Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | April 11, 2012

Viva Las Vegas: Turning Thirty in Sin City Day #2

Well it’s another morning here in Las Vegas, and I’m going to assume it is a beautiful one.  The curtain is closed since RubberDuckie is still asleep, so I can’t actually tell.  Since the temperature back at home is still below zero and here it is most decidedly not, I think I am more than able to make that statement with some certainty.

It's a beautiful day for a birthday in Las Vegas!

I woke up this morning before the alarm again, even though I got to bed quite late.  The beds in the room are comfy, but as ever I have a hard time sleeping in strange places.  It does have an advantage, though – since RubberDuckie can sleep, it means I can putter in the morning quietly without disturbing her.  The hotel is nice overall – the casino doesn’t appear too smoky, the room is spacious, the bathroom quite large – but has a major drawback.  There’s no coffee machine in the room.  I’m quite properly horrified. If I want coffee early in the morning, I suppose I’m just going to have to suck it up and get dressed to run to Starbucks. In any case, on with the rundown of yesterday.

By the time RubberDuckie and I were dressed and ready to leave the hotel, it was close to eleven, so we missed the breakfast menu.  We made our way down to a little Italian place called Maggiano’s, where we ordered pasta.  RubberDuckie had a Chicken Genovese dish, which included spaghetti in pesto, chicken, roasted pine nuts, and all sorts of deliciousness. I ordered a variation on chicken alfredo, a chicken firenze dish. It was fantastic.  The portions were enormous – RubberDuckie and I easily could have split one meal and had leftovers – so we will end up eating cold pasta leftovers at some point this trip.  I also decided that I didn’t care that it was before noon: after my coffee, I was having a birthday drink. So I ordered a glass of Seven Daughters Moscato (I love sweet sparkling wine!) while RubberDuckie ordered a white wine Sangria (which I tasted and it was really good) and we toasted my thirtieth birthday.  There was no room for dessert, so we moved on to our next stop: a discount ticket kiosk we’d passed on our way to breakfast.

Taking a walk down Abbey Road with John, Paul, George and Ringo!

If you are ever in Vegas, I highly, highly recommend stopping at one of the many discount kiosks that pop up periodically on the strip.  I think they are called Tix 4 Tonight.   I think the principle is that they get a block of tickets to sell more cheaply because a sold out show with cheap seats is better than empty seats.  We missed out on the Cirque Tickets (they go by about 9:30) but we did manage to get tickets to see Absinthe tonight, plus tickets to Mme Tussaud’s and the CSI Experience that are good for up to 7 days.  This for only $109 total, savings of about 50%.

We next did some shopping in the Fashion Show Mall, because we were trying to walk through it to get back to Treasure Island.  I found a cute dress in Macy’s and we did a little browsing in the Fossil store, then made our way outside, only to realise we’d gone out the wrong side of Neiman Marcus and pretty much gotten ourselves to square one.  We carried on down the strip and back to the hotel, where we popped our pasta in the fridge, then made our way out to the Venetian to the wax museum.

Now here’s the thing – I was reluctant to go to the wax museum, because I find pretend people creepy (they look like real people, but

RubberDuckie and the wax version of Dale Earnhardt Jr - her favourite driver.

not quite!).  I know, that’s weird and a little silly, but it runs to dolls as well.  Regardless, I faced my fears and am so very glad I did. the wax figures are AMAZING for the most part.  It was like hobnobbing with the celebrities, and most didn’t even really look that off.  The Jennifer Lopez wax figure did  not look like her at all but for the most part they are spot on.  The Halle Berry one looks especially lifelike, the best of them I think.  Highlights for me included singing with Celine Dion, holding hands with George Clooney, being a Bond Girl with Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, and chilling with Elvis.  For RubberDuckie, I don’t even need to ask.  When we went to school together, I don’t know if I could even have told you what Nascar was, but she is a huge fan, and her Nascar go-to driver is the very adorable Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Given how excited she was to have her picture with wax Junior, I think she might actually combust if she met the real thing.

After the wax museum, we made our way to the MGM Grand, way down the strip.  Our plan was to see if there were any tickets to Cirque to Soleil left at the box office, since we wanted to see a Cirque Show, it was my birthday, and I’d already seen the one at my hotel.  We stopped in a few places – Margaritaville for a margarita to cool us off, Walgreens for water and a few other necessities like sunscreen, and then the M and M store.  RubberDuckie had wanted to go there from the start, if we could find it, and there it was, close to our destination. She was also over the moon to find that the sprint car driven by Kyle Busch is featured there, complete with his autograph.  She is very, very glad she came to spend my birthday in Vegas!

I'll make you an offer you can't refuse.

After that, we went to the MGM Grand and were actually able to get tickets to see Ka.  There wasn’t enough time to get dinner first, so we grabbed a snack at Starbucks, did a tiny bit of slot playing (I won ten bucks on my dollar played) then went to the early show.  It was INCREDIBLE experience. I don’t have pictures (you aren’t allowed to take them) but rest assured, it is a beautiful, breathtaking experience.  The story line is awesome (there’s funny moments, romance, and epic battles!), there acrobatics are incredible and there are even fireworks.  There should always be fireworks!

After that, we tried to find somewhere we felt like eating for dinner.  Between crowds and dress codes, we ended up making it all the way back to our hotel for a very late dinner at Pho. It is Vietnamese food, and I ate a vermicelli and spring roll dish not unlike one I can eat at home.  It was fairly good but I honestly just wanted to eat something before bed, because it was already past ten at night. Today we are going to try to do a little better at eating at normal times.  On the plate – the CSI Experience and Absinthe.

Until tomorrow!

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