Sunday, January 06, 2008

Boxing Day in Vegas

On Boxing Day (Dec 26 for you Americans) we thought that we’d get out of the house and walk the Strip, seeing the Christmas decorations and having lunch somewhere nice. We figured it was the slowest period of the year for Vegas, with people concentrating on family rather than fun. Well, we were wrong. It was no different than a typical Saturday, with lots of people everywhere. Our first thought on Christmas day was to go out for lunch, assuming that most places would be empty. But the waiters on Boxing Day said Christmas was packed. Oh well, no more slow times in Vegas.

We woke up to a nice crisp clear day, with stripes in the sky to the south, from planes flying from destinations back east out to LA.

Wanting to first hit the middle of the Strip, I parked in the Desert Passage parking garage. Well, that’s what it says on the back entrance, even if it’s labeled the Miracle Mile Shops on the front. That’s where I got my first indication of the crowds, from the fact that we had to go all the way up to level seven to find an empty space. We wandered through the mall, seeing how Planet Hollywood, the new owner of the Aladdin, was slowly converting it from a desert themed place into a standard mall. We did some shopping: I found a great sale on some square plates I have been wanting at Z Gallery. We then hit Paris for lunch on the balcony overlooking the Strip and the Bellagio fountains.
After lunch we walked back through the casino and over to Bally’s. The same company owns both, so there is a connection inside. Making it to the exit closest to the Flamingo corner we took the moving sidewalk through the old fashioned circles.

Going up the escalator to the pedestrian bridge we looked back at the activity over at City Center. Lots of cranes there, and several of them were moving, indicating workers going at it.

Entering the Bellagio at the Flamingo corner we walked through their shopping mall. Decorations this year were large fancy boxes, located at several wider spots along the walkways.

Getting to the Conservatory, we found that the gardeners had left the center walkway with its overhead water fountains, and the big tree that was used last year in the back.

Over to one side of the tree were some larger ornaments around another fountain.

To one side was the penguin family, and the other the reindeer covered in walnuts. I wonder if they left the nuts on from last year or recovered them?

After wandering here we wanted some coffee and dessert, but found the chocolate place behind the conservatory packed. It’s the one with the overhead chocolate fountain and the marvelous pastries. Not wanting to wait, we thought of the sweet shop up at Wynn’s. So we drove up there, parking in the Venetian parking garage and walking through their lobby and checking out those Christmas trees. Over at Wynn’s we found a forest of trees and lights. But the sweet shop has been converted from pastries to sandwiches, so no dessert here.

Walking back through the Venetian canals we stopped at a pastry shop there, and finally satisfied our sweet tooths. (sweet teeth?) We took our time, and enjoyed watching the crowd wander by.

So see, we can fill up an afternoon, walk for miles, and not spend much money, and still have a good time.

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