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.
We stayed at Circus Circus on the 27th floor and had a nice view of the Vegas strip…
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.
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)
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…
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:
As one cab driver bemoaned to us, it’s all fake as hell, but impressive nonetheless.
Imagine all the famous people who lounge around that pool…
Hey - there’s two of them now! ;)
And here are some images of the Bellagio:
In the main lobby of the Bellagio there is an incredible ceiling installation of blown glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly…
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.
Another item of note in the Bellagio is the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens:
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.)
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.
My cup runneth over…
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.
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.
We didn’t see Chumlee, the Old Man or any of the primary cast, but some of the background assistants were there.
Also, we bought a Chumlee bobble-head doll which is currently parked on top of my refrigerator:
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.
The whole shop is an L-shape with not much else to it.
Crammed into that small space were a lot of interesting items:
My kids were probably the youngest ones in there but they actually enjoyed it.
And finally, since the Hoover Dam is a mere hop-skip-and-jump away from Las Vegas, we drove over there one afternoon.
If you’ve never seen the Hoover Dam in person - it is quite impressive, even scary.
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 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!