My feet hurt far too much to go into too much detail. We actually did visit all 11 hotels/casinos in a few hours. Ouch! In no particular order:
New York, New York – with its fabulous roller-coaster
MGM Grand – we DID see the lions
Circus Circus – where the bride and groom proceeded to win a BAG of prizes at the midway. And Renee HAD to go there because it was in a James Bond film
The Mirage – with its indoor garden
Caesar’s Palace – where we managed to get lost and couldn’t find an exit
Casino Royale – which is NOT in a James Bond film but had tiny $1 margaritas (I believe were virgin)
I LOVE the Venetian, thus multiple pictures there. I’m particularly proud of the photo below. Friends have photos of me laying on the ground in the grand hall of the hotel trying to take a photo. I believe it was worth it. What do you think?
The Grand Hall of the Venetian (taken from the floor)
I had to post this picture. Our friend Melissa is a marksman. Now lots of people claim to be good shots, but she really is!!! We were down in the Excalibur’s arcade and they had a crossbow shooting game. Basically, it uses a laser and you aim it at various targets. It is kind of like a giant diorama and when the laser connects with the target, it sets off various animatronics, sound effects and music. She played the game about 8 times. Each game, you get 10 shots, for a total of 80. She missed…twice. Managed to get a picture of her in marksman-mode with her first prize of the evening, the teddy bear. Totally impressive!
Melissa concentrating on a target
Today, we had friends start arriving in Las Vegas for the wedding, although the bride and groom weren’t due in for another day or so. We headed over to the Excalibur to meet up. The Excalibur is another themed hotel. This time, designed with to look like a medieval castle. It was pretty cool, complete with Arthurian-themed restaurants and an actual feast with jousting. And in the basement, was a fabulous midway and arcade. Of all the casinos and hotels I’ve seen this is the only one that really seems to live up to the sales pitch of “Vegas for the whole family.” With the exception of EVERYONE (staff included) wanting to pet the dog, I have to admit, I enjoyed the atmosphere of this hotel best. And I just learned that the castle is actually modelled off of a REAL castle in France!
Excalibur Hotel and Casino - the ziggurats in the foreground are part of the Luxor
Melissa, me, Jen and Veni inside the Excalibur
It is HOT here! Renee was outside for less than 3 seconds before declaring that she would not be setting foot outside during the entire trip, particularly as her family is distantly related to polar bears and as such were not partial to temperatures over 100 degrees. Of course, there’s plenty to see inside too!
We’re staying at the Luxor. It looks like a giant 30 storey black pyramid with giant sphinx out front, it’s supposedly one of the city’s first fully-themed mega-resorts. It’s right between Mandalay Bay (where the wedding will be) and Excalibur (where some other members of our group are staying). AND it is all connected by tunnels and walkways and a tram. (Renee is much relieved).
Karen, the bell hop was telling us about how MGM had bought out the Luxor and it was now in the midst of renovations to make it a little less “egypty” and attract a “younger clientelle.” I thought that kind of sad. The old egypt-themed restaurants, the Isis and the Sacred Sea Room are gone. In their place…CatHouse. <insert sigh here>
As you may know, I love ghost stories about various places we visit. Previously, the Luxor had a Nile River Tour with a boat and a winding river inside the pyramid. It was removed as a part of the renovation but one of the rumors is that it was removed because guests kept seeing ghosts of the three workers killed during the Luxor’s construction whenever the river passed through dark tunnels. Cool, eh? Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) no ghosts were seen by us.
But some of the original design is still very prevalent so I’m glad we were able to go and experience it before things change too much more.
Obelisk and Sphinx inside the Luxor pyramid