personal · plug

Our Las Vegas Vacation

We stayed at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas from May 27th – June 3rd, 2011.

The Favorite Thing:
The climate. It’s just crazy to think you do not sweat after miles of walking in 90 degree weather because it’s not humid. My skin looks gorgeous here. There is no road construction because the asphalt just doesn’t break and bend like it is in Iowa.

The Least Favorite Thing:
The cigarettes smell. I’m totally ready to get out of this ash tray after a week of consistent second hand smoke.

The Biggest Disappointment:
Stack restaurant. You are not paying high prices for the food quality or quantity but rather the *hip* atmosphere. Unfortunately the atmosphere did not attract us. When the music was playing, the bass was so loud that I thought I was sitting on a massage chair. The hostess looked unfriendly and was more interested in sizing us up than seating us. I think the prices on the menu are filters for people. Stack is more of a yuppie pick up place than a restaurant.

The Happiest Memory:
We had a great time meeting the LV Cabbie especially our trip with him to Hoover Dam.

The Funniest Experience:
My husband was taking a dump in the bathroom. All of the time he was on the toilet, he was hearing the slot machine music. As soon as a big load came out, the music changed to the victorious winning fanfare. He was waiting for someone to open his stall and hand him some money. It was perfectly well timed.

The Shows:

  • Ron White’s show was excellent. The guy who opened up for him was hilarious.
  • Criss Angel’s show was great. Although the disappearance acts were getting a bit repetitive toward the end. He definitely added a nice touch of comedy to his show with his assistants.
    • My husband, Andy, ordered us front row seats. Criss did the “foresee the future” act. He tossed his arm band randomly into the audience and then had the person who got the band toss it randomly to another person and then another person. The three random people in the audience had Margret as the first name, Canada as the birth place and 7 as the favorite number respectively. In a chest placed in the mid air prior to the beginning of the show resided a piece of paper with “Margret, Canada, 7” written on it. After the act, Criss gave the paper to me. It’s nice to get a souvenir (photo) from the show but too bad it’s just an ordinary piece of paper. It’s hard to convince people of its origin.
  • The O show was ridiculously amazing. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to properly depict its magnificence. The stage, the performers and the musicians (they do most of their music LIVE) were all perfect. I feel proud they had to put the Chinese female acrobats toward the end of the show. Not much could look more impressive than that. After the show, I wanted to purchase some souvenirs of the Chinese girls but nothing even remotely represented them in their shop.

Other Reflections:

  • MGM Grand turned out to be a great hotel to stay at. We used our Jacuzzi spa (photo) every day we stayed. We enjoyed lounging around their lazy river and grand pools (photo 1 | photo 2 | photo 3 | photo 4 | photo 5 | photo 6). The top three hotels among the ones we visited are: MGM Grand, The Mirage and Rio.
  • Hoover Dam was extraordinary (photos). You feel insignificant in such a grand construction surrounded by beautiful water and mountains.
  • The fountains shows at Bellagio were breathtaking (video 1 | video 2). It was hard to believe they were giving out such artistic and well choreographed shows for free.
  • We are willing to stay at Rio next time. Even though it’s off the Strip, but with convenient free shuffle service and two ridiculously delicious buffets, World Carnival Buffet (video) and Village Seafood Buffet (video), it’s worth it.
  • We loved this little frozen yogurt place in the Mirage called Blizz. My husband found his new favorite flavor: pistachio.
  • The most commonly littered items are cigarette butts, beer bottles and nude women flyers.

Lessons Learned:

  • The maps they give out at the hotels are awfully deceiving and horribly out of scale. Just because it looks close on the map doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in walking distance.
  • Always have a cab company number handy. Flagging cabs doesn’t work here as well as in other big cities like Shanghai if you wander off the crowded areas.
  • If you want a good place to eat, ask a cab driver. If you want a great place to eat, ask a fat cab driver like the LV Cabbie. He recommended China Mama which turned out to be one of the best dining experiences we had in Las Vegas.
  • If you want to visit more of the surrounding suburbs and places where the locals go, I suggest you rent a car. Cab fare may stack up quickly if you do not.

The Photos:

Las Vegas Vacation | Hoover Dam | MGM Grand Pool

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