Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Happens In Vegas

I think my mom's 80th birthday trip to Las Vegas was everything she hoped it would be. Kellen, Rebekah, my brother John, and my sister-in-law Cheri were there to share the adventure with us. That's the really great thing about family - you can be in the middle of the desert and still have a great time.

My mom loves lobster, so for part of her birthday present my brother and I treated her to a lobster dinner.


We took in the bright lights of The Strip.


There was some gambling. My mom loves the penny machines.


We went to two shows. The first was Celine Dion. Celine is the cilantro of the performing arts world. People either seem to love her or hate her. I happen to love her voice, and thought the show was terrific. One thing Rebekah noted when we were all together was how thrifty we are as a family. She's right of course. Most of what we did was free, or cost very little. The shows in Vegas aren't cheap, but John and Cheri had managed to find a very good deal on the Celine tickets. I took this picture when we got to our seats. It illustrates our thriftiness quite nicely. In Canada there is an expression for the seats at the top of the hockey arena. They are called "nosebleed seats." I'm not sure what you call seats that are beyond the nosebleed range.


The Colosseum at Caesars Palace was almost full by the time the show started. It holds around 4000 people. I find it quite amazing that this show sells out night after night, year after year. The other show we saw was a ventriloquist named Terry Fator. He was very funny. I think he would have been even funnier had I not had an allergic reaction to something I ate at dinner and been so sleepy from the Benadryl I ended up having to take. He performed in a smaller venue, so our thrifty seats were close enough we could have gotten a nosebleed if he had used a puck instead of puppets.

We stayed at a hotel called Treasure Island.


It was in a good location, but one of its best features was the fact it had complimentary wheelchairs. That allowed us to take in much more than we would have been able to if my mom had had to walk.


If I was asked for one word to describe Vegas, it would be artificial. There is everything from a replica of the Eiffel Tower, to an exploding volcano, to soaps that look like cupcakes.


Of course, there were some real things as well. The palm trees were beautiful. I hadn't realized there were so many different varieties! We were fascinated with these huge moths. I'm not sure, but I think they might be hummingbird moths.


As we were walking through one of the casinos there was a crowd gathering, so we went to see what they were looking at. It turned out to be one of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses! When they saw my mom at the side in her wheelchair they led the horse over to her so she could pet it. You can see the Clydesdales in this Budweiser commercial from the last Super Bowl.


The first of two surprising things that happened to me while I was in Vegas was ending up on the Bud Light Facebook page.


The second surprise wasn't quite as pleasant. When going through security at the Las Vegas Airport on the way home they indicated I should go to the line for the full body screening. I asked how I could get in the other line - the one for the regular screening. They immediately shouted out "We have an opt out." A female TSA agent came over, escorted me to the side, put on gloves, and gave me a pat down. As she was patting me down she commented on how easy it was to do since I was wearing such plain clothes. I had on a long-sleeved Merino wool shirt (we were heading back to winter conditions in Spokane) and a pair of cords. It's about as fashionable as I get. Oh well. I'm glad I was able to make her job a little bit easier.

Now I am back home, and we are in the midst of a snowstorm. It's hard to believe that just a few days ago we were surrounded by sunshine, palm trees, slot machines and the bright lights of Vegas. I'm so glad we were able to do this trip with my mom. We might not have hit the jackpot in terms of gambling, but we certainly did in terms of having a great birthday celebration!

22 comments:

  1. HA! "Celine is the cilantro of the performing arts world" That is the most hilarious sentence I've read in so so long. I'm very glad y'all had such a nice trip, and happy belated birthday to your mom!

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  2. What a trip! You made a lot of great memories. I like Celine Dion! I would have enjoyed seeing her show. You're a celebrity after that Budweiser photo, I think. That's pretty cool. And a horse inside a casino sounds exciting, if a little risky. I've never been to Vegas but I would love to go. I have never gambled or even played a slot machine, but I might give myself a limit of $20 or something like that. I would enjoy doing everything else they have to offer there. I'm cheap too, so I understand how you traveled. I'm in the process of planning a trip for my and my husband this summer and between airline miles, rental-car deals and hotel rewards, we're paying next to nothing so far. I love being cheap. :)

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  3. glad you enjoyed your trip, as you said its artificial, but ok for a once in a while trip and a bit of winter sun

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  4. You gave your mother a wonderful celebration...everything from lobster to Clydesdales!
    And that free wheelchair arrangement is super.

