Saturday, March 11, 2006

Trip to Las Vegas

Zzyzx Rd Cathy & I headed out to Las Vegas for a week of vacation time. Cathy's mom could not come, so we did not have to find someone to take care of the cats and dog. We have a "timeshare" of sorts, wherein we can go to any number of resorts within the network (no, not RCI). Anyway, we own a traditional timeshare as well as the network, so we have multiple choices for Las Vegas. It is nice to get away from work, school, and other responsibilities for a while! Jenni turned 21 recently, and she wanted to go to Las Vegas to see some shows and get drinks at various places (like Coyote Ugly), so we planned this trip in order to have Jenni and Adelle come with us.

Driving to Vegas - Adelle, JenniWe got into Las Vegas Friday afternoon. Traffic on the Strip itself it terrible! After unloading, we went to Cheesecake Factory (in Mirage, I think) to have dinner. Jenni wanted to see a show called "Thunder Down Under" so all the women all went (Cathy got a free ticket) and I was at the resort alone. I read "The Da Vinci Code" and watched the History Chanel, and mostly tried to settle in to taking it easy. Cathy said the show was very boring, and would not have been worth the money.

On Saturday we went shopping. I was looking for some new shoes (these "Crocs" look neat to me, but Cathy does not like them) and perhaps an anniversary ring for Cathy. That afternoon we all soaked in the chacuzzi and rode inner tubes on a "Lazy River".

I had a little trouble getting on and staying on the tubes. For the first eight attempts, I would jump on, try to lean back, and I would tilt entirely over. That is, I went head-over-heels eight times while trying to get settled on the floating tube! Cathy says the lifeguard was very entertained by my bumbling attempts. Eventually, however, I managed to stay on. Cathy watched me float around a few times until I drifted off to sleep and slid into the water. Supposedly she tried to wake me first, but I suspect she watched and waited for the opportunity to laugh! :-)

I grilled hotdogs and hamergers for dinner, after which we went to Treasure Island and watched their pyrotechnics show, 'The Sirens of TI'. We returned to the hotel to meet up with some of Jenni's friends. Cathy & I stayed behind to relax (she was still pretty worn out from the shot).

M&M World - Lee, Adelle, Jenni - I Lost My M in VegasOn Sunday I decided to spend more time with Jenni & Adelle instead of finding a local church. The three of us headed over to M&M'S WORLD, where we watched the 3–D movie, "I LOST MY 'M' in VEGAS". M&M's had released a dark chocolate M&M as a Star Wars promotion, and I really like them. There's a possibility they'll be selling dark chocolate M&Ms beginning in June or July, so you can try some then (they're good).

MGM Lion Cub MGM LionsWe went to MGM and saw the Lion Habitat. The lions enjoy sleeping on the archway and boy are the cubs cute!

We picked up Cathy and had lunch at Paris Las Vegas, where Jenni played her first slot machine. We went to the original Las Vegas and watched the Fremont Street Experience, a large, overhead LED light show. Adelle and I shared some fried Oreos and a Twinkie! Then it was off to the Reo to watch the Masquerade Show and catch some Mardi Gras beads! We all soaked in the chacuzzi before calling it a day.

Paris Las Vegas - Jenni playing slots Fremont St - Deep-Fried Twinkies and Oreos Rio Masquerade Show in the Sky - catching beads
this is an audio post - click to play

Adelle and Jenni headed back home Monday morning. Cathy and I slept in, then took it easy and started off the day by shopping. We didn't do much as Cathy wore herself out on Saturday and Sunday. Cathy wants to see "Le Rêve" at the Wynn, so we bought two tickets. We did find a Cold Stone Creamery for Cathy, and we spent some time at a Barnes & Noble before going to Bellagio to enjoy their indoor garden and to watch the fountain show. Cathy's favorite slot machine is there, but we played a roll of nickels each, and waitresses came by and gave us free drinks while we played. That was nice; we both had two virgin stawberry daquiris and went home. I finished reading "The Da Vinci Code" that night as well.

Lee & Green MMWe slept in and took our time getting around town. Cathy didn't get a chance to see the MGM lions, so we went to see the cub. However, the cub wasn't there! We swung by M&M World and went home at 3 PM to catch a resort presentation. Due to an oopsie, they had to reschedule us for Wednesday. Cathy took a nap while I relaxed and caught up on sorting the photos and doing some laundry. That evening, Cathy made me some fried chicken (yum! my favorite!), and she also expertly put out an oil fire.

We slept in again (nice) and went to the resort owner's update after lunch. As part of the update, we received two tickets to the Rio seafood buffet. The evening's plans, then, was dinner and a show.

Before dinner we wandered over to the Ventian and enjoyed the interior artwork and walked around the recreation of Venice, complete with gondolas. It was quite interesting.

