Surely you weren’t expecting a more original title. Rum punch does not inspire creativity. Silliness? Yes. Creativity? No. This really is a crazy place. We spent the first day wandering around, wide-eyed and slightly lost. Enjoying ourselves, but fairly convinced that we wouldn’t ever need to return. Then we found a map. And the tram. And finally the rum punch. The place was growing on us.
The morning of day two found us highly anticipating the Elvis show and, very importantly, attending a craps lesson. Highly informative. Apparently, d#2’s statistics professors taught her about Vegas odds, without actually explaining how the games are played.
We spent a lot of time walking and exploring and window shopping. It was all a bit more laid back and casual than we were expecting, which suited the two of us just fine. Once upon a time, I was under the delusion that Vegas could be a cheap vacation, as long as you didn’t gamble. Maybe once upon a time that was true. I wouldn’t say it was over-priced, but if you wanted to enjoy the nice side of Vegas, it was going to cost you.
Here are some of my Vegas bests:
Best Free Show – The Bellagio Fountains are lovely, day or night. It all looks like an elegant dance, perfectly matched to the music. And when they shoot up to their maximum heights with water cannon booms you can’t help but give a little gasp which turns to a huge grin. There are about 8 different performances, I think we ended up seeing it three times, each different. A close second – The volcano eruption at the Mirage. This one is spectacular after dark, especially when the temperature drops and the jets of fire warm you up. Almost not worth the walk – The pirate show at Treasure Island.
Best Casino– Paris. We didn’t get to all the casinos. We didn’t spend (too) much time in any of the casinos. Paris was the first one we saw that made us feel like we were walking into another place. They have the whole theme concept down. But the real winning feature was that the casino was nestled around the footings of the Eiffel Tower in a park-like setting with trees. D#2 took a picture of the Cafe St. Louis. I got a picture of the WC.
Best Bar/Drink – We REALLY didn’t get to enough bars to do a ranking here, but two experiences stand out. First, the $5 Rum Punch special at the Rhumbar (?) at the Mirage. We decided we needed a rum drink before seeing the pirate show. We decided to share one. It was fabulous. Sadly, to actually enjoy the pirate show we probably each should have had one…or two. Second, there was a bar/lounge at Aria between the check-in desk and the casino. It was peaceful and comfortable. They put out bowls of mixed nuts and wasabi peas. Nice arrangements of nice music by the piano player. And a drink called the Diva which was divine. Don’t bother – I never expected Las Vegas to be a beer town, but I had to try some local brews. We were both suitably unimpressed.
Best Unfree Show – I’m glad that we decided before we got here what show we wanted to go to, because the choices could be overwhelming. Not only are there traditional shows, but there are also zoos and aquariums and museum-quality exhibits. The Cirque Elvis show was fabulous. It was a cross between a big musical of Elvis songs and an acrobatic/stunt show. This was also the best shopping since it was the only place we actually bought anything. The three Elvis CDs purchased here would help entertain us during the 10 hours of driving to come. The show wouldn’t be for everybody, but it was perfect for us – including when they showed his boyhood house in Tupelo and we simultaneously whispered, “We’ve been there!”
Best Unexpected Find – A few years back, Daughter#1 introduced me to Dale Chihuly’s glass art work. So now I always notice it when I run across it, which happens more often than I would expect. Like at the Bellagio.