vegas diary: day three

On Tuesday we didn't really get moving until about lunchtime. We headed down to Paris for a rich lunch at Mon Ami Gabi. This our family's favorite restaurant in Vegas because it has the best French food ever. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also calls itself a steakhouse. The ambiance is so adorable and Parisian with the indoor/outdoor terrace, wicker chairs, stained glass, tuxedo-ed waiters, granite tables, and all your drinks are served in a pretty glass.

Naturally I ordered the quiche Lorraine. The picture doesn't even do it justice, it was literally so fluffy, delicate, rich, and perfect. I could only get myself to eat half of it because it was so rich. My sister got fish and frites, which she shared the french fries with me. They were a cross between a potato chip and a fry, crunchy yet not quite a chip.

Paris is easily one of my favorite hotels along with The Venetian and Palazzo. I mean it comes with it's own miniature Eiffel Tower. The details in this hotel just make it perfect. They keep up the Parisian facade by making sure every store and restaurant has a French name. Even their nightclub is called CHATEAU.

We ventured northbound to the MGM Grand, New York New York, and Luxor for more exploring. The last time I was at the MGM Grand, Britney Spears was performing and I didn't get to go, so needless to say it's not my favorite hotel. But I love that MGM is the entertainment center of Vegas. They have Justin Timberlake coming to perform in November and they always have tons of artists coming to perform. When I was in town, The Wanted had just left MGM. But I'd rather see One Direction over them any day.

I remember loving The Rainforest Cafe in Seattle so much when I was little. When we visited the one in the MGM, my childhood dreams were shattered as I realized how fake and plastic the animals looked. We meandered through the gift shop and picked up some cute little (overpriced) souvenirs. We said hi to a robotic cheetah, elephant, and really creepy tree before saying buh-bye to the MGM.


Across the street was New York, which is nearby Egypt and a hop skip and jump away from Paris, but a bit far off from Venice (logic that only makes sense in Vegas). The New York New York hotel is really fun inside and out. Like the Venetian and Paris, it has amazing architecture. We didn't really do anything in this hotel except for walk through it to get to the Luxor.

Unlike the newer hotels, the Luxor does not have much to offer inside. Its distinctive pyramid structure is pretty from the outside, but once you get past that it's kind of a letdown. The most exciting thing about this hotel is the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, which I visited on my 2011 trip to Vegas. The exhibit is actually really cool because I love anything and everything about the Titanic. The exhibit does a great job of making you understand the beauty and grandeur of the ship as well as the tragedy that fell upon it. Plus the gift shop is pretty neat (capitalism at it's finest: making money off a century old tragedy).

Later that night we went to Planet Hollywood for dessert at The Forum Shops. I haven't been to a Planet Hollywood in ages. There was one in Seattle that my family always took me too. Since then, PH has got a modern makeover. I loved the decor of the restaurant so much. That shouldn't come to much of a surprise seeing as Los Angeles is like the one city I can't wait to call home.

We got a corner booth that was perfect for people watching, one of my favorite pastimes. To the left of our booth were two guys sitting awkwardly together at a table. No words being spoken between them. Then my sister and I realized it was a really bad date, especially because both of the guys were too well dressed to be straight (sorry straight guys, you can't get on our fashion game, unless we style you). The guys would look everywhere around the restaurant but towards each other. My sister and I were stifling laughter because it was just so sad. I almost wanted to walk over and relieve the tension by being a third wheel, but I was too comfortable in my booth watching from afar.

We ordered a Cool Planet Double Chocolate Brownie, which had vanilla and chocolate ice cream on top of a warm delicious brownie, complete with whip cream, white chocolate shavings, hot fudge, and a maraschino cherry. It was a heavenly experience. I was sure not get any ice cream on the cool Hollywood Reporter place mat that had celeb gossip and fun quizzes.

I wouldn't let my mom and sister go to bed until we saw some free shows, so we stopped by The Mirage Volcano for a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. You could feel the heat of the flames from where we were standing and it was quite thrilling for being one of the oldest attractions in Vegas. 

The Sirens of Treasure Island show was also really fun, over-the-top, and full of surprises. There were a bunch of scantily-clad sirens on one ship that interacted with pirates that traveled on another ship that sailed around the hotel, sinking at one point in the show. There was some really cheesy songs, but I didn't mind when pirates with chiseled torsos lip-synced them.

joe gooding