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Oh those Las Vegas Shows

Candy Moulton and Quackgrass Sally

When you think of Vegas you imagine hotels and glittering lights, dancing girls wearing feathers and little else, fancy limos with windows blacked out dashing up and down the Strip, and the famous Vegas Shows featuring all kinds of stars. We discovered it was all true! We’d spent the first afternoon exploring the wide variety of free attractions along the Strip, wearing out our feet but enjoying every mile.

There are just as many fantastic things to see and experience in Las Vegas that charge a fee. Quackgrass set off along the moving walkway between The Strip and The Venetian, delighted to find Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. This is one of the Strip’s hottest, interactive attractions. You can take photos with the amazingly lifelike wax figures and you can also create personal memories with some of the world’s biggest celebrities in themed settings.

As Quackgrass walked among movie, television, and sport stars, she came upon several young gals, definitely part of a bridal shower, dressed in sequined T-shirts and veils. The Bride slipped on a costume wedding dress and had her photo taken beside George Clooney, dressed as a groom in a chapel-like setting, to roars of laughter from her bridesmaids. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie smile, watching over another busy spot, a round couch with Hugh Hefner in his smoking jacket and bottle of bubbly. In the sports area, Shaq tosses a basketball and Tiger Woods is scoping out a golf shot.

Quackgrass left a kiss on James Bond’s cheek and discovered that John Wayne really was a good looking cowboy. Even President Obama smiled from the oval office on the way out. It was also very interesting to see the behind-the-scenes look on how they make these fantastic figures. Each one is so lifelike you have to touch them to make sure they won’t move and walk away.

At the Luxour, Candy and Quackgrass took in the White Star Line-Titanic tour. We were each given a “boarding pass” postcard when we entered, with a true passenger’s name on it who was on the Titanic in 1912. You now represent that passenger and it tells where you are traveling from, your age, who you are accompanied by, and the reason for your travel to America. Candy was a nanny and Quackgrass was a 6-year-old girl named Annie Harper from Surrey, England. We walked along as if boarding the ship, hearing the whistles and workmen, then passed through a space showing the accommodations for the different Classes of passengers. All along the corridors the sounds of the ship accompanied us while we saw artifacts from the Titanic displayed.

First Class Staterooms filled with unbelievably beautiful furniture, dishes and items showed how in 1912, elegance was in style. The famous staircase leading up past the stained-glass window is displayed and you can almost see ladies ‘n gents in their formal wear, jewels and gloves, leisurely coming down to supper. Hard to believe this was all on a ship!

Walking through swinging doors onto an open deck, we saw only darkness and stars and felt the chill of the sea and cold. (Candy swore the floor was moving like a ship.) We entered the forward deck, where a real iceberg stood and we left our fingerprints in its frozen side. Throughout the exhibit, treasures from the ocean deep told of the people who traveled on the unsinkable Titanic, but the most breathtaking part was a huge two-story piece of the ship itself. This riveted and port holed piece of iron had been raised from the ocean floor and specially preserved, weighing tons. (Quackgrass shed a tear when she saw it.) Just beyond was a Passengers Wall, inscribed with all the names of those who perished and survived the sinking of the Titanic. Sadly, Candy’s nanny was never found but Quackgrass’s little Annie made it to America, although without her father. We highly recommend this exhibit at the Luxor, its unsinkably good.

For our next adventure we headed to Mandalay Bay for a performance of The Lion King. Quackgrass used her persuasive abilities (and credit card) to get us really great seats in the second row!

About the only thing Candy knew regarding the story of the Lion King was that the film (and as she found out in Vegas the theatrical show) had a catchy song called “Hakuna Matata.” Having never seen the Disney movie, the show was not just a great adventure, but a true experience with musical theater. From the opening scenes when the cast of characters: lions, hyenas, giraffes, cheetahs, and more entered the theater by descending down the aisles and then overtaking the stage, to the final curtain, this show was entertaining and a real delight for us. The costumes were as outstanding as the music.

The story centers on a young lion cub who is destined to become the king of the lions, but he disappears after being tricked it believing that his actions led to the death of his father. The international cast delighted us as they brought the tale to life. The music soared as the show unfolded and we truly were mesmerized throughout the production, delighting in the moving message of how a “youngster” overcomes loss to take his place as The Lion King.


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