Art and I visited many hotels during our stay in Vegas, but The Luxor spoke to our tastes, sense of kitsch, and visual interests more than any other. We loved everything about it. It was the perfect place for us to stay. The Egyptian decor felt like a cross between the exotic antiquities of our wildest dreams and something futuristic straight out of the film Stargate. The attention to detail graced each nook and cranny of The Luxor, and I know I never tired of gawking at the Egyptian art/architecture. The amount of effort devoted to the theme was just incredible. Everywhere you turned there was something begging to be stared at.
We oooh'd and ahhh'd our way to the Buffet area and gorged ourselves on an amazing selection of food. Every bite was delicious, and of course, the area was beautiful all by itself. We probably spent over an hour and a half in awe of the buffet. We continued ooh'ing and ahh'ing through a few of the Luxor shops (they were all great). Then we picked up our pre-reserved Luxor tickets, which included passes for all of the rides, films, and tickets to Blue Man Group on Wednesday night. We also bought tickets for Miroslav to see an upscale topless show at the Luxor called Midnight Fantasy.
Miroslav met up with us to hang out in our room for a bit, as well as to procure his complimentary fantasy ticket. We threw in some dinner cash for good measure. Art and I wanted to make sure Miroslav had the time of his life in Vegas AND we wanted to have our own special romantic experiences by ourselves. We dubbed Miroslav, "the bachelor party," and thus we tried to provide swingin' single-styled entertainment. We chatted for an hour or two, then we split up again so that Art and I could change for our 7:30 reservation for dinner at The Isis.
Isis ranks as one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the United States, so we knew we were diving into the lap of luxury. The food actually exceeded our high expectations. We were pampered and attended to as if we were royalty. It was a pricey dinner, one of the most expensive dinners I've ever been party to, but each morsel was well worth the price. An incredible dining experience. And of course, the Egyptian atmosphere was thick and intoxicating. We had a heavenly time at The Isis.
We dashed up to The Pharaoh's Pavilion at 10:00 to see Space Station 3-D in the Luxor's IMAX theatre. What a treat: hands down, it's the best 3-D movie I've ever seen. The audience was forced to wear rather uncomfortable goggles to experience the effect, but it was all very intense and really amazing. A far cry from Jaws 3-D in terms of realism. The film was narrated by Tom Cruise ... and you could hardly tell (that's a good thing in our world).
In light of the recent Space Shuttle Columbia accident (and the current "Orange Alert"), the content of the film was quite uplifting. The international scope of the Space Station as depicted in the movie really served as a reminder that NASA's work in space ranks as one of mankind's greatest achievements.
I digress ... After being wowed by the interstellar 3-D feature, we met up with Miroslav again as he exited his Midnight Fantasy show. We had just enough time to squeak in a visit to the Luxor's "King Tut's Tomb" museum exhibit, which was a tad drier than we expected, but it still provided fifteen cheap minutes of educational entertainment. Then we split off from Miroslav again, wandered around a few more shops, toured the casino, and eventually returned to our room.
We took turns washing in the lush shower. While Art cleaned up, I found a terrific documentary airing on Vegas' PBS station about the Song Poem industry. I'd read about Song Poems online before, but the documentary was really first rate; as good as The Dancing Outlaw. Once Art finished, we ordered a round of Milkshakes via room service. See, I always say that the true mark of a fine hotel can be determined by whether or how a hotel delivers a milkshake after midnight. In this case, it was after 2:30 a.m..
The milkshakes were wonderful.
We snuggled up in our Egyptian-styled bed and eventually drifted off to sleep.
The Pyramid Cafe became our default eating spot: whenever we were hungry and didn't have solid dinner plans we trucked over to the cafe. The food was great and the decor was as nice as the fancier restaurants in The Luxor.
After brunch, Art and I took a cab back to The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. The guests who blew off our wedding left us with two virgin tickets to the Star Trek ride, and we wanted to use up those passes while we had the chance. We also didn't get around to seeing the Trek shops on our wedding night. Most importantly, The Star Trek Experience was so much fun, we wanted to take it in again without any distracting "we're getting married" nervousness.
The cabbie who drove us to The Hilton was the most quiet one we'd encountered. His silence wasn't due to a lack of personality; he was white-knuckled and terrified to be driving in the rain! Poor guy: rumor had it that Vegas received its yearly rainfall on Wednesday. Very few Vegas drivers are accustomed to that much precipitation, and Vegas' streets/drainage surely aren't built for heavy rain. It was a slow, cautious drive.
