Despite a pretty terrible sleep last night, we were up and at breakfast by 9:00 am. We ate at Hash House A-Go-Go, here in the Rio hotel, and the food was great. The portions, however, were ridiculously huge.
So, yeah, that was a big breakfast.
After we ate, we caught the free shuttle from the Rio to Harrah’s1, and decided to walk down the Strip to see the sights.
The Strip is that stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard where all the famous big hotels and casinos you’ve heard of are in Las Vegas: Harrah’s, The Bilagio, Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage, etc. It’s a long stretch of street, and the buildings are HUGE, like very fancy shopping malls stretching off the street. From TV, I know that it shows up to best effect at night, when the lights are going, but there were still some impressive things to see during the day.
We made it down to Circus Circus from Harrah’s, and decided to stop there for a drink, a rest, and a show. They have free circus acts every half-hour, and we got to see a Cuban foot-juggler2 named Osmani Perez, who was pretty amazing. Then we turned back, and walked down the other side of the street back towards Harrah’s.
Michael and Sandy had read that there was a dolphin habitat in the Mirage, so we went looking for it. Of course, we had to make our way through the casino, and past the restaurants and spas and bars, and out the other side, past the pool. But there we found Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden3 and Dolphin Habitat.
We didn’t hesitate to slap our money down and head inside. Through pure luck, we managed to arrive with just enough time to head down into the underwater viewing area and get some pictures before the feeding started.
Here are a bunch of pictures of dolphins, now. Because dolphins are cool.
Past the dolphins was a small… zoo, I guess. It’s where the retired animals from the Siegfried and Roy show, plus some others they’ve saved from bad situations, live.
Interesting thing about the tiger cubs: they are littermates, one orange-striped and one white. It’s a recessive gene that causes the loss of darker pigment, and the condition is not albinism, but leucism. It means that, like in this case, you can have siblings, some with normal pigmentation and some with leucism.
After this, we walked back to Margaritaville, and I had a really nice fish sandwich there. We were starting to feel tired by that time – we’d been on the Strip for almost six hours, walking back and forth and sightseeing – so we made our way to Bally’s and caught the shuttle back to the Rio4, and I came up to my room to chill for a bit before the main feature tonight: the Penn & Teller show.
So, I wrote the previous stuff before the Penn & Teller show. Now, it’s after the show, and I’m getting ready for bed.
The show was spectacular. It was everything I could have hoped. I was in one of the best seats, Sandy got to go on stage for a pull-the-rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick, and Michael and I were part of the human chain when they vanished the elephant. Absolutely great stuff.
After the show, Penn & Teller very graciously hung around signing stuff and having their picture taken.
Both Penn & Teller were so very friendly, even with huge crowds of folks looking for a moment with them. It’s so nice to see how graciously they treat all their fans, even the one guy who tried to bait Penn into a political argument. True gentlemen.
And that’s above and beyond the fantastic magic.
Now, to bed. Tomorrow night, we fly home.
- Trying not to think about how we weren’t going to get to see Mac King there this afternoon. [↩]
- Yes. He juggled Cuban feet. [↩]
- The name only made me a little nervous. [↩]
- Eventually. The first shuttle that came by filled up too fast, and we had to wait 30 minutes for the next. Not a real hardship. [↩]