This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Bright Light City
freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad”
John – “Tiny Dancer”
Kathy & Dakota
quote from the Elton John’s song that regained prominence when featured in a
key scene of the film “Almost Famous” could easily apply to the Strip in Vegas.
It seems each time we visit, the Strip becomes slightly more of a freak show
with all manner of people hawking everything imaginable. There are any number
of costumed people who charge money for photos, performers of various levels of
talent busking, the ever present clusters of people handing out cards
advertising escorts, free passes to nightclubs or discounted tickets to shows
and even helicopter trips over the Grand Canyon. It is some of the best people
watching on the planet and is just part of the quirky charm that is Las Vegas.
Kathy & Dakota
spent a lot of time wondering up and down the strip, on the way to shows,
dinners, bars, or just exploring and soaking in the crazy atmosphere. Not being
big gamblers, our attraction to Vegas is found in the shows, food, shopping and
over the top experiences that can really not be found anywhere else.
are all sorts of fun things to keep you busy and to explore. We always enjoy
checking out the garden atrium at the Bellagio, which is always beautiful, full
of fresh flowers and plants and decorated in a rotating, seasonal splendor that
is constantly changing. The current display celebrates Holland and the Spring
blooming season and is once again a creation of beauty and a breath of fresh
air in the seemingly endless maze of casinos found in Vegas.
Bellagio is also home to our favorite buffet in Las Vegas. While there are
countless wonderful upscale dining options, many of which we took advantage of,
the buffet dining experience in Vegas is a tradition and the Bellagio
successful merges high end dining with the buffet concept. Sure it is more
expensive, but the value for what you actually receive is totally worth it. We
make it a stop every time we are in town.
last show that we saw while there was yet another winner, even though we had
just seen Elton John just over a month ago in Ft. Lauderdale, we decided to go
see his new semi-permanent show, “The Million Dollar Piano” at Celine Dion’s Coliseum
theatre in Caesar’s Palace.
of the reasons we choose to see him again so soon is that the show in
Lauderdale was stellar, the other reason is that unlike that show, this one has
a complete light and sound show that is all Vegas- over the top and unlike any
concert I have seen in ages. The show was shorter and he played mostly hit
songs, but the size and scope and overwhelming presentation made it a pretty
Elton John “Rocket
remainder of our Vegas vacation involved more amazing meals, hanging out in beautiful
and relaxing Spa Mandalay, shopping in the myriad of shopping malls and stores
that are found throughout the Strip and in most all of the casinos, riding the
fun and somewhat long rollercoaster at New York, New York and lounging poolside
or in the Lazy River at Mandalay Beach. It was a great getaway and a lot of
Vegas looks the way you'd imagine heaven must look at night.”
being able to go on the rafting adventure due to work commitments, yet not
wanting to miss out on all the fun, I arranged to fly out and meet Kathy, Aunt
Kathy & Dakota in Las Vegas at the conclusion of their trip and booked a
nice suite at Mandalay Bay for 6 nights that they could use to recover, relax
and assimilate back in to the unreal culture that is Las Vegas. Talk about
going from one extreme to the other.
flew out the day before they finished and was able to have a solo night in
Vegas to begin the process of getting myself into trouble. With all of Vegas to
choose from, I opted to head over to the infamous dive bar, the Double Down. I
had had positive recommendations as a must see Vegas experience from some
trusted friends and wanted to check it out.
bar, which has as its slogan, “Shut Up And Drink”, and is known for their
famous “Ass Juice” cocktail, (which is basically just a mix of whatever booze
the bartender wants to mix in a crazy concoction), is one of the world’s great
dive bars. Before the Vegas trip was over, I would find myself there for three
very late nights including one interesting evening that found me playing Punk
Rock Bingo with a Drag Queen, three strippers, a couple of midgets (their terminology)
and a fetish model. It certainly seems afar cry from the glittering lights and towers on the strip a few blocks
away, but the people there also were much more real, nice and interesting than
the typical fake plastic crowd that populates much of the strip.
ladies arrived the following morning tired, but full of tale from their exotic
adventures. The accommodations seemed to agree with them and if you throw in
the spectacular spa Mandalay and the incredible beach pool area, I think they
were pleased to be back in civilization.
Aunt Kathy, Kathy & Dakota
had a full slate of activities planned that included plenty of delicious dining
and a number of the shows which Vegas is so well known for. Kathy & I are
not big gamblers, but Aunt Kathy did pretty well playing the slots. She only
stayed a few extra days but was able to catch a couple of shows with us.
up was the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys” at the theatre at Paris. The
entertaining musical follows the story of the formation and career of Frankie
Valli and the Four Seasons and is full of their wonderful music, most of which
is readily recognizable as a part of the American rock canon.
Jersey Boys- “Can’t
Take My Eyes Off of You”
good as Jersey Boys was, it could not compete with the show that we saw the
next night, Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” featuring the music of the Beatles. Kathy
and I had seen the show during our last trip to Vegas last October and thought
it was one of the most enjoyable and entertaining things we had ever seen. We
really wanted to let Aunt Kathy and Dakota share the experience and we were
pretty excited to go see it again ourselves.
show is impossible to describe, but the opening portion of it is probably the
best pure entertainment of any kind that I have ever witnessed and the entire
show gets a super five star rating as far as I am concerned. Any concern that
it might lose a little something on second viewing was lost immediately, there
is so much going on that you can’t possibly focus on everything, so each
viewing uncovers something new and no doubt special.
Dakota & Michael
Beatles Cirque du Soleil LOVE- “Get Back/
show is so good, it is worth a trip to Las Vegas simply to witness it in
person. Once again the video posted above does not do the slightest bit of
justice to just how spectacular and impressive the show actually is. Once again
it was one of the highlights of a Las Vegas adventure.
About Us- We are Kathy Kilroy and Michael Blades and this blog was created to document our summer travels around the nation in 2006 and we have opted to continue posting to keep our friends and family informed of our lives. We each have lived in Key West for over 20 years and met and were married here in October, 2003.