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Trip Report Russia to the show (January 2014 Las Vegas report)

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We flew out of SFO late Saturday; the Virgin Airline plane was half-full. Being used to sold-out flights it was so pleasant to have all 3 seats to myself! And 3 for my husband. Their safety video is pop and rap. The flight back was nice too, and this one was on time.

We stayed in Excalibur. Our large room in Tower 1 on 24th floor had a great night-time view of the lights on the strip. During the day it was so-so, but the nights were spectacular. Our beds had 3 pillows each. In the bathroom the sink counter was large, no problem to find space for toiletries. Hotel provided shampoo, body soap, lotion, and plenty of towels – nice, as we only had carry-ons this time.

There are 4 pools, 3 of which were closed for winter. As the days were warm, we spent some time outside. Just pools and concrete, no trees or grass like in Tropicana or Flamingo. Plenty of shopping, food for every taste and wallet.

Tournament of Kings is an interesting show, we both enjoyed it, but thought it’s more suited for children, except the pyrotechnics – those were too loud. It was some fairy tale, kings from all countries fighting dark forces. Guess which section we got? Yes, Russia. Cannot escape completely.

Don’t sit in row A – too close to horses and gas torches – we felt the heat even in our row C. The rows are on steps, all will be visible even if a tall person is in front of you. The show required participation – cheering, clapping, banging – I thought it was distracting to watch, react, and eat at the same time.

Food was good and plenty. Included soft drinks – Pepsi, diet Pepsi, water, and refill provided before the entrée. Tomato/potato soup was poured, hot and tasty, and whole hens on metal plates brought in, surrounded by broccoli, potatoes, and a biscuit. Hardly anyone finished their meals, so bring tupperware if so inclined.

I asked my husband if he remembered when tomatoes and potatoes were brought to Europe, certainly after Medieval Times? He said, he doesn’t remember for sure, but the plastic straws in our drinks with ice certainly were known already. For dessert we had something like apple danish, no tea nor coffee – a hot danish, although tasty, was not exactly a good match for a cold drink.

Everything, including chicken, is eaten by hand, open the wet napkin (provided) before you start eating. Of course my husband ignored this advice, so I had additional entertainment watching him trying to open the plastic package with greasy fingers.

We had dinner with our relatives – a retired couple living in Vegas. Went to Buca di Beppo that serves food family style. In this restaurant it means, the same dish for 2 or 4 people. No individual orders. No problem, just a new (for us) experience. After early dinner went to our room to talk more, and of course I showed off our view.

One day I was supposed to meet a friend from the travel group Fodor’s, and a couple that I knew from long time ago – Dalnet, and now Facebook. Brenda texted that she is sick, so we’ll continue for now to exchange emails; we met several years ago. I had a really nice lunch with Charlie and Charla and their adorable great-granddaughter, what a nice family!

Gambling is not for cheapskates any more. We don’t care to waste our money on the slut machines, and they are replacing the old machines with 5 lines with new machines that take 40 or 50 cents minimum with every press of the button. Next time in Vegas we’ll stay off-strip in a place with a nice pool instead of casino.

I took a few photos which you can see here: http://www.worldisround.com/articles/380494/index.html

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