I had a great time this past week.
Friday night: For some reason, Travelocity had let me choose my seats when I bought tickets, but wouldn't let me choose Lut's. I called the airline a week or so before the flight left, and managed to get us seats together on the second leg, but couldn't get them for the first. The phone agent suggested we show up early and ask for seats then; the first seven rows are only assigned at the gate. So we got to the airport an hour and a half early and had no trouble getting seats together. Yay!
We showed up in Las Vegas at around 10PM local time, meaning midnight Emerald City time. lady_anne and level_head were waiting at baggage claim for us. There'd been some talk of stopping at a coffee shop for a snack and to catch up with some of the others, but makovette and kelloggs2066 had opted not to come. Mr. Kellogg was still on Eastern time and inclined to conk out early. The new plan was to meet the next morning for breakfast. Lut and I chatted with the dragon and his lady on the way to the hotel, but I was pretty tired by then. I gave telnar a call to let him know which room we were in, then settled the same wake-up arrangement with Lady Anne and Level Head that I had with Telnar: Whoever got up first would slip a note under the other's door. The second to rise could then safely call the first via cellphone, since we all had cellphones.
The next morning, I woke at about 4:30. Telnar had already left a note under my door: he was up at 4AM. After making a futile effort to get back to sleep, I gave him a call and we met downstairs.
I was in an excellent, skipping-happy-put-that-morning-person-o
Not, apparently, at the Bellagio, alas. We had some very good French toast, using brioche instead of regular bread. It was somewhat marred by the restaurant's inability to provide powdered cinnamon to Telnar. (The waiter brought out whole cinnamon sticks instead. Presumably these were intended for teas. It didn't work all that well on French toast). We had time to squeeze in thirty minutes or an hour of poker, then Lut gave us a call and we rendevoused back at the hotel. Shortly thereafter, most of the rest of our party was awake and joined us. By then Lut, Telnar, and I had already eaten, so we watched while Level Head, Makovette, and Scott Kellogg had breakfast at the Sunset's cafe. Lady Anne was still asleep, evidentally having played slots until the wee hours.
The main attraction during the day on Saturday was the Luxor, a casino hotel in the shape of a pyramid, with gleaming reflective windows on every side. The interior was even more impressive than the exterior. Not so much the Egyptian-themed statuary or cartouches (which made me think of jordangreywolf), but the way the hotel rooms lined the otherwise hollow interior in rising tiers. The rooms didn't have elevators going up to them; they had "inclinators", that rose at an angle along the outside walls We noted that the elevator repairman had a reserved parking spot, suggesting the inclinators might not be the easiest things to maintain. :)
Alas, the hotel only allowed guests up on the higher tiers, so we couldn't appreciate the view from above. After some gawking at fixtures and shops, Lut spotted an arcade, and we trooped inside. Lut and I tried out a mecha game involving a sort of VR hood that swiveled 360 to let you see what was behind you. It was cool but I was terrible at it.
I finally got to see "Dance Dance Revolution" in person. Scott and I gave it a try. My first game, I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be trying to do; Level Head wound up explaining it to me. I did a little better on the second game. I am told Mako took pictures, and that he posted one of Scott but mercifully cropped me out. (I don't know the entry -- I am far behind on LJ at the moment; not sure when I'll catch up). We looked like complete fools, I am certain, but it was fun -- and pretty good exercise. (But look on the bright side, Scott: at least his camera didn't catch you doing your "strip tease"). :D
The boys located a working air hockey table on the second floor, as well as a "miniature pool golf" room (I think they called it "Skilliards": pool tables shaped and styled like golfing greens, with a single hole). Level Head took on everyone in turn, and bested all of us, with only Lut managing to pose a strong challenge. I enjoyed watching them play, more than playing myself. I'd never tried air hockey before. I gave it a few shots, but I was untalented at it. I have never had any skill at hitting a moving object with a moving object (ie, a tennis ball with a racket, a ping-pong paddle with the ball, a hand moving to give me a high-five, etc.) The best I could hope to do in general was get my paddle stationary in front of wherever the puck happened to be headed -- or wait for it to slow down enough that I could stop it and try to slice it back.
Afterwards, we considered seeing "The Star Trek Experience", but I was pretty bushed from having awoken so early. We opted to go back to the hotel instead, while Mako and Scott returned to his house. Lut and I promptly napped.
That evening, the six of us, plus lady_anne and openheartsoftly got together for a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant inside the hotel. After dinner, we headed to the New York, NY casino to see a show: Zumanity.
This is a Cirque du Soleil production. I've wanted to see a Cirque production for several years, and "Zumanity" was a fairly new one. It was the only one telnar knew about that he hadn't seen yet, so it became sort of the default choice.
This turned out to be ... a bit of a miscalculation on our part. The other Cirque productions that members of the party had seen, "O" and "Mystere", were both focused on acrobatics and human skills and stunts. "Zumanity" was billed as "the other side of Cirque du Soleil", and its posters featured blurred images of what appeared to be nude couples. This should have been sufficient warning to us, but somehow, it wasn't.
The acts varied between bawdy, burlesque, tacky, and erotic. Lots of nudity, lots of suggestive performances. I had no idea what the interest level of various members of this eight-person party was in this sort of thing, and I found myself cringing early on at some of the stunts. But it was a bit late now to do anything about it, so I soon resolved simply to enjoy myself. Many of the performances were breathtaking and marvelous. Some of the most memorable sequences include: acquatic acrobatics performed by two women in a glass chalice perhaps five feet deep, an aerial act involving severa dozen silver hula hoops, and a stunning aerial ballet between a willowy blonde woman and a remarkably well-built and talented midget.
Some of the other acts were less inspiring, but I had a good time throughout the whole of it. And whatever Lut may say, the strawberries were good.
I think I'll have to be a bit less wordy about the rest of the trip, or I'm going to be in the Bahamas before I finish writing this one down. :)