Cold, grey, a few drops of rain this afternoon with a heavier downpour this evening, maximum temperature of 18C with a definite wind chill factor – this Vegas, in the desert, what is going on!! Warmer in Walthamstow…….
Intrepid travellers that we are a bit of cold weather was not going to stop us exploring further afield, so we decided today was perfect to take the bus north to explore the Outlet Malls and then work our way back south. No day can start without breakfast so we headed off to the Venetian hotel which we then discovered merges with the Palazzo hotel next door. The outside of the Venetian is reasonably impressive but inside is like entering another world. We wandered through the Grand Canal Shoppes full of very high end shops, not a price label to be seen in any shop window. If you need to ask the price you can’t afford to buy the goods!!
Then we came upon this canal complete with gondolas and gondoliers singing the cornetto song…….this canal is actually inside and on the second floor of the Venetian hotel! We meandered through to ‘St Marks Square’ and continued on into the Palazzo casino area. It was now brunch time rather than breakfast and an excellent brunch was partaken off by Mr and Mrs L at the Grand Luxe Cafe, Palazzo hotel.
Appropriate tickets purchased we then hopped on the bus and rode north to ‘downtown’ Las Vegas to the Outlet Mall. Mr L bought himself a bargain jumper in Ralph Lauren and needed to wear it due to the cold weather……..the trouble with air conditioned rooms is you have no idea of what the outdoor temperature is until you get outside! Mrs L resisted any major purchases – mainly due to the fact her suitcase is already full and has no room for anything else, but she did buy herself a mildly blingy Vegas sort of case for her phone though………
Next hop off stop was at Fremont Street which is still north of today’s main Las Vegas Strip. This is where many of the older hotels are situated and where the first casinos were. It was during the 1940s that Fremont Street exploded with neon and signs became progressively larger and more innovatively arranged in efforts to catch the consumers eye. The famous Las Vegas Club is here and it’s sign rose 120 feet above the pavement. The most spectacular wrap-around neon sign was created at the Golden Nugget in 1956. However, it was the introduction of the high rise towers in the 1950s and 1960s that changed the scale of Fremont Street with casinos expanding and taking over neighbouring businesses. Much of the history of Las Vegas is in Fremont Street, sadly though all looks a bit tacky – as Mr L announced “more like Blackpool!”
We then took the bus south down Las Vegas Boulevard to its last stop at the Mandalay Hotel. Whilst Mrs L popped off to the restroom Mr L decided to splash out on a slot machine – he was a winner, lots of noise and ringing and bright lights on said machine and he had made a 500% profit!! His $1 note repaid as $5 – dinner on Mr L tonight then…….we still have absolutely no idea as to what happened exactly and why he was a winner!
Every hotel on this newer southern end of the Strip is themed and a resort within itself. Most of these hotels belong to the MGM Hotels group, including the Bellagio. Some of the slightly older hotels are looking somewhat dated when compared to the newer hotels such as the Aria and the Cosmopolitan for example, and several are undergoing partial rebuilds and refits.
Mr and Mrs L had a thirst on which required quenching so a brief stop for a quick beer at the Nine Fine Irishman in the New York New York hotel was required. There we found Soho shopping, Times Square, Broadway, Greenwich Village all themed and adjacent to the casino area – really well done.
Time then to nip back to our room to freshen up before dinner. Next stop was the Forum of Caesar’s Palace for dinner and time to try out the Las Vegas Cheesecake Factory. Once again an excellent meal accompanied by a very pleasant glass of red wine called ‘Hot to Trot’ from the Columbia Valley. It was then back to the Bellagio casino to win our fortune on the Big Six again. Mrs L was the quickest loser, shortly followed by Mr L! Good fun whilst it lasted and we did get a free drink on the house so can’t really complain.