Vegas

We got back from Vegas early Friday morning, and have been recovering since. All in all, it was a lot of fun, but incredibly exhausting (and that’s without any drinking or partying!). I’d usually use this space to cram in a bunch of vacation photos, but it turns out that we barely took any.

It was our third trip there, after all, so we’d seen a lot of it before. As a result, we just didn’t feel like taking pictures. We were too busy doing stuff to stop and try to capture it on frame. We stayed at the Luxor, checking in late Monday night. We didn’t have much time to do much that night, other than eat dinner and walk the strip a bit. We ate at a Mexican restaurant in New York, New York that served the best salsa ever, then walked down to the Bellagio to watch the water show. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled due to high winds, and we never got a chance to see it the rest of the time we were there, which kinda sucks since its a personal favourite of ours.

The weather was actual pretty crappy until the day we left (Thursday), so we figured they’re wouldn’t be any free shows to see there or at Treasure Island (we’ve yet to see the Sirens of TI show outside of Treasure Island, as it is always cancelled due to winds when we’re there). Cold and windy all week, which made my decision to pack only one sweater a bad one. Who would’ve thought it would be an issue in the dessert?

On Tuesday, we spent most of our morning (which was really the early afternoon) booking shows for the next two nights. I’d decided that I really want to see by Cirque du Soleil, so we tried to get discount tickets for it. No luck, but we were able to buy half-price tickets to the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. After trying both discount tickets places in the middle of the strip, we went to the MGM Grand and bought the tickets full price ($125 each, plus taxes) for Wednesday night, then went back to the two discount joints to get tickets for a show for that night. In between, we killed a lot of time at the M&M and Coke stores. We eventually bought tickets for Penn & Teller at the Rio, then headed out to the outlet mall for some discount shopping.

We were pretty rushed by then, and spent 2.5 hours in the massive outlet mall. We got some great deals on jeans, bed sheets, and shoes for Kim, but were running behind by the time we got back to our hotel. When we bought the Penn & Teller tickets, we also bought discounted vouchers for the Carnival Buffet at the Rio, which we really liked the last time we were in Vegas. When we got to the Rio, we first had to exchange our ticket vouchers for assigned seats for the show, so when we got to the buffet, we only had about an hour, and there was a long line. The vouchers were good all week, so we decided to come back the next day and ate at an Indian restaurant instead (which was fantastic, best meal all week by far). The Penn & Teller show was really good: super funny and good magic. We probably should’ve gone to bed after that, but instead hung around the middle of the strip trying to find a casino that took the quarters Kim’s mom gave us before we left, but every machine we saw had been converted to no longer accept coin (they don’t pay out in coin either, but rather printouts that you cash in machines). When we finally got to our hotel, we crashed. Everything in Vegas seems close to each other, but they’re really not.

On Wednesday, we headed out to the Hilton for the Star Trek Experience, which our friends all did the last time we were in Vegas after our wedding, and made it seem like so much fun we wanted to try it. Unfortunately, neither of us are that into Star Trek, so some of the fun was lost on us. It was decent fun, with a Borg 4-D ride and a motion simulator Klingon ride, but there was too much waiting around for the rides to start. The rides themselves probably only took 30 minutes tops (in total), but we ended up spending 2.5 hours there with the travel to and from and the standing around waiting.

So we had to head from there back to the Rio (which isn’t easy, since the Rio is off-strip. They have free shuttles to there from Bally’s, but the line was so long we got a cab). When we got to the buffet, I learned that we hadn’t actually bought a discounted dinner, but rather we paid a small fee to get a discounted dinner, so we still had to pay $36 when we got there, to save about ten bucks (I guess we only paid $4 at the ticket joint). Since I spent 8 bucks to get there by cab, we only saved $2 to go off-strip to eat a buffet. Had I known that, I would’ve swallowed the $4 and eaten somewhere more convenient. Worse, the buffet wasn’t that great. I’m not sure if the food was at fault, or if it was all because we were sitting directly under an air conditioner that froze us out and made our food cold in about two minutes. What a waste of time.

We then had to rush back to hotel to change and rush off to see KÀ, when we pretty much just wanted a nap. The show itself was really impressive in scale, but not completely my thing. After awhile, a lot of the wire work and moving platform stuff felt repetitive. I was entertained, but if I had it to do over again, I’d probably have chosen something else with our time and money. Which was kind of the theme for the whole day. Luckily, the MGM Grand was one of the few casinos that still took coin in some of their machines, so we were able to gamble away the coin we had brought with us. Kim won $15 on a 50 cent bet, which was the gambling highlight of the trip (all told, we probably spent about $40 on gambling, so there’s not much else to tell).

On Thursday, we didn’t fly out until 9 pm, so we had a full day ahead of us. After checking our luggage in with the hotel and eating breakfast at the buffet, we headed to Mandalay Bay to see their Shark Reef exhibit. It was pretty cool. They had a bunch of sealife, including 6 different kinds of sharks. They even had a part where you could touch rays and a little shark. We really enjoyed that, which is more our thing than the Star Trek thing, which shows that we probably should’ve spent Wednesday at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage or something. Oh well, next time. After that, we headed out to Caesar’s Palace to do some more shopping, then dinner at New York, New York and off to the airport.

As usual, our trip was go, go, go. We don’t really relax on vacation much at all, choosing stimulation of relaxation. Not that anyone goes to Vegas to relax anyway. Still, I could use a vacation after my vacation.

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