Jun 2, 2008

Viva Las Vegas, Baby, Yeah!

As I said a few days ago, we're back! Our trip was great, the only bad part was I'm now back at work. Well, I told you I'd post this once I was less smelly and tired. Well, I think I'm about as good as I can get, so without further ado, (maybe a little bit more ado) here's our Las Vegas travelogue for your blogging pleasure!

Monday morning we left, a bit later than we wanted, (only about 10 minutes though) and I drove. With my new radio in the car we listened to CDs and my ipod, except during the beginning where Tracie napped (or tried to) and I sang songs to myself (or tried to). I got grouchy as I tend to do on long road trips, but we still liked each other enough to decide to sleep in the same hotel room.

Tracie found these "Power Passes" online, that let you go to a lot of Las Vegas Attractions for one low low cost, so our first stop was Caesar's Palace where we picked up the PP's (that's Power Passes) at PH (that's Planet Hollywood). Off we went to the Luxor, Tracie married a bit of a cheapskate, so we carried our luggage from the parking garage to check in, then we carried our luggage to our room: a luxurious Tower-suite! (Don't worry. We (and by we, I mean Tracie) found a great deal online so it was very inexpensive!) after unpacking and resting a bit, we ventured to the Luxor atrium, only to discover they don't accept the power pass to go on their Obelisk ride or see their King Tut duplicate exhibit.

A bit of a rant here: So, what you're saying is, even though internet is the FASTEST way to advertise something and change something, and you've had TWO MONTHS to take your attractions off the website, (and the person I called said "Yes, we accept the Power Pass!") you're either too busy to change the information, cheapskate Luxor, or you're too stupid to do it. I didn't wanna go on those attractions anyway. :(

So, anywhoo, we went to a NICE hotel, the Venetian, (and by NICE, I mean honest, and able to use the internet) and saw Madame Tussaud's or whatevers Celebrity Wax museum. We took lots of pictures, we'll have to post them someday, of us with such celebrities as Brad & Angelina, Michael Jordan, President Bush, Johnny Depp, Martin Luther King Jr., Abe Lincoln (No, I said "Hey, Blinkin!") Ben Franklin, Liz Taylor, Sinatra, Shaq, and... Mr. Wayne Newton!!! That was one of the coolest things we did. Oh, there was also a little haunted house exhibit at the wax museum. I didn't want to go, being not the biggest fan of haunted houses, but we went, and it was fun. There was Freddie, Jason, Chainsaw guy and some other scary movie freak jumping out of the walls to growl at us menacingly.

So, after the Wax Museum (with a wax Nicholas Cage on the outside. Which of course led me to quip that even if it was the REAL Nicholas Cage, we wouldn't really notice.) we went to Postrio's, a Wolfgang Puck Bistro Cafe. We had gourmet chicken drummies (they of course called them drummettes) and a gourmet pizza. It was gourmet greasy but gourmet good. Then, with our PP's, we got 2 for 1 Ice cream at Haagen Dazs. Oh, we also saw some fun street performers at the Venetian, fun and funny. Next we drove to the Las Vegas Hilton (not to be confused with the Las Vegas Hitler) and went to the Star Trek Experience. Neither Tracie or I are very big Star Trek fans (especially not compared to some. There were several grown men who looked frighteningly like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons) but it was on the Power Pass, so we went. They had 2 rides, the Klingon Experience and Borg 4-D Adventure. I liked the Klingon one better, though it was more low-tech, it was more creative and interesting, I thought. They start you off in 4 short lines in front of 4 doors, like Star Tours, but then it goes completely dark, you feel wind and see flashing lights, then you're on the deck of the Enterprise, like you were just beamed up. Very cool. The Borg Adventure was more like Honey I Shrunk the Audience, with 3-D glasses and water squirting you in the face. Following our adventure at the Hilton (favorite T-Shirt at the Gift shop: "Real men never set it to stun") we went to the New York New York Roller coaster Roller coaster. We've done it before, but, you guessed it, it was on the PP, so we rode it. It was fun, made me a little sicker than last time (probably because I'm a little older and fatter than last time) and we went back to our hotel room and took a nice bath in our jetted tub and called it a night. Not bad for a first day, just a bit tiring.

