Sunday, March 02, 2008

Crumpet does Vegas

As As our plane descend into Las Vegas, the pilot tells us to look outside the left side window where we could see the Monte Carlo burning. Wow. Quite a fiery start to an exciting trip!

Our primary goal in Vegas is to try as many buffets as possible for, er, scientific purposes. On our previous trips we had tried Bellagio (favorite), Paris (2nd favorite), Ceasars, New York New York and Ballys. On this trip my personal favorite was Rio - a stupendous array of selections. A's favortie was the Wynn, who may had the best quality. Palm wasn't bad. Stratosphere, not so much.

Rio stood out for me because of the number of selections plus some creativity in buffeting. For example at their Asian noodle bar you get to choose from a selection of noodles (udon, vermicelli, lo-mein...etc.), soup stock (pho, tom yum, ramen...etc.), toppings (fish balls. mushroom...) and seasonings. Two elderly Chinese women were behind me and asked in a loud voice ''can you please make it very spicy?''

We saw two shows that capitalizes on our appetitie for nostalgia but at the same time craving for ''newness''

The first was Cirque de Solei's paen to Beattles LOVE at the Mirage. A departure from the more acrobatic and multi-cultural shows of the past, LOVE very specifically recalls 60s and 70s London fashion and design. The show was essentially 20+ set pieces to showcase each song and we loved every minute of it. Our viewing/lisenting experience were enhanced by a gaggle of young Paris Hilton look-alikes sitting in front of us and 3, quite drunk, middle-age women who knew all the words and occasionally sloshing their cocktails around. Highly recommended.

The 2nd show was a concert by Richard Cheese which was being filmed for a live concert film at the Hard Rock Cafe. We discovered Mr. Cheese years ago through John & Kate, who in turns discovered this ''punk rock lounge singer'' while going to Vanessa's wedding. The schtick is simple - lounge versions of popular songs such as Beastie Boys, Radiohead and Dead Kennedys. It works because Richard Cheese is a terrific performer who nails each song perfectly. Highlight of the concert included an audience participation of Sponge Bob Square Pants and Cheese doing an imitation of Pussycat Dolls as Bob Dylan, Bjork and Michael MacDonald (it made sense if you were there). The filming for the concert added a certain sense of a moment in history, but it also meant the show was more staged and it slowed the actions down. If Cheese is coming to your town definitely go see them!

Experience only in Vegas #1: I had some business outside of the strip so I decided to take the local bus. This adventure was immediately met by a kid peeing in the back of the bus and the 300 lbs+ Samoan driver going Hulk, then resolved because an Hispanic women who just happens to be a hotel cleaning lady (stereotype alert!) and she had an entire bag of cleaning supplies with her.

Only in Vegas #2: Walking by a sign advertising a restaurant that said ''Italian food so authentic it's like it came from New York''


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