Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | April 12, 2012

Viva Las Vegas: Turning Thirty in Sin City Day #3

This is technically my second post of the day.  While I normally like to post at fairly evenly spaced intervals, tomorrow RubberDuckie and I are hitting the road early to check out the Grand Canyon, so I’m getting this out of the way tonight instead.

We managed to catch a couple of "shows" at the Bellagio. The fountain dances for you; I can't wait to catch a night show!

After yesterday’s late dinner (I didn’t manage to get wound down and asleep until about one o’clock), RubberDuckie and I started our day about the same time as we did before.  We had a coupon for a $7.99 breakfast at Kahunaville in our hotel, so we decided to take advantage.  We had eggs, choice of sausage or bacon, toast and potatoes, to which we added a cup of Kona coffee.  The meal was good, and there was a fountain that danced to the George of the Jungle song, so that was nice.

Once we were done breakfast, we picked up our show tickets on the way to the MGM Grand. It takes about an hour to walk there from Treasure Island, even when the crowds are fairly thin.  RubberDuckie’s pedometer count has been over 20,000 steps (in fact, closer to 22,000 steps) two days in a row.  At the MGM Grand, we did the CSI Experience.  I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an interesting experience, but it wasn’t as hands on as I thought it would be.  You observe your crime scene, then you have labs with computers that let you compare things like different pollens and bullet striations.  I had hope for something more tactile and less like a game I could play on a computer at home.  Still, our discounted tickets cost us approximately $15 and we spent almost an hour there.  For anyone traveling with a younger crowd, say in the age range of 10 to 14 with a penchant for crime solving, you might find the experience a little more a propos.

Green lights for the green fairy that beings the show. Simply magical from moment one.

After our stint at the MGM Grand, we stopped to browse in a couple of gift shops, then made our way to Walgreens to pick upsnacks for tomorrow. We also caught the fountain show at the Bellagio (I think they have a different one every 15 minutes to half and hour or so) and even toured a little inside, since they have a gorgeous conservatory with so many flowers.  It’s a beautiful building full stop, and I would love to stay there one day.  Then it was back to our hotel to change and dress up for dinner and the show, not because we had to, but more because we felt like dressing up.  RubberDuckie and I had decided we would eat very near our show, so we chose a burger place called Serendity 3 to have our dinner.  We ate on the patio where it was quieter even though it was a little cool and very windy.  They do play their music loud, there, though, so be warned if you go.  The food was delicious.  I had an ABC burger – the toppings with avocado, brie, and carmelized onions.  Then we split a Broadway Blackout sundae for dessert because it sounded delicious – blackout chocolate cake with fudge, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and whipped cream. It was fantastic, and more than enough for the two of us.  You could even have split it quite handily with another person.  I’d say another two, but we ate all the cake. It was good, moist, dark chocolate cake. RubberDuckie says no good, self-respecting woman would leave it behind.

We had a little time to kill before the show, so we used the bathroom, did a little gambling (now both RubberDuckie and I are $10 ahead), then used the bathroom again.  Then it was time to see if the doors were open for the show.  Now, a little while back I saw a comment about the show (Absinthe) because Neil Patrick Harris had tweeted about it and it ended up making it onto Perez Hilton or People or some other publication I read fairly often. It was enough to get me to look up the show, and the reviews were excellent. I can tell you right now, all the positive reviews?  Spot on.  I don’t think there are words enough to describe how spectacular it was.

One of a few difference acrobatic feats. There was also a "rope" acrobatic act, and other great acts like the roller skaters connect by a rope at their necks as the woman swung about...

The setting is incredibly intimate – it’s set in a tent like a circus, which is in part what it is.  Part circus, part burlesque, and all incredible.  There were feats of strength. Acrobatics.  Songs.  Comedy. I laughed so hard I cried.  I had to hold my breath in parts.  We paid general admission, but the venue is small enough that you can practically reach out and touch the performers. I’m very glad the ticket salesperson at Tix 4 Tonite told us not to get the VIP tickets. The show is so intimate, you really don’t need them.  RubberDuckie and I sat in about the sixth of eight or nine rows in a circle around the stage.  The Spiegeltent is gorgeous, a deep red with glowing lights on the ceiling, beautifully decorated with gold-framed portraits, chandeliers, and all sorts of goodies.  The music playing immediately made it feel that much more magical, and I am struck by the desire to re-read the fantastical (and fantastic) book that is Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”.  In fact, I was expecting nothing less than a magical evening, and boy, did the show ever deliver.

At one point, you could practically count the individual muscles on the torso of the acrobat balancing on another acrobat. I can’t say it enough – it was funny, it was sexy, it was breath-taking, it was spectacular times amazing times fantastic times infinity.  The Huffington Post says if you see only one show in your life, see Absinthe, and I am inclined to agree.  It’s not for your 12 year old to see, of course, and some people might be offended by some of the raunchier parts (Mom, I think you might fall into this category) but if you don’t mind some off-colour comedy and some very suggestive language (and a lot of dropped f-bombs), see the show.  I would see it again.  And again.  And again.

The setting is so intimate, you can see the muscles tremble in effort.

After the show, RubberDuckie and I caught the Volcano show at the Mirage, which was pretty neat itself, with music and water and fire.  It was pretty windy out and some woman said it was cancelled, but we figured she said that so she could steal our primo viewing spot.  It may have worked, but we still managed to find a pretty good spot. We then made our way back to the hotel, where we caught the tail end of the show here at TI-Treasure Island.  We’re going to try to catch the full thing tomorrow, so I won’t go into too much detail, but from what little we saw from a terrible vantage point, I can already tell you there will be mocking. It is heavy on the cheese factor.

That was pretty much it for our day.  The highlight was definitely Absinthe (seriously, love, love, LOVED it so hard), and I can’t stop thinking about how incredible it is.  But now RubberDuckie has gone to bed and I should follow suit so I’m not too tired for our early wake up call.  Until tomorrow!


  1. If you have a chance to see “Phantom of the Opera”, go! It was really amazing.

    • Thank you very much for the suggestion! I’ve actually seen the full version in Alberta, and it was really amazing. Not sure I’ll get a chance to see it tonight before I go, but who knows? The day is still young – or at least middle aged!

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