Having arrived in Vegas, we settled ourselves into our hotel, and went out to explore, and probably more importantly to find some food, for us it was dinner, even though it was early afternoon in Vegas We also wanted to go to a pharmacy, and there was one right across the road. Therein lay the problem, how to cross the road. I think it took six escalators and three bridges to get there! Anyway we made it eventually but decided to eat before going there, to save having to go back and forth too much.
I have to admit I was completely overwhelmed to start with by the size and scale of everything. We were walking through the street and all of a sudden you have Frank Sinatra blasting out to you from goodness knows where. So many people walking around with this huge long drinks in strange plastic containers… I think there were frozen daiquiris and margaritas…. Can't say I was tempted myself. And a constant level of noise, which just takes a bit of getting used to.
The hotel was absolutely amazing, there are two hotels linked together and guests have access to both, the Palazzo and the Venetian, as you might guess it was an Italian theme, each had its own casino that you walk through to get to the rooms, this we discovered was standard for most of the hotels. The first floor was a shopping centre with all the high end stores you can imagine and there was a canal running through the place with gondolas being punted on with guests aboard, we later discovered that this canal went outside too between the two hotels. Photos below. On the third floor there was access to swimming and sunbathing, there were at least three pools, as well as hot tubs, bars, outside eating areas, takeaway, a beauty salon and goodness knows what else. Of course you could go into the Venetian and walk through to the Palazzo, if you had a good sense of direction and and hour to spare! We came across a little row of restaurants which took us ages to find again, and we wanted to go to Sushi Samba, which had a good write up as having a lounge area with a good buzz, we saw it once, and couldn't find it again. Even the plan they gave us didn't help, and we are not unintelligent, even if we are only women!
Anyway, we have enjoyed our time at the hotel and we both agreed it was a good place to be for a first visit. It was extremely central, and although everywhere wasn't walking distance we were able to walk to some places. Uber was a complete godsend, all the hotels have an Uber pick up place, and apart from one driver they were all great. More about him later!
So on Friday night we had booked to go to a comedy gig, which was in the area of Fremont Street, is the other end of the strip from us, Uber required, the hotel was called The D …., one write up about it said make sure you get a room at the back, otherwise you won't sleep for all the noise from Fremont stree.. We were looking for the Uber pickup and went out of the hotel that way by accident, it was just a sea of people. There is a music festival happening in that area this weekend so goodness only know what it's like now. One of the things I noticed in the D was that people were smoking in the casinos, and after noticing it there we realised it was happening in most places, which is a bit of a shock after we have all got used to a complete ban on smoking indoors in the UK.
The comedy was really good, I don't think I have laughed like that for a long time, I even bought a download of the Derek Richard’s, the star, latest CD, hopefully that will give me something to laugh about when I am on my travels.
So that was Thursday, Friday we did quite a bit of walking in the morning and then we had some downtime at the pool, which was just great, did me the power of good. People watching is always a blast and was especially so in Vegas. We were going to see Cirque du Soleil “O” in the evening, which was at the Bellagio, another very grand building. We had to be there two hours before to pick up the tickets, so decided to eat there. Elisabet suggested a Japanese restaurant in the hotel and we agreed that it would make a good change, when we arrived we were given the option of sitting outside and as it was still a very beautiful evening we decided we would. It was a fabulous setting next to what I can only call a man made lake. The food was absolutely amazing, but so was the entertainment, all of a sudden Elvis started blasting out Viva Las Vegas, and the Water was choreographed to dance to it, we were completely blown away by the performance, and managed to catch some of it on film. This was repeated with different music from classical to pop throughout dinner. A couple on the table next to us said it doesn't matter how often you see it, it gets you every time, and I completely understand that. It was a real dinner experience, amazing food and fantabulous entertainment.
So then off to see O, which is a water based entertainment and completely mind blowing. The stage moved from pool to stage with different versions and shapes of the pool all the time, with people diving into the water and performing synchronised swimming routines, as well as being in the air and on the stage. We were both staggered by how people just kept appearing out of nowhere. And there was a good dose of comedy too with the two clowns who appeared at regular intervals to do their routines. I would certainly recommend this show to anyone visiting Vegas, it was stunning, and the technical complexities of the whole thing really made it for me.
In a bid to prepare ourselves for the week to come, we decided to walk back to our hotel, which was only a mile away. I must at this point just tell you how I have been struggling with my feet since I came away. I had a new pair of sandals on when I flew to Boston, and my feet got extremely swollen and I had two nasty sores, one on each foot, which meant I had to live in Flip flops for days, I couldn't get shoes on at all for the wedding, and I had bought a pair specially for that occasion! When I got back to Hollis they started to improve, but then in Vegas the impact of after wearing flip flops for days together with the heat took its toll, skin peeling on underside of both big toes, and then a lovely blister between first and second toes. So it was with enormous satisfaction that I was actually able to get a pair of heels on to go out on Friday night. Even more important because I had an op in June to straighten a toe, which had stopped me wearing heels for the last few years. So I was so happy to be wearing these shoes😀😀😀👠👠👠
However the one mile walk back to the hotel resulted in two more blisters one on the sole of each foot, happiness short lived. Good job I had some Compeed, I was completely mobile again by the following day, was that only yesterday, my goodness, and I am actually able to wear my snazzy new sandals again, so I am making progress in the foot repair department.
