Viva Las Vegas and Cirque du Soleil

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I had never been to Las Vegas before, and to be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect…  I knew there would be lights, huge hotels, and big- kitschy statues outside each one.  But when we arrived I was completely overwhelmed, everything was even bigger and more grand than I had expected.  The lights were even brighter at night than I thought possible.  The streets were crowded with drunken people carrying their large plastic cups filled with alcoholic slushies from Fat Tuesday and other similar vendors.  We even saw a guy pass out on a staircase our last night there; he continued to somersault down the rest of the flight before landing on his head at the bottom.

There were also lots of characters running through the streets including showgirls, KISS, Minions, Hello Kitty, and several convincing Alans from the Hangover movies- one even had a animatronic monkey on his shoulder.

The streets were also covered in escort’s “business cards” being passed out on every corner by people wearing shirts that read “69” on the back.  These cards probably made their way to the ground after wives slapped their husbands for taking them from these peddlers.

That being said, I don’t know if I would recommend Sin City for any families with small children, but there were definitely children there.  It’s not all sex and drinking though…  There are state of the art shows even some that take place right outside some of the magnificent hotels that you can watch for free! For example, the Bellagio has a water fountain show, Treasure Island has a pirate battle, and Caesar’s Palace has talking statues!  For even more thrills, there’s a $15 roller coaster that twists around the outside of the New York, New York hotel.  You can see it behind this Statue of Liberty in this photo.

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If you’re going to spend any money on seeing shows, make it a Cirque du Soleil event.  There are plenty to choose from on the strip and we actually saw two during our stay.  I have been a fan of the company for a while, as I’ve seen performances on tv but finally being able to see it all happening right before my eyes was a life changing experience.

The first was called “O” at the Bellagio, which is one of the most luxurious hotels on the strip, complete with a Dale Chihuly installation in the lobby.

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Oh, and for some reason there’s also an enchanted forest, so I guess that’s kid-friendly at least.

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Unless your kid has a phobia of talking trees and giant squirrels!!

But I digress, now onto our review of “O.”

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Keep in mind that this was my first Cirque du Soleil show ever, so of course I was blown away.  Fabian says this was his favorite show he’s seen from the company as well, and a big part of that was based on the stage itself.  It switched from being a stage to a pool for the performers.  From the moment the curtains flew into the air revealing the amazing set design we sat there in aw, never wanting the show to end.  While the actual show doesn’t really have any dialogue and remains very abstract throughout there IS a storyline and characters that you can relate to.  I really want to say so much more about the show specifically but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  But if you go to Las Vegas and only get to see one show please make it “O,” you won’t regret it.

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The other show we got to see during our stay was “Mystere,” which was just as awesome, but came in second for us.  But keep in mind it is the original Cirque show of Vegas.  Anyone who has seen the movie “Knocked Up” may remember a giant baby, the star of the show.  Other than him the show includes all kinds of acrobatics including people climbing on the walls like lizards and two men lifting each other in very impressive ways.

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Now, let’s talk about our hotel, The Venetian, based on the architectural styles of Venice, Italy.  As if the lobby wasn’t impressive enough with its painted ceilings and pillars there’s also the canals…

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This picture looks like it was taken outside but it was actually at the bottom of our hotel in the shopping center where you can ride a gondola while looking up at the very convincing clouds painted above you.

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Oh, and then there was our room, which was absolutely stunning and provided us with this incredible view of the strip below.

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Thanks to Expedia we were upgraded to one of the Venetian’s suites.

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The hotels and casinos are really what makes Vegas, whether you’re going to drink or gamble or just look around make sure to dedicate a night making your way down the entire strip, it’s well worth it.

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