10 am and ended at 2-3 am the next day after walking at least 14-15 hours. We also ended up exhausted.

As we have seen all the casinos on our first day, we were relaxed to know that we can spend time to other things. We were swimming at the pool, watching people freefall from the 350 meter tower. In the afternoon, we also went to top of the tower and tried the atractions there. It was a really exciting experience to do those atractions at that height.

In our last night in Las Vegas, we went to the car rental office near the airport to get our already reserved car. At first, they didn’t want to approve my driving license and denied to give our car. Then a supervisor involved to our problem and checked the license himself. In the end we were right. They also had to upgrade our car to an SUV instead of a sedan because they didn’t have any sedan class car. After taking the car, we went to walmart to buy a GPS device and a few more things to eat during our journey.

Chevrolet Traverse

Since we came back to hotel really late, we just slept and rested for the journey.

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Gopro Hero 4 Black Edition

GoPro Replacement Customer Support | International

Gopro Logo

GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition

International GoPro Replacement


I love taking photos with my DSLR (Canon 550D), I have a few accessories and they help me try different techniques every time. Yet, they were not enough to take photos or videos in extreme conditions like dusty, rainy and also underwater ones. I was going snorkeling and wanted to capture those awesome Red Sea corals with thousands of fish swimming with us. So, I had to choose between buying an underwater case for my DSLR which costs more than $1.500 or an action cam for 1/3 of the other ones price. Of course you can find very cheap cameras for less specifications but I wanted to buy the best option I could. In the end, I bought a GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition from amazon USA. They shipped my order to Aramex NY office along with other accessories I bought with and Aramex shipped them to me, to Saudi Arabia.


In my first video trial, it stopped recording after 25 seconds when I went to a darker room. I looked up what the problem could be and found out that there was a newer firmware (v02.00.00). So, I updated as soon as I could and still the images and videos weren’t as good as I expected. I was thinking that could be the most with a 12 mp camera. I still wanted to see the underwater performance. The first 2 -3 weekends camera seemed to be working near normal and I was able to capture the beauty of Red Sea. Sometimes it was freezing but turning it off and on would solve the problem. Then it started to freeze completely. I couldn’t take a single shot in my last two trips. So, I decided to check more into fixing the problem. I tried to factory reset but it was impossible since I can’t even go to setup menu because of the freezing. Many people had this problem and they replaced their GoPro. I shot a video before sending it to replacement.

Last option was to call customer service. Here you can find the summary of the gopro replacement procedure:

  • 12.06.2015 Call to GoPro Customer Service

It took about 20 minutes and I have been asked to perform a few things to bring the camera back to life. Non of the troubleshoot options worked and I was told that I needed a replacement. There was a little problem though… I bought it from amazon USA and I was living Saudi Arabia but it wasn’t an issue for GoPro. I gave them my e-mail address and asked them to send me a test e-mail while I was still on the phone in case there was a problem with the spelling.

Customer Service Numbers

  • 12.06.2015 Providing Documents

I received e-mails about the support case and asked to provide the documents below:

  1. Photo/Scan of the purchase receipt (It was the pdf I prepared from my amazon order reciepts) (To see if the camera is within the warranty period)
  2. Camera’s 14 digit serial number located on the white sticker inside the battery compartment (Starting with “C3).
  3. Your replacement address:

Street Address
State or Province
Postal code
Phone number

  • 13.06.2015 Receiving Return Auth. # and Shipping Details

You will receive a return authorization number and another e-mail about the shipping details after they confirm your warranty details and the serial number. You will need to print the return auth. # e-mail and be sure to attach it to your shipping. After receiving the return auth. number, you have 14 days to transport the camera.

  • 17.06.2015 Sending the Product

Please send ONLY items listed on the RMA form. For example, if you are sending a camera, do not send the housing, battery or other accessories unless otherwise specified. My problem was with only camera so I sent only the camera. No battery, no housing or anything else. YOU MUST REFERENCE YOUR RMA# ON THE PACKAGE. You will probably have 3 options for the shipping address.

Americas Europe Asia
GoPro Returns
2111 Eastridge Ave
Riverside, CA
92507 USA
GoPro Returns
Smakterweg 100
5804 AM Venray
The Netherlands
GoPro Returns
51 Ubi Avenue 3

From Saudi Arabia, I was asked to ship my camera to the Netherlands. It took only 5 days with FedEx including the weekend. I informed them with an e-mail that the shipping was received in Netherlands.

  • 25.06.2015 Last Update from GoPro

Got an e-mail stating that they processed my return and the replacement one should be on its way to me shortly. I was actually expecting a tracking code and didn’t think they actually shipped it but I received my GoPro after 5 days on June 30th, 2015.


In conclusion, all replacement process took 18 days. It could even be shorter if I was able to ship it earlier. My regards to Ms. Suzanne from customer service.

You can find more details about the warranty and replacement at Support page.