Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | April 15, 2012

Viva Las Vegas: Turning Thirty in Sin City Day #5 and Day #6

Inside the Venetian

Okay, so I know it’s kind of cheating skipping a day and blogging two together, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles, especially on days when you are in transit.  And since I am writing this from the (dis)comfort of Gate 18 in the Edmonton Airport (yay for sponsoring the wireless, Westjet!), I really can say I am in transit.  This will also be edited once I get home – I packed the cord for my camera in my checked luggage, so pictures will have to wait until I’m back in Yellowknife.

After our day at the Grand Canyon, RubberDuckie and I were very, very tired, so we didn’t rush to get up. We also didn’t have any set plans, other than to putter here and there.  A colleague had recommended that we eat at Bouchon in the Venetian, but by the time we found it at 1 o’clock, their morning hours were over.  Instead, we browsed the Venetian with a New York Pretzel to tide us over.  The building is just gorgeous, and quite quiet in comparison to the other buildings.  It has just knocked the Bellagio out of its “one day” position – if I ever decide to splurge on a fancy hotel in Vegas, it’s going to be the Venetian all the way.  They even have a fine art exhibit, if you want to drop $15 on the admission.  RubberDuckie and I decided to take a pass, as we weren’t in the mood.

We ended up going back across the street to Kahunaville for lunch, since it was cloudy and windy and we decided eating at Treasure Island would also allow us to grab sweaters.  I had brought my rain jacket because it makes for a cute light jacket, never imagining I might need to keep dry in the desert, so imagine my surprise when it came in extra handy!  The lunch at Kahunaville was decent. I had a sandwich sampler plate, and liked the Hawaiian one best (it had pineapple).  I mostly picked at my plate  because between the cold pasta for breakfast and my pretzel, I was pretty full.

After our late lunch, we made our way to the New York New York so RubberDuckie could do her thrill ride. Once there, we found me a quiet coffee shop to wait in since I really, really do not like roller coasters. It isn’t a matter of being afraid (although fear is definitely present); I do like to push my limits a little and am willing to be brave to have a new and exciting experience. Most roller coasters, however, make me nauseous for long periods of time, and that I’d rather avoid.  RubberDuckie did love her ride, though she went just once (she was gone about an hour, so I think there was a bit of a line though she did say it didn’t seem long).  If you have a little time and like roller coasters, I’d recommend getting a day pass.  You can ride all day for $25, when once costs $14.  And, while RubberDuckie loved her ride, I loved having a quiet corner in a coffee shop to read. Quiet corners are hard to find in Las Vegas.

After the thrill ride, RubberDuckie and I walked back to the Bellagio.  We wandered the stores and the building for a little while, waiting closer to sunset so we could get a real experience of the fountain.  The rain was in our favour – most people were moving along the strip and we got a centre view.  We watched two “shows” (they run every half hour), one in the dusk and one once it was darker.  It was beautiful.

We next made our way back to our hotel, where we used our two-for-one buffet coupon courtesy of the hotel.  The spread was pretty fantastic, with food ranging from sushi, Chinese cuisine, southern offerings like corn bread and collard greens, and even pizza. RubberDuckie also made sure to grab a few crab legs, since her family would probably have a heart attack if they found out she didn’t partake. And of course, the dessert table was fantastic.  I just wish I had more room to eat!  At about $15 each (once the cost was split and since we didn’t feel like ordering drinks), it was a fantastic deal.  If you are going to Vegas, I highly recommend using the coupons. Not just the ones the hotel gives you, either: we took a 24/7 magazine from the cab, and there was tons of discounts in it, from food to shows.

We were still pretty bagged, so after dinner, we headed out to watch our cheesy Treasure Island show at 10:00 and then planned to head to pack/go to bed at 10:30 once it was over.  Unfortunately, this time the weather did not work in our favour. Rainy weather and wind means slippery decks and danger from the fire effects, so no Sirens vs. Pirates show for us.  I have to say, I wasn’t too disappointed; what little I’d seen reminded me of the Family Guy and Stewie’s “sexy dance parties”, and while I do like fireworks, I can live without the rest of it.  So our evening ended up being postcards and packing, then a comparatively early turn in at eleven o’clock.

Our Saturday was also pretty chill.  We checked out of our room at ten o’clock and stored our luggage, then had breakfast at Kahunaville, which is the least expensive place to eat in the hotel. The food is also rather delicious.  RubberDuckie indulged in Belgian Waffles. I had something I think was called Big Island Toast, which was similar to French toast, only better.  Texas toast stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries, battered (maybe in a coconut crust?) and flash fried. The waffles were battered in the same, and it was all very fantastic.

After breakfast, I decided it was time I tried a little real gambling.  RubberDuckie and I found a roulette table with a low minimum ($10) and played.  I won $10, and played again.  I won again, and again.  I was up $40, then lost, so decided I would finish thirty dollars ahead (perhaps appropriate, since I am now thirty).  I decided not to play Blackjack this round, but was happy that I did manage to brave trying something new.  It probably helps that I won.

After breakfast, we puttered around the shops at the Venetian, and found another quiet corner where we had coffee and read.  I did a quick run in one last shop, then we cabbed back to the airport. It was a long wait since we got there early and, minus a few hiccups trying to get through the electronic kiosk, we made it through our gates and security fairly easily.  It was a late night by the time we were back.  By the time we got through baggage and customs, it was one o’clock.  RiderFan was there to drive RubberDuckie back to Camrose, while I went to find a shuttle to the Travelodge.

Unfortunately, the weather was gross and snowy, and shuttles were slow. I decided I was just going to spring for the cab, but even those we in short order.  I ended up sharing with a gentleman who was also going to Leduc, as the drivers were trying to take people together since many stayed in the city and they were short.  It was close to two in the morning before I got to bed, and I had a 7:45 wake up.  Fortunately, the Travelodge in Leduc does have a coffee machine in the room, as well as a free continental breakfast and courtesy shuttle.  They did miss me on the wake up call list, but fortunately I always set a second alarm!

And that leaves me here, in the Edmonton airport waiting for my flight, which boards shortly.  I will be glad to be home, where I can put up my feet (I’m limping and am going to need to ice my bruised and possibly strained ankle as a result of all the walking in less than stellar shoes in Vegas) and see my family for a birthday dinner. My next trip will likely be in late May for work, in the Sahtu.  If I get a chance, I’ll blog it.  But now they are calling pre-boarding!  Until the next time!

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