MGM Grand/New York New York/Excalibur
18.05.2009 - 18.05.2009 35 °C
Slept in (it is a vacation after all) then got ready to head out to the Spice Market Grilll in Planet Hollywood for a late breakfast/lunch. I had read that the buffet was extensive and one of the better ones to check out in Vegas. I can safely say that it did not disappoint me at all. Though a bit costly ($18 per person for lunch) I think it was worth it, especially considering lunch for 2 was cheaper than at Le Cafe the day before. And wow, the hummus there was absolutely amazing. Also the dessert bar was rather extensive, with a very yummy carrot cake .. along with the four other desserts I grabbed like the chocolate dipped coconut bar .... ugh. I could have lived at that buffet.
After stuffing ourselves silly we explored Planet Hollywood some more and played a bit of slots (no winnings, fail). There doesn't seem to be a lot to it, other than the mall that is attached (drool!). We head south down the strip towards the Hawaiian Market where these two women try to sell me this skirt that is, essentially, a double-layered sarong. I think they're cute and try some on, then find out they're around $90. What?!?! But it's okay because they'll cut me a deal of $55. Thanks but no thanks since I could easily make one of them myself at home. No sale.
We walk by the Coca-Cola store which is crazy in its glass bottled shape storefront, but don't enter. We do check out the M&M store though which is simply crazy. They have like every color of M&M that has ever been produced and available to be purchased, but none are bought. Instead we stop by the ABC store and I grab some chocolate covered macademia nuts for my coworkers (since they are now addicts after I brought some after my Kauai trip). We brave the outside heat to get into the MGM Grand which is ... expansive. It is seriously huge. Hot and thirsty we stop in at the Rainforest Cafe for a quick drink. I end up ordering the orangesicle, which is a combination of orange sherbet and fro-yo. It is a delicious brain-freeze. From there we head over to the Lion Habitat, which (according to the voice-over) has a total of 37 lions that rotate in-and-out of the habitat. That day there were only three, three very sleepy lions. Apparently lions do sleep about 14 to 20 hours per day, on average about 18. There is a glass/plastic tunnel that you can walk through the get a better view from inside the habitat. Walking through you find the lions sunbathing/sleeping directly above you. They look so cute, until you get a good look at their paws and how absolutely huge they are. Not your standard kitty.
From there we go and check out the Ka Theatre (Cirque de Soleil show). The videos that play make it look like a very enticing show to visit, but it's not showing that night so nothing is purchased. We head back through the casino and notice the trainers are visiting the lions. They still are pretty much sleeping, but the one trainer tosses a chew toy at the one lion and you watch him sink his teeth into it .. wow. Again, wouldn't want to meet one of them in a dark alley. We head out of the building and get a glimpse of the MGM golden lion fountain which is .. massive. Across the street is New York New York so we head over to scope that out.
New York New York has to be one of the coolest theme hotels on the strip. Just crossing the street we found ourselves sweating in the 100+ degree weather. Air conditioning, even after only about 5-10 minutes in the heat, is very welcoming. On my list of things to do in Vegas was to eat a slice of NY pizza, since all we have in Canada is the crappy Pizza Hut version that tastes like cardboard. So we spot a Nathan's and grab a slice .. meh. I was still pretty full from lunch at the Spice Market Grill, so that probably didn't help for my enthusiasm at eating the pizza. I got the standard cheese and I found it kinda bland. The crispy crust was amazing, but overall the taste was meh. Needed some tabasco or chili flakes or something. And it didn't help that my next activity was to ride the Manhattan Express while there. It looked pretty tame from outside and from the pictures I've seen .. especially when compared to some of the other coasters in Vegas (i.e. Stratosphere rides). But holy crap, it was long, and had more loops and spirals and twists than I anticipated. I had an absolute blast, no regrets on taking it, even on an overly filled stomach.
M decided to not go on the coaster with me and instead hung out playing games in the Coney Island Arcade. He kept trying to grab a prize on the toy claw games and kept failing. Finally we sit down and try to figure out what we're going to do next. We're both pretty tired (M from the heat, me from wearing a skirt with all that walking). Since it was on M's list of things he'd like to do we decided to hit the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur since it was next door. We end up picking up tickets at Tix4Tonight (yay for discounts!) and head over, killing time before the show in the games room. I suck hard at the ring toss, very hard. M ends up winning a prize for his niece, and eventually we enter the theatre for the show. We (ironically) get seated in the France section. The irony falls in the fact that we stayed at the Paris, sat in France, and I'm a french-Canadian. They serve the food immediately, which was a surprise. We both feel like dying since we're still full from (a) the buffet, and (b) the sub-par pizza. Dinner consists of potato wedges, broccoli, and a whole chicken. Surprisingly they have a vegetarian option, veggie lasagna, and with a fork! The prissy girl next to me gives me dirty looks while I use it, daintly picking at her chicken.
The food was okay but it was the entertainment that took the cake. Even though I had zero desire to do this activity I actually had a blast. It's like Medieval Times but with magic, acting, and pyrotechnics. France kicked Ireland's ass, and Russia was the complete bad ass in the bunch. So cool. Also France was the only one who didn't act like a prince with a stick up his ass. He continuously was mouthing stuff to the audience like 'dude? Like come on!'. Very princely. Didn't hurt that he was cute too. After the show we head back to the hotel where a fight ensued. So I decided to take off and get in some shopping therapy at the Miracle Shops next door at Planet Hollywood. I have a particular weakness for Urban Outfitters and end up snagging a few good finds there. Visit the ABC store to get some essentials, then Bath and Body Works to pick up a few things for some people. Head back to the hotel, more relaxed and balanced feeling. I took another bath and then promptly fell asleep while watching Jimmy Fallon.