Today I went to Egypt . . .

… and England, Monaco, and New York City.

It was a busy day.

Evangelina had a hair appointment in one of the hotels on the Strip (Who still cuts hair on Christmas Eve?), so Stan, Dad and I went with her and walked around for a few hours while she got a cut/color.

I guess midday on the Strip is for families. They were everywhere. I was amazed at how many people 1) spend Christmas in Las Vegas, and 2) take their kids with them when they come.

Vegas isn’t really a place for kids. Sure, they have some magician shows and the Excalibur hotel (think mideival castles and real jousting tournaments). But there are more pictures of half-naked women here than in a Maxim magazine, and probably just as raunchy.

The Excalibur

While wandering, we walked through the Luxor, which is a giant glass pyramid and has a little Sphinx inside. Then we walked across a skybridge (all those big hotels are connected) to the Excalibur hotel. Then we went on to New York New York — which is probably my all-time favorite hotel on the strip.

That’s because inside, they have a food area that is made up entirely of “miniature” NYC buildings that stand about one and a half stories tall. The first floor is to scale, holding restaurants and little cafes. Then, above that first floor, they’ve miniaturized the buildings and squeezed in another two or three “stories.” It’s adorable.


Found me that NYC townhouse!

Also, New York New York has a roller coaster. A big red roller coaster that winds around the outside of the building so you can see the Strip from an entirely new perspective. Stan and I rode the coaster on the way back — rather pricey, but oh so much fun!!!

Then we walked through the Monte Carlo (which is actually a huge hotel in Monaco — lots of my friends took a day trip over there while we were at Cannes) and then on to the CityCenter, which is apparently this huge new hotel with the best shopping and gorgeous paintings lining the halls (which the concierge at New York New York said was better than paying to walk through some gallery.

Near one of the entrances to the Monte Carlo.


After walking all the way down to the CityCenter (which was probably at least five super long NYC blocks), we took the free trams all the way back down to the Luxor, where Evangelina was getting her hair done.

We had some time to spare before she was done, so the three of us got fluffy Christmas drinks at Starbucks and sat around chatting (which included, on my part, a complete recount of the plot of Casablanca in an attempt to convince the boys that it was more than just another old black and white movie). Let me just say that while Christmas drinks at Starbucks (with their red holiday cups) already fill me with a special joy every year, they really come through after a few hours of walking around gaudy, expensive hotels. Gingerbread spice never tasted so delicious.


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