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Christmas In Vegas

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ok, this is the 2nd time I’m writing this post. I had written a long one and as soon as I published it 2 days ago – poooooofffffff – it disappeared. I was really upset about it then. Has it ever happened to you? I guess it’s worse if you were completing an assignment and you lost it. Anyway, New Year’s motto “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.So, we’ve been back from our short Christmas break for a whole week now. And can you believe I haven’t had even some time to write about our trip till 2 days ago – and even that went up in smoke. Las Vegas is a place everyone must experience at least once in this lifetime – the sights, the sounds, the lights, the smells and the “loads of rude people” – felt like I was back in Singapore J . So for those of you who are bored out of your brains and of course for my handful of faithful readers, below is a brief account of our days in Vegas (you better be grateful for my bad memory).

On the road to Salt Lake City

Half of Saturday was spent on the road to Salt Lake City – our stopover – just in case Elan needed a break and of course mostly because we didn’t know how Divya would take the car ride. So after a quick breakfast at Mac’s in Twin Falls, we were off again to SLC. We arrived at Salt Lake City sometime in the afternoon. After checking out our room in the hotel and a belly-warming late lunch at Perkins, we headed into town to see the HUGE mormon temple, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple was beautiful. And I would have wanted to stay and walk around more if not for the fear of breezing our butts off. COLD would have been an understatement that night. I also would have loved to have taken the horse carriage ride around town – but I guess that will have to be saved for another trip. We headed back to the hotel – hoping for a relaxing night and some warm food, but were faced with a “melt-down” toddler who refused to sleep in the playpen/yard. But she finally gave in and fell asleep on our bed (transferred her sneakily to her playpen after that). Elan and I had some laughs that night – when we had to do things the way we used to when she was first born, like whisper to each other so that she didn’t hear, and then play dead if she stood up. Elan even tried to tiptoe across the room once to spy on her to check if she was sleeping, but his tired knees gave him away by creaking along the way hehehe – which set me off on a laughing fit (in whispers of course) – the things we go through as parents!!!



On the Road to Vegas (Sunday)

After an unexpected complimentary simple breakfast in the hotel, we set off for Vegas quite early. The drive on the part of the journey was pleasant – the weather was warmer. Since I had sat for most of the journey at the back with Divya, I was ultra hyper and excited to sit in front for about an hour before reaching Vegas so that I could have a good view as we entered Las Vegas. I got the video camera 30 mins before and started counting down the exits. Since I’ve not yet been to a big city in the U.S., it was pretty exciting. Although, I do think that it would be much nicer arriving at night to all the lights (but it could be more dangerous driving). After checking into The Luxor, we went down for a buffet lunch in the hotel itself. And this was our first taste of all the rude tourists in Vegas. Anyway, lunch was quite good. After that, Elan went to the room for his long-awaited and deserved rest while Divya and I went to explore the hotel – of course, I just had to gamble few $1 along the way (sneakily, since Divya is not allowed into the casinos). We had a some simple fast food dinner that night and headed out for a short walk when Elan woke up. But we found out quickly that we were not dressed for the cold and decided to postpone the rest of the walk to the next day. Thank God, Divya was already used to sleeping with us in the room from the night before, so she went straight to sleep.




   Christmas Eve

After a quick breakfast at Mac’s, we headed out for our 1st proper walk down the strip and made it as far as Bally’s. That’s as far as our legs would take us – it’s just not easy with the crowds and the stroller. We were hoping to get some tickets for one of the popular shows, but most of them don’t admit children under 5, so we finally decided on and bought the tickets for the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Hotel. We headed out in the evening again hoping to catch some of the free shows. This time we made it as far as The Mirage. We managed to catch the awesome Musical Fountain show at the Bellagio – it really is amazing and I guess the chosen music makes a world of a difference. On that night it was “Time to say Goodbye”.  Below is a video I found posted on youtube.  Standing there in the cold and watching the show brought tears to my eyes (hey, you can’t blame me ok? – coming from a family with a mother who would probably cry watching strangers send off their relatives at airports heheheh). You just had to be there. We walked further to The Mirage for the Volcano Eruption show – WHAT A LET DOWN! The stupid fake volcano just spewed some water and orange light together with some farting sounds – we left after few mins to get ahead of the crowds back to the hotel.We must have walked many many miles that day.



