This is the story of Day Five of the Grand Road Trip. Because of fortunate timing yesterday, today had no more specific goals than to see a show later. And I anticipate the question you may even now be asking, “So, in what pleasurable manner did you spend the day? Did you lounge by the pool, with book and umbrella drink? Did you indulge in mud and cucumber slices in the spa? Did you stay in your palatial suite and eat bonbons?”
No, no, and no.
Instead, my usual accomplice and I decided to visit the other resorts on the strip. We’d explored the Venetian somewhat last night, wandering into a shopping mall that was designed to simulate a perpetual early morning in Venice, complete with singing gondoliers.
Today, we visited Treasure Island (but missed seeing the pirate show), we visited the Mirage (and their lovely tropical atrium), and the Mardi Gras themed Harrah’s before boarding a monorail bound for the Sahara, at the end of the Strip. From there, we walked a rather seedy few blocks to reach the Stratosphere. This resort features an 844 foot observation tower, which we ascended. At the top is an observation gallery, and also some amusement park rides.
I was under the impression that there was a roller coaster up there. This was the closest thing they had, and pretty much embodies all the things I don’t like about roller coasters. (Which is not to say that I categorically dislike roller coasters, but rather, certain schools of thought in roller coaster design.)
When we returned to the ground, we cashed in the Starbucks coupons that came with the tower admission. This may have been a mistake, as it could have been the cause of a grumpiness attack that struck later in the day. At present, however, I was full of sugar and caffeine and ready to see more, more more! So we boarded the monorail once again, bound for the other end of the Strip.
Here we saw the MGM Grand, which had a sort of Art Deco, sort of Gotham City, sort of Golden Age of Film theme that I just adored. Next, we visited New York New York, which had a different sort of Gotham vibe (of course,) and finally the Luxor, where we enjoyed drinks and snacks at a Mexican restaurant. By now quite tired, we set a course for the Venetian, but got lost trying to shortcut through the Excalibur.
I think we learned our lesson, however: that it’s important to know when to call it a day. Returning to your hotel room in a pleasantly “funned out” state is fine. Returning in an exhausted, unhappy state shows that you’ve overdone it.
Fortunately, the day didn’t end on a sour note. After a well needed rest, we went back downstairs to catch a performance by the Blue Man Group. It was really quite interesting, with very creative sets and lighting. I think one of my favorite scenes involved a lot of electroluminescent wire meant to represent a landscape of neon lights, some of which detached from the scenery and began to dance around.
And so I think that in visiting Las Vegas in the future, I may well make my choice of hotel based on which show I want to see, and pretty much stay there all day.