We finally arrived at The Star Trek Experience sometime after 4 p.m.. This was unfortunate because we had tickets to see Blue Man Group back at The Luxor at 7:00, so we knew we didn't have a lot of time to Trek at a casual pace. But we paid more attention to the museum this go around, and we both agreed that the ride was more enjoyable the second time. The "actors" who guided the ride seemed relaxed on Wednesday, and we caught more funny ad-libbing than we heard on our wedding night.
It warmed our heart to STILL feel like the King and Queen of Star Trek that Wednesday. The staff remembered us and wished us well. We also saw new creatures bopping around that weren't there on Monday night: a Borg interrogated visitors and there was a new Klingon in the house. So we think we saw every available "character" between our two Trek outings: two Klingons, three Ferengi, one Vulcan, and one Borg. The Ferengi we bartered with at the wedding fearfully pointed and muttered, "Breen" as he passed us. The Klingon who performed in our ceremony chatted us up a bit, and told us the story of his own wedding. He then informed us his wife was killed in battle: an honorable death, of course. We posed for a picture with the Klingons snapped by a stranger with good intentions. It's a terrible photo: I was in the middle of saying something and Art's eyes are closed. But I include it here so you can gage Art's height with that of the Klingon warriors'.
We floated through the excellent Star Trek gift shops, and I picked out a REALLY sleek watch to compliment the watch I bought for Art. In addition to my spiffy watch, Art bought a bar of Latinum for himself. Then we headed back to Quark's Bar to say hello to our hero: Greg The Waiter! He was there, and we had him autograph a Polaroid printout of a digital photo we snapped of him at the wedding. We moseyed up to the bar and ordered a few specialty drinks. The Warp Core Breach I drank on Wednesday was not nearly as strong as the concoction I struggled to slurp on Monday, so I actually enjoyed the drink more on my second try. Art loved his iridescent drinks, and we both enjoyed taking in details of the bar we missed on Monday, such as the futuristic strobe-light blender and the wriggling critters that spiced up some of the booze bottles (imagine drinking a bottle of Tequila -- with a LIVING alien worm!).
We left The Star Trek Experience around quarter past six. We did so with a heavy heart: it's an awesome place, and we really appreciate how cool the staff and cast are ... and how special they made us feel. Three cheers for The Star Trek Experience!!!
The cabbie who drove us back to The Luxor was a talky fellow from the East Coast, and he informed us of the day's mayhem caused by the rain combined with desert drivers unfamiliar with slick roads. Several main streets were flooded, and the cabbie said some hotels like The Bellagio and The Venetian experienced minor flooding as well. Fresh fender-bender car accidents littered the sides of the roads. But our cabbie was perfectly at ease with the conditions since he hailed from the East and he got us back to The Luxor in a flash.
Art was pleasantly tipsy from Quark's bar, so I decided to catch up with him by sucking down a stout rum and coke outside of Blue Man Group. We took our seats a few minutes before 7:00. Our seats were great; I ordered tickets around New Years Day, and we received preferential seating as Luxor guests. The show started around 7:15. I always figured Blue Man Group would mark the height of our Vegas entertainment, but I never guessed that it would soar as high as it did. Simply put, Blue Man Group is the most amazing spectacle I've ever witnessed. The music is phenomenal, the humor is smart, the visuals are out of sight! There's really no way to properly describe the sensations Blue Man Group creates, except to say that you simply MUST see this show if you ever have the opportunity. It's THAT incredible.
The show combines a cyber-tech mood with innovative, exclusively engineered percussive musical instruments and then slams you over the head with arty wit, audience participation and breathtaking special effects. It was unlike anything I'd seen before.
We were both utterly dazzled when it was all said and done; we were completely high on Blue Men. After the show, the musicians and the Blue Men interacted with the audience for photo ops and other fun. We cheered the musicians and mingled with the Blue Men for a bit, then we bought the Blue Man Group soundtrack and headed back to the bar to order drinks in huge Sphinx-shaped cups.
Art and I decided to drop off some things at our room. There, we were warmly greeted by Miroslav. We gave him a room key for evening, seeing how he was flying back to California in the wee hours of Thursday morning. We also gave him our passes to Club Ra (a hip happening dance joint inside The Luxor), which is where he was heading after a brief nap in our room. We oozed boundless praise for Blue Man while he listened politely. The three of us chatted a bit and swapped stories of our day, then split up again with Miroslav off to Ra as we grabbed a late-night dinner at The Pyramid Cafe. After dining, Art and I played a few slot machines and eventually lost six dollars during a two-hour play session. We retired for the night at 2:30 or so. Miroslav came back from Ra sometime around 4 a.m., showered, and caught his flight home.