We went to Circus Circus for – what else – but a mini circus show at 11am. But since there were kiasu people who had already arrived early, we didn’t have a great view but enjoyed what little we saw of it. We went for the buffet lunch there after that. This must really be one of the most disorganized restaurants I’ve ever been to – there were lines and lines of people waiting to get in and once we got in, we realized there were MANY empty tables. Anyway, the food wasn’t that great. For Singaporeans, you can equate it to the Ponderosa buffets and for the Boisians, it’s the Chuck-e-Rama equivalent. We then drove around the old downtown area – this is something I must do one day – go around this area at night. We didn’t get the chance to do it. It’s really the authentic Vegas part of town with the old hotels and lights. After resting the afternoon away, we got ready in our Christmas garb and headed out for the Tournament of Kings. This show is one of the last dinner shows in Vegas. Dinner was served as the show began – an appetizer of “dragon’s blood” (tomato soup) was followed by a Cornish hen, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli, a roll, soda and dessert. Keeping with the show’s medieval theme, no utensils of any kind were given.The Tournament of Kings is a no-holds-barred entertainment rampage – the action is non-stop, battles intense and the crowd frenzied – at times it’s impossible to hear anything over the sound of fists banging on tables (as required of us instead of clapping). The show takes the audience to King Arthur’s Court as the traditional showroom is transformed into King Arthur’s Arena, a 900-seat circular theater with an earthen floor to help celebrate the return of his son, Christopher. As the story unfolds, the joyous Arthur gathers the rulers of Europe for a fantastic banquet and competition. The kings challenge their knightly skills while riding their faithful steeds. King Arthur’s hospitality is met with hostility when the evil fire-wizard, Mordred, invades the festivities. The kings of Europe must unite if the fire-wizard is to be defeated.We were worried whether Divya would be well-behaved and not insist on being part of the show – but as usual, our worries were unfound. Even all the snacks we came armed with were not needed – the lights and sounds (and some food from our plates) were enough to keep her captivated. It was a fun experience and a wonderful Christmas Day.       


Boxing Day

This was a pretty uneventful day. We set out to check out the huge factory outlet mall – I was hoping to buy some dresses for Divya. But returned to the hotel with only a pair of tights and some doughnuts. I guess we did make 1 major accomplishment – Divya and I went on our 1st merry-go-round ride on the carousel in the mall. I have been for so many rides in my life – scary ones – and I just can’t remember ever being on a merry-go-round ride. Divya was a little scared and attempted to dismount halfway though and I just got sick going round so many times! So this was our threat to her after that when she was naughty – “if you’re naughty, we’ll put you on the merry-go-round ride again” – I don’t think she understood or cared about our empty threats. After resting again, we headed out for dinner to where else but my favourite “Hard Rock Café” – I just had to have my ribs. I must say the hotel is really cool and probably worth staying in.


On the road home

Most of Thursday was spent on the road – 12 hours (which included a 30min lunch break and a couple of pee/diaper changing stops). Poor Elan – he drove the whole way. Divya was really amazing the whole way – she is a real trooper. She only started fussing when we were about 30 mins away from Boise. Hey, the baby Manager sitting at the back wasn’t too bad with the entertaining and stuffing with food (for the baby of course). I had images of arriving home – to warmth and comfort of our own home after a pretty cold drive at times. But, of course, I forgot that we had to turn off the central heating before leaving – so we came back to a very, very cold house. I was practically shivering and the only box-fan heater that we have right now had to be obviously put in Divya’s room. So guess where I spent my night sleeping!!! Elan braved the cold in our room so that he could get a good night’s sleep. So there you go, our trip to Vegas. It was almost all I had dreamt of and expected – I met not 1, not 2, not 3, but ZERO celebrities. I met a couple who had just gotten married at the Luxor Chapel (SHE looked 40 and HE looked 20). I had good food, gambled a little, sight-saw (this is actually a word!) a little, but most of all, I spent 6 full days with Elan and Divya. This Christmas trip is definitely one I will never forget. So I leave you with some photos that captured some interesting sights along the way.

   We really wanted to check out this “happening” restaurant/pub, but didn’t get to.    Nevada has the highest divorce rate!!!

   Divya waited to be a witness for a wedding – but no such luck. 

   Santa Croc spotted.

   I just loved the bar stools at this Rainforest Pub.

  Couldn’t resist taking this butt shot – that blows bubbles.    M&M monster spotted next to the green Mr M&M

   Which REAL burger doesn’t have fat?

   Harley Davidson Cafe

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, January 4, 2008 10:39 pm

    Wahhh … so syiokkk!!! You slept in a ‘pyramid’!!!

    But how come no pictures of Celine Dion? Barry Manilow? And all those other has-beens? Aiyahhh!!!

    The Ooyah Clan wants to go to Vegas also!!!

  2. boiseangel permalink*
    Sunday, January 6, 2008 11:21 pm

    Hey!!! I just saw this msg in my spam. Don’t know if any other ones of yours ended up there too.

    All the has-beens must be in hiding lah. Or maybe they just look so bad I couldn’t recognise them. If the Ooyah Clan goes to Vegas, no problem, the Divya clan can show them around 🙂

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