We started the morning with breakfast at House of Blues because with yesterday's lunch receipt, we buy one breakfast, get one half price. I didn't take my camera because I didn't think there would be anything photo-worthy. But there was! I took a picture with my phone but it's not there now so I guess I only thought I did. I had corn banana fritters that were delicious! I'd never seen them before so I thought it was a good opportunity for a food photo. Oh well. Just imagine little balls of corn meal & bananas, fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar, drizzled with syrup. I told Steve my fruit & vegetable consumption was offset by the fried factor. Good stuff though.
From there we went the pool area. This hotel has 6 pools or something, but some are still under renovation. There's a wave pool, a lazy river, a few regular pools and a "European Style" pool, aka "adult pool" - but that one is still under construction. The pools didn't open until 9:00 but we were kinda hoping lots of people would be hungover and sleeping in. No such luck. We finally found chairs - don't you like our view? We read for a while then went in the wave pool, which wasn't too bad actually. It's a kinder, gentler wave pool than at Roseland
, my only other experience. (And I hang pretty far back. Not a water lover, like Steve. Opposite do
We're going to go at 8:30 tomorrow and see if we can get a couple of chairs in the quieter section by the lazy river part. Yes, I'm wearing sunscreen, thank you.
Steve is not a gambler by nature but he really wanted to try some different games while we're here. I have zero interest. Less than zero even. He finally ventured into video poker, dragging me with him. I was so bored so I walked around trying to find a slot machine I could endure. They have a million different themes, something for everyone - goofy & silly to "serious" slots. Nada. Just can't do it. I took a bunch of photographs.
Mom, I took this one for you and Steve supplied the dialogue,"I worry about all these machines. Who is going to play them all??"
I was concerned that it would be really smoky in the casinos but my friend Pam, who visited here last year, described it as you know people have been smoking but it's not overwhelmingly smoky. She's right. I thought the casino would be enveloped in a gray cloud of smoke and I'd want to shower and change my clothes after walking through. They must do a great job with the air circulation because it's quite tolerable. And I say that as a person who is pretty intolerant of smoking.
Finally Steve cut me loose while he played a while longer. I went up to our room to post yesterday's entry. Much more fun! He started with $10 and cashed out with $65. Excuse me, he didn't exactly cash out - he still has the ticket/voucher for $65 so he'll go again. Please, please, don't make me go. (Steve and Simon have both given me a lot of shit about going to Vegas and not gambling. Little do they know it strengthens my resolve not to gamble!)
We ate lunch at ESPN Zone in the New York, New York hotel. I satisfied another craving I've had recently, for nachos. They were very good - not a gigantic pile of chips like some places serve. The place was a little sensory overload for me - too much noise and too damn many TVs but Steve was in hog heaven. We were trying to decide if a restaurant like this, but geared towards crafters
would have a different effect on me. I'm sure it would - it would be heaven! We'd have pottery on one channel, quilting on another, on and on. The play by play would fascinating!
We walked around New York, New York for a bit. All the stores inside look just like the streets of NY. The casino has trees throughout that make it look like Central Park. That's a stream in the above picture. Besides the stuff you saw in yesterday's photo, the outside also has shops which you get to by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the kind of stuff I wanted to see - the attention to detail, all in the land of excess where money is no object.
Another thing - every employee we've encountered has been exceedingly friendly. I know they are in the hospitality industry but I figured they would be so burned out by the zillions of tourists they encounter that they'd all be burned out by now. Customer service rules!
Speaking of shops, there are a bunch in every hotel but we haven't gone into many. Every time I see a designer store I want to take a picture of it for Simon. That apple definitely fell far from this tree. That boy knows his stuff. I forbid him from telling me how much he paid for his Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses. He talks about wanting a Gucci wallet and I keep my bills in my purse in a snack size Ziploc bag. No, really, I do. I carry a very small handmade (not by me) purse and can't find a suitable wallet. The Ziploc works perfectly! Wouldn't Simon be mortified?? Mwahahaha!
We did go in one shop though because I told Steve I had to go into a store that I'd read about that used the words pet and couture in the same sentence. It was Lush Puppy, full of fluffy beds, blingy collars, doggie clothing. I didn't even look at prices but I did see one collar I liked, turquoise leather with silver medallions, all southwest looking. I think Reggi would look fetching in that. (Fetching, get it??) Then there was the doggy outfit that said, "I'm not fat, I'm fluffy," but they didn't appear to have one in Reggi's size. Or my size for that matter. And they were way too frou-frou for our precious pumpkin.
We also went into The Chocolate Swan and I bought us two squares of dark chocolate. We don't usually eat dessert so this was the perfect bit of sweetness after our late lunch on Tuesday. Then as we left, another thing caught my eye. They offer dark chocolate coated (inside) cones and the choice of fillings all appear to be different types of chocolate mousse - strawberry, cherry, cheesecake, almond, like that. I must get one before we leave. Looked delish.
Then we went into the MGM Grand because they have a lion exhibit. I'd read it was six lions in a natural habitat display. I had pretty low expectations but boy, did we get lucky. There were two lion handlers inside the habitat - see above. This guy was playing ball with the lion and the other guy was the spotter I guess. Always good to use the buddy system! We stood and watched for a while - it was pretty much what you see above. The lion brought the ball to the guy, who didn't really try to take it away from him but kinda acted like he was going to. I guess it would really be no contest, would it? The lion would occasionally put his paw on the guys arm - just like Verona does to me when she's telling me it's bedtime. Every once in a while the lion would turn away so the guy would tease and poke the lion a little bit to get his/her attention. It was in a funny harmless way, not a scary way.
The cool thing was that the floor to this exhibit was all glass so you could walk under the above scenario. That area was filled with people taking pictures. I told Steve, with all the cameras pointed in the direction of the lion and this guy, it looked like the paparazzi & Paris Hilton or something. The whole thing was a nice unexpected surprise.
Afterwards, we hung out in the room for a while. We watched The Pursuit of Happyness
. I'm so glad I didn't watch it on the plane - definitely shed a tear or two. That Jaden
Smith is adorable. I'd read a bunch about the movie and seen the real dad and his son on Oprah so I knew it had a happy ending, but damn it could have been a depressing movie. If that movie doesn't encourage you to keep doing your very best in the face of all odds, I don't know what will.
I ended the day with a phone call to Gretchen. Simon was working late and hadn't let Reggi out in a while so I asked Gretchen to buzz over and do the honors. She called me from my house to tell me Reggi refused to go out! Even when Gretchen went out with her, she refused to leave Gretchen's side. I suggested Gretchen put Reggi on her leash and walk her around the yard. Reggi loves going for walks. I guess that worked because the next report I got was that apparently Reggi realized this was probably her last chance to go outside for hours so, and I quote, "She peed like Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own". Apparently that's a good thing..