Thursday, 25 June 2009


Ah, Sin City. We gambled away a total of US$2 and of course lost everything, but no matter, we still had heaps of fun! On the first night we managed to grab some pretty well-discounted tickets to Penn & Teller's magic show at the Rio, which was really entertaining and worthwhile, I'd definitely recommend it. The only downside to the whole thing was underestimating how far the walk from Treasure Island and the Rio was... The magic itself was mindboggling, of course being Penn & Teller they showed you the 'secrets' of some of their tricks, but left plenty of others unexplained - all in all, I was very impressed. It was especially nice that they stayed behind to take photos and sign autographs for the audience afterwards - I got one with Teller.

The next day was our Grand Canyon tour which I'll cover in a separate post, but we had plenty of time after we got back to have a look around. As you probably know most of the casinos are themed after a certain time/location, the most elaborate of which is probably the Venetian. Now, I've never been to Venice, but having gondola rides on bright blue 'canals' that reek of chlorine just seems to be an abomination... The pictures will speak for themselves there!

For dinner I got to fulfill my dream (well, kinda) of eating at a Vegas buffet, and we chose the relatively modest spread at Treasure Island. There was sushi, a carvery, salads, pastas, Mexican, Chinese, and of course a truly impressive array of desserts. I managed to tear myself away before I felt sick, but I think I still managed okay, and the food itself wasn't too bad at all. Next time when I'm super rich I'll indulge at the Wynn... or maybe one of those celebrity chef restaurants, definitely out of our budget this time around though!

After that we checked out the hotel's 'Sirens of TI' show, which basically was a 'battle' between some 'sirens' and 'pirates'. Being Vegas they don't do things by halves, and the moving ships, fireworks, singing, dancing, and HUGE fireballs were definitely very impressive. We were so close to the fireballs I thought I'd be roasted alive if they didn't stop after a few seconds!

However, I must say that probably my favourite 'free' Vegas show were the Bellagio fountains. I'd seen them in movies before, but nothing quite prepares you for how beautiful it is in real life, up close. I almost wish we had more time to stay and re-watch it a couple of times, but it was already getting super late and we had an early start the next day to drive to Mammoth Lakes.

Overall, I didn't think Vegas was that bad during the day, it was a lot cleaner than I expected, thoug they could've done without the guys on the street wearing the 'GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS' t-shirts trying to hand you business cards...

Probably the funniest thing that happened in Vegas (while I wasn't actually there) was when James was approached by a guy, who greeted him with a fistbump, and then asked if he liked to party, to which James replied (verbatim), 'Not especially?' and then made a run for it. Obviously that guy was trying to get him to go to his nightclub or something... I totally LOLed when I heard about it!

Okay, next post will be about the Grand Canyon, though we have a pretty packed schedule ahead so we may or may not have internet access again until San Fran... we'll see I guess!

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