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I went on vacation! Part 2

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Jul. 30th, 2007 | 07:35 pm
mood: okayokay

Nevada

When I last left the saga, we had just left Denver and were headed to Las Vegas. So, this entry is about Las Vegas.





Still on Monday, June 11, Sam and I flew from Denver to Las Vegas on Frontier, which rules and should take over some legacy airlines and impose their fabulousness on them. We were seated in an aisle and middle, with a woman and a very unhappy baby in the window seat, but it was a decent ride otherwise. We waited a while for our baggage, confirmed that the giant bottle of vodka we'd bought in Denver wasn't broken, and then awayed to the taxi line. Our cab driver was very pleasant, and didn't tunnel us either! Our base of operations for the first two nights was the Flamingo, so we wound our way through perpetual traffic and into the gloriously tacky Flamingo driveway. I wish I'd taken photos of it!


Flamingo. Toni Braxton is the current headline perfomer/opaque blocker of everyone's Strip views.


We checked in, assumed we had the correct room, then went up to the 17th floor to discover two double beds instead of a king-size bed. Thus, it was back downstairs to argue with the staff, which Sam did quite well. I pretty much just stood aside and looked pissed off, and eventually they just gave us a mini-suite on the 28th floor so we would go away. :D


Our room, with a bonus me looking awkward.



Two plasma TVs right next to each other. Because they can.



Bed area



TV in the bathroom mirror :D



So we skipped around the room for a little while, then awayed to get some dinner. And when you're on the Las Vegas Strip and have been traveling all day, I recommend eating at a very large buffet. So we went to the Spice Market Buffet at the Aladdin Planet Hollywood and ate our faces off. I definitely appreciated the grape leaves and hummus, but almost lost my life trying to get to the crab legs and shrimp. :( Some people really want their seafood.


Planet Hollywood casino. Check out homegirl on the right.


Following that, I took Sam on a tour of the South Strip properties (mainly MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur), then he gambled some and we called it a night.

On Tuesday, June 12, we reluctantly got out of our awesome bed and zombie-walked it on down to the Flamingo pool. I'd known that we should have gotten there right when it opened due to the unreasonable amount of people, but we did manage to find chairs anyway, and I enjoyed my anti-social tanning time while reading a book, and Sam did a little swimming. We then showered and went out to tour some more and have lunch. The latter occurred at the Venetian's cafe, which is run by the same people as the Cheesecake Factory, so we had ridiculously large entrees to eat. There were great, though, and Sam had a strawberry margarita to go along with it. Here are pictures of the touring:


New Venetian tower. Soon to be the biggest hotel in the world.



Sam at The Venetian's entrance



Wynn, behind the Fashion Show Mall


The mall was certainly one place we wanted to see. We looked through Zara, which was much cleaner than during my last trip there, and I bought a pair of brown shorts (the clothes were also much less cool than my last trip).

Later on we showered and went out to my favorite steakhouse for dinner, Mon Ami Gabi! :D In addition to having amazing steaks and creamed spinach, it is directly across the street from the Bellagio fountains. So we watched those over dinner and it was wonderful, although I did not try the DIY Bloody Mary bar.

Then, because I am Mr. Rogers, we went back to our room, changed clothes again, and headed out to downtown Las Vegas. We rode The Deuce bus with 34,352 other tourists, and it was the slowest public transportation I have ever seen. It is cool that it's available, at least. (On a somewhat related note, I would like to commend the owners of the Las Vegas Monorail, which is actually not run by any government entity, for making such a useless POS that did nothing to alleviate traffic.) Heee. Anyway, we eventually made it downtown, courtesy of our very patient bus driver, and started touring casinos and watching the light show.


Fremont Street



Light show. LG builds neat things.


Sam eventually decided on a place to play poker, so I went off to get a giant margarita, play a few slots, and wander around. In general, I'm glad that the really old casinos are still around, 'cause they just have a different vibe than the Strip, but OMG it is a sketchy place. A couple of hours later, as we waited for the bus back to the Flamingo, and some random guy puked between his feet while waiting. Yay fun. Also, there were lots of 40-something people on the bus talking about how they got free Godiva liqueur as a comp from their hotels. One of the guys was in town for a billiard tournament. I wanna be in a line of work that forces me to be in Vegas sometimes! (I actually may attend the American Planning Association conference next year. It's in Vegas. Delicious coincidence.)

