Where does one go after four days in Minneapolis? Somewhere to warm up, right? So, we figured Las Vegas would be a good place to visit.
Vegas is crazy! Yes, it's warm. Yes, there are beautiful and opulent hotels and casinos and resorts. But it is SO over the top, and each place tries to draw in the crowds and keep them there - they funnel you into the casino and provide drinks and food and entertainment and shopping - the place is like capitalism to the nth degree!
Every hotel has a theme - and then the architecture both outside and inside is designed to evoke another world, another place - Paris, as in the photos above. The Venetian, with a copy of the Ponte Rialto, their own canal full of gondolas and gondoliers, the façade of the building looking like Venetian palazzi. The Bellagio, with a blown-glass ceiling by Chihuly (an amazing glass artist from Washington state) and a huge fountain that dances to music an shoots jets of water so high into the sky it sounds like an explosion. Each hotel/casino tries to out-do the other, to draw in more guests, more pedestrians, and basically make more money.
We had fun wandering around, people watching, eating at the Carnegie Deli (NOT as good as in New York, but really close!), looking at each little mini-world created by each hotel/casino, and just having a good time. There were hordes of tourists from all over the world, women wandering around in bikinis, men in everything from three-piece suits to overalls, street corner Elvis impersonators, you name it, you can find it in Vegas!
Plus I had a very nice win on a slot machine - that always puts everyone in a good mood, right?
We had a free ride on a double-decker bus - because the meter was broken and they couldn't take any money! It was like a Carnival ride, sitting in the front seats of the upper level and towering over the street.
And to top off the excitement of Vegas, we went to Cirque du Soleil's "Love" (courtesy of my brother) which is INCREDIBLE! Cirque definitely has re-defined trapeze and acrobatics - now they've interpreted the music of the Beatles into dance, costume, props, stage set, lights, and of course their acrobatic/trampoline/trapeze/rope/hanging/twirling/swirling/swinging style. There is absolutely NO WAY to sit still or be anything other than HAPPY and ENERGIZED during this show! Well, and I was totally entranced!!!!! It was just amazing!!!
Last note - we stayed at Circus Circus, because we found a great deal and because Richard had never seen a circus. Not that they had elephants in the hotel, or anything - but our drapes and even the shower curtain looked like a big striped circus tent, they had their own big top show (which we never made), and there was a decided atmosphere of fun (including a store that only served popcorn and ice cream). Again, the Vegas practice of creating an atmosphere and milieu through architecture, interior decorating and design, events - I think this would be a great job for art students! It sounds like so much fun to create and decorate an entire hotel and casino to create a mini-world!!!!
We missed photo ops with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Tickle Me Elmo, Homer Simpson, a couple of Vegas chorus girls complete in hot pink glittery bikinis and ostrich feather head pieces, and posing with a silver Porsche. Ah well, maybe next time!