Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Vegas from the Stratosphere Tower

Girl getting ready to do the Free Fall jump out the door...

Bellagio Hotel Fountain Pool just before the fountain show.

Bellagio water fountain show.

Fountain show with Effiel Tower across the street.

Indoor Garden in the Lobby of Bellagio Hotel

Fremont Street Canopy Video Screen before the show started.

Character on Fremont Street.

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, we drove the RV to Las Vegas, NV. Carol was not real excited to go to “Sin City” but I said we are only 2-1/4 hours from there, why not? She relented and we were on our way. Highway I-15 goes through a corner piece of Arizona and what a piece it was. We had to travel through the Virgin River Gorge and it is a scenic gorge with much of the road at 6% to 10% down hill grades. It has a few curves of 40 mph or less and then the road flattens out into desert terrain. About the time we cross the Nevada boarder we got into a very light rain shower. After arriving at the Hitchin’ Post RV Park in Las Vegas, the TV news said they had broken the record 237 days without rain. The official tabulation at the airport was just .01 inch of rain, but that broke their drought.

That evening we had reservations to see a show called “Le Reve” at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. Le Reve means “The Dream” in French. The theater was a theater-in-the-round seating with a round 1.1 million gallon water pool the center “stage”. Below the water were a series of platforms that raised or lowered in seconds to make a dry stage, a swimming pool or a combination of both. At times even scenery appeared out of the pool or the pool was turned into a water fountain. The actors/swimmers would appear from out of the water, out of the aisles in the audience or lowered by wires from the ceiling. At one time there must have been 20 or so, swinging down from the ceiling. A couple of them jumped from the 80-foot ceiling, into the water. For effects they used fire, rain, smoke, flying doves and video projected onto the ceiling. The actors/swimmers were dancing, doing ballet, acrobatics, trapeze acts and of course swimming and synchronized swimming. There was no talking but just action and live music to portray the dreams of the main girl actor. It was an hour and half of non-stop action and at times there was so much going on, you didn’t know where to look. It was an expensive but fabulous show, well worth seeing. Carol and I both thought it was good enough to see again if we ever got the chance.

Wednesday, we drove the Jeep about 25 miles southwest of Vegas to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. We first took a boat cruise of the lake and saw the lakeside of Hoover Dam. We then drove around to the dam to take photos and visit the Visitor Center. I was surprised that the Visitor Center was not operated by the National Park Service. It was operated by the Dam Reclamation Organization, which charged $7 for the parking garage and $8 for the Visitor Center or a dollar more if you wanted a tour inside the dam. I skipped the inside the dam tour because we were running short on time. It is a very impressive structure with some amazing statistics. We then drove back into Vegas to pickup the tickets for the 7:00 pm show of The Blue Man Group at the Venetian Hotel. You have to pick up the tickets no later than an hour before the show and the parking garage and the theater were opposite ends of the hotel. We ate some dinner there and wondered through the casino on our way to the theater. Our seats were on the eighth row, which were two rows behind the “splash zone” where you are provided a flimsy rain poncho. I love a good sound system with lots of base tones but this one was pumping out the base so hard you could feel it on your chest. It was still an enjoyable and a humorous show even though it was similar to the show we saw in Boston last summer.

Thursday evening we ate at a near by Famous Dave’s BBQ and then drove to the “strip” to go up the Stratosphere Tower for an evening view of the city. This tower has four skinny looking legs holding the top structure containing six floors: level 103, a Wedding Chapel; 104, meeting rooms; 106, restaurant; 107, Lounge; level 108, indoor observation; and level 109 an outdoor observation and access to three thrill rides. Two of the rides hang out over the sides and the third shoots you up the skinny tower above the outdoor observation deck. They recently added a fourth thrill. It is a free fall from the inside observation deck to the ground which was advertised as an 854 ft plunge to the ground. You are hooked to a cable and to two guide wires and you literally jump out the door and fall as fast as your cable can unroll from the spool. Need I say that Carol or I did not ride any of the thrill rides. After returning to ground via elevator, we drove down the “strip” and stopped at the Bellagio Hotel to watch the water fountain show.

Friday night, our forth evening on the “strip”, we had tickets for the show “O” at the Bellagio Hotel. The show “O” is produced by the Cirque du Soleil Production Group and they produce several shows in town, so we decided to see at least one of them. This show was in a traditional type theater and was also based around a water pool, similar to “Le Reve”. This show had many circus type acts in and out of the water but was a slower paced show. Two breaks in the action were the clown acts, done by two clowns, who were cute but not funny. Overall, Carol and I both thought it was a very good show but “Le Reve” was better.

Saturday, we went to downtown Vegas to see the Fremont Experience. To entice people downtown, they have turned four blocks of Fremont Street into a plaza area. Over these four blocks they have installed a giant canopy, which is a giant video screen. At the top of each hour they turn down most of the streetlights and play a music video on the video screen. Between these main events they run ads and other stuff on the screen. Also at this time they have three stages scattered about the plaza where live bands perform. There were also several street performers doing their acts and some costumed characters willing to be photographed with you, for a tip. It seemed to be a popular place for the younger crowd so us old fogies left after about an hour and a half.

Sunday, Sept. 12, we headed back into Utah and landed at Kanab, Utah.

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