The wedding that was the impetus for the trip was everything it should be: joyful, fun, and celebratory. The bride and groom were beautiful, calm, and happy, and the Bellagio put together a lovely reception. I have to admit, though, that we were nearly late for the ceremony because the distances are deceptively far between (and within) the hotels. “Right next door” often translates to a mile or more when weaving through endless lobbies and casinos is factored in. Between all the tours in the Twin Cities and the weekend in Vegas, I walked a lot the first week of October.
The other big activity for the weekend was going to see the Cirque du Soleil show Love. I was skeptical about going — I’ve seen Cirque on television and never been particularly excited about their style of entertainment. (Bendy people and aerialists are not really my cup of tea.) On the other hand, I had heard great things about the Beatles remixes in the show and the theater’s supposedly-outstanding sound system, so I was hoping the good would outweigh the bad. The verdict? I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t, ahem, love it either. I fell asleep several times, but mostly tiny little micro-naps. (I’d peek my eyes open periodically to see if it had gotten interesting yet.) The music and sound did, however, live up to the hype, and I would download the album if only iTunes had the Beatles catalog.
Other than the wedding and Cirque, we didn’t really have a lot planned. Julia had done some advance research, fortunately, and had made note of things we should see. Her list included the light show in the Freemont district downtown (the area itself was great, old-school Vegas, the light display was, much to our surprise, patriotic kitsch), the shark reef at the Mandalay Bay (a small, but interesting aquarium), and the outdoor pirate show at Treasure Island (which turned out to be mostly a hokey advertisement for the hotel’s strippers). We also drank some and gambled some, because how can you not in Las Vegas? I won $20 at video poker and opted to quit while I was ahead.
Oh, goodness! I almost forgot the Liberace Museum. It’s a monument, really, to all that is gloriously tacky about Las Vegas, housing Liberace’s cars and pianos — some of which were tricked out to match his stagewear — and his costumes, with their feathers, sequins, and rhinestones. The piece de resistance? The red, white, and blue cape, boots, and hotpants ensemble Liberace wore for the 200th anniversary celebration of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. A hairy, 66-year-old man in sparkly hotpants… That’s Vegas, baby.