Sunday, February 20, 2011

Las Vegas 2011...Part One...

Cathy and I have been to Vegas three times since we got married. The last time was in February of 2010. So it had been a year and we decided it was time to go back. We stayed at Planet Hollywood again, for the third time, and again that was absolutely great. This time most of the trip's major expenses, like airfare and hotel, were paid for by Christmas gifts from my grandparents and parents.


We left out of Lansing on Monday afternoon. Our flight left at 3:35 PM and we had a connection in Detroit before making it to Las Vegas later in the evening. We made it to the hotel I would say right around 8:00 PM. A bit later than the last few times, but a good time regardless because everything in the hotel was still open.

After settling into the room we went down to the Miracle Mile Shops in the hotel, that's the mall. We did a bit of shopping and got our coupon book and then decided that we should probably get something to eat. We decided to try the newest restaurant in the mall, the Pro Bull Riding Rock Bar. The food was pretty good, but one of the sides was absolutely amazing. They served "Doritoes Crusted Mac and Cheese." I thought it sounded kind of odd, but it tasted great. After eating, we did a bit more wandering around the mall and eventually made it back to our room. Later on that evening we were a bit hungry again, so we hit the Planet Dailies restaurant for a quick snack and some drinks. Then we pretty much called it a night.


On Tuesday we decided to head towards the north end of the strip. We wanted to go to the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in the Venetian. We went there on our first trip and had fun, and this time was great too. It had been long enough that many of the things inside the museum had been changed.

On the way back from the Venetian, we stopped at the Mirage and visited Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden, another spot we had been before. This time we lucked out, though. As soon as we walked in we got to watch the dolphin trainers feeding and training the dolphins, and then after we were done with that we wandered through where all the big cats are at and got to see them feed two seven month old white tigers. Awesome stuff.

After that, we went to the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. While there we decided to eat at the Cheesecake Factory, and it was awesome. I just wanted to mention that Banana Cream Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory may in fact be the greatest thing that a human mind has ever come up with. I sit here and drool just thinking about it.

After that, we had been gone for most of the day so we headed back to our hotel and ended up doing some more wandering around the mall. That's when I ended up buying the Stetson and some stuff from the Quiksilver Store. I wanted to take a second to note that I bought a TON of Quiksilver stuff while we were out there, but I made out like a bandit. Most of the items I bought were already marked down 50%, and then on top of that they had another 50% off of those items that were marked down. So I got a $30 T-shirt for $8, a $30 hat for $8, a $60 messenger bag for $15, etc. I spent way too much money there, but it's stuff that's pretty hard to find around here.

After wandering through our mall for a while, we did some gambling, lost, and then went back to the room. We decided to go and catch one of the shows in the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops. We ended up seeing Marc Savard who does a comedy hypnosis show. We had two for one tickets for that, so we got the premium seats. We ended up sitting in the very front row and had an absolute blast. The show was great, and definitely worth the price of admission. After the show, we got a few drinks from the bar and then called it a night.


Wednesday was our big "planned" day. It was the day that we had pre-purchased tickets for the Carrot Top show and we were going to be hitting everything on the South end of the strip. We headed out fairly early (by our standards) and the first thing we did was go to the Coca-Cola World Store. It's a great store that we've been to every time we've gone to Vegas but it is still fun even if it's mainly the same products every time. We always end up getting a Mexican Coke and sitting in the upstairs part to enjoy the drink. Mexican Coke, for those that don't know, is Coca-Cola that is sent here from Mexico. That doesn't seem that great, until you realize that in Mexico they still make Coke with real cane sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup.

After the Coke Store, we stopped at the M&M's World. Cathy got some candy and we just wandered around there. It's another place that we've been to every time we've gone and it remains fun and interesting even when you've been there numerous times.

Upon leaving M&M's World, we went to the MGM Grand and did one of the cases at "CSI The Experience." We did one of these last year when it was brand new and had a lot of fun, so we jumped at the chance to do another one this year. It was fun, but some of the people that were doing the same case as us were VERY slow. It was a bit irritating, but didn't stop the whole thing from being a good time. Cathy and I must be pretty good crime solvers, because we both got the crime figured out to a "T."

We left MGM Grand headed across the street to wander through New York New York. We were going to have something to eat at a hot dog place inside there, but it wasn't there anymore. We decided instead of eating something that we didn't really feel like we would go over to Excalibur because we remembered them having a pretty nice food court. We got there and ended up going with a Pizza Hut Express. Good choice. It wasn't expensive and it really hit the spot. While we were in Excalibur, we ended up going to the Emporium with all of the carnival games and having some fun. We played some games and just had an all around good time.

We left Excalibur because it was getting close to time for Carrot Top. We went to the Luxor and ended up going through the shops that connect Mandalay Bay and the Luxor. After doing that we decided to get a drink or two in the Luxor while we waited the last little bit. We noticed while in the bar EVERYTHING in the Luxor had been completely remodeled. The hotel looks great. We stayed there the first time we went and although we had fun didn't particularly think the hotel was very nice. I mean, it was nice, but it just seemed to not be aging very well. The makeover has changed that. It's a very chic and modern looking place now.

Then we went to Carrot Top. Again, absolutely great seats. Right in the front row. The show was amazing. I thought he was hilarious. Everything about the show was just fun, and most of it had me cracking up. Even his opening act was really good. She was a comic and really funny.

After the show we headed back to our hotel. We were hungry again so we went to Planet Dailies and got some grub. After that, we called it a night and went back to the room for some sleep. It had been a LONG day.

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