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Published: September 30th 2017
The Venetian, with their facsimile of the bell tower in Venice's Piazza San Marco. They've also got a version of the Doge's Palace, but I forgot to get a shot of it. For comparison's sake: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/pwong/europe_2006/1154632440/dsc04128.jpg/tpod.html
Geo: 36.0846, -115.172
Up early after yet another crappy sleep ... thinking everyone was still comatose from last night, I wandered over to the Venetian for breakfast. Why the Venetian? Because it's got a reasonable (by Vegas standards) food court, and it's close by - I really don't want to walk too far just for breakfast, in this nasty desert heat.
Browsed through the Peter Lik gallery - some cool surreal photography, with some incredible shots of rock formations that had perhaps been photo-shopped, giving them an array of unnatural-looking colours. Visited the Kenneth Cole shop, which I will probably forever be banned from. I was upstairs browsing, and dropped my almost full and much-needed coffee, spilling it all over the carpet. I felt bad and was going to tell the salesgirl, since she was quite nice to me earlier, but then I saw the carpet soak it up like a sponge. Where's a "Sham Wow" when you need one? It was too late, so I quickly ducked out of the store, trying to hide the slightly crushed and dripping coffee cup in my hand ...
Some more aimless wandering, and back at Tintoretto's for some quick lunch - their pizza looked
A supposedly typical Venetian street - for comparison: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/pwong/europe_2006/1154794500/dsc04165.jpg/tpod.html
pretty good yesterday, and I hoped it would be better than their breakfast offerings. Wrong!
Back to the hotel to find the boys - off to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets. First order of business was lunch, as no one else had eaten yet. The food court offered some fairly typical eateries. After, it was time to brave the heat - hot, hot, hot! This is an outdoor mall, perhaps to encourage you to shop, as the stores are the only places offering some respite from the temperatures. There are a number of misting towers outdoors to cool you down but they don't do that great of a job, as the mist felt quite warm.
None of us are big shoppers but after today, we all ended up very close to the allowable limit imposed by Canada customs. We only planned for about 1.5 hours here, but a few of us could've easily used another hour or two to finish up. Particularly good was a small, secondary branch of the Kenneth Cole store - not so much for the clothing on offer, but for the Mexican salesgirl 😊
We all met at the food court and were off to Fry's,
Piazza San Marco - the Doge's Palace is on the left, and here's the real one: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/pwong/europe_2006/1154632440/dsc04133.jpg/tpod.html
a giant electronics store. Kind of bizarre, as they sold cases of their own brand of bottled water, and even had a coffee shop/cafe inside. In a way, it's not that great of a place for a bunch of guys to visit, because we ended up staying there for FAR too long. But this wasn't a bad thing, as it gave us plenty of time to build up an appetite for another buffet gorge fest!
Le Village buffet at Paris - this morning, Justin ended up going over to one of the ticket brokers to pre-pay for the buffet, as this ends up saving you a few bucks per person. We lined up and got our table, but Justin and I went off in search of Lenotre, a branch of a famous French chain of patisseries, and the only location outside of France. On a couple of occasions in Paris, I have sampled their fine pastries (they make a wicked peach tartelette) at the Rue Cler store (see blog entry entitled "I re-kindled an old romance today ..." http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/europe_2006/1161139080/tpod.html?tweb_UID=pwong )
Being the dutiful husband, Justin immediately thought of Ann when I mentioned Lenotre the other day. Justin felt a bit
Venice is famous for selling intricate masks, and here's the Venetian's stab at it. Here are ones from Venice: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/pwong/europe_2006/1154794500/dsc04161.jpg/tpod.html
bad for leaving behind Ann and the newborn to come on this stag, so he wanted to buy some croissants for Ann, something that she loves. The plan was to buy them tomorrow, but we wanted to see tonight if they looked anything like the ones from Paris, otherwise Justin would have to come up with an alternate plan.
Unfortunately, they were completely sold out of croissants and pains au chocolat, as any good French patisserie should be at this hour. No matter, as we decided to come back here tomorrow morning for breakfast. Even if their pastries turned out to be nowhere near as good as ones made in France, they would still very likely be the best ones you could get anywhere in Las Vegas.
Back to the buffet - the interior is modeled after a cobble-stoned French street. Kind of nice in a way, but also kind of tacky and overly Disney-fied. It's supposed to be a gastronomic tour of all that France has to offer, with dishes from every region, but it falls well short. I didn't see how it made sense that a French buffet started with four different Italian pastas and a risotto ...
The Venetian's version of the ceiling in the Doge's Palace. The real version: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/pwong/europe_2006/1154632440/dsc04142.jpg/tpod.html
Tagliatelle with pesto, rigatoni with bolognese sauce, penne alfredo, gnocchi (very powdery), and mushroom risotto (very mushy and bland, more suitable to grout tiles than to eat). Only the rigatoni was any good, of these dishes.
Sushi doesn't seem to fit in either, and I avoided it completely since it looked pretty dodgy. Overall, the buffet was decent and excellent value at $22 USD (with the discount). A much better buffet than Rio's seafood version.
I was really looking forward to the desserts, as you would think the desserts at a French buffet would be the best in all of Vegas. Unfortunately, it wasn't as great as expected - the dessert offerings at Rio might have actually been a bit better.
After stuffing ourselves, we did a bit of aimless wandering - John suggested checking out an adult-style revue like Folies Bergere, Crazyhorse, or Jubilee. Unfortunately, Folies Bergere no longer exists, and it was too late to get tickets for the other two. Instead, Justin, Tri, and I grabbed a drink at a lounge in Paris, while waiting for the rest of the boys to finish up some gambling.
We all met up later, and went off to do some
Breakfast at the Venetian, at a bagel shop. It's dark, but just to the left of centre you can see a sign that says "Order Here" ...
good male-bonding activities - next thing you know, we're getting back to the hotel at 4 in the morning. That's one good thing about Vegas - there's always something to do at all hours of the evening.
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