We Live To Travel

Summer 2018 begins in Las Vegas

We’re off on another adventure!

Day 1 of 59

(As we checked our Westjet app on my phone, I noticed that our flight home is 59 days from now… so here we are on day 1 of 59!)

As Steve likes to do, we are starting the trip off in Vegas so he can play in a few of the WSOP events. Last year I didn’t go with him. He went with his brother. That was ALL about poker. This year I’m along for the ride so it will be about poker AND other stuff πŸ™‚

So here we are ready to go in the early morning… at YYJ airport.

Our flights were relatively painless and we arrived in Vegas at a decent time of day. The only sad thing for me was that they didn’t stamp my passport. Not sure why? A bit disappointing because I like to collect stamps in my passports!

We checked into the Rio. Not going to recommend this as a hotel unless you happen to be playing in a tournament here. The rooms are a bit tired, although to be fair my hotel room is bigger than my whole apartment back home. You are quite a distance from the strip in summer heat. There is no way to walk (unless some crazy husband convinces you it isn’t that far… a story from a previous trip to Vegas) in the summer heat. They used to have a shuttle that went every half hour to the strip, but we found out yesterday that they discontinued this service. I think that was a huge mistake. On the plus side, when Steve is on a break from a poker tourney, he has a close place to go and relax.

We have ten days in Vegas so aren’t feeling the pressure to run around and do stuff right away. On our first night we literally had dinner and then fell asleep around 9:00. I think the end of school decompression is happening. There has been a lot of sleeping (for both of us) since school ended!

Day 2 of 59

The next morning we headed down to the Rio pool. This is a good pool and falls on the positive side of things about the Rio.

It is divided into four (I think?) pools with lots of places to lounge. The first morning we went down it was already 33 degrees at 10 in the morning! We spent a lot of time in and out of the pool, which was colder than I expected… but refreshing!

We spent just a couple of hours at the pool as I am making sure I don’t overheat (it’s going up to 42 degrees today!)

In the afternoon, we took a cab down the road to the grocery store to pick up some water (lots of water) and some food to eat for breakfast and snacks. Even with the cost of a cab there and back this was well worth the trip as a 1L bottle of water at the Rio shop is $5.50 US!!!! The grocery store was much more reasonable. We got a 24 pack of 500 mL waters for $3.99. So 12X more water for $1.50 less. If you’re thinking you might want to do the same the store is called Smiths.

Anyway, the final thing on the docket for the day was Steve’s first poker tournament.

Unfortunately, this didn’t go as planned (the plan was for Steve to win, and then take me to Tahiti to an overwater bungalow… yes I’ve thought this through!) and as Steve would say he made an “early exit”. That’s okay, there’s still more chances for him to play.

Due to this unplanned exit… we had time to do more fun stuff the following day!

Day 3 of 59

This morning we headed back down to the pool. It felt considerably hotter outside, although my phone reminded me that it wasΒ only 34 degrees celsius at ten in the morning. We spent a lovely few hours absorbing our Vitamin D and going in and out of the still VERY cold pool! They must be cooling it… it’s so hot outside… how could it stay that cold?!

Here I am cooling off in my favourite pool. That little shell waterfall behind me is a nice place to go sit in the shade for a few minutes!

After pool time we tookΒ another nap! Man do I love summer holidays! I think we’re just practicing our siestas to get in tune with the next leg of our trip in Europe πŸ™‚

We decided to head down to the strip for the evening. So Steve put on his new fancy red pants… and even ironed his shirt. This is a bit of an inside joke… we haven’t owned an iron for over 10 years… and one of Steve’s friends at work has started calling him out on his wrinkliness… So here he is proud to say he actually USED the iron! I don’t think he particularly cares about wrinkles… but here he is looking all fancy!

Side note… I think these were the only red pants we saw tonight. A lot of people were checking Steve out today… was it the pants, or just his general handsomeness? We’ll never know πŸ™‚

So we headed out to catch the shuttle to the strip. Oh wait. There is no shuttle to the strip anymore. BOOOOOOO!

Instead we took a cab down to Bally’s where we knew we could pick up some discount show tickets for tonight. We’ve been wanting to see Absinthe for a while now, and today we had our chance. I would recommend buying tickets at the discount booth if you can because we did save about 40 US per person on the tickets. Don’t forget after you buy your voucher from the ticket place you have to go to the box office at the venue to get your actual tickets. Conveniently it was right across the street.

