Mom and the rest of the ladies got into Las Vegas a day before I did. They spent their first night at Palace Station. They raved about the breakfast they had the next morning, so we decided to repeat it the morning of Mom’s birthday. After days of eating like carnivores, we actually had a fruit plate to start. When our bodies didn’t reject it outright, we safely proceeded to eat even more eggs and bread and hash browns. While we were eating, this old man on crutches hobbles by and sits at a nearby table. What’s so special about that? Nothing. His hair though, that’s another story. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It was a crimson mohawk. Not sure what he was thinking… That orange shirt doesn’t work at all with that hair color.
After breakfast, we took a drive all the way up the Strip so we could get pictures with everyone in the daylight. We gave all the cameras to our official photographer, Diane and waited our turn in front of the sign. An Elvis impersonator there sang to Mom for her birthday (also a Big Bird that may have given Aunt Wendy the finger). Diane was a bit rushed when taking the pictures due to the crowd behind her. The pics on my camera were ok, but the top of the sign is kinda missing. I’m not sure how all of the other cameras turned out. I was just glad to get back into the wonderful air conditioning of the van.
We drove down to the Paris casino and parked the van. We decided to walk through the casino and over to the Bellagio. Turns out these are not tiny little places, but rather large. Add to that the heat, and it made for another big hike today. Not the last one however. I’m going to skip the wordy words and just add in some pics of what we saw. No need to thank me, I can already feel your appreciation.
I linked the picture of the glass sculpture to a story about it. It’s by an artist named Dale Chihuly. There were so many more pictures I could have taken, but I didn’t. Consider yourself lucky that I’m out of my “National Geographic” artsy fartsy phase.
After we got back to the van, we headed down to Old Vegas and turned left to go to Premium Outlet Mall – North. By this point, it was lunch time and hotter than people should probably be out in. We shopped our way to the food court, fought off hordes of people to get a table, ate, then enjoyed an ice cream cone that melted almost as fast as you could eat it. Most of us headed back to the hotel, with a couple of die-hard shoppers staying behind for a few hours. You know who you are. Back at the hotel, Mom had to ice her knee as it had swollen up from all of the walking during the last few days.
Mom’s birthday dinner was at the Paradise Buffet at the Fremont Casino right on Fremont Street. I feel like I should have more capitals in that last sentence. Mom’s Birthday Dinner! Yeah, that’s better. The swelling in Mom’s knee had gone down enough that she was ok to walk a bit. Getting around the Fremont area is a bit tricky with one way streets and hard to locate parking. Ended up getting valet service at the Fremont Casino (turned out to be free – they work for tips). A short walk through a very smoky casino brought us to the Paradise Buffet. It being a Tuesday, it was seafood night (crab and shrimp), which is why it was chosen. Following my usual plan of attack, I like to try new things when I see them at buffets (like the frog legs I found at the one in Bellingham). This time is was crawfish. I grabbed one of the mini lobster looking guys on my first pass through the food trays. I made a complete mess of it and still don’t think I got any actual meat off of it. I had to settle for crawfish salad (like seafood salad, only more crawdaddy). The star of the show, for me anyway, was the pecan pie at the end. I almost went through this trip to Vegas without pie. I more than made up for it with two pieces of pecan pie and a piece of lemon meringue. Can’t figure out why I gained weight. It’s a complete mystery.
We rolled out to Fremont Street to try to see the Fremont Street Experience, but it didn’t seem to be up and running. What they did have was a live band (The Spazmatics) playing on a stage set up between The D! and the Four Queens. They did quite a few covers of 80s songs. Good hearing live music, but I kinda wanted everyone to experience the Experience. Fortunately, there have been other people that have recorded their experiences and posted them to youtube. Over at The D! they had dancers on the outside bar that neglected to put on all of their clothing. How embarrassing it must have been to come to work without your clothes on and finding out your coworker not only did the same thing, but was also wearing the same underwear. What a weird coincidence.
We walked up and down Fremont Street a bit and soaked in the atmosphere. A bit overwhelming with all of the people, the flashing lights, the people on the zip lines zipping above your head for the length of the street, the music from the band and various buskers, and the hawkers of various wares and trinkets. There was so much to see that we only got a fraction of it done. The Fremont area really could use a day or two in itself to even start to do it justice. Next time.
Most of the crew had an early flight the next morning, so we decided to take one last tour up the Strip at night to see the lights. As you can see from the pic to the left, my photography skills while driving require a bit of work. This was the best of 4 tries. While we were looking at all of the casinos lit up, for some reason no one was actually taking any pictures. The one on the right of Ballys and Paris is the only one I have on my camera. I took it at one of the endless red lights. We missed the volcano show at the Mirage by less than 5 minutes. Boo. Back to the hotel for sleepy sleeps.