Day 2 (We'll call it Tuesday) we went to the Las Vegas Art Museum. It was cool, it had all contemporary artists, (the oldest one was a great big $ by Andy Warhol of course) but it should have been called more of a gallery, as there were just 3 small rooms and 20 works there. Next came the Bellagio. All you have to say is Bellagio and you're loving it. We went to the Conservatory & Tracie got a lot of pictures of the flowers and things there (paling in comparison to the temple grounds, but still not bad for Vegas) we also went to the Art Museum there, again, more of a gallery, but it had some really cool O'Keefe paintings and kind of cool other people paintings there. (I'm such a freakin docent, seriously. "This is 'Something' by 'Whatshisname' done during his 'Whatever' period. As you can see, the brushstrokes and color palette are a precursor to his later stuff. Or not.") Following the Bellagio, we rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris and saw the Bellagio fountain exhibit, fun, and got a few pictures of Vegas from the top. Following that bit of vertigo, we went to the nicest casino on the strip, Circus Circus! In Circus Circus we went to the Adventuredome, a theme park indoors. It was smaller than we expected, it was like an indoor carnival, but we had fun on the roller coaster, Marvin Martian, and Spongebob rides. Here Tracie got her fortune told by a Zoltar machine, not nearly as Satanic as in the movie, and we also got our picture of our mutant monkey child with the bad 80's hairdo (but is there anything called a "good" 80's hairdo?). And that night we went to the old Las Vegas Strip and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was fun, but missing it's old magic. Possibly from the fact that the title character qualifies for a senior citizen discount, or that the dialogue was as bad as Cate Blanchett's accent. That's supposed to be Russian?
I wrote a review of it in my journal, but I liked it better than I made it sound, and you've probably seen it by now too, so you can have your own opinion. Bad plot idea, subpar acting, crappy dialogue aside, I still liked it if for no other reason that what I always say: Any Indy is good Indy. (Indiana Jones, not an Indie movie. Those all suck. ;)) I heard the Russkies protested/banned that movie, and NOT because Cate Blanchett's acting was so bad.

Wednesday, Our last full day, was the most relaxing and therefore the most fun. We spent a lot of the time in the hotel room, having fun, and we also went to Ethel M's Chocolate factory. (Btw, the M is for "Mars", not "Mertz" as I postulated) it was fun, we paid for some overpriced chocolates and toured their cactus garden, one of the biggest in the world, surprisingly cool. (pun not intended, for once). We also saw Sea Monsters 3D at the Luxor IMAX, fun but not as scary as I thought. (Yes, I went to IMAX thinking I'd get scared and was surprised when it was educational instead.)

Thursday we left via the Luxor Breakfast Buffet, drove home. We made 1 stop at In N Out Burger in St. George because I promised my cousins & aunt & uncle I'd get them some, and then I went to 2D Design class in SF. (Spanish Fork, not San Francisco)

Friday we had work, then the weekend started again!

And there's our trip in a nutshell. Stay tuned for what we did over the weekend!!!


Erin said...

Oh Austin, I am jealous! I regret that Dan and I never made the trek to Vegas when were so close to it. I went once without him and was surprised at how it wasn't all gambling and strip clubs-- it was actually a fun, artsy and romantic city!! Cherish these times, after kids they are pretty much non-existant though I still have dreams of going somewhere and not having to tote around a diaper bag or am able to stay out past 7 p.m.-- Glad you and Tracie had so much fun!

JanB said...

Glad you had so much fun.
I've never spent more than a day there myself, but maybe someday.

Monica said...

HEY! Austin. It's Monica Beckstrom/Haymore. I don't know if you remember who I am {Gary's Oldest daughter. Anyway, Sounds like vegas was fun. We have been a few times during the summer with Jeff's work. We mostly hang out at Lake Mead, and stay in whatever hotel his former boss put us up in.

Heather said...

Ryan and I rode the Obelisk ride, and went through the King Tut duplicate musuem. Trust me, you didn't miss anything at all!

Your time is better spent on the roller coasters, which I would have enjoyed so much better with Ryan, instead of ho-humming at a fake "movie set" with Egyptian themes.

Mandy said...

Wow that sounds like so much fun! I have never been a huge fan of vegas but it sounds like you guys had a great time! A weekend away would be heavenly right about now!

Kris said...

The fun things that you can find to do in Vegas without gambling. Maybe you should create a flyer on it, sell it, make some money, and have some more fun.