The walk back to the hotel seemed to take forever, but it was the first time we had walked through the streets in the evening since we had arrived. The place was just buzzing, needless to say some of the sights were amazing, both good and bad! And then you walk through the hotel casino and it is completely alive, there are cheers coming from a table and all the machines are occupied, with people just feeding them... feed me your money.... I promise you riches...
Saturday arrived and we went out for breakfast and then got an Uber to the Excalibur hotel to pick up our tickets for the first show of the night, the dinner show of Tournament of the Kings. But we got there too early, so decided to play some machines, this was our first foray into the world of Vegas gambling. I started on one machine, but didn't really like it, and moved to another, which was where I won $87 for a $20 stake. Anyway, we couldn't dally because we had to get to the Rio to pick up our tickets for Penn and Teller, the second show of the day of the evening, we were trying to cram as much as possible into our stay. This was where we had elected to do our daily walk, I think it was a couple of miles, and it was ok, I am sure people thought what are those mad women doing walking through the streets, at one point we had three highways running along side us, each with at least two lanes each way, I was worried how we were ever going to be able to get across all that to get to the Rio which was on the other side of all these roads. You always seem to end up walking so much further because a direct route is completely impossible. We picked up our tickets and despite the fact that I had suggested we walk back to the Palazzo from there I had had enough walking. Partly because walking between these hotels offers you no joy, just back road after back road, cars whizzing by, the back of the Ceasars Palace, the back of the Bellagio etc, etc.. nothing to see, just exercise to be gained. So good old Uber was gainfully employed again.
Then the gambling began
This is the second time I have written this, and it seems like days away now. I don't know why it didn't appear the first time around when I published, so I will have to be more careful when editing.
we got back to the hotel and Elisabet was determined that she wanted to have a go at something on the tables. I have played poker with my boys, but its been a while, so I thought 21 would be an easier place to start, and I gave her a quick lesson on a machine on the bar, I think that was one of the quickest $20 I have lost, in just two hands, oh well, I was still ahead. So we found an unoccupied table with a croupier who looked kind... and we started. I was very quickly another $40 down, so decided to stop. Elisabet however was winning, and won about $180 before I dragged her away.
So then it was back to the machines, where I proceeded to lose my winning plus my original stake money, oh well such is life. Elisabet found this really fun machine, where if a lily pad turned up in your line up you got to pick a frog and move him around a pond jumping from lily to lily, we were laughing so much, the man of the next machine was looking at us as though we were mad.
It was finally time to drag ourselves away and go and see our shows, which was difficult but perhaps a good thing otherwise we could have easily carried on all night.
The last night in Vegas definitely time to dress up, bet frocks on, snazzy shoes, and off we go. In the lift a young woman said to us, "Wow you look beautiful, are you going to a wedding?", We graciously accepted the praise, it made our night.
So on to the Excalibur, where we were needless to say completely overdressed, well you cant win them all can you. But worse than that, this was a show with dinner, set in medieval days, and there was no cutlery on the table, and a bowl with a big handle on the side. the soup we had to drink from the bowl, the chicken which was a whole small chicken with roast potatoes and some veg, we had to tear apart with our hands and eat with our fingers, in our posh frocks! Oh well in for a penny in for a pound, we got stuck in, but there was far too much food.
The show itself was a lot of fun, with lots of audience participation. King Arthur was there with his Knights of the round table, and they were each from a different country, we had elected to be in Norway, obviously, as they didn't have Iceland. Our Knight was very handsome, and we cheered he along until he fell during the jousting, yes I did say jousting, on real horses and everything, it was great to watch the horsemanship and the fighting. They went hand to hand if they didn't manage to get a win on horseback, country against country, until there was only one country left and that's when the baddies turned up, there were dragons and plenty and fire. very well staged and everyone was shouting. I have to say I really enjoyed the whole thing.
A quick Uber on to the next Hotel the Rio, and the Penn and Teller theatre, yes they have their own theater, apparently they have been performing there for 20 or more years. I am sure you will be pleased to know we weren't so overdressed this time. The show was ok, but I have to say I was a little disappointed, there wasn't really too much content, there was a lot of audience participation, which was quite amusing in places, and the trick they did were quite good, but I think I would have preferred in retrospect to go and see a musical performance of some kind.
Then we had great fun trying to get an Uber back to the Palazzo, for some reason our driver didn't want to drive into the lane were we should be picked up, and he was on the phone to me saying I am there now coming round with my lights flashing, of course all the drivers were flashing there lights. it took a good ten minutes to work out he wasn't coming around at all, we found him eventually, and got back safely. We were both pretty shattered after a long day, so we decided to leave the gambling and the Sushi Samba and head for the peace, quiet and tranquility of the 40th floor, and bed.
The next day was a new adventure with our trip to the Movara Fitness Resort in Utah.