Vegas, the girls, and Chumlee

Las Vegas sign

This is part 2 (of 4) from my Epic Road Trip series.

Vegas was… Vegas. Overstimulation from lights, sounds, tastes and strange sidewalk characters dressed as Mickey Mouse smoking cigars, etc.

Las Vegas from the Bellagio

We stayed at Circus Circus on the 27th floor and had a nice view of the Vegas strip…

view from the 27th floor at Circus Circus

My kids loved the on-site circus attractions so it was a wise choice as far as the kiddos were concerned.

I met up with two of my oldest, dearest friends in Las Vegas who flew down (sans kids) from British Columbia – which is where we met many moons ago while living on the same dorm floor in our first year of university.

Me, Lil & Viv

Vivian (far right) studied pharmacy and went on to become a pharmacist… Lillian (center) studied anthropology and went on to become an urban planner…. I studied women’s studies, fine art, and history and went on to become a… what is it that I do exactly? Obsessive housepeeper extraordinaire?

Anyhow, it was dynamite to see my two buddies again and to indulge in some of our famous gluttonous nights of ‘decadent excess’ which involved more food than drinking. (Although Viv did get a little tipsy with her pink drink)  :)

food at a Vegas Buffet

I love to eat, and I love to be around people who love to eat and who appreciate the sheer joy of food.

There’s a whole lot of food and eating going on at the famed Vegas buffets. Our time there culminated with dinner at the Bacchanal Buffet. The Bacchanal is probably the most beautiful and bountiful buffet in Vegas, maybe even the world. It was extraordinary…

A Vegad buffet

I know this is not a food blog, but I just had to share some of these food pics with you!


Before dinner that night, (and before the excellent Shania Twain concert at the Colosseum), we perused around Caesars Palace and the Bellagio Hotel which are both over-the-top in ostentatious luxury.

First Caesars Palace:

Caesars Palace

As one cab driver bemoaned to us, it’s all fake as hell, but impressive nonetheless.

Lil and me in Caesars Palace

pool at caesars Palace

Imagine all the famous people who lounge around that pool…

At Caesars Palace

Hey – there’s two of them now!  😉

And here are some images of the Bellagio:


Bellagio Hotel

at the Bellagio

In the main lobby of the Bellagio there is an incredible ceiling installation of blown glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly ceiling installation at the Bellagio

The Bellagio also has an on-site retail gallery which sells Chihuly’s work as well. When we were in there, a mature couple came along and nonchalantly said they’ll take the $8,000 Chihuly piece on the top shelf, matter of factly, without even really looking at it.

Dale Chihuly light scuplture at the Bellagio

Another item of note in the Bellagio is the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens:

Botanical gardens at the Bellagio

They change up the design with the seasons and it was all decked out for spring when we were there – real live butterflies and all. (The real butterflies were inside the miniature conservatory.)

The Butterfly Pavilion at the Bellagio Botancial Gardens

It was just delightful, and had my daughter not been riding around on the roller-coaster at Circus Circus with her dad and brother, she would have loved it.

Lady bugs made of flowers

Flower swan at the Bellagio conservatory

My cup runneth over…

Bellagio Botanical Gardens

Another fun thing we did in Vegas was visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop which has become famous from the History Channel hit reality TV show Pawn Stars.

Pawn Stars store in Vegas

It was quite thrilling to pull into the parking lot and line up with all the other Pawn Stars fans and then shuffle inside the actual place where they film all the episodes.

Lining up to go into Pawn Stars

Inside the Pawn Shop

We didn’t see Chumlee, the Old Man or any of the primary cast, but some of the background assistants were there.

inside Pawn Stars

Also, we bought a Chumlee bobble-head doll which is currently parked on top of my refrigerator:

Chumlee bobble head

I don’t think I’ll keep him there… Chumlee glibly staring down at me every time I go to open the freezer is a little disconcerting.

Anyway, the physical space felt surprisingly smaller than it appears on TV.

Me and my kids at Pawn Stars

The whole shop is an L-shape with not much else to it.

inside the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop

Crammed into that small space were a lot of interesting items:

JFK cigar box

1500's Bible

as seen on Pawn Stars

at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop

in the Pawn Shop

ols car on Pawn Stars

My kids were probably the youngest ones in there but they actually enjoyed it.

Me and my kids at the Pawn Shop

And finally, since the Hoover Dam is a mere hop-skip-and-jump away from Las Vegas, we drove over there one afternoon.

Sarah, Viv & Lil

If you’ve never seen the Hoover Dam in person –  it is quite impressive, even scary.

Hoover Dam

The burning question we had the whole time we were there was: how many people died during the construction of the dam in the 1930’s?

The Hoover Dam

The answer is over 100, but the exact number of fatalities depends on if you count the pre-construction period of geological surveys, or not.

I’ll leave you with that plainly morbid thought, but next post we’re off to safer waters in California!

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Epic Road Trip!



  • Sue says:

    This is so cool. Love all the Vegas pictures and jaw-dropping $8000 shoppers. Chumlee and the Old Man are probably out dropping $8000 too with all their fame and fortune. The pawn shop in the town next to me (Naperville) was on the TV for awhile too (2 women and 1 guy) and I could not get them to take anything I had, as they had sooo much already. Loved the morbid ending.

  • Diane says:

    Looks like fun! Gotta love those Las Vegas buffets!

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