Las Vegas Highlights
Well, I’m back from my trip to Las Vegas. After a day of recovery, I’m ready to blog again . . .
I had a great time, of course. The weather was lovely and the city seemed to be bouncing back from the economic meltdown it suffered a few years back. I stayed at the MGM Grand which was likely the busiest place in town. Between a NASCAR race that ended Sunday (I saw Danica Patrick in the lobby of the hotel), a gigantic convention of wedding photographers and a March Madness college basketball tournament, the third-largest hotel in the world was booked solid.
The highlights there included another trip to Diego, my favorite restaurant in Las Vegas. I go just for the tableside guacamole service; it is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Also, I’m a big fan of the Mlife rewards program that saw me rewarded for my compulsive gambling. Checking in, I was able to walk past a huge line into a VIP section. Checking out of the hotel was just as convenient, and despite charging plenty to the room, my balance at checkout was nil. I don’t have to tell anyone how nice it is to walk right past the rabble to the front of the line.
The shopping was terrific. I really doubt that there’s a better city in the world to shop in: everyone is in Las Vegas. I had never made it to the Cosmopolitan before, but I made a point of visiting the hotel this time. That’s where I discovered the AllSaints store. Quite often I visit these much-hyped retailers only to be disappointed, but AllSaints delivered the goods. Next time I go, it will be on the first day of my trip when I still have some money to spend. The prices weren’t bad and the stuff looked as if it could fit my ample physique.
I also went to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North for the first time. I’ve been to the South Outlet plenty of times, but everyone kept telling me that the North Outlet has better high-end offerings. They certainly do! I bought a watch, some sunglasses, a couple of shirts and a hat. My friend went crazy in the Dolce & Gabbana outlet where the last few D&G offerings were still available. I gushed over last year’s spring stock still available at Salvatore Ferragamo (a collection that said “Viva Las Vegas” to me with its garish palette). Etro was nice, too, but for a company that is celebrated for its prints, there were too many items in the store with prints that weren’t properly lined-up by the seamstresses.
The Crystals at City Center was busier than the last time I visited, but there still appeared to be far more people just wandering the mall than in the stores themselves. The service at Gucci was wonderful. Bally and Bottega Veneta were also standouts. My friend almost bought a bag at BV, but I convinced her that she ought to sleep on it. While I liked the particular purse she chose, there are others in the lineup that I believed she would like more. One in particular was featured on this windmill-like apparatus in the middle of the mall. Security must be awfully good at the Crystals because it took everything in me not to climb over the fence into this display where I could steal a bag or two — and I wasn’t even drunk . . . yet!
I didn’t go into Prada or Louis Vuitton, but the stores are lovely. Once criticism that I did have was that the Tom Ford store has the least-inviting facade of any retailer in the Crystals. It’s too dark, too closed-in and a little intimidating. I’m not afraid to walk into Cartier and Harry Winston, but I am uneasy to walk into that particular Tom Ford boutique. It kind of reminds me of the door of an exclusive nightclub where you really can’t see inside, yet at the same the staff standing near the entrance appear desperate to do something, like those annoying people in suburban malls who accost you in order to sell time-shares. However you look at it, it’s bad marketing. Mr. Ford recently opened up his business with a runway show. He needs to consider opening up his storefronts, too. Neither I nor my friends were compelled to enter his boutique.
Other highlights included a trip to the Aria to see Zarkana, the newest of the Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. While I wouldn’t recommend the show for the “plot” (I’m never into the contrived storylines that are used to connect the acts together in these shows), the acrobatics were amazing. On the other hand, the “plot” of Peepshow at Planet Hollywood was far more sophisticated and believable. According to the show’s own website, “Coco Austin takes the stage as Bo Peep, a timid girl who is guided by the Peep Diva in her transformation into a confident, sensual woman.” Of course, that means the audience doesn’t get to see her take off her top until the second half of the show. Still, it was worth the price of admission to get to see Coco’s boobs in person. They’re the size of her head, and there’s two of them! TWO OF THEM!
Anyway, I can’t wait to go back. I suppose that I’ll wait until the fall, though. I seem to be luckier in the autumn. I’ll have to remember that planning a trip during the mating season of the Great-tailed Grackle is never a good idea, especially when the palm tree right outside your hotel window holds the highest concentration of courting Grackles per square foot of any tree in town. Oh well. I guess it’s nice to see someone get lucky!