On Saturday morning, I woke up well before my husband and decided to go out and see what I could see. After a Caffe Americano and a pastry from Starbucks, I walked around the casino donating my spare change to various slot machines. One thing about Las Vegas that I'd forgotten was how many people smoke in the casinos. Sure they have heavy-duty air cleaners, but every casino still reeks. A new thing about casinos since my last visit is that the slot machines are much quieter than they used to be. Very few machines pay off in cash anymore - they issue little printed tickets that you can trade for cash later on. It's rather anticlimactic.
Anyway, I walked around the MGM casino until I saw a sign that said "Lion Habitat." It turns out that the MGM Grand keeps several lionesses and cubs on display in a big, zoolike habitat. They weren't out yet, but the journey led me to an outside door and I discovered that all of the big hotels at that end of the strip are joined by walkways and trams.
I first walked to New York New York, right across the street. They have a roller coaster that travels around the outside of the hotel and through the casino, but it wasn't operating yet or I'd have taken a ride. I walked through various shops and the casino for a while before I decided to go back and wake my husband up.
After another breakfast with him, we went and watched the lions for a while, then walked back across to New York New York. My husband was determined to fill up his camera's memory card with photos, so our progress was a little poky. It didn't take long for my cripping foot pain to return, so I bought a pair of shoes from one of the shops - a size larger than I would ordinarily wear. We eventually explored NYNY pretty thoroughly, then took a tram from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay. Our initial thought was that we wanted to see the aquarium and shark reef at Mandalay Bay, but once we finally made it there, we decided that $15 per person for a potentially time-consuming activity wasn't in the cards (ha - a little Vegas joke!).
It turned out that the convenient trams and walkways were only designed to get you INTO the hotels. Getting OUT of them was another story altogether. It took more than an hour from the time we decided to leave until we finally made it back to our hotel. We had a few minutes to rest and then it was time to start getting ready for our big renewal of vows ceremony.
Tomorrow: Mr. and Mrs. Average Jane meet The King (complete with photo!)