Thursday, November 29, 2007

LV: Wednesday continued, plus the finale

This is the Venetian, where you can sail lazily along in a gondola on a river that runs through the hotel. The drawback to this, as we saw it, is that about 500 people stand around watching you float by, and we like to fly below the radar most of the time, so we just watched from far away. But I love the color of the water, and the idea that we might do the real thing someday :)
This man had the biggest of of the big, booming voices. We didn't need a ride in the gondola to be serenaded - we could hear him just fine from up above!
This is the Conservatory at the Bellagio. The plants and flowers are changed seasonally. Mike & Amanda thought we would enjoy it, and they were spot on :)

Oh, the fountain show at the Bellagio. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it. I would watch it again & again & again and not ever grow tired of it. Jan Michael gives it a solid two thumbs up, too. It was right at the top of the list of very best things we saw on our trip. If you are ever in Las Vegas, you must see it. That's an order. You can stand there with the love of your life and watch the water and listen to the music and you will be glad.
We found this at Treasure Island while we were waiting for seating to begin for Mystere. It made us think of our bike-lovin' brother :)
The most important thing on our agenda for Thursday, our last day in the city that never sleeps, was to watch the fountain show at the Bellagio again. We had planned to see it the night before after Mystere, because if the daytime show is fabulous, the nighttime show must be spectacular, but we were pooped and adjourned to our room like a couple of old-timers. We also thought we'd like to waltz around Paris & New York, New York for a little bit, too. Our plans took a different course, however, due to an unfortunate bout of gastro-intestinal trouble. How thankful I am to have a husband that will seek out a drug store in a strange town in search of Gas-Ex. Anyhoo, by the time we arrived at the strip (several hours after we'd planned), we didn't have much interest anymore in Paris & NY NY and we discovered that our attractions guide listed an incorrect time for the fountain show. So we settled, instead, for pictures in front of what would later be the fountain show. And then we strolled away, hand in hand, boarded our plane, and flew off into the sunset, happily ever after.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Chapter 3

I apologize for the delay between chapters 2 and 3. First, we were stuffing ourselves with turkey (haha, get it?!), and then the internet was down for a couple of days, of all the inconvenient things.

On Wednesday we set out to explore the hotels we hadn't seen the first time we visited Las Vegas. Caesar's Palace was easily my very, very favorite, especially the mall, because of the statues and architecture. So, so, SO beautiful. It makes me want to grab Jan Michael and fly off to see the real deal :)

I tried to stop taking pictures of these statues, but I just couldn't. They were calling to me.

This is at the entrance of the FAO Schwarz. Pretty brilliant to have a trojan horse at Caesar's Palace, don't you think?
AND you could actually scramble up and stand on the balcony!

At the Mirage we went to Siegfried & Roy's dolphin and white lion & tiger habitats. Of the three, the dolphin was our favorite, and we watched her for quite awhile. At first I thought the two gals in wet suits were trainers, but actually they were just super lucky ducks that probably paid an arm and a leg to be able to frolick around with her.

The tigers, of which there were two, were fun to watch because they were so active. They did a lot of roaming around the enclosure, sauntering right along the fence, so we were able to get lots of good looks at them. The lions, however, were lying in a big heap, not unlike bumps on a log. No amount of calling to them or pleading with them or stamping my feet at them made a bit of difference, so we didn't take any pictures. And that'll teach them, that's for sure.
I remember wondering why they had a swan in the same area as the lions and tigers, but anyway, here it is, and very pretty, too, I think.

Monday, November 19, 2007

LV, Chapter 2

Let me begin with this: Tuesday was not our favorite Las Vegas day. No, no, a thousand times, no. We were bamboozled. Hornswaggled. Flimflammed. Sandbagged, even! We were strolling through the mall at Planet Hollywood, minding our own beeswax, when all of a sudden a very exuberant woman steered us to another very exuberant woman, and before we knew it, before we even had time to turn around really, we'd agreed to view a resort property at the other end of the strip.

It's only a 90-minute tour, the woman said. All you have to do is view the property, she said. We'll even give you free tickets to dinner and a show, she said. Well, we said, we'd like to take the free tickets to Cirque de Soleil's Mystere. Ahhh, she said, those happen to be very expensive tickets, $300 tickets, VIP tickets in fact, so you'll have to forego the free dinner. And I'll need to take a $40 deposit from you, she said. Of course we'll return it once you arrive at the resort, she said.

After all was said and done, the tour, which was actually a very high-pressure sales pitch (because WHO IN THE WORLD wouldn't want to own a time-share on the very prestigious Las Vegas Strip?) was over 3 hours. We had our very own salesman, who brought in our very own mortage calculator, who left us alone twice to discuss whether or not we'd like to purchase the one or two-bedroom condo, even though we respectfully declined the offer the first time around. The mortgage calculator made it somewhat clear that he thought we were foolios for passing up such a stupendous investment opportunity, and the salesman predicted we'd come crawling back in four years to rectify our mistake.

