Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegas: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…and the Beautiful

Charley and I recently returned from what’s becoming our annual Vegas mini vacation. Charley typically has a show in November at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California. For the last three years we’ve stop in Las Vegas for a few days on the way home from California. Here are the details of this year’s trip.

The Bad and the Ugly

On the first evening of our trip Charley and I had the most memorable meal of our lives…and not in a good way. This meal was easily the worst meal either of us have ever been served.

We arrive in Vegas pretty late and we were too tired to get all cleaned up to go to a nice restaurant.  We thought about room service but thought it might take too long for the food to get to our room…we were starving. Charley had been to a Mexican/Cuban restaurant that was just a short walk from our hotel several times and had liked it. It was casual and quick, so we decided to give it a try…big mistake!

I had eaten Cuban food several times when I lived in New York and loved it. So, I ordered off of the Cuban menu and Charley followed my lead (he’d only order from the Mexican menu in the past)

I also order a margarita and this is where the meal started to go bad. We really should have walked out after I tasted that horrible margarita. It was truly disgusting. It was made from a syrupy mix instead of real juice, but that’s not what was so bad about it. It tasted less like a margarita and more like was comes up after you’re had a few too many margaritas. I’m not kidding. It was that bad.

Then our food came and thing went from bad to worst. My food was bland and mostly tasted like old Crisco. Charley’s food was the worst. He had some kind of tamale thing that tasted to me like bile (vomit was a taste theme with this meal). He thought it tasted like chemicals and burnt hair. It definitely didn’t taste like food.  We decided someone must have been given a very bad perm in the kitchen which resulted in contamination of our food…or the kitchen staff was trying to poison us…I don’t know what we ever did to them.

The Good

After that meal things got much better and we even had some great meals. We eat at the Bellagio’s famed gourmet buffet, where I eat two heaping platefuls of delicious pasta, cheese, meat, and seafood (including sushi) and finish my meal with a third plate of desserts. The desserts where amazing and between the two of us, we eat nine.

We also eat breakfast at Hash House A Go Go twice where we consumed various forms of eggs Benedict piled eight inches high…so yummy!

Number 3 favorite activity from this trip: The Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay, which was small but fabulous. My favorite part was the jellyfish. They were so beautiful and graceful. Here a little video I took with my phone:

Number 2 favorite activity:  Neon Boneyard. The Neon Boneyard is part of the Neon Museum and is where many of old Vegas’ sign now reside. Starting next year the Boneyard will be open to the public, but now you have to make a reservation for one of the few tours they offer. I’ve wanted to see the Boneyard for years (I can’t resist the kitsch), so this was a very exciting opportunity. Here some of the photo I shot of this very cool place:

The Beautiful

Number 1 favorite activity: Cirque du Soleil LOVE. LOVE, which is based on Beatles music, was absolutely extraordinary. The dance, acrobatics, costumes, and lighting came together with the music to create something that was truly beautiful to the eye and moving to the soul. You must see this show if you ever have the opportunity. It was stunning. I wanted to see it again immediately after it was over…I literal would have gone right back in to the theater to see it again if I could have.

It was a great trip…minus the Cuban food. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Vegas trip.


  1. Looks like a lot of fun! I cannot tell you how many times I drove past the neon boneyard and wanted desperately to go inside, but nobody was allowed in. There was a guy that lived near us that had a kind of neon boneyard in his back yard, but I only saw the tips of the signs over his back fence. I am definitely going there when I go back to Vegas!
    I also wanted to see Love. Peter never did, so maybe I will venture there by myself whenever I hit Vegas again.
    Thanks for coming to Thanksgiving dinner! It's always great to see you.

  2. Meaning, I am going to the REAL neon boneyard, not the other guy's backyard.