Ok so where I left off earlier this morning, I’ve got the last 40 hours left in Vegas on my pat malone so it’s a quiet nite in and up after a little sleep in the next day. Still with my 24hr bus pass I figure I can get from the Luxor all the way up to Freemont Street (Old Vegas) within the time left on my pass. So it turns out that I didn’t have enough time left to get me up to the other end of Vegas. And when the transport officer (I figured that’s what he was) got on the bus I started to stress out. “It was valid when I got on and I lost track of time” was what I was prepared to say to him…. Here I was thinking I was going to be repremanded by a transport officer, and I was going to get off at the stop that he got on at. Turns out I was stressing for one stop for no reason (it was a long time between stops), so my actual stop was only another 2 away so I got away with that one. I guess there’s worse things I could do hey!
Now I’m up on “Freemont Street” which is where the Strip started for Vegas “Old Vegas”. It was very retro and still had all its lights flashing on all of the old casinos. The biggest plus to this place was that it wasn’t over run with huge crowds. Nice for a change. So I made my from the middle over to the west end, then doubled back and across to the far east end, until it all got a little dodgy so I turned back around and headed back to the bus stop. I was there for about 45 minutes at this stage when I came acrosss a small crowd of people gathered around a guy doing a street gig. Turns out he makes art work with spray paint cans. He was absolutely amazing, so very talented and I almost walked away with a painting myself. I’ll post photos of one of the paintings I watched him do from scratch. Ended up watching him for the same amount of time I had already been on the street for. Some people are ooozing talent, thi guy was one of them!!!
So next I’m back on the bus (this time with a new 24hr pass). I head down a few more stops and get off at the “Stratosphere”. The big tower that looks like Seattle Space Centre. Of course I’m going to go up (Dad, did you put on your brave pants and go up???), so after I tried to go up the escalator apparently for VIP’s!, I was quickly ushered along and told how the general plebs get up to the tower. A rather long wait to get into the lift to get up (of course) but for the poor young girl who fainted in her Dad’s arms due to the lack of air con in the place, the wait was a bit too much. I thought it best that I don’t buy the ticket that includes all 5 rides that you can go on when you’re up the top of the tower (Lise, you could agree with that). But it was fun to watch everyone else go through all the pain, nervousness and screaming while I sat on the sidelines and take photos of their freaked out faces!! It was getting later in the afternoon so no wonder I was starting to feel a little hungry. At the top of the tower was a make your own sandwich bar so that was a nice change to all the other burger and chips (sorry “crisps”) offerings on most of the menus. Although I’ve been pretty good on the food front. So anyway, roast beef base on a white rolls was what I was given, then the rest of the salad and sauce bar was at my mercy. Yu-um!!!! Of course it came with a super size Coke so that was the compromise.
This bus idea is much better than trying to do this walking game all the way back down to my hotel, and they’re air conditioned! Plus you get to do the tour of the strip again and sit back, relax and people watch. So I’m back down to the Mandalay Bay which is next to the Luxor, where the bus lets me off. Then I remember that the Aquarium is at the Mandalay. After a wild goose chase of what seemed to be around the entire circle of the hotel, I finally find the entrance to the exibit. A lot like Underwater World, but not as good. But still got to test out my camera some more and play with the motion and dark lighting pics.
By the time I actually get back to my room after another full day of sight seeing and crossing more “to do’s” off the list, I realise that it’s almost time to get ready for the Criss Angel show on later tonight. This is supposed to be the best show on the strip, we’ll see…. My seat is great!!! And half way through the show when he comes up into the crowd, he walks straight our isle shaking peoples hands (more like low 5’s for everyone on the isles), and yes, I did get to touch his hand and say hello. That was about the most excitement in the whole show. Don’t get me wrong, his tricks are “OMG how did he do that…..” but there wasn’t anything mind blowing or insanely crazy. Maybe it just wasn’t for me, but his support act before the show and their parts in his show were HILARIOUS! Anyway, it wasn’t a late night so after the show I headed back up to my room to re-load my bag with camera in hand once again.
This time I have just a few more things on the “to-do list” that I still want to check out, this being my last night and all. Again with the bus express, it’s all the way back up the strip to the Bellagio. First stop…. “Dancing Fountain at night”. I get there and it’s just finished (next one in another 30 mins). So I hike it up to the Mirage to see the volcano errupt, only to find out that it only happens on the hour (not every half hour like I thought). So the last on the list is up to Treasure Island to watch the Boy Pirate Ship and the Girl Pirate Ship blow each other up (and watch the show they put on…..). If I wasn’t already starting to get over all these people, at TI I’ve never seen so many people congregate in such a small space. If you just wanted to pass by and get to the other side of TI, you got NO CHANCE!!! Anyway, I managed to get a semi ok spot up on the viewing platform. Good show, in true vegas style there was a lot of skin showing on the girls and even more importantly there was a whole lot of abs and muscle showing on the guys. You can never have enough half naken men!
With a break from walking and fighting the crowds during that show, I now find myself having to fight that huge crowd as we all move at the same time (like a big fat moving anaconda that just ate a football field of people), to make my way back down to the Dancing Fountain. Yes, I’ve decided that the volcano errupting will have to be sacrificed (otherwise it’s a 1am home time for me!). Again, a show just finished when I arrived but with my poor feet needing a rest (completely wore the wrong shoes for walking long distance), I found a good vantage point and chilled there for the short wait. I got this one on video and with my previous 2 viewings that were watched earlier (the first to “All that Jazz”, the second to “Viva Las Vegas”), this one was to a lovely piece of classical and soothing musical piece. Like it was meant for soothing my poor feet and legs. Done, done and decided to skip the last few things on my list, I headed back to the hotel. Realising how hungry I was when I got back (at this time it is around midnight) it was a tub of yoghurt and an orange juice for dinner tonight!! Quite enjoyable indeed. Tomorrow I have my last of everything in Vegas.
So many memories of the big things and not to forget all the little things that I think “Oh I should put that in my blog”, but have forgotten about. Trust me they were heaps funny at the time… With a little more confidence in doing all this on my own, San Francisco… Here I come!!!