22 April 2006 Saturday

Joyce wanted to take us out to brunch this morning at Red Rocks Casino.  The casino buffet is quite famous for it’s size and quality and we were not disappointed.  I had never been in a casino before and pretty much had a sensory overload with the lights, noise and people.  This was one of the smaller “neighborhood” casinos, not like the big ones on the Strip.  We stopped by a Flea Market and we got some new sunshades for the truck (Big Red needed some new sunglasses).  

We got back to the house and Andrew and I headed for the Strip.  Joyce insisted we take her car, it would be easier than trying to deal with parking our truck with the bikes on top. She also gave us a tip on parking on the Strip… all the Casinos have free valet parking, you just need a dollar tip when you pick up.  We valet parked at Bellagio an went in to find the ceiling covered in glass flowers by glass artist Dale Chihuly.  I talked with a concierge about the glass flowers.  He told me that it was $10,000.00 per flower, about $10 million for the ceiling.  I joked that they had it paid off in a week… he said it was about ten days.  Bellagio takes in about a million a day! Cha-CHING!  We wandered around Bellagio‘s conservatory, full of real flowers and oversized sculptures of birds, butterflies and bug.  The center had a huge Banyan tree from Florida.  I came all the way across the country to find a banyan tree! They were always a problem in Ft Myers, where they can take over a whole yard.  Bellagio was very nice, very classy!  We wandered around the hotel and saw the entry to the wedding chapel, but it had weddings lined up, from the looks of the reception halls nearby all labeled with weddings.

We walked down the Las Vegas Strip, saw Caesar’s Palace, The Mirage, Treasure Island, The Venetian.  We stopped to watch a free show outside of Treasure Island, but it was too windy to run.  We asked later and found out that that many shows spray water high in the air and if it’s too windy, EVERYTHING gets soaked. 

We went  into The Venetian.  This club has built canals both inside and outside and has gondola rides with singing boatmen in silly outfits.  The ceilings were adorned with elaborate paintings.  We stopped at the Prada shop to see what they knew about the “Marfa” location…. At first, the well groomed, high fashioned salesclerk wanted to know what country “Marfa” was in… Texas?  No, Prada has no stores in Texas.  I had to let her in on the joke that “Prada Marfa” was really an art project in the middle of the desert.  She found it humorous, once she realized they weren’t really using the “Prada” name illegally.  

We stopped at a restaurant called “Tao” claiming to have “Spiritual Dining” and a “Religious Nightlife”.  Well, when we saw the prices we said “Lord Have Mercy”!  We asked at an information desk about where THEY eat and they pointed us to the “Grand Lux Cafe” where the prices were a bit more reasonable and the food was good.  The “Beautiful People” we saw waiting in line for the Religious Nightlife didn’t seem very Zen.

We were able to catch the next showing of Treasure Island’s show “The Sirens of TI”.   In Vegas style, it’s a sexy, over the top, scantily clad chunk of Cheesecake (with a bit of Beefcake for the ladies) with enough pirate action to keep the kids happy.  We walked all night, we saw the Volcano at the Mirage erupt and the dancing waters at Bellagio were beautiful.  We also walked down to Paris and looked into an elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but didn’t want to pay $20. bucks for the privilege.  We played the nickel slots for a little while, we each put in a dollar and Andrew cashed out $2.65.  I was tired and just played until the money was gone.  Not many people leave Vegas a winner, but Andrew’s up $1.65!!  Wahoo!

We got in about 1:30 or 2:00am.

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