Travelling. Paris/Bellagio/Fremont Street
17.05.2009 - 17.05.2009 33 °C
I seem to always arrive like five hours early at the airport no matter what the time is of my departure. It's like a nervous tick or something. Regardless, I learned the lesson of check-in kiosks not opening prior to 5am - word to the wise! I'm already exhausted from having not slept the day before and then running for the shuttle bus, so standing in line is not at all desireable to me right now. It goes fast however and I end up checking in at the first class counter. I think the agent is being friendly ... a little too friendly. Especially for 5:30am. He laughs at my lame jokes and doesn't charge me for my checked bag. Very odd and suspicious. I keep looking for a camera, or waiting for agents to swoop down on me for conspiring to rob the american economy of my precious $15 USD.
I decided to keep Lantlig tucked in my bag this time to avoid any weird stares, but he's still tucked in close in my backpack. I pick myself up a grande coffee light frappucino with a sugar-free vanilla shot. Oh yes, I have become this person. But when will I ever learn that coffee this early in the day destroys my stomach? Never apparently. I'm sure it'll do wonders to feed the growth of the volcanic zit I feel on my chin. At least my veggie sandwich was pretty tasty, but really how can you go wrong with that? God I could not wait to get on the plane and sleep! I end up having a window seat, which rocks pretty hard.
The plane ride goes by with few issues, other then getting stuck to two people who would not stop talking for like a second. It was a son and mother who were going to Vegas for a 'belated mother's day present'. But ironically the mother didn't seem very enthusiastic and the son spent the whole time talking about what he was going to do. Either way, some of us wanted to sleep and instead got pounded with an experience akin to listening to Charlie Brown's teacher. Lame. The plane lands and I meet up with M. Starved, we head to the hotel and check in. The Paris is just amazing. I seriously cannot believe the amount of detail they put into making it feel like you are authentically in Paris .... well a Parisian casino maybe. The room itself is gorgeous (luxury suite, bargain basement room even) and has a separate shower/tub combo which makes me squeal like a child at xmas. The view however is somewhat lacking. At check-in the girl explains at the strip view rooms are reserved for the higher priced rooms, but we could upgrade to one for an additional $65 per day. Hrmm no, but thanks for asking.
I unpack and then we head down to Le Cafe Ile St. Louis which is in the Paris. Originally the plan was to hit the buffet there but the lineup was ridiculous. There was still a line at Le Cafe but it was a lot shorter. We split the smoked salmon platter (which wasn't actually smoked but instead was lox) and I order a salad nicoise, which looked more like a piece of artwork than something edible. And it was okay, but nothing really wowed me. In fact the salad seemed overly salty to me, so I ended up only eating about half of it and filling up on bread instead. Overall I didn't think it was worth the price of the meal. Then again, the atmosphere at the Paris tends to make up for what the food lacked.
I ended up playing a bit of roulette to kill some time -- Jeff's strategy of black 17 failed ... 4 times. Probably didn't help either that I had no clue what was I doing until a nice lady explained it to me. Then, ironically, my red 5 hit and I ended up with $35. Sweet! I played another round and lost, so I cashed out and ended up making my money back. I was probably even up a few bucks. We decide to grab some monorail passes and head up to check out Fremont Street. Let me tell you it is hot as a mo-fo outside, but I'm coping okay. We get off at the last stop on the monorail (the Sahara) and walk over the Las Vegas Blvd and catch the bus up to Fremont.
Immediately we are disappointed -- it turns out the light show only happens after dusk, and it's only 4pm. Very lame. Either way the sights at Fremont are classics. You see Binion's, the 4 Queens .. as I said, the classic gambling houses. Outside this place called Mermaids there are these chicks with macarena outfits on. They advertize their specialities of deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Oreos. I am appauled. We do go in however with the intent of trying their 97 cent daiquari. The bartender explains that it's almost more like a shot and talks me into a brain freeze for half price ($6) which someone ordered and then decided they didn't want. The brain freeze has orange juice, vanilla milk, and everclear (which I had never heard of before). It tastes like pure evil. Pure, delicious evil. We play the slots for a bit to enjoy the air conditioning and to allow me to finish my drink. I consume most of it in a rush until the urge to vomit rises. I swear to myself I will not drink another drop of alcohol on the trip after this. Especially if taking the bus is required after the consumption .. ick. We skip the monorail back and just stay on the bus all the way to the Bellagio where we chill and watch the fountains for awhile.
I can see why everyone says the fountains at the Bellagio are a sight to be seen because they really are amazing. Though my counterpart seems underwowed, I feel I am overwowed enough to compensate. I just can't fathom how much time and effort gets put into designing those shows. Wow. Also as an ironic twist we spotted a shoe floating in the water and a guy standing over the railing, clearly pondering whether to go in or not. I'm thinking to myself there is no way he would jump in there when ... splash! Oh yes, he did. He reclaims the shoe and climbs back out. Tourists are crazy in Vegas.
We ponder dinner and decide to check out Ah Sin, again at the Paris. It's only open Wednesday through Sunday, so it's one of the few days we could check it out. Plus it had good reviews and was said to be one of the better places for sushi in Vegas. I ended up getting the miso soup (not good) and a vegetarian roll with soy paper. I fell in love with this sushi -- so good! The table was also in an open area that allowed for you to see the Bellagio fountains at night while you ate. It created a great atmosphere.
After dinner we decided to check out the Eiffel Tower. I hate heights .. hate. But it was worth it since the view was spectacular and I kick myself repeatedly for not bringing my camera. The view of the strip at night is amazing, especially since there was a showing of the fountain show from the view up above. Again, the show is just so very cool. That particular piece was an italian opera and the movement of each fountain matched perfectly to the music.
Exhausted, we decide to stop and grab some dessert from JJ's Boulangerie (again, in Paris). After my five billion calorie drink I feel guilty and indulge in their sugar-free chocolate mousse cake. So ... friggen .. good. Especially since they sneak berries into the middle and they get all sweet and oozy .. mmmm. After dessert we head back to the room and to bed ... after a yummy bath in the awesome tub. Did I mention marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs are excellent? Well, they are.