Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vegas, Baby part IV

Where did we leave off? Like a month ago? We went to Hoover dam on the dam bus. Went to a chocolate factory. I think it's a conspiracy. They do not provide lunch...or even an opportunity to lunch. So. When you get to the chocolate buy. And buy. And buy some more. Becaues you are so hungry. You rationalize that you are getting chocolate for your children. Your mom. Your best friend. And then when you arrive back at the dam bus you eat someone's chocolate. Not that this happened to me or anything. It just might happen. So if you go to Vegas on the dam bus. Bring a snack.

We got back to our hotel around 2. Had a yummy meal in the food court. And I decided that my feet had recuperated enough to go and explore more along the strip. Not to walk along the strip. But to schlep over to the bus stop. And ride the 56 miles to the other end of the strip. We got off at the Venetian with absolutely no idea as to what to do next.We admired the outside and the gondolas. And then walked across the street to the Mirage.

It is an odd thing. When you cross the street. To go from the Venetian side to the Mirage side. Because all of a sudden the temperature drops like 10 degrees. It's cool. And rather refreshing. Considering that we are in Vegas. And it's hot. And we've walked 65 miles just to get across the street. Or maybe it was all a mirage.

As we walked along, the landscaping is really lush. There are all these coves of waterfalls. And it's very tropical. But tropical with airconditioning. How ever do they do that? We finally got into the hotel and decided to go back to Siegfried and Roy's secret garden. I had kinda gotten confused. I was thinking that you could see the tigers for free. But I was thinking of the lions at the MGM grand (which we never actually got to see). Which are free. Siegfried and Roy's exhibit? Yeah. Free? Not so much. So when we got to the ticket window it was truly a decision of whether or not we'd pay the $16 a person to get in or not.

And then we decided. Well. I decided. Made the executive decision. That since we walked 24 miles through the hotel and casino back to the Secret Garden...we may as well go on in. And let me tell you. It was worth it. I wasn't so sure at first. Because we got to the dolphin pool first. And it was practically empty. Because they were in the process of refurbishing it. There were two small pools nearby. And there was a lone dolphin hanging out. But as we progressed further back, there was a large pool. With lots of dolphins. Who seemed to be just as curious about the visitors as we were about them.

They would circle around...eyeballing us. They were close enough to touch. Not that we did. Cause I didn't walk 326 miles to get kicked out.After gawking at dolphins...we walked further back and found llamas. Or are they alpacas? Leopards. Or is it a panther? And white lions. The male lion was just pacing. And roaring. I think he was ready for dinner. (Either that or he was just having a friendly conversation with the lion around the corner as they called to each other the whole time we were there.) And the female. Can you not just see the thought bubble? I think she was ready to put a muzzle on those two lions.

And then there were the infamous white tigers. They were just gorgeous. And again. So close you could touch them. Not that we did. (miles and miles of walking) But they were amazing. They responded to the calls and clicks. And they were so playful. They would take turns playing tag. Chasing each other all around the enclosure. And then falling into a pile of kitties. And then the next tiger would take a turn being "it."And even when we left (only because they were closing - cause I could have watched them for much longer!) they followed us...perhaps wondering why we weren't going to watch them play anymore!We walked out of the secret garden and went back inside the casino in search of a seat of some sort so that I could rest my aching toes. We people watched. Lamented the fact that we could not afford tickets to see "Love." And then realized that there IS a free show at the Mirage. And it was back outside. To the outdoor airconditioning. By the waterfalls. And that is the Mirage volcano.

I wasn't sure where we should stand because there was more than one big rock area that could be transformed into a volcano. So we stood. Watched the sky get dark. And all strip become blazing with light.We walked. Trying to find the perfect spot. I am sure that it was no more than 2. Or 7 miles. And we waited some more.

And then the show began. With jungle type music. Maybe didgeridoo. Maybe they just borrowed the soundtrack from "Survivor." But the volcano was quite cool. With lots of flames. And explosions.

And then it all went dark again. We hobbled over to the bus stop. Made our way back to the Monte Carlo. And our last night on the thirteenth floor before we moved on up the street.

So...what about you? Where is the best place you have been to see animals? Ever been to a volcano - real or otherwise?

Catch up on our Vegas adventures:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 part 1

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Susie said...

Vegas is so fun!!

Michelle said...

Ooo sadly I've never made it to the Mirage. Odd because we've stayed at the Wynn the last two times, which is next to the Venetian, so we were walking that way all the time. I had no idea there was a whole zoo like thing back there. Very fun -- and glad to know your little piggies survived!

Elena said...

"Borrowed the soundtrack from Survivor..." LOLLLL!!! So hilarious! And man am I jealous about those lions and tigers. They did NOTHING cool when we went. Nothing, but the dolphins were fun. I still didn't feel like it was worth the money, but maybe that's b/c I bough 6 tickets (for my kids) instead of just two. You got some really beautiful pictures of them.

Samantha said...

My husband and I have no interest in gambling so I always thought Las Vegas wouldn't be fun for us. After reading your posts, I think we would enjoy seeing the sights! I had no idea they had a volcano erupting for your viewing pleasure - love it!

Melissa said...

Your recaps make me want to hop on a jet plane right now and go to Vegas! I will get there some day.
I have been to a few zoos, but never any that have really wowed me. Volcanos? Neven seen one except at Universal Studios. Wait, that was an earthquake. Nope. Never seen one....
Merry Christmas, Kat. Thank you for the beautiful card. Your girls are gorgeous!

Swirl Girl said...

You should be a tour guide! Your pictures are beautiful!

Happy, healthy Holidays to you and your family , Kat!

Angie's Spot said...

You are too funny.

The best place I've been to see animals is probably the San Diego Zoo. Either that or Animal Kingdom at WDW. Our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge was pretty awesome with the giraffes and zebras right outside our window.

Never been to a volcano (that I can recall).

Itching to go to Vegas though! Do I hear a girls trip?!

Becky said...

Great pictures again, Katrina. I need to make Vegas a priority...maybe for our 20th wedding anniversary in 3 years. I've been to the San Diego Zoo and it is by far the best animal exhibit I've ever seen. Those white tigers in Vegas are gorgeous though.

Becky said...

Great pictures again, Katrina. I need to make Vegas a priority...maybe for our 20th wedding anniversary in 3 years. I've been to the San Diego Zoo and it is by far the best animal exhibit I've ever seen. Those white tigers in Vegas are gorgeous though.