Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Vegas, Baby!

I chose to go to the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas this year. I had not been getting much out of another conference I had attended in years past. This one promised to be better. Although seeing Vegas wasn't high on my list of things to do, Cirque du Soleil's "O" topped that list. And frequent flyer miles would allow Mark to join me.

Until Mark arrived, I really didn't enjoy Vegas much. A lot of walking, waiting in lines, and overpriced everything. We shared the conference center at Mandalay Bay with 12,000 Keller-Williams Realtors. Since last year, when we shared the convention center in Baltimore (even lower on my list than Vegas) with Mary Kay, I have been intrigued by the differences. Both of those conventions seemed like Mardi Gras compared to ours. We're a dowdy, quiet bunch, we vets. But at least we're not wearing our corporate logo in rhinestones or carrying big lip-shaped purses or fairy wands. -S.
I did really like the MGM Grand. You didn't have to walk through the thick of the casino to get around, and there was lots to see. The lion habitat houses one or two of their 31 lions at a time. Most are descendants of the famous MGM marquee lion, Leo. They eat, play ball, and snooze, like these girls here.

There were also several great restaurants. We only ate at one, but they were all innovative in terms of architecture, lighting, etc.

We didn't gamble, so we felt obligated to at least eat at a buffet. The Spice House Buffet at Aladdin was great. They had Middle Eastern food, and I ate that, seafood, and dessert. It doesn't get much better. Mark stuck to more meat and potatoes, and dessert.

The highlight of the trip was the night of the show. "O" is, without a doubt, the most amazing thing we have ever seen. I've seen Cirque du Soleil shows on tv, and knew we wouldn't be disappointed, but it blew us away. Any amazing physical feat humans can do, they did in this show. Synchronized swimming, acrobatics, diving, gymnastics, you name it. And the artistry of the production is beyond description. Even the way the curtains went up took our breath away.

The show was at the Bellagio, and we enjoyed the gorgeous lobby before leaving just in time to see the fountain show. We then had an amazing dinner at Emeril's Fish House in MGM Grand. Such an amazing night!

The Dam Trip

As we left Vegas for Utah, we had to stop the see the Hoover Dam. The tour is curtailed since 9/11, but was still interesting. Plus, we had a lot of opportunities for "dam" jokes. We went on the dam tour with the dam tour guide, and then bought a silly dam souvenir in the dam gift shop before hitting the dam road.