Pounding the Las Vegas Strip

On Monday night we’d found a list of free and cheap things to do on the Las Vegas strip, those iconic things like the Bellagio Fountains that you simply must do! So I dutifully made a list, arranged it in time order and then waited for Glen to make signs of life. His headache from the day before still hadn’t abated and he looked miserable. I was worried we were going to lose a day, but he rallied enough (the dreaded Fear of Missing Out spurring him into action). We left the hotel and messaged Cam who came to join us (his conference being not all that interesting).

From Ancient Rome to Ancient Egypt

Our first attraction was the moving statues in the Forum at Caesar’s Palace. We arrived in time for it to start, having gone up the circular escalators, and waited in front of the Atlantis Fountain for the show to begin. Statues moved up and down, then there were robots that acted out the story of the fall of Atlantis. There were lights, fire, and water. It was more interesting than we thought it was going to be.

From there we continued down to Bellagio to see the Conservatory and the Fiori di Como. The Fiori di Como is a glass sculpture installation in the roof of different coloured flowers. It’s beautiful and quite fitting for the classy looking Bellagio. The Conservatory was decked out in a Chinese New Year theme with animatronic goats on top of a rock. Glen thought he was hallucinating but when I came up and said excitedly that the goats moved, he was relieved. After the Bellagio, Cam returned to Mirage for lunch, while Glen and I continued our journey down the Strip.

We walked a long way to get to New York, New York to take a ride on the rollercoaster. I was feeling ravenous on the walk, having not had breakfast, but while Glen was in the pharmacy looking for Cold and Flu tablets, I bought a protein bar and scoffed that. I felt better.

The roller coaster cost $14 per person and lasted 90 seconds. I usually have to work up to a rollercoaster but I’d tried not to think about it on the walk up. It wasn’t until we were locked in that I started to feel like this was something I didn’t want to do. I kept running reassuring phrases through my head like “It’s only 90 seconds” and “You’ve been on the Leviathan, this is nothing,” and “You won’t die.” Glen then said he wondered why we were on the rollercoaster and that he didn’t particularly want to be on it. That did not help my nerves. But by then it was too late.

It started, going outside the hotel and climbing high before that suspended feeling kicks into your stomach and you descend. I screamed my lungs out. I think I was the loudest out of everyone. Ninety seconds is a long time. I screamed a few more times and then wondered when it was going to finish. Then bashed the back of my head and couldn’t wait to get off. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but I definitely did not want to go again, even though Glen was keen.

From New York, New York, we walked across to Excalibur then caught the tram to Mandalay Bay. That place is huge. We were going to see the aquarium and after a while, I wondered if we’d ever actually make it. We did, however, but it required a stop at Starbucks to get a coffee for Glen. We then paid to go into the aquarium (called Shark Reef) and it was nice, small aquarium with some good exhibits.

The jellyfish was great, as were the angel fish. There was a touch pool with crabs and stingrays (I LOVE stingrays. They feel so amazingly soft and squishy). The shark tank was also impressive with some interesting species, including one with a snout like a saw. There were three scuba divers in there, possibly fixing something on the ground. They didn’t get eaten.

From Mandalay we then had to walk up to Luxor to check out the pyramid and the sphinx. It’s a weird hotel. It’s very quiet and subdued on the inside, which is unusual for a Las Vegas hotel. There was no casino in the central area, which is probably why. We took some photos of the sphinx outside and then decided we couldn’t walk the rest of the way back up so we caught a taxi to Harrah’s.

We ate lunch in the food court and then bought reduced price tickets to Le Rêve for that evening for Glen, Cam and I. Because we had to pick the tickets up before the show began from the hotel, we walked up the Strip to Wynn, got the tickets and then walked back. I was so happy to return to the hotel room and lie down. My feet were killing me. I napped for a bit and took it easy for a couple of hours before the evening’s festivities began.

Stuffed in a Dream

The three of us left the hotel just before 7pm as I was keen to see the exploding volcano out the front of Mirage. Unfortunately when we got there, nothing happened as it had been cancelled, most likely because of the wind. The pirate show at Treasure Island had also closed (but some time ago). We now had a few hours to kill until Le Rêve started at 9:30pm. We chose to go to The Buffet at Wynn.

YAY! Buffet! I preferred this buffet to the one at Caesar’s. I thought the food was better quality, plus we’d paid extra for ‘endless’ drinks. This one is also cheaper than Caesar’s. The layout’s probably not as good but I sampled more things this time around and subsequently left in pain with a thoroughly distended belly.

Le Rêve started at 9:30pm. We had seats in the third row, which was just outside the Splashzone, and we weren’t so low that my neck ached craning to see everything. Le Rêve is a water-based acrobatics show (essentially a wet dream) that’s been on for 10 years. The narrative is about a girl and a guy; he offers her a rose, she hesitates, he disappears, she regrets her decision and then lies down and has a moralistic dream about the whole thing.

Ignoring the rather banal narrative, the acrobatics were impressive, the costumes were good, and I liked the music. There was a lot of diving into the water as well as aerial acrobatics. Oh, and lots of muscular men without any shirts on. I’ve definitely seen more enjoyable circus/acrobatics performances, most of which were at Perth Festival of Arts, however, for a spectacle, I think it did quite well.

So, at the end of the day, we ticked off a lot of the Las Vegas highlights. I didn’t get to bet on a game of roulette like I wanted to but I would have lost so it doesn’t really matter. I did have one bet, however, on a pokies machine for one dollar. It was over in three seconds and I lost. Thanks to Cam’s better knowledge of iPhone features, I discovered we’d walked nearly 20 km in one day. No wonder my feet are sore!

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