Sep 4, 2012
After flights from Melbourne to Las Vegas via Sydney and Los Angeles we were pleased to get to Bellagio. It was a stunning place and seemed to be as large as a small city with wall to wall restaurants, shops and gaming tables operating day and night. We settled into our room mid afternoon and although jet lagged decided to make the most of the two days that we had in Las Vegas.
Shopping and shows are the thing! Shopping during the day and shows at night although there are plenty of matinees. Everything is a bit overwhelming so we headed off to the concierge to see what he recommended. Friends had said that we ought to see a show called 'O' by Cirque du Soleil, which coincidentally was at Bellagio on the water in front of the hotel, but unfortunately it was not on for the two nights that we were in Las Vegas. Instead we shelled out almost $400 to get tickets for another of the seven Cirque du Soleil shows in town called Beatles in Love. It was sensational and we loved every minute of it: the music plotted the Beatles era and the acrobatics were amazing. It's hard to imagine that 'O' could be any better.
The next night we booked to see David Copperfield at the MGM. There were a number of magic shows including the Amazing Jonathon but the concierge said that David Copperfield was the best of the lot so that's where we went. Copperfield is an illusionist and some of his illusions are so mind boggling that it is impossible to understand how they are done. One one occasion he produced a Lincoln Continental on stage where one hadn't previously existed. Now we were in the second row only a few feet from the stage and there is no way that I could see what had been done. He started the engine, opened the doors and generally demonstrated that it was real before a gob smacked audience. As amazing as this was it was perhaps the least amazing of the magic that he performed.
During the day I spent some time trying to make sure that we had a phone that wasn't going to cost us a bomb. I bought an AT&T sim card which provided around 255 minutes of talk time and 1GByte of data download for around $USD90.00. For an extra $USD35 I bought an International calling card which allowed voice and SMS to Australia. It sounds a lot but compared with the $AUD3,000 that international roaming cost me in Europe a couple of years earlier it was a bargain.
On our last day I wandered down to the pool and swam in the most beautiful hotel pool complex I have ever seen. It consisted of four separate pools laid out amongst beautiful garden settings. I wish I had seen it earlier - I could have stayed there for most of the day just relaxing and reading a book instead of rushing around like a mad thing.
We then set off to the airport and - disaster. I left my camera in the front seat of the taxi and I could see it head off in the distance thinking that was the last I would ever see of it. Even worse, the insurance that I had taken out for the trip didn't cover the loss - it specifically set out that items left on a taxi were not covered! Well since we were headed to Mexico and then Cuba where communications to the US might cost more than the value of the camera I was a little depressed. The good news is that it did turn up and we managed to collect it in our hotel when we arrived in San Francisco some three weeks later.