Kats (wildrider) wrote,

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Leaving Las Vegas

And so ends another Vegas Vacation. And quite the busy one, as well.

There is no "most busy day" in Las Vegas. Every day of the week is pretty much exactly like every other day, Saturday to Saturday. There really isn't even any less busy TIME, although very early in the mornings is pretty light. The crowds are pretty decent, on the whole, and only once in a while did I run into flat-out annoying, rude people. Mostly people seem to be happy in Las Vegas, quite apart from the old "suicide-jumpers" ideas. But then, I don't hang out at the tables much.

Things I saw:
One morning at the Cafe Bellagio I saw a man who was an absolute dead ringer for Alton Brown, only about twenty years older - same hair, same glasses, same face, just greyer and a little more lined. I tried not to keep staring at him.

The Cirque de Soleil show O is worth $150 a ticket. Seriously. It was probably the most impressive staging of anything I've ever seen, anywhere. The performers were naturally amazing, but the water, the moving stage, the set pieces, the entries - I mean, you're looking at a vast lake on the stage and suddenly people come up from the water. Or they dive out of sight and never come up (at least, not where you can see them). Then the lake disappears as the stage rises and the acrobats seem to walk on water - or it becomes astoundingly deep as divers drop from the overhead catwalks straight down in. It was amazing. (It's cheaper to buy the CDs and such online, at the Cirque de Soleil store, rather than at the hotels, BTW. Even with postage.)

After trekking up and down the Strip for a week, I came to the conclusion that overall, the Bellagio is the nicest hotel (at least, for the relatively common throng - the Wynn is a step above, even); the restaurants are lovely, if expensive (the Buffet is second to MGM in price, but we didn't eat there; Todd English's Olives is a high class, relatively affordable gourmet restaurant with top-notch service, great drinks, and food so delicious it almost defies description); the staff is wonderfully courteous; it has by far and away the nicest overall spa; and the little shops, including the lovely Jean Philippe Chocolatier, which has the wonderful fountains of chocolate (pictured below, if I can get the camera to cooperate - otherwise, pictures on next entry... I'll do that anyway, since I have to size them). On the other hand, the Mirage has the better pool (I think), and it also has lions, tigers, and dolphins (oh my!). Those I have many pictures of, too, although the 8-week-old baby dolphin didn't stand still for pictures much (and neither did the spotted leopard - I got some cool shots of his spots, though, as he passed by).

The best buffet for the price that we tried: TI (Treasure Island) - extraordinarily plentiful, lots of choices, awesome deserts. I heard that the one at Planet Hollywood was still basically the same as it was when it was the Aladdin, so that's probably a good one, too. Caesars Palace also has a nice buffet for a good price, especially if you like Italian food. Delicious, if overpriced, chocolates can be found at the Mirage and Bellagio gift shops, called Fran's Chocolates. Has some exotic items, like gray salt caramels (which are yummy). The Forums at Caesars is the prettier mall, but it's also full of VERY high-scale merchandise that most people I know couldn't afford (like Bernini, Armani, and Tiffany); the normal stores are across the street at Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile of Shops/formerly Aladdin Desert Passages, as well as the Fashion Square Mall, which has a little of everything (except for a real bookstore - the only bookstore I saw in all of the Strip stores was a "Borders Express" on the third floor of the Fashion Square Mall. Don't people in Las Vegas read?).

Noted: Prada is some designer's way of getting people to somehow want to wear/carry really butt-ugly merchandise.

The end cap on the 12-pack of Diet Coke Mom bought is missing a letter from the Rewards code, and I can't get it to work. Is ten points worth raising a fuss over? (Especially since sillymagpie gave me a whole bag full of points on my return home...)

I bought some iPod toys on sale at Brookstone, some things I've wanted for awhile; the transmitter so you can play the iPod on the radio was on sale for $10. Whee!

On the whole, it's been a really splendid pre-birthday celebration (it was Mom's birthday present, along with all the stuff she bought me - Marshall Rousso jeans; Baby Phat blouse, purse, and hightops; a couple of Cache shirts and earrings - when Mom decides she wants to shop, baby, she SHOPS.

I know I had more observations... general state of the world ones (we didn't specifically keep up with the news, but did of course see the bridge collapse in Minneapolis - condolences to anyone who has loved ones there who may have been affected; also got desperately angry at the Congress caving to the idiot in the White House on the eavesdropping bill), but I can't remember everything I wanted to comment on. Mom wouldn't let me log on more than every other day (and I can't blame her, at an average of $15 a day)...

Tags: vegas
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