Jun 1, 2015

Vegas: Day 3

Vegas continues!

This was a Thursday, and our conference took up the first half of the day. After that wrapped up, Vanessa and I went back to The Venetian to try to catch a late brunch at Bouchon.

Several people had told me that the chicken and waffles at Bouchon are absolutely to die for, so it was definitely on my list of "don't-miss" restaurants.

As it turned out, though, they only serve the chicken and waffles on Saturday and Sunday -- so I got the French toast. It was the most "different" French toast I've ever had! It was served like bread pudding ... very dense, in a single slice. It was ALSO completely delicious.

The candied fresh pineapple and TOASTED MARSHMALLOW that were served with it made it absolutely spectacular.

Grayson was flying in that afternoon to spend Friday and Saturday with me to celebrate his birthday, but we had a little time to kill before he arrived, so we drove down to Caesar's Palace and walked around the shops.

Most of them were high-end, but there were a few "regular" shops, too. The H&M store was something to behold.

Once we were inside, it turned out that it was three or four stories tall. I took this picture looking out from one of the escalators inside.

We walked around for about 45 minutes, but SPOILER ALERT: Everything was really expensive, and I'm not much of a shopper anyway. Unless I'm in Lowe's or IKEA.

Luckily we didn't have too long before it was time to head out to the airport to pick Grayson up, and once we found him, we turned right around and came back to The Strip. Our first stop? The famous Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

After that, we didn't have too much of a plan. But we decided to go to The Mirage, because my friend Melanie had said there were dolphins there. I didn't even know what that meant, but DOLPHINS!

I'm still not sure WHY there are dolphins there, but there's a dolphin habitat on the property. (One thing about these hotels and casinos is that they are DECEPTIVELY LARGE. You just cannot imagine the size of each property. The fact that there's a full dolphin and tiger habitat at this one? I guess that's not weird there.)

In general, I don't like it when wild animals like dolphins are kept in captivity in the equivalent of a swimming pool. BUT SINCE WE WERE ALREADY THERE.

It seemed rude not to stop and say hi.

They were so cute and polite! Extroverts.

After we'd observed them for about 10 minutes, a trainer came out with fish and asked them to do a few tricks. They seemed more than happy to oblige.

Right up the path from the dolphins was the entrance to The Secret Garden, where the animals that (I suppose?) used to perform with Siegfried and Roy reside. (I didn't read the brochure. Can you tell?)

We didn't spend too long back there, because caged wild animals really do make me sad. But they ARE majestic and beautiful.

By the time we wrapped up at The Mirage, it was time to head to an early supper. "Early" being the key, because we wanted to try to get a patio table at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris, France hotel.

The patio there looks directly across the street at the fountains of the Bellagio, which is a really nice view if you can get it.

Like every other meal I'd enjoyed during my trip, this one was wonderful. Mon Ami Gabi did not disappoint.

Grayson and I each ordered steak, although we enjoy different cuts. The couple of times a year I eat steak, I order a filet. They cooked it perfectly, and the fries were a revelation. (CAN YOU CALL FRIES A 'REVELATION'? THIS GIRL CAN.) 

Since we'd eaten such an early supper, we finished up just before sunset and dashed several blocks to The LINQ so we could get on The High Roller -- the giant Ferris wheel.

It moves really slowly, so once you purchase your tickets at the booth at the bottom, you just hop on as it continues to move across the loading area. Then, you slowly move up, up, up into the sky.

It's glass all the way around, so the view is different off of each side.

Here's a look at the view down below ... we weren't all the way up at the top yet, but we were pretty far up.

If you don't have a fear of heights, I highly recommend this as a way to spend 45 minutes or so -- especially if you can manage to get there for a sunset.

We were probably about 15 minutes later than we should have been to have really taken advantage of the best colors in the sky, but it was still beautiful.

And honestly, even the "non-Strip" view was striking from The High Roller.

As we started to come back down the other side, I noticed the Bellagio fountains starting up, so I took a few pictures in a row of those.

I also snapped a picture of The Flamingo as we were coming down, mainly because its pool looked so nice from that angle. Little did I know we'd be visiting The Flamingo on Saturday!

We walked back to The Palazzo, and we decided to stop in the Grand Lux and have the Warm Chocolate Cake. The Grand Lux is owned by the Cheesecake Factory, so it's a chain.

But let me tell you, I'd put that dessert up against anything else I ate in Vegas -- AND WE WENT BACK FOR IT TWO MORE TIMES. 

Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants.

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