Las Vegas  Oct 10-12 2003

Bob, Sue, Keith Schwols, Ann Sellers

Sue had never been to Las Vegas. I had only been once before. So when a couple of friends also thought about going we jumped at the chance. A small airline has started up direct service right out of the Fort Collins-Loveland airport so it is really convenient. Off we went to Vegas last weekend.

Mostly we were just there doing all of the free and cheaper stuff. We walked up and down the strip. It is really quite impressive. We saw the fountain shows at the Bellagio. Repeatedly, it was quite good. We saw the lions at the MGM. We saw the shark exhibit at the Mandalay Bay (well Sue did, I did not make it there). We saw the tigers of Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage. The volcano in front of I forget where.  Odd things. The coke museum. The M&M museum. The Star Trek museum.  We ate a lot. At least at first. I got food poisoning and then did not eat at all for two days. :-( It really put a cramp on having fun.  But I still had a good time regardless.

It may have made the news that Roy was injured in an incident on stage with one of his tigers last week. So no more Siegfried & Roy for at least a while. The show is closed. I saw an interview with Siegfried and the story is that Roy fell off the stage and the tiger was actually trying to protect him by carrying him back stage like tiger will do with a cub. But Roy is not tiger tough and was pretty hurt.  They don't want to see the tiger put down and don't think it was malicious. After two surgeries and more to come he will live but is in bad shape. The town of Las Vegas was really pulling for him. It was heart warming to see their support. They have in show business for 44 years, not sure how many in Las Vegas but for many of them, and the town loved them.

The lion exhibit at the MGM was interesting. They have a real neat deal there. They have a ranch with 29 lions south of town out of the spotlight. But they bring 2, 3 or 4 in daily to "play" and rotate through the animals. That way no single lion gets overworked. The big cats really loved it since for them it is just a lot of fun and games. They would spend the day out with the handlers with big rawhide chew toys and bouncing three foot balls around. They were obviously having fun. They live on the ranch and not in front of a zoo-like exhibit so I think they have a good quality of life. The exhibit area is really not big enough for a big cat to live in. But plenty big for play time. Fun for the gawkers. Fun for the lions. A nice win-win for everyone.

I would have liked to have seen the Blue Man Group. But they were too pricey for our tastes while we were there. It turned out it was a Monday holiday with Columbus day. Did not realize that when we planned it. None of us get Columbus day off. But it is a government holiday. So the place was more booked up than usual and prices were up accordingly. Maybe next time.

Came back Monday morning. Flew commercial right into the little Fort Collins airport (a little airline has started a commuter service out of there) so we were only ten minutes from home which was very nice.  Went to work. Came home and took a nap!

Here's Ann's page of photos

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