The first time I recall going to Las Vegas was when I was in college. I traveled with my band friends (Something Blue) to go see Crosby, Stills, and Nash at Caesar’s Palace. We stayed in the Palace and I got to meet David Crosby. It was an excellent trip.
The next time I was there, I was with my parents and we stayed somewhere not on the strip. We were on our way to Tahoe to a medical convention or something. Also a fun trip, but with less glitz.
This time, as a more-adult adult, I went with my SO. Everything looked new. Even Caesar’s Palace.
First, though, on our trip, we went to Hoover Dam. Here’s what I wrote in my travel journal:
Drove to Boulder/Hoover Dam. Lots of stairs. Took the power plant tour because the dam tour (which goes into the dam) was sold out and the next one wasn’t until several hours later. CWB still wants to go into the dam. The tour was interesting and thankfully short. The entire complex has Art Deco style. Very pretty and amazing. There was a small plaza with astronomical features set into the ground depicting the night sky on the opening day of the dam. The water level of Lake Mead was very low. The tour guide indicated that was because of the severe drought that Nevada and the West is in, but I also suspect that the increased water drain from Los Angeles has something to do with it. CWB mentioned that in the Fallout New Vegas PC game, you have to convince the people holding the Hoover Dam to turn the lights on for Las Vegas. Post apocalyptic goodness.
Las Vegas – Stayed at the Luxor. The check-in line was an hour long – bleck. But the interior and exterior are cool – pyramid and Egyptian, with a touch of Mayan. Our room looked out at the main obelisk and sphinx, where the tram from Mandalay Bay runs. We have food at Tequila & Tacos. The margarita was sweet, per CWB. I had a Paloma that was okay. The food was very tasty. Then we walked around. The Blue Man group and Carrot Top play at the Luxor – CWB wanted (jokingly) to see Carrot Top. Not my thing. Chris Angel Mindfreak was also playing. I said Mindfuck by accident and recalled the Supernatural TV episode titled “Chris Angel is a douche bag.” A little later we learned that the Mindfreak show is Chris Angel doing magic along with Cirque du Soleil, so it’s probably a really good show. The Luxor has a Titanic relic exhibition and one called Bodies, that showed bodies missing flesh (we’d both seen the original of that type of show so we didn’t need to repeat). We went walking “down the strip” to get to the Mirage to see LOVE – a Beatles Cirque du Soleil show at 7pm. We got lost and ended up on the outside of the strip (Frank Sinatra Drive) – with no access to the interior. We walked and walked and ended up at Caesar’s Palace in the Forum Mall (which is huge). Got lost in there. Then we finally found the Mirage, we were 15 minutes late for the show. So we got our tickets changed to the later show (the ticket sales associate was awesome) and had to spend and hour and a half in the casino. I spent $20 on the slot machines and didn’t win anything. Slots are no longer coin based, so the experience is lacking. I could have bet and lost that much from home in the nude sitting on my couch.
LOVE the show – excellent lighting, clear sound, talented acrobats. CWB’s favorite part was the girl/guy on the trapeze and the VW bug that came apart and the filigree bug – and the sheet. There was a sheet that came out and covered 1/2 the audience, like one of those parachute things we played with as kids. It had projected cool projected patterns on it. Another amazing thing was the roller skaters and their acrobatics. All very cool.
I also liked the visual effect where a projected image of a man dissolved into a swirl. There was a jellyfish scene with people flying about as jellyfish, which would have been creepy as ghosts, and a Hindu dressed guy who could pop out his shoulders from their sockets – crazy. An excellent show.
We found the monorail and tram after that – and rode home, much easier than the walk there.
The Luxor has elevators that move sideways.
Sunday. We got up late (for us) and I had a smoothie (not so good) and a crepe (too sweet) for breakfast. Went through the Mandalay Bay Shoppes to Mandalay Bay proper and to the Shark Aquarium, which was cool. Also attached was an arctic exhibit that was okay. Returned to the Luxor and got the car. Went to the Atomic Missile Museum, which was interesting. More Fallout references from CWB. Returned to the hotel, had lunch at RiRa – an Irish pub in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes. The plan after that was to take a nap and get up and go see the Bellagio waterfall and have a fancy steak dinner. We never got up.
So – Monday morning (MLK Day holiday) we ate at the Luxor buffet for breakfast. I expected something lavish. It wasn’t: not much choice and the food was not amazing. We drove home.
I had a good time in Las Vegas and if I return, I’d like to see other things and stay at a different hotel (maybe closer to the main strip area). The trip was very expensive. Las Vegas used to be affordable. Now everything, including little things, are cost prohibitive. For example, I got blisters on my feet from walking. A box of normal bandages was $8. Granted that was in the hotel shop but really? for bandages? Every meal was close to $40 per person, especially if you had alcohol. So the “quick trip” to Vegas for the weekend is out. It is now something we have to save up for. Sigh.