Started off with breakfast at Krispy Kreme. Pumpkin spice and a custard filled chocolate covered with a large "rich" coffee. Whatever happened to just ordering a cup of coffee? I ordered my donuts and a large coffee and the lady just sort of looked at me. Turns out they have 4 blends and the one I chose was actually the best coffee I had all trip.
The forecast had called for steadily warming the whole time I was there and the day before the lined coat had gotten a bit warm by midday so my plan was to head North on the sunny side of the street for just over 2 miles and arrive at Fashion Show mall about the time it opened at 10. And so I left my coat in the room. Well there are so many 30 story buildings now on the strip that it really only gets sun for about 3 hours a day at ground level but I managed to survive. It got up over 50° at midday and was over 40° the entire time I was out.
These really are 250cc dirt bikes the city officers use. And I have seen a bunch of them in the larger mall exteriors too. They actually do run these things up and down stairs and across street dividers and all sorts of places a large road bike would not work well on.
I was just sort of strolling and sipping on my coffee. I bypassed most of the casinos on the way up as I had been in them in the last couple of years. I still ended up at Fashion Show mall before 10 so I went over to the Wynn, which I had not yet been in, and the Encore, which just opened. They are connected at ground level so I did the full tour of both in one sweep.
This is entering the gaming room after walking through the store filled entrance hall to the Wynn. The gaming area is very muffled and, like many of the upscale properties, has a whole different atmosphere than the clanging noisy gaming rooms that used to be the norm.
This is a hallway in the meeting room area of the Encore. Being the holidays there were no meetings happening
So by now it is about 10:30 and I head back over the bridge to Fashion Show mall. The bill board you see is 4 giant tv screens that can actually be moved on a track separately. Sometimes they have 4 times the same image and others it is one big wide image. It's mostly advertising for the mall and the stores in it. Inside the mall are 250 stores so even without going in any of them it takes a while to walk the mall.
It's now almost noon so I start scouting places in the mall to eat. Within my budget it came down to an Italian place, a hamburger place or the Food court. Up on the third floor, OMG this has to be the biggest food court I have ever seen. 15 different food choices. They probably had cafeteria style seating for 400+ people. I chose a bourbon chicken plate from a Greek place. For less than $9 including a soda it was pretty good. There were 2 or 3 Asian food places and I was surprised to note a higher percentage of people of all races were using chopsticks for Asian dishes than those at Mizuno's.
Next stop was Palazzo. It is recently opened and connected to the Venetian. I had been in the Venetian before but it is always a nice stroll upstairs along the waterfront so I did both of them. While in Palazzo I came across a performance by a couple of dancers from Cirque du Soleil made up as trees upstairs in the Hall of Mirrors. Judging by the crowd it must have been a planned performance and I just sort of came in near the end on the back side and they passed by my position. All the tree movements were slow and deliberate. It was much prettier in person than on film.
After I left the Venetian I headed back for a nap. By the time I got back I had walked at least 6 miles total in about 6 hours but I had only sat down the one time to eat. One thing I noticed was the Excalibur was the only casino I was cold in. Must be how they keep the rates low.
About 5 I headed off to dinner at the Bayside Buffet. To give an idea to those of you that are not familiar with it, the walk from my room through the Excalibur, through the Luxor and to the far side of the casino in Mandalay bay which is where the buffet is is over 1/2 mile without ever going outside. Some of the trip is on moving walkways. After dinner I stopped at the sports book in Mandalay Bay and watched the second half of the Suns game. On the way back I finally did stop at a slot machine in Luxor and deposited $20 as fast as I could push the buttons. So in the Excalibur I decided to try my luck again and dropped another quick $20, walked across the room and tried another machine, hit a $70 payout pretty quick and played on their money until I was down to $.25 ahead for the trip and cashed it in. Total gaming time on 3 machines was about 30 minutes.