Fabulous Friday Food & Fun
Amanda needed a nap when she got home from work, but first I cooked her a scrambled egg with tarragon & italian cheese, scrounging from her fridge...yummy! She had a plan, which included photos of her Emily Dickinson doll around Vegas (Amanda will be doing her PhD on Emily Dickinson starting next year), so we went to New York New York to see the inside, including the Zumanity Cirque du Soleil store with wonderfully inspiring masks...not sure I'll get the chance to make one like those before Saturday though! ;) The dueling pianos in the Bar at Times Square obviously had talented players, but when I got up close I realized why those baby grands looked funny from a distance - they were boxes around electronic keyboards! Vegas is all show you know...haha...
We got some great timer pix of ourselves using slow flash & my handy GorillaPod that fits in my purse, then went over to MGM Grand to eat at Spagos, but looks like they now just call it the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill according to the sign & menu. Since the rest of my week has been paid for, and Amanda is so graciously hosting me, I told her I would treat her for meals out, since that seems only fair. This was fabulous food, so worth every penny, my potato truffle chips with blue cheese, seared scallops with artichoke ravioli, cocktails, and including the $21 per glass Beerenauslese Austrian dessert wine with our chocolate souffle! That has got to be the most expensive meal I've ever paid for all my myself, but it was worth it for the company and for the absolutely delicious meal. I insisted on the Beerenauslese and I'm glad I did...it was amazing, and Amanda said she thought it could have been the best wine she's ever had. :)
We strolled around after dinner some more, crossing the street to the Tropicana where you can get free cards & used to be able to have a free spin at a grand prize, but they've stopped that & laid off the people who staffed that which is too bad. Amanda got the names to drop and plans on writing supporting bringing it back. The Tropicana has a gorgeous stained glass ceiling which I of course photographed, then we left vie New York New York again, popping in for peek at the "Irish pub" Nine Fine Irishmen. I'll tell you that I never saw such a huge & fancy pub when I was just in Ireland! haha... ;) On our way out of town, I tried for some photos at the replica Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, but couldn't aim myself in the shot with my little tripod vs. flash distance, since the sign is huge of course. We got back well before midnight, but stayed up chatting & drinking both bottles of Brittahytta Brewery cider I brought until about 1:30am!
Saturday Star Trek Experience
Saturday was Trek Day! :D Amanda chatted with her mom in the morning, and her mom convinced her she should make an effort to be in costume too - "something flowy wasn't it?" - and she was spot on! We took a "family photo" next to the museum case with Sarek & Amanda's costumes, and the color lavender blended perfectly! We left a little later than intended, because unfortunately I forgot the wax to cover the edges of my eyebrows, so my makeup took me longer than usual by trying to use liquid foundation mixed with powder for coverage. It worked okay at least. Also before I left home, I tried on a new black wig I had that was already a bob style and thought it would be more comfortable to wear...but throughout the day it kept slipping back up my forehead, revealing my blonde hair & making me look bald, and even fell off completely inside the shuttlecraft part of the Klingon Encounter ride(!), so I think I'll go back to the Cleopatra wig for future T'Leo excursions! :P
Amanda, Adam & I arrived at the Las Vegas Hilton a little before noon, found out the backstage tour was 12:30 but we didn't want to see that before actually seeing the rides, so we bought tickets for the 2:30 run, took the bridge & Borg photos that were only $5 extra once we'd paid for all 3 rides/tours, then ate lunch at Quarks. They had closed the authentic-looking side for a private party that was due to start soon, but I begged them, "I came all the way from California and am in uniform solely for photos in this area, pretty please?" so they served us a Warp Core Breach - the $25 fishbowl drink with dry ice - and we got our photos - hooray! We took our giant drink over to the table area, got the Holy Rings of Betazed tower of onion rings, while eating our main courses we kept working on the Warp Core Breach but didn't seem to make a dent in it, and took copious photos, including with a Ferengi. I was only staying in Vulcan character when necessary, since honestly it's way too much fun for me just to be there to wipe the stupid grin off my face for the whole day! ;)
We headed back over & took the Borg 4D Experience, which was awesome, but then didn't have time for the Klingon Encounter before seeing the behind the scenes tour - doh! Poor Adam got to see how everything worked before he went on the ride! However, we all agreed that even knowing how the transporter room works now - that was the one illusion that originally impressed & stumped me how they pulled that off! - it is still amazing, since it's still totally believable, and still hard to tell how it works even when you know! We are "sworn to secrecy" of course, supposedly having signed a release that was written by a Ferengi (haha), they asked us to sign their giant backstage tour guestbook, and we got certificates at the end based on our names on that list...but Amanda went over slyly at the end & requested they make me a new one saying T'Leo of Vulcan instead, which was absolutely hilarious. Quite a nice gift for T'Leo to get from Mother. ;) What was also cool was every employee along the way addressing me properly as Commander, since they recognized my 3 full gold pips on my collar...boy I love that place! :D Of course I bought out the store, trying hard to trim my purchases down and be selective, especially since my luggage was already overweight when I flew out here, but there were several things I just could not resist. I did resist the stainless steel Romulan Ale pilsner glass, though, even though that would have been SO cool to have at my home bar... ;)
Saturday Night Solo
Even after Adam won $200 at the slot machines they were playing as I was shopping, Amanda was completely wiped & needed a nap before going back out for the evening. My contacts were acting up and I needed to get my makeup off anyway, so I rested my eyes too. The plan was for another leisurely evening strolling around and dinner, but as I was finishing getting ready, Amanda fell asleep standing up, so she wrote me directions & let me borrow her car to drive down to the strip myself. I made it fine, got parking right at the door of the Bellgio, got some great pix of the fountains, even one of me with them from some nice people who asked how I liked my GorillaPod (they had their own full-size tripod). I went over to Paris, took more photos of the Eiffel Tower & fountains, and had dinner for one on the patio of Mon Ami Gabi, watching the Bellagio fountains while having highly-recommended French onion soup au gratin (mrmouse - the stuff we had in Scotland was still better IMO, but this was good), a cheese plate, and my Paris Romance cocktail (yes, the only Paris Romance I've ever had was a cocktail! Ask me someday how unromantic the weekend in Paris was with my then-boyfriend - heh!). The waiters were very nice, I got some great photos of the Bellagio fountains, and I even saw two Elvis impersonators stopped for photos right by my table! Too bad I couldn't catch their eye to come near me, and they were gone by the time I left the restaurant! I was much too stuffed for dessert, so I walked up to the corner to the bridge by Bally's across to Caesar's Palace, took more photos of the fountains from the bridge, then came back through the Bellagio, stopping for a giant Oreo cookie gelato at Jean Philippe's Patisserie, where they have the world's tallest chocolate fountain. I had no idea the scoops would be so huge on the cone, so it took me awhile! I enjoyed the video footage showing different decorating techniques, and the example cakes on display were great - including a Monsters Inc cake! I took a photo of course...big surprise! I got back fine and started repacking my suitcase to see how everything will fit... ;)
We'll see what tomorrow holds for sure, since I need to be at the airport around 5:30pm for my 7:40 flight. I did get the A boarding group since I've already checked in online on Southwest, so that's good. I have a plan to pack dirty clothes and some other clothes in an extra soft bag I have in hopes my luggage can be within weight allowance, but we'll see!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
P.S. weaktwos, Amanda says hi back! :)