Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Day 3 Las Vegas - Part II

SUBTITLE: Blimey! Bay Breaks Big Buggy!

(Tee hee.)

After stuffing ourselves to the point of pain at the Grand Lux, we made our way up to the Grand Canal shops and walked around for a really long time. The first thing we encountered was a wedding in a gondola. Sniffle! People applauded at the end of the vows, and then the gondolier sang something long and enthusiastic in a rich tenor voice, after which we all applauded again. What a cool way to get hitched!

Amy and I walked and window shopped at great length. We didn't go into any shops. That mall surely meanders in all directions -- it would be easy to get lost in there, especially if you were drinking. You go around a curve and all of a sudden you're in a wide, bright piazza. An opera singer was warbling away on an art song. I prefer mezzos to coloraturas, but she was still very good. We were apparently catching the last song of the show, and cast members bowed whom I had not seen perform. It didn't matter -- I applauded for them, anyway.

We resumed window shopping, and honestly, I can't be too thorough about this part of the day because I was overwhelmed. The Grand Canal shops at the Venetian are beautifully themed and just lovely. I was appreciating the ambience. There was an art shop with some very cool pop art paintings by Tod somebody. Amy recognized them. One of them had a picture of a monster gripping a little kitten with a bow on its head, climbing up the side of a building, and it said, "Goodbye Kitty," on the top. I laughed out loud. The very next painting said, "Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them." This was sick, silly humor, and I loved it. I wanted it. I didn't go inside to see how many thousands of dollars it would have cost.

I don't know how long we looked and lingered, but it must have been at least an hour. We were finally making our way toward the exit when we encountered a living statue.

I love living statues. I'm so ADD, I don't know how anyone stands still for that long. People would walk up, put a dollar on his banister, and then pose for a picture. Some people just put a dollar there, and he would just switch one thumb up in the air. It was so subtle and sly, I laughed out loud some more. I finally worked up my courage, put a dollar bill on his banister, and Amy took two pictures. She had to take two, because I tried to stay on the floor, but the statue very skillfully applied pressure to my hand to step up on the stage with him. Very cool!

Finally, finally, we found ourselves at the front doors, and we went outside to catch the last of a very dramatic, striped red-and-purple sunset as the lights came on on the Strip. We stood at the front balustrade and just soaked up the view for several minutes, trying to decide what to do next.

(I confess that at this point, I had completely forgotten about my resolve to ride rollercoasters.)

We decided to make our way to the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace.

This is when I decided to break another form of transportation. Remember the long moving sidewalks over the pedestrian bridge that no one was walking on going toward the Venetian? Well, the ones leading away from the Venetian were not so crowded with people who think moving sidewalks are a ride. Because *those* sidewalks were not moving. At all. Snort! Guess we're ALL gonna walk now, huh?

And walk we did -- on stairs to the right. In just a couple of minutes, we were on the sidewalk again, where I resumed collecting the things that we all started collecting the night before, which I cannot be more specific about, because the beneficiary reads the blog. However, it still makes me giggle.

We crossed the street at the corner to Caesar's, and that's when I discovered the Forum Shops bear absolutely no resemblance to the Forum Shops I last visited NINE years ago.

They're *huge*.

It's a huge *mall*. If it were a mall in a suburb, it would be huge. They weren't a seventh as big as this the last time I was here. I am really glad Amy talked me into going. I am really glad that Nina and Gail recommended them. I really kinda thought, "I already saw that," but no, it's a whole 'nother ballgame now. Wowee.

I walked in and gawked -- more excellent theming in a gigantic place. We really didn't hesitate much and didn't even look at a map -- we just climbed right onto the semi-circular escalator to the second level. I couldn't walk, either, because people were riding the stairs. By this time, Amy and I had developed a habit of raising our arms over our heads in a sarcastic salute to people who think stairs are thrill rides.

And just -- JUST as we stepped off the escalator at the second level, there was Celine Dion.

Yeah, *that* Celine Dion.

She's about the size of an anorectic 12-year-old. Her hair was pulled back in a low ponytail, she wasn't wearing makeup (that I could see), and she wore jeans, high heeled boots, a lavender camisole and a lavender jacket.

Yeah. Celine Dion. In the space of a second, I considered several possible ways to interact with the self-proclaimed diva, and rejected pushing her down, gushing falsely at her, asking for a picture, or just asking, "Hey, could you pound your chest just once?" I'm not actually a fan. Actually. The last time I was in Las Vegas, we saw Kathleen Madigan, and she joked that people pay $200 to see Celine, whereas *she* would pay $200 NOT to see Celine. That's a pretty good way to put it.

