Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Las Vegas

I'm back home from being away since August 4. Thirteen days spent on the road going to/from Austin, Texas, and flying to/from Las Vegas. The three-and-a-half day visit to Las Vegas was our first time there.

Vegas has never been on our bucket list of places to see. It ranks low on the list right next to New York City. So in May, when friends Patty and Greg from Texas (Dan and Greg went to Mason City, Iowa high school together, and we were in their wedding 43 years ago on September 1) invited us to go with them, we surprised ourselves by arranging a trip from August 8-11. Retirement certainly makes it easier to get together now.
Dan, me, Patty, Greg
After leaving Hogan with our son and DIL in Austin, off to Las Vegas we went!
As a few of you know, I don't fly well - I'm a white-knuckle flyer. Knowing full well that it's sometimes the only way I can get places, it's always with huge reluctance that I board a plane. We flew Allegiant from San Antonio to Las Vegas, and Frontier from Las Vegas to San Antonio. Both flights went smoothly, were on time, and not too bumpy though I still tense, pray (for the pilots, air traffic controllers, and mechanics) and have intense anxiety during take-offs. What a huge relief to land and then again say a prayer of thanks.

So what do I have to say about Vegas? Well, it's more than I imagined it would be. There's the bustle and congestion - even during August which is supposedly a slower season. The casinos. The shows. The restaurants. The shopping. The lights. So much is happening, and people are on the move all the time.

And the children. We were stunned at how many families think it's appropriate to take small children through and into casinos - some children were with adults who were gambling - and many adults kept kids up late, like 9:00 to 10:00 to 11:00 at night. Las Vegas sure doesn't seem like a kid-friendly environment, so what are they doing there?
Casino in New York New York
And the languages. I so seldom heard American English being spoken that I quit trying to sort out what people were saying as we shuffled through crowds. I used to think I was adept at picking out where a person was from, but I've lost that ability with countless languages being spoken. It made for interesting conversation as we attempted to figure out if these people were foreign Americans or visitors from other countries. In any case, I've never encountered more nationalities in one place.

Much of our time was spent walking on the strip from our hotel, New York New York (probably the closest I'll ever get to the real New York!) to other hotels.

A huge roller coaster is on top of NYNY; we didn't ride it.

It was hot. Though it was an expected "dry heat," unexpectedly it made my nostrils hurt and bleed. I'm definitely accustomed to, and prefer, Florida's humidity. The temp got to 103 (F), but with strong 35-40 mph winds, it felt like 90-something.

We got a chuckle from seeing of this cluster of ducks by the pond in front of the Mirage hotel. They literally found a spot square to get out of the sun. A patch of shade cast by a sign shadow!

During walks, we went into all the famous hotels - MGM Grand, the Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, The Venetian, The Mirage, Treasure Island, and more. As promised by friends who had already been to Vegas, these hotels are stunning with beautiful things to see.
Evening fountain show at the Bellagio
Chihuly glass on the ceiling of The Venetian lobby
And the shopping is spectacular. Who shops in these designer stores?! The name brands and prices are beyond belief, and though the stores are open late into the night, I seldom saw a customer. As for my own shopping, a stop at Famous Footwear turned up a sale on my favorite Clark sandals. $27. Just call me a big spender.
Patty and me at the Paris shops
Ceiling of Caesar's Palace shopping
We never touched a slot machine or gaming table, but found our own fun. A couple afternoons at the NYNY pool, and Patty and Dan displaying their yoga skills.
Patty and Dan, with Greg observing
The one show we saw... Cirque du Soleil Kà was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. (I have my friend Diane to thank for that recommendation.) It's incomparable to any performance I've seen in my life. The whole performance was made more spectacular by the fact that we had front row seats! How did we get so lucky?! We made reservations for second-tier tickets! We were near enough to the stage to see the performers' expressions and details of their impressive costumes. We even had to move our feet a few times to allow a performer to run in front of us! Photos weren't permitted, so the best I can share is two pictures taken before the show.
The theater, over my shoulder.
The stage in front of me with pre-show flashes of fire
So much action! And all of it on a tilt-able stage that moved under the performers' feet! Acrobatics, yoga, sword-fighting, stick (baton)-twirling... Suffice it to say that if you have a chance to see this show, do so! A show of this caliber is probably the only thing that would get me to return to Vegas.

Our other fun was eating at Emiril's Restaurant. With Dan being the cook he is, this especially appealed to him. It was a unique opportunity for all of us to savor a four-course meal with wine pairings. My favorite course was dessert. No surprise there! The bread pudding was incredible. Dan says that a show and dining at a celebrity chef's restaurant would get him to return to Vegas.

Me at the M and M store
The Strip at night, photographed from a pedestrian overpass
We very much appreciated and enjoyed our experience in Vegas, but it's good to be home again.

Now Greg, Patty and I are trying to convince Dan that we need to go on a cruise together... another activity that Dan says he never wants to do. Who knows? A cruise might be the next bottom-of-the-bucket-list trip we'll do with friends! Ha, ha.

Not having a car, I didn't make it to either of the Las Vegas quilt shops suggested by my quilt-y friend Christa. So, I'll conclude this post with a picture of the carpeting outside our room at NYNY. It could be a quilt. Linda

12 comments:

  1. Not,on my list either! Or a cruise. Good to have time with old friends tho.

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  2. I went to Las Vegas back in the 80's! Didn't like it then, wouldn't bother now. Although it looks like you saw plenty and had a great time catching up with your friends! But why have you never been to New York? I definitely want to go back there one day....

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  3. You look adorable and as if you had a wonderful trip!!! Haven't been to Vegas since 2001..then we got our dog and won't board her. HA....I'm not a big flyer either...haven't flown in years!!! I would recommend a cruise to Alaska...inland passage...beautiful trip...not interested myself in cruise to islands/etc. But seeing Alaska was great. We went in Oct. No black flies or children...interesting, last time we were in Vegas, you had to be 18 or 21 to even go into the casino's...guess that has changed! HA

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  4. I Loved your blog on our trip to Vegas. What a nice memory. And you are as cute as a button in all of your pictures! Thanks for the memories!

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  5. Interesting to hear about your trip and surprised at all the languages! I'm with Dan tho - a fancy restaurant will get my vote any time! ;-)

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  6. You packed plenty into your Las Vegas stay! And there's a lot to do without the gambling. Like you, the "dry heat" is way too dry for me. We visit Arizona and I notice that even a boat load of lotion does not keep my skin from over-dryness. Glad you had a good time.

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  7. Your write up of Vegas is one of a kind. I doubt any one else could do all that you did and not do a casino... good for you.... and love your thoughts about kids in adult entertainment places. Guess if you bring the kids you get to spend the babysitter money.

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  8. Enjoyed your post! Las Vegas is pretty much Disneyland for adults, I think.

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  9. Lots of memories made for sure. I have family in Vegas

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  10. what a wonderful rundown of your trip to Las Vegas - sounds like a pretty crazy place - love the Chihuly glass on the ceiling and the Caesar's Palace ceiling is pretty impressive too - so glad you had a fun time catching up with friends and I think a cruise would be a great holiday with friends - is so relaxing and there is heaps to do if you want :)

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  11. oh and that carpet - perfect for a quilt !!

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  12. Looks like you had a great time in Vegas. We have never been there either, though it is on our bucket list. Keep trying to get Dan talked into a cruise. My hubby said not way too, then a company rewards trip got him on one before he retired. My retirement gift from my employers was a cruise to the Caribbean. We loved them both and want to do one to Alaska.

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