Las Vegas 2008

From Saturday, Februrary 16 through Saturday, February 23, 2008, Wendy & I were in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. We stayed once again with our friends Doug & Kelly in their lovely condo about 20 miles off the strip. Wendy was attending a veterinary conference, which left me free to explore the strip after dropping her off at Mandalay Bay each morning.

Since this was our second trip to Las Vegas, I approached things a bit differently this time. Last trip, my goal was to do a “survey” of all the hotels on the strip, spending just a few minutes in as many of them as possible. I largely met that goal last time, so I wanted to delve a bit deeper into Las Vegas this trip.

I explored several hotels more completely, including Mandalay Bay, the Excalibur, Imperial Palace, Rio, Stratosphere, Treasure Island, and Luxor. While in the Luxor, I visited the production offices of Criss Angel’s Mindfreak television show, which was very cool. I also drove into downtown Las Vegas (scary) and visited the Freemont Street Experience (also scary), plus a few downtown casinos (very scary).

We had several good meals while in Las Vegas… L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, La Provincal (with Doug & Kelly), Bouchon, Marrakech (with Scott, Emily, and Sarah), Andre’s (downtown), and a couple different buffets (hey, it IS Vegas!). The meal at L’Atelier, which was the most anticipated meal, was very good but not excellent (and certainly not worth the price). Expect a full report soon.

The conference opener for Wendy’s conference was Howie Mandel. I wasn’t a huge fan of him before, but his 75-minute set was very funny and very tailored to veterinarians (unlike Jay Leno’s set a couple years ago which was a standard monologue). Our friend Emily hooked us up with free tickets to see Billy Joel in concert. They were great seats and we all had a great time.

Doug & I went “wheeling” in his Toyota FJ and all was swell — it was big fun climbing over non-navigable terrain — until Doug decided to take me “dune jumping” and wrecked his vehicle. :(  Still, we got great pictures!

A giant highlight of the trip was a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. It was a 45-minute flight out, with 30 minutes IN the Canyon (amazing), and a 45-minute flight back to the strip. More info and pictures soon.

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