I told Amy, "Celine Dion." Amy is amazed at my ability to recognize the semi-famous. I totally forgot about the big ex-football player we saw at the Wynn Friday night. We saw an ex-football player there. I have no idea which one it was. But there he was, and I'm still trying to remember his name.

Amy also considered ways to interact with Celine, but she is not a fan, either. So we just snickered and started windowshopping, following Celine for a few seconds. Celine was flanked by bodyguards, but she wasn't surrounded by a horde of 'em. She could've been approached if any of her fans had actually been there to see her.

The Forum Shops -- wow. OK, the Wynn has Cartier and Dior and Oscar, but the Forum Shops are nothing to sneeze at, either. Amy reads the gossip column in the Las Vegas newspaper, and Paris Hilton is often seen shopping at the Forum Shops. They have shops for things I've read about in the Shopaholic books and the occasional errant issue of Vogue that fell my way despite my best efforts. There's a Kate Spade shop there. I mean -- seriously. I can't even remember half the shops that are at the Forum.

I decided to stop by the ladies' room, but first we passed the audio-animatronic statue show. It was kinda crowded, so we were skirting the edge behind the crowd, and we both read a poster that said, "Pete Rose -- Here today! 1-6!" I asked Amy what time it was -- it was 6:05. I laughed cruelly. I am also *not* a Pete Rose fan. We proceeded to the ladies' room, where I went inside and Amy stayed out in the hall.

When I rejoined Amy a few minutes later, her eyebrows were skating around her hairline and she exclaimed, "I just saw Pete Rose coming out of the men's room! I almost didn't recognize him! He doesn't have that awful haircut any more!"

Whereupon we started joking. Remember the acerbic stand-up comic who used to do the Chinese barber shop bit? "OK, waddaya want? We got... Mo... Moe.... Uh, MOE? No? You killin me! OK, OK, OK, uh, Pete Llllose!"

I saw Pete Rose's back as he disappeared down the mall toward the casino.

So, OK, two certifiable well-known "celebrities" in the space of about fifteen minutes on the same level of one mall: Celine Dion. And Pete Rose. And I could get more excited if Paula Dean from the Food Network were standing on the other side of the Strip yelling, "Y'all wanna grill some pork chops or what?"

My luck was definitely not *on* on Saturday. But at least Amy and I were able to make lots and lots of jokes about the two that we *did* see.

As we made our way carefully through the second level of the Forum Shops, my feet started complaining at me. By the time we made it to the big fish tank outside of the Cheesecake Factory, I wanted to sit down. I did sit down. Children climbed over me to see the fish. Dagnabbit. We finally turned around and went the other way.

On the way back, we stopped at the Judith Leiber shop and drooled over the Austrian-crystal-encrusted handbags. I adore those things. To be brutally honest, I want to make those things. But I would also like to buy a few. I finally went *inside* a shop, and it was Judith Leiber. We looked at tiny miniature bags -- totally impractical, you could fit two Tic-tacs and a quarter inside one of them. But they had a little turtle that was soooooooo cute!!!!!! It was $470. Amy picked out a miniature bird handbag that was $475, so we declared her the one with the best taste.

I should note that I didn't actually touch the tiny thing. The salesclerk was awfully nice just to talk to us. I think it was incredibly apparent that neither of us were really gonna pull out $500 and buy a tiny, genuine Judith Leiber handbag.

We made our way back to the foyer with the grand, sweeping, semi-circular escalators and went upstairs so Amy could visit the Peter Max gallery. He's a pop artist who worked with Andy Warhol and is nothing to sneeze at, himself. Yabba. His stuff is great. But my feet were really sorta kinda hurting, and I told her I was going to find a bench on which to sit. I found one overlooking the foyer and people-watched.

Amy came out, and we both sat there, watching people, checking email, calling our husbands (mine didn't answer the phone), and resting. It was pushing 7:00, and what were we going to do next?

We decided to go back to Harrah's, catch the monorail to the Sahara, and ride "Speed the Ride." Speed the Ride is not an exploding bus. It's a roller coaster that rockets out of the Sahara, does a few corkscrews, one big loop, and then up a 90-degree, vertical track. At the top, it simply slides backwards and you do the whole track *backwards*. I love roller coasters. This sounded like just my kind of thing.

And we headed out.


At 29/1/07 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »


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