July 9th, 2019

bluebeard

Spectacles: O, the Strip, Fireworks

Wer'e home! We came home on the 4th.

'O' was AMAZING, nay, astonishing. It's a Cirque du Soleil show, so of course it's all about mind-blowing feats of athleticism, but 'O' is also about water. They built a gigantic pool, and the stage rises up out of and sinks down into the water, so one minute people are diving into it from 60 feet up and the next performers are walking across the stage a quarter inch below the surface. People and things vanish into the water and never reappear. Pretty much the whole show, the entirety of my thought process was "what even just happened?!" A wonderful, wonderful experience. Highly recommended, and definitely worth spending extra on good seats.

(Tickets are ~$100, there are 1800 seats in the theater, they do two shows a night, five nights a week, and it was mostly sold out on a Wednesday. It's been open since 1998, and sales passed a billion dollars sometime in 2012. And it deserves every penny.)

After the show, we wandered outside and watched the fountains at the Bellagio, which dance to music every 15 minutes or so. If you ever wonder how lucrative gambling is, just consider that, in a city in the middle of a freakin' desert, someone was able to spend enough money to build a gigantic building with a lake out front the size of a city block, and every 15 minutes hundreds of motorized air cannons spout giant streams of water into the dry, dry air, and nobody charges admission; it's all completely free for anyone passing by to enjoy, because it's advertising, basically. (Advertising that costs, reportedly, a few hundred thousand dollars a month to operate.) And it works! Because the fountains are pretty darn nifty. There's also a whole ceiling of Chihuly glass in the lobby.

And then there's this weird garden area, which has all this decorative Italian stuff, like fake lemon trees and a giant sun sculpture and great big motorized swans and mosaics made of beans. Except it's all bad; the art is clumsy and the signs are poorly translated and the statues are creepy, and it's just weird because it's badly faked classiness, but it has to be intentional because the place makes so much money that they could very easily do actually classy if they wanted to; just take a look at the lobby not fifty feet away. So that was very perplexing.

We took in the Strip a little, wandering down to where we could cross the street, then back up the other side, and through a little indoor mall along the way. The amount of sensory overload was awful; I think working in a kiosk in that mall would be one of the worst things in the world. Anyway, after that we decided that was enough, and concluded that, yeah, neither of us really likes Vegas.

We flew home the next day, Thursday, with was the 4th. Got back to the house mid-afternoon. Jerry was wiped out and oversocialized after the week, but I was undersocialized, so I went off to Broomfield to hang out with Floyds et al (and see Marty, who's in town for several weeks, yay!) and watch fireworks. We got rained out; the fireworks were due to start shortly but the clouds were looking very threatening and there was a LOT of lightning, so we all decided that maybe it would be better to get indoors. I pulled over and watched fireworks from my car on the drive home.