April 29th, 2007

full steam ahead

Wynne and Love and back

There are plenty of buffets in Vegas and they're all good value if you're hungry and average if you're not. We were hungry and found the Wynne champagne brunch excellent value, with interesting choices and nice food. Sushi, dim sum, congee with pork floss (pork sung - my guess is shredded and deep fried pork, it's like savoury candy floss), baked bacon, sirloin, butternut ravioli, 5 kinds of soup plus gazpacho, four kinds of salad plus strawberries and basil, several kinds of ceviche, a breakfast bar, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, spare ribs, chinese dishes, vegetables, fruit, cheese, breads, cereals, cakes, muffins, cookies, ice cream... And no, we didn't try it all but what we had ranged from good to very good. The 'champagne' is Freixenet, which is a pleasant enough cava and very nice with mango sorbet in (instant bellini!). The coffee ice cream tasted of expresso. Yum.

Wandered round the Fashion Show mall, bought books and oddly enough Clarkes sandals which manage to be nicer and cheaper over here. A long way from Street. Had my nail stamped; this involves putting nail varnish on an engraved plate, scraping it so only the engraving has varnish, picking that up on a stamp and pressing it onto the nail. Instant nail art; he put on a coat of clear varnish and a blingy plastic crystal and started pulling out the kits but I think $30 is a little pricey for the basic plate, stamp and white polish.

The queue looks like it's more efficient than it is and the cash till arrangement can end up put you back in the queue further back. In our case this put us in the atrium, which has more traffic but is also light, airy and full of etageres decorated with fruit and flowers and I think nicer than the main areas.

Picked up our tickets for Love, took some photos of the mirrored ceiling and light corridor, gawped into the Revolution ultra lounge (night club for the day, animated sea jellies on the walls), discovered some blended fruit drinks are horrifically sweet and went to be stunned by Love. It's a dramatic show with scenes I found beyond moving and into the edge of distressing but that's because my mother came from Liverpool, used to be taking the train back on nights when the bombers were flying raids on the city. The hit and run scene was very vivid, with approaching headlights alone much more menacing than the car that flew apart into dancers. Standout scenes - the skaters hurling themselves down twin U shaped ramps, the wirework flyers with the dancer who seemed to fly without wires and reminded me how impresive ballet is, the trampoline and telephone box flying, the octopus' garden. The human portugese men of war crossed the uncanny valley from human to creature and back several times - a perception I get at nearly every cirque show.

After possibly a little too much cirque shopping - I now have almost exactly the bag I've been trying to design - we went back to the Wynne to look for the water show. This turned out to be really impressive. The lights under the lake paint swirls and sweeps of colour, the white wall the waterfall runs down is a screen for animations and projections, the giant head is giant and a head and the frogs, moons, faces and more that rise behind the screen bring the music to life. They've done Yello's Oh yeah apparently; I want to catch that show. It's as impressive as the Bellagio fountains but much harder to see without buying a meal or a drink. Finishing with lemonade iced tea at Sugar and Ice, where the huge waterfalls over tons of rock make what Simon named the world's biggest swamp cooler. As it was 97 in Vegas today this was very welcome!