Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Viva, Las Vegas!

In part two of the Vegas installment, we begin at the pool. Believe it or not, days before the brink of October, it was a scorcher in the city. I felt ridiculous wearing jeans, so it was great that we were able to hit the pools. C loved the lazy river (see above) and her dragon/turtle innertube that she continued to wear even in the hotel room.

After some swimming and teeth-chattering (C gets cold very easily), Ian and C hit the strip while I hit the hotel spa. Now, I don't get massages very often (she says after having blogged about exactly that two weeks ago), so this was a treat. Honestly, before the Chinese massage, I think the last one I had was just before I got married three years ago.

Let's just say that with being cooped up in the car and my worrying that C was either going to destroy our hotel room on our first night or get caught in some pool drainpipe, or both, Ian gently nudged me to that second floor hotel oasis. I warned him that one massage wouldn't change my personality. (And I could almost see the disappointment in his eyes.)

At the end of that fantastic, yet all too fleeting, escape, the masseuse said something along the lines of it being nice that my husband was letting me have a little break. "Are you kidding?" I said. "He actually sent me here."
After we rested a bit at the hotel, we packed up our stroller gear once again to investigate some casinos. We hit the Palazzo, which literally had scented air conditioning. I'd never experienced that before, but walking into that building was like walking into an atomized flower petal. There's also an amazing two-story waterfall (see photo, left) in the shopping walkway between it and the Venetian. Next to the fountain is a little espresso bar called Espressamente Illy. Talk about indulging. I had a little espresso, and we all shared a chocolate and strawberry crepe. As Ian said, it was going to be a five-pound weekend.

We headed next door to the Venetian, which has great shops and a gondola ride. You have to be a minimum of 54 inches to ride, so C was unfortunately out of luck. (I actually might have needed another massage after that, had we taken her on the gondola and tried to keep her from diving into the Venetian's canals.)

Somewhere between the Palazzo and the Venetian, we were greeted by a group of Japanese tourists, one of whom, a man in his 40s or 50s was fascinated by C. (In a G-rated, cute way.) He asked to have his picture taken with her, which I found so charming and bizarre at the same time. Had we been quicker on our feet, Ian or I would've taken a picture of them taking a picture of her. Oh well. I'm imagining C on some blog in Japan right now. Tokyo Story, maybe?

That night we went to Todai, in Planet Hollywood, for dinner. It's an all-you-can-eat sushi bar, and man did we test the limits of that. Maybe it would be a 10-pound weekend.

Sunday was our last day in Sin City, and before we drove back to L.A., we spent some time in Caesars Palace. Mostly in the Forum Shops. There were tons of fountains, here I'm guessing is King Triton behind C and me (right). There was also a small but stocked aquarium right outside a Bath and Body Works. Of course, down the hall from slot machines and craps tables.

That's exactly the kind of juxtaposition I find fascinating about Vegas. You'll find the PG-rated attractions (M&Ms store, say) next to the not-so-PG-rated ones -- the bars that offer 1/2 yard drinks and beer kegs that could double as 3-foot-tall pneumatic tubes. All in the name of fun. And fun for the whole family at that.

As we were taking the exit onto I-15 South, with the mirage of Vegas still visible in the rearview mirror, Ian looked at me and said, "This was a good, no-TV weekend for C."

"Yeah," I said, "thank goodness she only saw drinking, smoking and gambling."

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