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  5. That's a lobster and a half! I'm glad everyone (especially mom) had a good time. Does Treasure Island still have the pirate show out front? My wife and I were in Vegas during it's family-friendly era and it was a nice (free) show. But I've heard the show was changed later. TSA may have selected you because of the wool shirt. They probably don't see many in the desert. :)

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  6. Sounds like you all had a fabulous time, happy birthday to your mum.

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  7. What a great Birthday party! All the best to your Mom!

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  8. You made it on the Budweiser FB page? Which side of the horse are you on? I can't tell. Both models are so lovely! :-)

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  9. What a fantastic birthday trip for your mom, Kristie. You certainly gave her a wonderful time. I love the photos of her at the slot machine and patting the Clydesdale. :-) I smiled when you mentioned the nosebleed seats.DH and I are cheap too and would always go for the seats "up in the gods" as these back row theatre seats are called in the UK.

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  10. Sounds like a fantastic time, with some great memories. I hear Celine Dion's auditorium is climate controlled to ensure her vocal chords get the optimum treatment. Did you notice?
    I can just imagine you opting out of the pat down! That's always so intimidating. I managed to evade it on the way back from Hawaii, but on the way there, Paul and I were the lucky family members! ;)

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  11. Just look at your Mum in Vegas - what a star! She is quite unstoppable, isn't she? Glad you all had a great time, and I, too, seek to budget when on hols, if only to spread the pennies and do more exciting things. OK, I'm not a Celine fan, but respect the fact that she is indeed gifted, and very popular with many people, and you can't fault that :)

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  12. What a lovely way to spend your mums 80th. It looks like to had a really great time.

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  13. What a great way to celebrate your mum's birthday! This is one mighty lobster she is enjoying... I love Clydesdale horses, they are bit like cuddly bears (if that makes any sense) and they have beautiful legs. Apparently, they are from around here. You look great next to this giant horse. Cx

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  14. I'm glad your Mum had such a wonderful time celebrating her 80th birthday in Las Vegas with the family. I'm sure you will have some fantastic memories to treasure. One of my colleagues visiting Las Vegas last year and I saw many pictures of it. It was nice to discover some real thing too. It must have felt so cold returning home! Sarah x

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  15. It looks like you all had a great time. My sister has been to Vegas several times. She loves it because it's so artificial! We sometimes get hummingbird moths here. I'm fascinated by them.
    Leanne xx

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  16. I assure you they are called nosebleed seats in the U.S. as well. When I was growing up in the SF Bay Area my dad and I went to a couple of baseball games in Oakland and SF. We were of modest means and our tickets were literally in the last row of each stadium. I still get a little tense when heading down the steep inclines from top levels seats, but oh the view while you're up there!

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  17. Just playing catchup, and yes - it is a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. I believe there are several varieties and we do see them occasionally in the UK, typically towards the end of a warm dry summer.
    Sounds like it was a wonderful trip.

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  18. Your trip sounds amazing, I am so glad you were able to gather with your Mom and give her such a wonderful birthday trip.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  19. What a great trip for you all! Looks like a lot of fun and now you're a Budweiser celeb, eh? :-)

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  20. sorry I'm so delayed in reading and catching up! Looks like you had a wonderful family trip, no big wins on the machines then??

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  21. I guffawed when I saw you posing with a horse and a Budweiser girl. And then I tittered when I realized it was on their FB page, too. Totally amusing.

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  22. Oh these are fantastic pictures! Looks like you all had a wonderful time and I bet your Mom loved every minute of it. How cool that you saw Celine, I was a huge fan of hers in the 90's and would love to see her sing live. We call those seats "up in the gods" too. :-)

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