A retraction . . .



I was just sorting through my memories of my trips to Vegas and I realized that my last couple of posts incorrectly blurred two of my trips together. Now I realize that I saw “Viva Elvis” the same time I stayed at the Signature. When I stayed at Mandalay Bay I saw “Dancing with the Stars Live” and “Zarkana” — or at least I think I did.

So if I’m correct, on my sixteenth trip I stayed at the MGM Grand with Tracy and Roland. I know that we saw “Love” at the Mirage and “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood. That’s got to be right. You know you’ve been too many times when it all blurs into one! Of course, I didn’t see Tyra Banks in the audience at the show. If I had, it would have been etched into my mind like deep scar in my cerebellum (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

I suppose that I have a handle on this now. This definitely was my sixteenth trip. We visited the Las Vegas Premium Outlets South where Roland lost his phone and it took two hours to find it. Karen turned fifty while we were there and Tracy sent her the most beautiful flower arrangement. My luck was bad, but it wasn’t as horrible as the previous trip. And I’m sure that this was the trip that Tracy and Roland decided to stay an extra day because they didn’t feel like going home.

It’s all coming together. By the time I leave on Saturday I’ll have figured out exactly how many times I’ve been there.



viva_elvis_PR (1)

Viva Elvis

Considering how much I love Elvis, it’s surprising that it took me fifteen visits before I made a pilgrimage to anything inspired by Elvis in Las Vegas. But, on my fifteenth trip, I saw “Viva Elvis” at the Aria. Of all the Cirque du Soliel shows I’ve seen, it’s been my favorite. The guys in the photo above performed the best act. The walls and floors were all trampolines and they bounced around in ways that I can’t even describe.

It’s funny that this show didn’t last all that long. It was less-serious and less-poetic than most of Cirque du Soliel’s offerings (except maybe for “Zumanity“), and that’s probably why I liked it so much. It’s probably the same reason why I laugh out loud during the “contemporary” routines on “So You Think You Can Dance” while cheering on the jazz hands. I like emotion to be elicited naturally and not spoon-fed to me by someone who believes that they’re more sensitive than me.

But I digress! It was springtime and I booked with my sister Karen at Mandalay Bay. It was my first time staying there. Tracy and Roland booked at the adjoining THEhotel. Everything about the hotel was terrific except for my luck. We were assigned room #3333 which seemed like an obvious sign from the heavens that we were going to be lucky, I know, right? Of course, we weren’t. I couldn’t win to save my life. Then I couldn’t figure out how to get money out of my bank account. I didn’t realize that I needed to use my bank card to take a cash advance on my credit card. That was awkward.

Anyway, the whole resort was beautiful and I’d stay there again in a minute. The way it connects with the other MGM resorts nearby is nice. You can either ride the tram to Luxor and Excalibur or walk through the tunnel to Luxor. There’s a coffee place called the Orchid Cafe right at the bottom of the elevator bank for when you’re dying for caffeine first thing in the morning. The Border Grill is delicious and the House of Blues was wonderful for breakfast. I think that this was the time we saw “Dancing with the Stars Live” at the Tropicana, too. It was good, cheesy fun. Not Charo fun, but fun nonetheless.

THEhotel has just reopened as The Delano. I think I might stay there next time. I’m sure that my Mlife card will be upgraded to Platinum status by the end of this week, so I figure that I can go on the cheap for my birthday in January. I’d better get through this upcoming trip first. Five days to go!



Elton John

I was supposed to spend my fourteenth trip to Las Vegas with my friends Tracy and Roland, but Tracy’s mother had been sick for some time and her health took a turn for the worse and she decided to stay at home.  Tracy had already purchased tickets for us to see Elton John at Caesars, so she sent them to me in the mail.

I went down with my sister again.  We stayed at the Signature at the back of the MGM Grand. The hotel is beautiful but quite far away from the casino.  We took the afternoon flight and got there in the evening.  I barely lost any money the first night because I found a slot machine that just wouldn’t lose.

The next morning I parked my ass at the same machine.  Not long after, I won $1600.00 on a forty-cent bet.  There’s nothing better than winning a bunch of money at the beginning of a Vegas vacation.  The pressure to adhere to my budget was off!

For that reason, it was a wonderful trip.  It would have been nicer to go with friends, but if I had to choose between Tracy and Roland or a big slot jackpot, I’d probably choose the latter — I’m kidding!

The most interesting thing about this trip was how grouchy people were everywhere I went.  I figured that I would just give away the Elton John tickets to someone I met in the casino, but I didn’t meet anyone.  Finally, a nice couple from Minnesota stopped to talk to me in the hallway to the Signature and I gave them the tickets.  They really couldn’t believe that some random stranger was doing something so nice for them.  That’s me, though: I live to give.  Especially when Tracy has already paid for what I’m giving away.

I guess I only have a few more trips to reminisce over before it’s time to go again — not that I’m counting.  Oh, who am I fooling?  I’m always counting.