(Girl running after jumping in front of a Beatles montage at the Mirage.)
(Took this shot before going to take a look at Siegfried and Roy's "Secret Garden.")
(Noon time shot of the Bellagio I took after watching the fountain show. (Much better at night.))
- Traveling is a beating for one reason: Security. Check-in is now completely automated and you can obtain your boarding pass as quickly as a Big Mac from McDonald's, but having to go through the take your shoes off crap sucks the life force out of you.
- Arrived at Las Vegas at night - which is the only way to see it.
- Stayed at the Mirage - my first time ever to stay there - huge thumbs up. Tigers behind glass in the lobby, a dolphin/white tiger/lion sanctuary on the premises. As well as a topless pool (which I did not go in because I didn't want to expose my lily white, pale man breasts.)
- The amount of money being thrown around in your average Las Vegas casino is mind numbing. I don't know how they handle the bank deposit.
- The days of coins being dumped out by a slot machine or video poker machine are over. Now when you "cash out" you receive a paper ticket with a bar code that you can insert in a nearby ATM to collect your winnings (or what you have left of your initial bet.)
- If you ever get a chance to walk through a casino at 7:0o a.m., do it. Most people gambling have been up all night (especially at the blackjack tables) and their wheels are flyiiiiiiing off.
- Saw two young guys arguing at 7:10 this morning as one stops the other and says, "We are Jewish and we stick together!"
- Went to a $22 buffet for lunch and it was outstanding. Chose between Asian, Latin, Barbeque, "Cut Meat", Breakfast . . . and the list goes on.
- I won $100 on a basketball game between Ohio State and Memphis. There's nothing like watching a game in the Sports Book section of a casino. And I found myself doing a fist pump during an Ohio State three-pointer.
- Saw Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian and, with all do respect to one of my best friends who told me I'd hate it, I thought it was outstanding. The theater has been built to duplicate the Paris Opera House and that, alone, is worth the price of admission.
- Phantom note #2: The couple that sat beside me was a fairly fashionable duo that, much too my amazement, pulled out a french bread pizza in the first few minutes and started chowing down.
- Phantom note #3: Said male of said aforementioned couple made me laugh when during an extended singing number of the play he looked at his date, put a finger to his temple to simulate a gun, and pulled the trigger.
- Final Phantom note: I had never seen the musical until I rented the DVD last week in anticipation of the trip. Now, I'm a huge fan.
- Speaking of the Venetian, it's worth going to Las Vegas to see the fake canals, complete with gondolas that run throughout the first floor of the hotel.
- Venetian observation #2: I saw at least three brides, one of whom was getting married on a gondola ride after a pastor/father/priest that boarded the boat.
- I didn't go inside any of the music "clubs" in any of the hotels, but the lines outside of them are incredible. By 11:00 p.m., they are at least 50 yards long. (At least that's what I saw at the Mirage and the Venetian.)
- The Mirage has the longest hallway in the history of ever. From my hotel room door to the elevator, I paced off 135 steps. (Go outside and walk that right now and see how far away you are from your front door.)
- I'd love to stay in the Bellagio, but it's too freakin' pricey. But there's no question it's the nicest place in Vegas. (I haven't seen inside the Wynn but I suppose it might give it run.)
- I saw the Blue Man Group for the second time - still incredibly entertaining. (And I'll write more about it later, but I/we became part of the "audience participation" aspect of the show in a very limited way.)
- An elderly person in a wheelchair in front of a slot machine is a very depressing visual.
- On the flight back, there were three overweight guys sitting shoulder to shoulder in front of me, and they were very uncomfortable. Then a buddy of two of them boarded the plane and busted out laughing at the sight of the three big men and said (in a much too loud of a voice): "I think a grease fire is gonna break out!" (I think that was a reference to the amount of fat accumulated in one place.) Funny, but shockingly rude.
- On the flight to Vegas we hit incredible turbulence. Somehow I ended up on the last row of the plane and we were bouncing around like a rag doll. It was scary and, although I haven't flown all over the world, it was the scariest flight I've ever been on.
- The guy beside, who has flown all over the world (he kept talking about flying into South Africa), said it was the roughest flight he had ever been on. So there.
- The guy also told me that he bought his house in Vegas four years ago and "had already doubled his money." That reminded me of one of my dad's favorite sayings: "You haven't made anything until you sell it."
Developing . . .