Sunday, October 17, 2010

Las Vegas BOO-Yah!

It just doesn't get much better than playing with family and friends in Las Vegas!  We flew in from Eureka CA (Sharon & Norm), Washington DC (Phil) and Parkton MD (Marilyn & Louis).

Las Vegas was all decked out with Halloween decorations, attractions and themes.  

We gathered at an attractive and well-appointed timeshare in western Las Vegas, the Cliffs of Peace Canyon.   (It seems that everything that is NOT on the Strip is named for a canyon.)

We had adjacent ground floor units with lanais and "shared" the units among 6 adults.  We left a note behind for Housekeeping because all the dishes, glasses and cups got mixed up between the two units.  My side was the Morning Coffee/Debate side, permitting the sleeper-inners a quiet space.

This is the pool with a waterfall feature which cools one off after soaking in the party-size hot jacuzzi.   The boys couldn't resist it and seemed to enjoy the cool water pummeling their brains.

In the pool entertainment area was a gorgeous outdoor gas fireplace and several gas grills where we grilled porterhouse steaks and baked potatoes.

We didn't come to LV to gamble--none of us are gamblers.  Pretty much just quarter video poker and people-gawking.   Sharon won some money and so did Marilyn  and I came away 15 cents over my budget which I consider a success since I entertained myself with video poker for free.   So, our second day, we headed out to Red RockCanyon, which is only 20 minutes from civilization but seems like it is a world away.

The Canyon is a rock formation formed by a thrusting upward of the earth over a fault, causing the old rock to lay on top of the new rock.  This makes a remarkable line of demarcation between the two rocks.   The weather at this altitude was wonderfully warm and but dry enough for frequent reapplications of Chapstick.

Rock ON Gurlz!

Saw Phantom of the Opera and Beatles LOVE, a Cirque de soleil production.  Loved both, but Beatles won out on the adrenaline rush from the extreme physicality of the players, the incredible Beatle's music, mind-blowing special effects and inventive 60's-style costuming.

BOO to the usher who saw me get out my camera  before  the show to get a pic of our group and gave me a schoolmarmy tsk and a finger wag.  This is an employee that needs to be recycled...

At the Bellagio, we savored the Chocolate Fountain and an artistic collection of desserts.  The sight and aroma of all that chocolate created a "contact high", stimulating my endorphin circulation to dangerous levels.
OK --we ate at some buffets.  I have come home with a case of Buffet Butt.  The Bellagio still reigns supreme in the Buffet Wars; notable were the perfectly-prepared Alaskan Crab legs with REAL drawn butter rather than water-butter juice and the creme brulee.    The Mirage was exceptionally sanitary with sneeze screens protecting all food and a Chef combining one's own custom salad from a huge array of ingredients.   The food stations were named after "nationalities" and had an impressive selection of regional foods.  They had the creamiest gelato ever and ginormous-sized dessert cups.

BOO to our waiter who couldn't clear our plundered dishes fast enough, forcing us to soil an adjacent table; he also took the worst group dining photo ever...  BOO also to the pricey-ness of these gastronomic events--$30.

There WAS an exceptional dining value advertised on the side of the Flamingo--an all day Buffet Ticket in 8 participating Strip hotels for $39.99!  Wow what a deal!  I was informed that Cesear's now has a unisex Vomitorium which seemed perfect for those selecting this experience.   Nothing  in moderation in LV!

We "did" the Strip which was almost empty EXCEPT on October 10.  The Strip was PACKED with folks dressed to the teeth in wedding garb. 

We were informed that 10/10/10 is supposed to be a lucky day to be married!   Some people even got married at 10 o'clock and some costumes were Halloween-inspired.  

BOO to the MGM for attempting to extort $30 to see the interactive attraction CSI:  The Experience.   For Shame!

We visited Ethel M's Chocolate Factory and swooned on the Chocolate Peanut Brittle--wow!

They had a dozen or so signs hanging from the ceiling with clever and humorous "chocolate quotes".   Actually, this was NOT one of them but I like it anyway and it's MY blog!

An adorable breakfast chain, EggWorks, provided as much fun as it did good food, including the seasonal pumpkin pancakes, carrot pancakes and homemade banana walnut french toast.  They had a little egg face with a frown on the table centerpiece which is designed to alert ANY waitress that assistance is needed.  This is my brother's version of the unhappy eggface.

For our multi-sensory overload, we got Senior Discount Tickets to the IMAX theater at the Palms Casino.   The Ticket Agent never blinked as we asked for the Senior discount;  it made me a little sad as the ticket area was not well lit.  The movie was "Inception"  (the act of inception: using dreams to implant an idea) with Leonardo Di Caprio.  It featured many mindbending special effects that were so disorienting that it was hard to follow the unusal and multi-plotted story.  

Trust me; if you plan to see the movie,  go to an IMAX theater because you will not understand the movie and at least you can get the wild special effects and see a Very Large Leonardo.   BOO-YAH!

The only attraction I had a burning desire to experience was the Insanity on top of the Stratosphere Tower.  Perhaps it was the extreme name that turned off everyone in my group.  Heck it was actually cheaper than the CSI Experience!  Or, maybe it was the fact that it was a small carousel with suspended seats perched a thousand feet above the ground, spinning wildly at speeds up to 40 mph, creating up to 3G's of force, while tilting one's body facedown to the ground at angles up to 70 degrees.   I'm not sure why I could not seem to work up any enthusiasm amongst my family/friends to take the ride with me!  I think the view would have been awesome.

You who live large with cable/satellite TV might recall a show on History Channel called Pawn Stars.  It is extremely popular, as evidenced by the line waiting to get in.    Here it is!

I am told it is smaller inside than it appears on TV and they only let small groups inside to browse.

The Fremont Street Experience was extravagantly decorated  for Halloween.  Actors wore very ornate costumes strolled the boulevard, interacting with the crowd and posing for photos.  Kiss was there, as was the Ghost of Michael Jackson.  I was very impressed with Superman as I thought that underneath the costume, he was a Real Superman and didn't even need a costume.  Maybe he was a "moonlighting" Chippendale.   There were also some Ladies of Darkness but it was hard to determine if they were part of the Street Troupe or just entrepreneurs.

The featured music was Queen and the digital light show was much improved from the previous one (which was very hokey).



  1. great blog! It was nearly like being there all over again. Although there were no good pics of our raucous Texas Hold 'Em card games, they were also a memorable source of fun silliness that I enjoyed.
    Maybe the rest of the fam will join us on the next trip!

  2. Big steaks with family and chocolate waterfall buffets. It doesn't get any better than that. Never having been to LV, I get to live vicariously through Ya'll.