So Hubby & I are back from Las Vegas. We’re not any richer, yet we’re not any poorer either. Truth be told, with all the slots and video poker we played, we came out about $5 in the black. Maybe next trip, we’ll have enough nerve to actually play the tables … although I’m not sure I like the idea of placing a minimum bet (the lowest table being $5) just for one hand of play. Sheez … I have a hard enough time playing any of the slots or video poker games that cost more than $1. Am I abnormal for getting more gratification in spending my money on midway games at places such as Dave and Busters?

Las Vegas is definitely an interesting town. From the moment you touch down at McCarren Airport, it’s sensory overload. Walking the Las Vegas Strip is like walking Times Squares in NYC ten times over. There is just so much activity every second of the day, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. Each hotel has such a unique “theme” to it, that it’s almost like walking into a different country (Paris vs. Venetian vs. New York New York) or a different time period (Luxor vs. Excalibur vs. Treasure Island) or into extreme luxury (Bellagio vs. the new Wynn).

There’s also such extreme contrasts in Vegas. I mean, where else can you find a Hooter’s Casino in direct view of the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church? (Yes, since we stayed at my parents’ timeshare with them, we felt it important to go to mass with them.) Or where else can you see you can see people dressed to the nines heading to a show walking down the street next to one of those famous Vegas “escorts”?

And speaking of those “escorts,” Hubby & I came up with a new game while in Vegas. It’s inspired by the nights we walked the Strip doing some very important people watching. What we discovered was during the day, it was quite easy to pick out the “streetwalkers” by the clothing they wore. However as the night rolled it, it became more and more difficult to differentiate them from those that were dressed up to go out to the club. And thus, “Streetwalker vs. Night Clubber, The Game” was born. Trust me. If you ever go to Vegas, it will surely be a great way to pass the night away while waiting to meet up with the rest of your party who are still in the casino gambling (read: Dad).

So ultimately, what did we do in Vegas? Well, after arriving into town around 10:30 pm after quite a “spirited” flight (hey, it must have been Thursday night “Bar Night” on our plane), we went to find a place to eat at the Miracle Mile shops inside the new Planet Hollywood Hotel. And yes … yet again we spotted another Todai, but it’s too bad it was closed by that time. Friday was spent touring the south end of the Strip. We started off at Mandalay Bay to check out the Shark Reef exhibit (a must for any Discovery Shark Week fans), took the tram to Exaliber and walked through New York New York. Eventually we ended up at M&M World where I got suckered into buying a $10 M&M container full of different colored M&M’s. (What the heck, I only live once, right?)

Friday night, my parents treated us to a late anniversary gift by taking us to see “Love” at the Mirage, which is The Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil production. This show is a MUST for any Beatles fan out there. Definitely very cool. And according to my Mom and Aunt, this show was muuuch better than the Celine Dion performance they saw the night before at Caesar’s Palace. (Hmmm … personally, I’d chose The Beatles over Celine any day.) The show was probably the highlight of our entire trip.

Saturday, Hubby & I spent the day walking the north end of the Strip and doing some shopping along the way. But first, we had to start our day by stopping in “Paris” where we had to return (after a 6-year wait) to “La Creperie” to have the best crepes we’ve ever had. While heading past Caesar’s Palace, we stumbled onto a Buddhist shrine which seemed oddly out of place in the midst of all the glitz and glamour of the Strip. (OK, so the geek in me had to find out more about this. So if you’re interested, click here for a bit of history.) Then we headed to the Shops at the Forum, then to the Fashion Show Mall and eventually ended up at the Wynn Hotel. By that time, we were beat tired and ended up taking a taxi back to the condo.

We ended taking the bus to meet my parents at mass; which was a trip in itself. Just imagine us running across Las Vegas Blvd trying to make it to the 4 o’clock mass after we missed the stop we should have gotten off at. Yep. It was like playing Frogger. And once we got there (just as the mass was starting), trying to find my parents proved to be more difficult than we thought. I mean, come on! How many white-haired portly Filipinos married to a caramel-colored hair Filipina with freckles could there be in Vegas?! We never did find them until halfway through the mass.

Afterwards, all of us (including my Aunt and her significant other, Bob) took the bus down to Fremont Street to have dinner together for the last night of our trip and to check out the “original” strip. You know the one. Just imagine the U2 video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. Now imagine the street filled with Harley Davison bikers roaming up and down the strip. Yes, it just happened to be the annual Las Vegas BikeFest, so there were quite a few interesting characters roaming the strip. Hubby & I headed back towards the main strip shortly after dinner where we checked out the Venetian, got myself a margarita at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and then gambled at Planet Hollywood until well past midnight.

The next morning, we got our sorry butts up and dragged ourselves to the airport. The frickin’ security line was unbelievably long. In my opinion, an airport that sees millions of people needs to find a more time-efficient way to get all the passengers through security screening. The one exciting thing that happened in line? Me spotting Barry Manilow being escorted AROUND security. Hmm … it obviously pays to be a celebrity.

Overall, it was a fun trip. And thanks to Mom & Dad, it was honestly a great way to unwind from such a long stressful few weeks. And, by the length of this blog … what happened in Vegas, obviously did NOT stay in Vegas. Oh well, c’est la vie!

Check out more pictures of our Vegas trip by clicking the album!

Las Vegas 2007