We survive Sin City with our virtue intact

We tend to find, on vacations, that everyone in the family has somewhat different priorities on where we should spend our time.  Fortunately, Las Vegas caters to all tastes.

Of all of us today, Zoe had the worst luck.  Her main focus was going on thrill rides.  We’d told her about the New York New York roller coaster and the rides on top of the Stratosphere (which Bob refused to go within a quarter-mile of when we were here long ago).  Alas, we kept an eye out all day and did not see any coaster running at NY NY.  Despite walking our feet off all day, we didn’t quite make it all the way up to the Stratosphere way in the north of the strip.  But Zoe is patient and we have promised to return next Saturday, before we fly out.  And luckily, she also likes dolphins, which we saw in large numbers at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden behind the Mirage.

Ceiling at the Forum Shops

Nadia had much better luck, given that her primary interests were Starbucks and gelato.  There is a Starbucks approximately every quarter-mile here (that probably isn’t even an exaggeration), and all of them have long lines.  She was also a big fan of the Forum Shops mall.  And although our main purpose going in was visiting a Starbucks for Nadia, we all thought the mall was pretty cool.  It had extremely elaborate “Italian” architecture, and a cloud-painted ceiling with lighting made to look like you’re strolling down a street in Rome at dusk.  Plus, curved escalators!  (There are a LOT of escalators here too.)

Sunset in Little Italy? No, just the Forum Shops at 10am.

Lanie was content just to take pictures of everything we saw.  In the elaborate and beautiful conservatory within the Bellagio, I had to stop her from individually photographing each flower.  She was also thrilled that we got back to our condo just in time to take a quick dip before the 9:30pm closing time at the pool.



Beyond that, there were several attractions that all of us enjoyed.  When paying the (rather exorbitant) entrance fee to the Secret Garden, we discovered we could buy a three-attraction pass for $57 — a tempting deal since individual attractions mostly cost around $30.  So we sprung for the pass and elected to try the “CSI” attraction where you study forensic clues and try to solve a crime.  A good time was had by all and we figured out the solution even before the clues made it totally obvious.

The four-storey M&M store also provided a fun diversion.  At the picture below, you can see Nadia and Lanie struggling to figure out which of the countless flavors and colors to choose.  We ended up sampling Pecan Pie, Holiday Mint, Vanilla Cupcake, Cherry, and Pretzel, among others.

Living painting at the Bellagio

We caught the fountain show at the Bellagio, and strolled through a simulated St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace at the Venetian (where we recognized some details from our trip to Real Venice a few year’s back).  We saw real flamingoes, and a black swan, at the Flamingo.  When no one could agree on what they wanted for dinner, we found The Yard House, which served Mexican, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, AND pasta.  The girls bought post-dinner gelato and ice cream, even though we were all stuffed — which meant Bob and I got plenty of leftovers.

But the definite highlight of the day was at the end — the Cirque du Soleil Mystere show.  A kind usher upgraded our high-up seats to 8th row,
where performers soared over our heads and ran through the aisle behind and next to us.  (Bob got to reveal one of his special talents before the show, when one of the performers was throwing popcorn for guests to catch in their mouths and he was the only one to manage it on the first try.)  The show was amazing and also very funny, and we all highly recommend it.  


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