Vegas Trip Winter 2011 – Day 1

Woke up today at 7 AM to get ready for my family’s trip to Vegas over the weekend. Bought some McDonald’s and we were on our way.

I drove for about two hours and handed over the driving duties to Alan for the next hour and a half. Nice that everyone in the family is licensed now. We arrived at the strip in three-and-a-half hours and entered the parking garage of Aria, where we were staying for the next few nights.

We met up with my mom’s college friend Peng, who showed us to our room. I was impressed by the furnishing and the modern touches – the curtains were automatic and the alarm clock had an LCD screen, to give a few examples.

Lunch at a hotel restaurant – Lemongrass, which was a Thai/Canto-style restaurant complete with dim sum and a wide variety of Asian food. I ordered their garlic prawns and enjoyed the various fried appetizers.

After lunch, my dad, brother, and I went back to the room to take naps as my mom shopped with some of her friends. We must have napped for a while, because it was dinnertime when we woke up.

Dinner was at another hotel restaurant, Blossom, again with some of my mom’s college friends. This restaurant served Chinese food, and we enjoyed the legitly good Peking duck, jumbo shrimp, and a host of other delicious food.

Post dinner, we scored some front-row seats to Aria’s Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil show. Overall, it was a very enjoyable tribute to the King, and I really liked how the show had a story behind it, highlighting Elvis’s trip from obscure singer to international superstar.

The music and stunts were nicely arranged (my favorite act consisted of performers doing crazy flips off trampolines that were integrated into the set structure). I also liked how the show didn’t have an Elvis impersonator – that would have been too tacky – and used archival footage of Elvis himself.

I definitely walked away from the show with a newly found interest in the life and accomplishments of Elvis, and the performance centering around the man who single-handedly put Vegas back on the map was a perfect way to end our first night in the city.

I have no idea what we’re doing tomorrow, but as long as we’re enjoying ourselves, I’m happy. That’s what vacations are for, right?

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