Dec. 30th, 2007

mellicious: pink manicure (Las Vegas sign)
Before I go back to the part I've already written, I would just like to note that I've felt like crap ever since I got home. I'm not real happy about that. I suspect it's half cold/sinus crap and half pure old exhaustion. (Although I ought to be getting over the exhaustion part by now, if that's the case, shouldn't I?)

I hadn't really spent much time in this section of the Strip – north central, more or less – and I wasn't really that familiar with the general layout. For one thing, when we came to see the Sirens three years ago, we didn't walk all the way up here from the Luxor, we took a cab – and I seem to have gotten completely turned around about the geography. Meaning that I thought the Venetian was north of TI when it's actually right across the street to the east. You know how little things like that can confuse you for ages, sometimes? Well, this was one of those times. I was determined to think the entire Venetian was someplace that it's actually not. But I got over it eventually. I also had some idea that the new Wynn hotel was set well back from the strip, when it's not. It's actually right across the street from TI too, only catty-cornered. (If I'd realized how close it was, I probably would've given much more thought to getting Spamalot tickets, quite frankly.) The fourth building on that corner – S. Las Vegas at Sands Blvd - is the mall. Fashion Square Show Mall, is the name of it. I had been in it before, 20 years ago. It has improved in the interim, I have to say. In the 80s, it was just another mall, not much fancier than the ones we went to in Houston. It can't compete with some of the other Strip shopping venues for the big designer names, still, but it has enough of them, and also more of the stores that real people would actually shop in, unfashionable as that is to say in Las Vegas. (More on shopping later, I'm sure.)

Sick or not, Rob got up our first morning in Vegas and ran 5 miles or so. I had figured out this route for him based on some maps I'd found – north up the strip to Stratosphere and back, and then south to the Eiffel Tower and back, should be 5 miles. But he ignored that and just ran round and round the outside of TI instead. He said it worked fine. Once he got back, and showered and managed to roust me out of bed, we went down and had the breakfast buffet. The surroundings weren't as fancy as the last Vegas buffet I had (the Luxor, that is) but the food was just as good. If you don't mind paying $13 for breakfast, it's worth it. And frankly, I don't think you can get breakfast a whole lot cheaper than that anywhere in Vegas that's not a McDonald's, anyway.

After breakfast was when we first went to the mall. There were raised walkways all around that corner, presumably in the interest of keeping all those pedestrians from getting run over. So from the TI casino, all you do is take an escalator up a level and walk across the street on the bridge. We looked around at the mall for a bit and then we walked over the next bridge, across to the Wynn, where Rob made an unusually large bet by his standards and won $45 on a dollar machine. (That was the only big win we had, really, until we were leaving on Friday.) But then, Rob showed a definite tendency to stick to the 5-cent and under slots, which limits the amount you can win pretty severely. There might actually have been some cause-and-effect concerning the amount he won and his later frugality, too – I think he liked the idea of being able to say he's ahead for the trip.

So we cashed out the big $45 win and walked over to the Venetian, next. They are still building like crazy on the Strip – you'd think they'd be running out of room by now, but no. They just tear down the older ones and build more monstrosities. There's something called “City Center” and a big tower marked Trump (shudder) – and the Venetian is adding on too – a whole new building called the Palazzo, right on that corner, Sands and LVB. Apparently it's due to open any time now, but is not actually open yet.

A lot of the new construction seems to be condominiums, and everywhere you go, there are people wanting to sell you timeshares. We had great difficulty fending them off – we seemed to fit into some demographic they were looking for. We decided it was probably couples between 40 and 55, in that “prime earnings period” before retirement. (Ha.) They kept trying to give us show tickets, so we finally figured out several answers that would cause them to give up on us - “We already have show tickets” for one, and later, “We're leaving today,” and best of all turned out to be “No, we're not coming back to Vegas any time soon.” I have always liked Vegas and Rob liked it too, but it's too far away and too expensive to think of making this anything like a yearly trip. Maybe in a few years we'll go back. So anyway, that makes us a difficult sell for condos, thank goodness.

The Venetian was one of the two big hotel complexes I hadn't already been in – Caesar's was the other, and both have now been remedied. I was rather disappointed in the Venetian, to tell you the truth. People always talk a great deal about how elegant is it and so forth, and I didn't see it so much. (Did I miss some terribly elegant part, someplace?) The shopping area was nice, but as in most of the hotel shopping areas, the stores were much too upscale for me to do much more than look in the windows. And the whole fake-village-with-canal concept sort of started to give me the creeps. I dunno, it was ok, but not anything to get that excited about. I thought the outside was the best part of it.

(More later.)

The view

Dec. 30th, 2007 11:07 pm
mellicious: pink manicure (Las Vegas sign)

View from hotel room
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.

This is looking south down the strip from our room.

(There should be quite a lot more pictures, incidentally, but I've only gotten a few onto flickr so far.)


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

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