Las Vegas

December 22-31, 2004

Our trip via American West started out with a glitch, when they failed to put one of our pieces of luggage on the first leg of the trip. We discovered that in Vegas, and waited an hour and a half for it to arrive on a Continental flight. Because of Ken's broken wrist (you can see Ken's splint) we tried to have as few bags as possible, and overloaded the big bag. It cost $80 for the extra weight.
On Thursday morning Ken went out for an early (5 a.m.) "power walk" around the hotel. He was stopped by a security guard who was not too friendly about what Ken might be doing in the conference part of the hotel. Sure, he looks dangerous.

Because Ken can't use his left hand, he decided on a manicure early on.

Mandalay Bay has something called the Shark Reef, which is really just an aquarium. I decided to experience it because I suspected that Ken, (nor Eric or Andy when they arrived), would want to go. I was right. They didn't. It was interesting, but pretty crowded. I'd never seen a golden alligator before (only found in Thailand). These were some fancy fish (forgot their name).
We stayed at THEhotel, which is an addition to Mandalay Bay. The picture on the left is the hallway to the lobby. The picture above was one of the views from a cocktail lounge on the 43rd floor. You can see the Luxor in the foreground (the pyramid), where Eric and Andy would stay. They say that the light from the top of the Luxor can be seen by people in space.
These were views from our room: left McCarren airport and a piece of Mandalay Bay; the Luxor above.
On the right, Ken sits at his favorite machine, which returned more than he spent at it, on the trip.
Saturday afternoon we had tickets to "Mamma Mia," which has been around for awhile, I think. It was cute, but didn't challenge our thinking processes. It featured the music of Abba, which I expected to remember, but only remembered "Dancing Queen."
Andy (left), and Eric (above) arrived on Sunday, and stayed at the Luxor, which connected to our hotel through the shops. The Luxor looks small, but it isn't. Rooms are on the outside, with a huge atrium that (according to a book I read), could stack 9 747's in it.
This was taken from the inside atrium. You can see how the floors move inward as they get closer to the top. Each room has a slanted window that people who don't like to look down, would like. Because it's slanted, the view is up instead.
Our favorite thing (Ken's and mine) was to sit around the hotel room and chat (left). However, we did get about a bit. The two pictures directly below were taken at the movie theater where we saw "Oceans 12."
Andy and I toured the kids' game room at the Luxor. He decided to try to win a Sponge Bob doll, but got one of his compatriots instead (Patrick).
Food and gambling was enjoyed by all. Eric risked a twenty and ended up with $32, I think. The picture above is Andy with a tira misu (can you believe it?) He said it was good.
Okay, so you want to know what the heck Ken is doing with all those streamers wrapped around his face. At the beginning of the Blue Man Group show (Andy chose not to attend), everyone was given a huge handfull and asked to decorate themselves. This was Ken's attempt at decoration. Eric and I were much more circumspect. The show was great and I would recommend it to anyone who gets a chance to see it. What talent! And fun.
As all good things must come to an end, it was time for the guys to pick up Gabe at the doggy hotel, and head back to LA. This is Andy's Honda elec/gas combo machine, which he loves. The pictures below are the joyful reunion of men and dog. I don't know who was happier: Gabe, Eric, or Andy. I went with them to pick him up, and wore the "Ask me about my granddog" t-shirt that niece Lori gave me for Christmas.
This must have been the grand finale, because I didn't take any more pictures. I was really sorry not to have had my camera when Ken flew the flight simulator at the Luxor. I got to see it on a monitor. (Just between you and me I'm glad I wasn't on that airplane.)

Happy New Year to all.