Next we started making our way all the way down to Mandalay Bay. Why you ask? Because I had free buffet vouchers from MyVegas. Who doesn’t want free food? Anyway, Mandalay Bay is right at the very end of the strip, but since this isn’t our first rodeo we knew all the ways to get there without overheating!

First we made a stop in Bellagio. Mostly to get to the free tram that takes you a few hotels down. But… as per usual… we got distracted looking at all the pretty things. I briefly got distracted by the Jimmy Choo store… and then Steve got distracted by “Bobby’s Room”. This is a famous high stakes poker room where you have to have $300,000 just to buy in to the game. He always checks out who might be playing in there, but the only person he recognized today was Gus Hansen. Then we went to have a look at one of my favourite things about the Bellagio… the Conservatory. Every time we’ve been they have a beautiful display of flowers that is different from the last time we were there. I’m not sure how often they change the display.

Side note: I just googled it. Thank you Mr. Google. They change the display with the seasons and do one special display for Chinese New Year. Burning Question answered πŸ™‚

Anyway, the display is just gorgeous right now and seems to be a tribute to an Italian garden. Steve was not fond of the photos we took so I’m including one to give you a taste of what it looks like, but we’ll go back later to take more photos.

It was absolutely beautiful… Steve is right, you can’t tell in the photo… maybe it’s the lighting and the time of day. We’ll try for more photos later!

Anyway, we made our way all the way down to Mandalay and enjoyed our free buffet. We were shocked to see how many people were in the buffet with us! That is a money-making machine! I never eat my money’s worth in a buffet (it would have been 33 US a piece for us if it wasn’t free), but am happy to have a little taste of things for free. The food was actually quite good. Better than most Vegas buffets I’ve been to, and the ambience was a little nicer than usual. I’ll definitely keep it on my list of go to MyVegas rewards to collect.

After dinner we headed back down towards Caesar’s for our show.

We stopped in at PH and picked up some tickets to Gwen Stefani’s show for Saturday night! A bargain at 70 US per person. We’re both excited for that!

We ended the night with the show Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. It isn’t inside the hotel, but rather in a tent out front on the property.

While we waited to be let in, we wandered around a bit and admired the strip at night.

As we were waiting I also noticed a sign saying that this was the #1 greatest show in Las Vegas history! It reminded me of a post I did a few years ago about Vegas, where literally everywhere we went was voted #1 in Las Vegas. πŸ™‚

Now I don’t know if this is the best Las Vegas show in history, but we both really enjoyed it! Cautionary note: if you don’t like raunchy stay away. This is possibly the raunchiest show I’ve ever seen. That being said the venue was super cool, the acts were amazing and the comedy was funny (and quite vulgar!).

The tent is not large (despite how it looks on the seat map online) so any seat would be a good seat. I recommend NOT sitting in the first few rows as you will get wet and be a target for the raunchy jokes! Most of the action happens where that green curtain is in the middle. There is a round stage that is used for all of the acrobats and amazing acts. Steve’s favourite was the rollerskaters. They were doing crazy dangerous stunts on that tiny round stage!

One more cautionary note, the seats are just random chairs which are very close together. If this bugs you, you won’t like this show.

And so ends another day in Vegas!

4 thoughts on “Summer 2018 begins in Las Vegas

  1. Henry and Pat Baumstark

    Hi Lisa and Stephen,

    So glad you are keeping us on your email list. Love looking at the photos and reading the commentaries, you are both doing a great job! Good luck, Stephen, hope this will lead to an early retirement!
    We are well, had a great visit with your Uncle John, and hope that your Mom and Dad can come in September. We did have a quick visit with them when we were out west, but need more time to play canasta.
    We are going to China and Thailand for 18 days on a tour in mid September, so Henry says one more thing on his bucket list, who knew?
    Be safe and all the best,
    Hugs to both,
    Pat and Henry

    1. admin Post author

      Exciting about your upcoming trip. We loved Thailand! China is on our list for our next year off in 2020. Who are you doing the tour through?

      1. Henry and Pat Baumstark

        We are traveling through Nexusholidays and only because our friends here had already booked and invited us along. They apparently knew others who have travelled through them and had a good experience. I have heard good things about Sinorama, and I think better prices, but since they had already booked, we were more comfortable going with another couple.
        Wow, we are just watching The Amazing Race Canada and one of the contestants is a daughter-in-law of friends of ours from Taber. Nancy Csabay, a barrel racer that spent winters in Arizona near us.

        1. admin Post author

          Thanks for the info Pat. I’ll keep those places in mind when we are looking for our trip to China. Make sure you let us know how it went afterwards!

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