On Wednesday, June 13 it was time to change hotels; we bid the Toni Braxton posters and pink walls goodbye and headed across the street to the Bellagio! Our check-in clerk (seriously one of 20 on hand at 11 a.m.) was awesome and addressed us so formally that she whipped up my random love of being formal so much that our conversation ended up like this:

Bellagio Lady: Mr. Tarr, would you like another key for your guest?
Me: Yes, a key for Mr. Bickett would be lovely.
Bellagio Lady: Absolutely. *whaps her key machine*

Haha. Anyway, we dropped our stuff in our 9th floor room and headed out to see more stuff. We tried to find a sushi place but settled on the Cravings buffet at the Mirage, which does have sushi, although not necessarily world class. I managed to stuff myself again, and didn't get murdered trying to get some shrimps, so I call it a success.


View from our room



Fountain madness



Bellagio lobby ceiling. Random memory: the last time I was in Las Vegas, I sat on one of those couches at 3 a.m. while blasted drunk and just stared at the glass sculptures while a team of housekeepers polished the floor around me. :)


Still armed with our 24-hour bus passes, we then headed out in the ridiculous heat to go outlet mall shopping! The bus was slightly faster as the traffic hadn't gotten completely terrible yet, and we switched at the very nice South Strip Transfer Station t o the outlet mall bus, and then spent a few hours rifling through many stores. I didn't find anything in the end, but Sam got cool stuff like blue shorts. We then waited for the return bus in the heat and collapsed for a while.


The back of the famous sign. Sorry, substance1977, I couldn't get the front. :(



Outside of the outlet mall



Eventually, we moseyed on down to dinner at the Bellagio Cafe, which unfortunately did not have very good food or service, but did have keno so there were blinking numbers in every direction. Bleh. There was a nice view of the pool, though. After that we went out to see yet more things, and I'll just let the photos tell the story here:


The Mirage mirage. As much as I may like Cirque du Soleil or The Beatles, I really wish they would have peeled that crap off the windows.



Wynn





The weird pirate show at Treasure Island. I swear it wasn't as lame 3 years ago. (Still, they managed to fit in lots of seaman jokes, hahaha.)


Following that, we split up and Sam went off to risk his money (and safety! :P) at the New Frontier. I played a few penny slots at Paris, then went to buy gifts for people and mixers for our vodka. Then I got sloshed, and filled a bath for when Sam returned. And even though we didn't have a suite at Bellagio, it was still the best night of the trip.

Thursday, June 14 was our departure day. We packed up all of our new junk and got a cab to the airport. Our driver told us rumors about the new Venetian tower, and then we ran away to the check-in counters of US Airways. And I gotta say, if you pay $60 for a two-segment ticket, I guess you should not expect to get much. But check-in was too small for the number of flights going out, and we had a long and not fun security wait. We had some lunch at the Burger King (which I've since learned got a C sanitation grade! Ha! Please close it, LAS!) and then left.




Watching the fountains at sunset



Repainting the sky at Planet Hollywood


I was sad that it was such a short trip, but I know that I'll be back, and there will be more buffets to destroy. :)

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Comments {4}

Christina

i like scrubs

from: cllort
date: Jul. 31st, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
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the televisions kick ass in that room. and the one in the bathroom...wow.

seeing those pics and reading about it reminded me of the time you and i ate at the buffet in vegas...i had so much shrimp and steak!

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jonathan

Re: i like scrubs

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 31st, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that trip was awesome! And that was the only other time I'd been to Vegas, so I planned this one based on what we did that time (buffets and all!).

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zobra

(no subject)

from: zobra
date: Jul. 31st, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
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ahh las vegas...

there's something uniquely special about hotels. great post

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jonathan

(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 31st, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, they're pretty crazy there. Which is why I took so many photos. :)

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