I know we have been back from Vegas for a couple of weeks now, but I was waiting on some picutures from others on the trip prior to posting the blog. So… here it is!
*If you wish to skip the editorial and just the the pictures, the link is at the very bottom of this Blog entry*
We just returned from Las Vegas for our 1st anniversary. We have been planning this trip all year and it finally arrived and now itâ€™s over . Jennifer and her sister Helen met us there as well as Sylvia & Brian. We stayed at the Aladdin Hotel. As it turns out, the Aladdin is under construction and is becoming Planet Hollywood Hotel. Everything was in disarray, so we didnâ€™t spend much time there.
Unfortunately, Tate came down with the Flu the Friday before we were set to leave . Luckily the worst of it was over by Saturday night so the rest of the time, he was simply trying to get enough rest and hold down food. He was all better by Monday. We arrived on Sunday and had enough time to check in, eat lunch and take a nap before heading out for our first night on the town. We headed to the New York New York Hotel for dinner at If Fornio and Zumanity, a Cirque du Soleil show. It was a GREAT show! Very different from other Cirque shows. It was all about the celebration of sex and sexuality. We sat in love seats in the front row. I caught the eye of one of the performers and he kept passing by an winking. I think he probably did the same to others sitting in the front row. At one point, he came down off the stage and sat right in between Tate and me. Brian was lucky enough to get a picture before the ushers came down and told him that cameras werenâ€™t allowed. After the show, we went into the gift shop where us girls played around with the feather boas. We went back to the hotel to freshen up but only Jennifer and Helen came back down. The rest of us went to bed.
Monday was a long dayâ€¦ we took a trip to see the Hoover Dam. It was only about a 30 minute drive from Las Vegas but due to construction on the Dam road, traffic was backed up for about an hour or more. This wasnâ€™t great for poor Helen who had a bit too much to drink the night before and was feeling the consequences that morning. Iâ€™m sure Tateâ€™s stop and go braking wasnâ€™t helping much. Once we finally reached the Dam, we stopped in the Dam cafÃ© for some lunch then headed off to the Dam tour. The tour was very interesting. We got to go inside the dam to see the generators that create power for the dam as well as Las Vegas and surrounding areas. After the tour, we were able to walk across the dam into Arizona. I had my photo taken at the border of Nevada and Arizona. We headed back to the hotel in order to get ready for the second show of the trip, Blue Man Group at the Venetian Hotel.
At first, I wasnâ€™t too excited to see Blue Man Group, I thought that it was just going to be two hours of three blue men drumming. But it turned out to be a very fun and entertaining show. At the beginning of the show, they pass out miles of white crape paper for each member of the audience to â€œwearâ€. Jennifer and Helen had the Aunt Jamima look going on while Brian had the headband and Sylvia had the cute little bow. For some reason Tate didnâ€™t get any paper so I gave him some of mine, which he promptly crumbled up and stuck up his nose. I tied my paper to the arms of my glasses and had tassels hanging down. At the end of the show, we found out what the paper was forâ€¦ if you want to know, youâ€™ll just have to go and see for yourself. They are touring the United States and will be in Northern California in November. I highly recommend this show.
Tuesday was an open day for everyone. Tate and I met up with Jonny and Sarah who live in Las Vegas. We met them from the WakeWorld houseboat trip at Shasta last June. They took us out on their boat to wakeboard on Lake Mead. It was a beautiful day and that water was perfect. No wind, just calm, smooth butter all day. Letâ€™s talk about the water itselfâ€¦ the water at Lake Mead is SO CLEAR that you can see the bottom at about 15 feet. It was a beautiful blue in the deeper sections and green in the shallows. I had seen a dive shop the previous day on the way to Hoover Dam and I was puzzled on where to dive in Nevada. Now I know. Next time, I think I need to bring dive gear! I wish I had taken pictures of the water. All I have are pics of the fishies coming up to share crackers with the ducks. So, back to the wakeboardingâ€¦ it was my first time wakeboarding since August 12th so I was pretty out of shape. I also finally learned to wake surf. I had tried at Shasta with no luck. But this time I finally got up and stayed up for a while. I did pretty good. Later that night, my muscles were starting to stiffen and as the night grew on, it was getting difficult to walk up and down stairs. We went to dinner at PF Changs with the group and Jonny & Sarah joined us and got to meet everyone.
After dinner, we said goodbye to Jonny & Sarah and headed across the street to the Bellagio to see the fountains up close and watch the fountains go off to choreographed music. It was truly beautiful. The song for this particular show was Lee Greenwoodâ€™s Proud to be and American. It brought several of us to tears. I was able to take video with my camera of the show. If you would like to see it click HERE. After the fountains, we went to the top of the Eifle Tower at the Paris Hotel. It was a beautiful view of the strip as well as the Bellagio fountains. We took lots of pictures. Later, we went downtown to â€œoldâ€ Las Vegas and did a bit of gambling. Tate won $100 playing Craps. I got to roll for him and others and did pretty well. I then went to the black jack table and promptly LOST $100. We were all pretty beat by then and headed back to the hotel.
Wednesday was our last day in Las Vegas and everyone pretty much went our own way. Tate and I went to Mandalay Bay to experience the Shark Reef. We got to see all kinds of fish and SHARKS!!! I really wanted to go swim with them, but for some reason, they just werenâ€™t allowing that! They did however have a petting pool where I got to pet a sting ray and an Epaulette Shark (little brown shark). After Mandalay Bay we went over to the Rio Hotel to experience the Mardi Gras floating light parade. They have a dance show (which sucked) and giant floats suspended from the ceiling with people in them throwing beads. That was kinda fun. After the Rio, we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap and to get ready for our final show of the week, KÃ¡, another Cirque du Soleil show at the MGM Grand Hotel. This was another great show but also different from other Cirque shows. There was more of a storyline and very few acrobatics. The stage was the highlight of this show. It was on hydraulics and moved back and forth, up and down and even became completely vertical. It was amazing.
After the show, we met up with everyone for a late dinner at Delmonico Steak House in the Veneitan Hotel. This is one of Emeril Lagasseâ€™s restaurants. The food and service was wonderful! We were all stuffed pigs when we left. We stayed at the Venetian for a bit of gambling (more Craps but no Black Jack). I got to play some Casino Warâ€¦ you remember playing War when you were kids, well in this game, you win $$$ for winning War. It was FUN! I was up about $150 before losing it all. We went back to Craps after that. After all gambling was said and done, we came out ahead $18. Even though we didnâ€™t win big, we had a great time playing.
Thursday meant it was time to go home, which was good because it rained that day. Our flight wasnâ€™t until 4:10 and we thought we would be able to wake up and have a leisurely lunch and make our way to the airport with enough time to check in and board our plane. Unfortunately, the rental car had to be back by 11:40 so we had four hours to kill in the airport. Just as it was approaching time to board, we found out that our plane was still in San Jose and was being delayed due to weather. We had another two hours to wait… ugh! Finally at 6:00, we were on our way home. We both passed out as soon as we got on the plane. We even missed the beverage and snack service. We arrived in Sacramento around 7:30â€¦ man itâ€™s nice to breathe nice clean smoke free air.
Itâ€™s good to be home.
To see pictures of our trip click HERE