The Rio Buffet was pretty good! The sushi was sub-par, but the rest of the food was quite good. We took our time enjoying each other's company, had (lots of) desert and coffee, then left very well-fed. We did a little window shopping before heading to the show.

To be honest, Le Rêve deserves its own post. What is surprising is that they allow you to take photos during the show, so long as flash is turned off. The show itself is an abstract story about six 'imperfect' dreams. The stage is round, and the audience surrounds the stage. There are three stage entrances, a central pool with a submersible platform and a high ceiling for acrobats on wires. There was a lot of dancing, diving and demonstrations of strength and balance. The show was 90 minutes but it went VERY fast! Each dream was interrupted by the comic relief provided by three or four guys in white suits. I'll post pictures and a short video in another post.

After the show we went back to the resort. I jumped in the chacuzzi again before we called it a night. (insert contented sigh here)

We slept in (see a pattern?) and generally took it easy. We went to the Rio and bought some glass flowers Cathy saw there, and we had lunch as well. We returned to MGM in order to catch a glimps of the lion cubs, but they were gone for the day. We made plans to see them on Friday and went home. We did some laundry, packed part of our bags, and generally read and unwound. I began looking forward to seeing my kitties and doggie in ernest.

We got up at 8 (!), quite a shock after a week of sleeping in. I packed the car and we checked out early at 10:30. Friday is the bad traffic day in Vegas, so we slowly made our way to the MGM again and parked. Cathy & I picked up some more M&M's before checking out the lion cubs. They were there this time, and Cathy got a very good look at the little babies! Lion cubs look like giant kittens with spots, incredibly cute

Las Vegas SignWe headed out of town about two and stopped for dinner at Joe's Crab Shack in La Puente. We got home by eight and were greeted by an extremely happy dog and several relieved cats. Zechariah, who I thought would be mad at me, actually sought me out and greeted me with nuzzling and rubbing. Fanny and Malachi couldn't get enough of their mommy and Oliver was constantly underfoot.

It is good to be home, and it was great to sleep in my own bed again! There's Zechariah, demanding my attention, so I'm gonna stop here!


  1. What an exciting post! And I have so many questions...

    - Who is Jenni? Is she any relation to you or Cathy? Tell her I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

    - From what I've heard about "Thunder From Down Under," it's anything BUT boring... :) Are you sure you heard Cathy right? ;)

    - What's a fried Oreo?? It sounds really gross... Was the Twinkie fried too?

    - Did you like the Da Vinci Code? I'm eager to hear what you think...

    - Cathy cooks? :) And fried chicken?! Wow!! Sounds yummy!

    - I've never heard of "Le Rêve" - is it kind of like "O?" Was it expensive?

    - Micah raves about Joe's Crab Shack, but I've never eaten there. They're building one across the street frmo Victoria Gardens, at Foothill and the 15. We'll be there when it opens... :)

    - Have you tried Panera Bread yet? Micah and I went there for lunch today after church and saw Bryan, Lisa, and John Frame there! We all ate together. It was so nice to run into them and catch up. :)

    Well, I guess that's all for now. Hope to hear from you soon!

  2. Wow! Here goes....

    Jenni: she is Cathy's counsin.

    Thunder: Cathy says this show was boring. There was no stage production (black stage, black curtain, no ambience). One man would come out and dance without a shirt, then another guy, and then (wow) two at once! They even danced on a table or two, and at some point one guy gets down to his undies... That's it. She was glad she hadn't paid for it.

    Cathy says she was expecting more elements instead of swaying, sweating men with accents. :-)

    Oreo: Well, take your store-bought Oreo cookie and a deep-fryer. Dunk the Oreo cookie into cake batter and drop it in the fryer briefly, then serve on a plate with powdered sugar. It was incredibly sweet, and I would recommend only small doses! And, yes, the Twinkie was also fried (it was gross).

    Da Vinci Code: It is a more complicated question than yes/no. I enjoyed the fiction (although the ending was weak), but the "historical" aspect is lacking. I'll probably write a separate post on it, too.

    Cathy Cooks: Heheh.... Yes! Quite well, actually! She doesn't cook as often these days due to the effects of the treatment, but she enjoys cooking at home.

    Le Rêve: Tickets for Le Rêve are either $88, $110 or $99 depending on your distance from the stage. It is similar to "O" and was designed by the same person, Franco Dragone. I suppose it was expensive (more than $1/min each) yet the experience was exactly that, an experience. I'll make a separate post for it, too!

    Joe's: You've never eaten at Joe's? We love that place (in fact we stopped at Foothill but found it was not open yet). Perhaps we should go together! They just started including a salad and bread with meals.

    Panera Bread: Cathy saw one near Victoria Gardens somewhere and wanted to try it. We haven't gone yet, but intend to, especially with your recommendation!