Vegas Baby!

Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We had always heard about Vegas being "an Oasis in the middle of nowhere" that would provide and allow for just about anything your heart desired. We were prepared for this yet the excess of it all was still surprising. It is much bigger and more spread out than expected. The city itself is quite large and the Strip seemed to go on forever. All along it are the gargantuan casino resorts that compete with one another on the over the top scale. We stayed at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. It is in the middle of the Strip and well situated for exploring. It was quite nice with very large rooms, great restaurants, and of course more ways to gamble and spend money than seemed possible. What was really neat about it was the food court area. It was done up like a New York neighbourhood with pizza places, delis, steakhouses, bars, and cafes lining the streets that are filled with people feasting or walking around with metre long cocktail glasses on their way to make a deposit in the closest slot machine.
After processing what our place had to offer (and fending off people wondering if we were interested in one meal deal or another), we ventured out to check out the competition. We checked out the Lion habitat at the MGM Grand, wandered around Planet Hollywood, and watched the fountains at the Bellagio come to life (see video). By this time we were feeling a little peckish and decided to do what most visitors do... head to the buffet. We were told to check out "The Buffet" at the Bellagio and it certainly didn't disappoint. You name it they had it although the plates didn't seem nearly large enough to hold what seemed like a modest amount of food at the time. I even managed to lose a piece of Beef Wellington somewhere on my plate (don't worry I managed to find it after some digging). Although we didn't have room for dessert we headed up to simply check out the spread and managed to come back with a few samples... each. Oh well, we are in Vegas after all. We managed to roll back down to our room before passing out swearing off buffets... at least until the morning when we headed to the breakfast buffet in our hotel... sigh. We had to fuel up for another big day.
We strolled the streets of Paris filled with cafes and bakeries, watched the singing Gondoliers float by on the canals at the Venetian, and felt substantially underfunded walking around the halls of the Wynn. We did manage to take a break for a beverage on the gorgeous Wynn patio (they do have the best Mojitos in Vegas after all - thanks Patti!). After quick stops at the Flamingo, Caesars, and the Mirage, we headed back to take a break. Once we entered our room we were greeted by a lovely bottle of champagne and chocolate covered
strawberries! A perfectly timed gift from Krista, Matt, and Declan. We thoroughly enjoyed our treats before we headed down to check out a little Cirque du Soleil. We saw Zumanity, the sensual side of Cirque. It was an amazing show. The artists were fascinating and the sexual humour woven in was perfect for the experience. A great way to end a wonderful day.
Our last day in Vegas was actually spent out of Vegas. We picked up our rental car and took off for the Grand Canyon. The drive was just as fascinating as the Canyon. We drove over the Hoover Dam and through what seemed like a never-ending Arizona desert filled with interesting looking Joshua Trees. We drove to the west entrance to the Canyon as it is only about a 2.5-hour drive from Vegas. Getting to the North or South part of the Canyon would take about 6 hours. The only dodgy part of the journey was the 14 miles of dirt road that we had to get our Jetta through. We made it without issue even though the stress of potentially blowing a tire in the middle of the Arizona desert was a little unnerving. It was well worth the drive as it wasn't very busy and the shuttle buses that picked us up and dropped us off at various viewpoints always seemed like they were waiting for us to get on before they left. It was perfectly timed. We made it back to Vegas in plenty of time to take a load off before dinner. For this, we headed to a restaurant called Ferraro's. It came highly recommended by family for some reason or another. It was superb! The owner was quite happy to chat and had the chef Mimmo Ferraro come out so he could meet a cousin. The food was excellent. The Osso Buco was amazing and the meat simply fell off the bone if you just looked at it a certain way. They brought out a complimentary dessert of crème brulee and crepes that Meg managed to finish even though there was only room to "try" a little bit. Thanks for the experience Dad and Patti.
Vegas is certainly Fabulous. Inhibitions are left at the city limits. You can see and do just about anything as long as you have the confidence and of course the cash. You can gamble on just about anything yet we managed to spend our cash on food and the entertainment although Meg managed to lose a whole dollar (of mine for some reason) in a slot machine. We will have to try and win it all back next time... if we can stay away from the buffets of course. For now we are off to LA.

Megan and Kevin
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