Star Wars Episode VII: The Buffet Strikes Back

We started off taking the tram from Mandalay Bay to the Excalibur, where Jenna and I decided we were superior navigators and went off on our own route, leaving everyone behind. Of course, we lost them and waited about 15 minutes doing nothing but admiring Excalibur's crazy wizard come out of his tower and yell something about bat wings and taking your money.

We reunited and continued along the Strip, taking pictures, ooh-ing and ah-ing at the bright lights and shiny objects. I was particularly impressed by the green towers of the MGM Grand, which seemed to lord over the surrounding hotels, its trademark lion giving the evil eye to the Tropicana. The Tropicana, it should be noted, requires you to be 65 or older and smoking a huge stogie to enter its' doors. Well, that may not be true, but it's the impression I have of it. It's "old school" Vegas there, baby. You could almost see the entire hotel encased in a haze of cigarette smoke.

"Mr. Tropicana" (aka Mario Puzo)

Right, so we meandered in and out of a few of the casinos, passed the fountains at the Bellagio, intent on coming back to see the show a bit later that night, and eventually ended up at the MGM for a wizbang buffet. I couldn't have been more thrilled at the $25 a head price, but hey. While waiting in line, you could identify the buffet's "regulars" by their sweat suits, headphones and fanny packs, all of them eager for some ribs.

The food was damn good, I must admit. Loading up on crab legs, sushi, wings, General Tso's, etc, etc, etc stuffed us all and put us into a giddy state of euphoria you find only at a Vegas buffet. Jenna became so euphoric, in fact, that she insisted on holding a "creative food arts" seminar with her leftovers. I think about 15 pieces of sushi ended up in the large bush directly behind us. (Yes, they had bushes and other assorted greenery all around) and a few crab legs were artfully displayed in my glass. Good times had by all. Jenna will be performing at the MGM Ballroom twice daily, with matinees on weekends. Book your tickets now!

The Aftermath of Jenna's Seminar

After ambling out of the MGM, we made our way over to the Bellagio for the much anticipated fountain show, set to the strains of Beethoven or Mozart or maybe it was Sinatra. Either way, it was pretty impressive and a tremendous waste/use of water. It outshone even Jenna's earlier creativity with our dinner, but just barely. Seriously though, it was a pretty cool moment and one of the many highlights of the trip. It's one of those times where you look at the people around you and gain an appreciation for the rarity of friends and trips like these.

Okay, the sentimental phase of this report has concluded.

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