But lest I complain too much, I will list the positive things regarding our little jaunt down time-share lane:
1. We each got two free glasses of Sprite, and I got a free package of peanut-butter crackers while we were there.
2. We did receive the two free tickets to Mystere, which was a very interesting show. However, we also did some research, and determined that they were not $300 tickets. Maybe they were worth a total of $140, but there's no need to nit-pick, is there?
3. They also gave us our $40 deposit back, just like they'd promised; otherwise, there may have been some flying elbows and fisty-cuffs.

And now, on to the pictures:

The only thing we had time for in the morning, before taking the shuttle to the resort, was a trip through the flamingo enclosure at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. There were other sorts of birds there, too, and also some turtles. Once the resort tour was over & done with, the day was long spent, and it was time for....

dinner at Mike & Amanda & Dane's house! We'd known of them through their blog, and it was so lovely to be invited to their home to meet them in person. We also met Amanda's parents, Steve & Pearl, as well as Jeff & Renee (other fellow bloggers & WA natives!) and their little ones Carter & Camden. We felt very welcomed, and our time with all of them completely made up for our teeth-gnasher of a day :)

Chapter III coming soon...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Las Vegas, Chapter 1

Here we are in the shuttle on the way to the airport Monday morning. I wanted proof of the sort of weather we were escaping. I love Jan Michael's expression because it clearly says, "My wife is a big doofus for wanting to take a picture in the Wally Park bus, but I love her and I will humor her."
Fast forward several hours later, and here we are, safe and sound at the hotel with our sweet ride. It was sort of surreal to be able to drive around with the windows down in November. You can't do that in Washington, you know.
And then, before we hit the buffet, I had to rest my poor tired feet. The boots I wore were not made for walking. Or standing, really. As it turns out, they're only really good for looking at.
On Tuesday, after breakfast at - get ready for it - the buffet, we roamed around and explored Sam's Town. It's really a neat place. The hotel is a big square, and inside the square is an enclosed courtyard with a huge waterfall and all sorts of beautiful flora and fauna, which you will see more of momentarily.

Our room was on the 8th floor up behind the waterfall, and it was fun to be able to look down and see the entire courtyard below. They also had a show several times a night involving the waterfall and music and maybe some lights, but somehow we managed to miss it.

It's shots like this that make Derek kick himself for not hiring me as a poster girl.
And it's shots like this that make me congratulate myself for snagging such a cute husband :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another fine, fine weekend

Let me just say that our weekend was one big bundle of delight. On Saturday, Sara & I went shopping all the day long while Derek did his thing at a wedding and Jan Michael held down the fort at home. Yesterday, when we were all together, we ate some pizza & salad and laughed & laughed & laughed about other people's most embarrassing moments. Once again, Derek & Sara, we thank you for staying with us. As Dad Pearson always says, You're welcome here anytime!!

You see how a good shopping trip can make us smile, even a day later [And besides that, we love each other :)]

A fine looking couple!

This is the kind of behavior I get when I announce it's time for a picture. You see what I have to contend with.

They make 'em handsome in the Pearson family!

Happy, happy us :)

And now, if everything goes according to plan, and our flight is not delayed due to the monsoon that is whipping around the great Pacific Northwest this morning, we will arrive in Las Vegas this afternoon. Yahoooo!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jog, lady, jog!

Well. I ran yesterday for the first time in at least a month, and when I was done, I thought, "Now why in the world haven't I been doing this all these weeks?" It was really quite enjoyable (much to my surprise), and besides that, I was able to knock out 2 miles, which was farther than I thought possible, considering my rather lengthy hiatus. I was not born to run, you see (unlike Jan Michael, who once ran 10 miles, with a quick stop at the Payless along the way to buy a walkman, just so he could visit me...and that was before we were even an item! But that's another story...)

I am toying with the idea of blatantly copying my friend Aleigh and starting a new blog devoted to exercise, or in my case, jogging. I'm a little anxious about that only because what if I quit again in a week and then, since I've put my progress out for public scrutiny, everyone can see what a great big quitter I am?

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General and 1912 Olympian

Also, earlier tonight I was able to catch the old man pumping iron. I'm sneaky like that :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Three announcements

1. I have been chomping at the bit recently to put new pictures on here, but have encountered a problem or two: We haven't been doing all that much that warrants a bunch of pictures (lots of cozy days at home and that sort of thing), and when we have, I've been very lazy with the camera. However, we are scheduled to leave for Las Vegas one week from today, and I am planning to take more pictures than you'd ever care to see, so that's something to look forward to.

2. I have read and appreciated all of the advice in response to my pathetic plea for exercise motivation. And I seem to feel a little bit more enthusiastic about getting back into the swing of things, which is a relief. Tomorrow I might even run, if I can manage to fend of the 101 excuses to avoid it.

3. There is the possibility that Derek & Sara will be coming to visit us this weekend. That would be very, very fabulous, and if they do, I will be happy to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up a tater-tot casserole for Derek.