Our second day in Vegas was the first full day we'd have, so I woke up extra excited. We met Ryan's parents in the buffet downstairs, then sadly I had to say goodbye to Ryan for the day as he headed off to NAB. My in-laws kindly entertained my wish to go to The Mirage and see some animals, so that's where we headed first.
We bought our tickets to Sigfried and Roy's Secret Garden and were told that it didn't open for another twenty minutes. So I had to sit down and enjoy an iced coffee first - bummer. ;) When it opened, we went in and got the lowdown on the animals (yeah, yeah, don't feed them, I know). The first stop was the dolphins. So cute! I wished I could swim with them, but I've been there and the freezing, salty water isn't something I want to revisit.
Next we saw some "white lions," which A) I didn't know existed and B) were not actually white, but just kind of pale. Like me. There were also silly alpacas and white tigers - three of them napping, one of them wiggin' out, which was funny.
We proceeded to the shops in The Mirage, where my MIL and I simultaneously laid eyes on a jacket that we knew Ryan would love. I wish I'd thought to get pictures of my silly self trying it on to see if it hung the same way Ryan's jackets normally hang on me (since he wasn't there to test out the fit). I kept raving about how great it would look with the sunglasses he'd bought the night before, and she got it for him!
Next, we headed over to the MGM Grand for more lions. (More thanks to my in-laws for putting up with me, ha.) Then my father-in-law (FIL? We'll call him Phil. I miss Phil of the Future.) wanted to eat at the Irish pub again, so off we went back to the New York New York. We were just walking in through the second-floor entrance when I saw them.
I knew that I had to have one, but we were on a mission for lunch, so it would have to wait for later. I enjoyed a corned beef on rye, then went back upstairs to buy my apple, which I would save to share with Ryan. As I pointed out the one I wanted (covered in caramel and peanut butter chips and drizzled with chocolate) and watched the lady box it up, I knew that I was feasting my eyes upon true treasure.
After lunch, Phil asked me about the "awesome sunglasses" he'd heard me talking about with Ryan at breakfast (and the day before). I told him of their glory - the ultra-reflective lenses, the "50s car blue" frames, how cute they looked with my vivid red hair (for which, yes, I pay dearly). We walked over to the Sunglass Hut, where he insisted on buying them for me! He said he felt bad that they got the jacket for Ryan and wanted me to have something too. I stammered, "but he's your flesh and blood!" and my MIL said, "Well, now you are too." What a sweet sentiment, and what generous ILs I have :)
My ILs wanted to rest after that, so I went down to the pool to check out the lazy river. Turns out it wasn't so lazy - the current was so strong that I couldn't prevent it from throwing me into things/people. There were definitely some awkward "getting to know you" moments with other hotel guests. Overall, it was great fun. I chilled in the hot tub for awhile, then spent a few minutes lying out to get dry and listening in on a conversation that a guy who sounded EXACTLY like John Ritter was having with some teenagers about how to get into "the business."
Soon, it was time to get ready for the evening. My MIL had gotten tickets for us to see "Phantom" at the Venetian. I put on a cute, "Vegas-appropriate" dress and greeted Ryan as he got back just in time to change and head down to meet his parents.
Okay, can I just ask if I'm the only person who is actually scared of "Phantom of the Opera?" Yes, I know the music is beautiful. That doesn't mean it isn't also scary. I mean, here's a guy who murders people and is so obsessed with Christine that he makes a life-sized, wedding gown-clad doll of her in his creepy dungeon. Her response to him is equally creepy. She is worshipful of this freak (and I say that not because of his face, which my gosh, isn't all that bad - what's so horrifying about a little scarring? - but because of his aforementioned murderous stalkerness). Every time I mention that the show scares me, people are like, "Oh, but it's so beautiful." "Beautiful" and "scary" aren't mutually exclusive, nor does the beauty of the music justify the things this dude does.
The show was enjoyable overall. The guy who played Raoul was so good that he made me like the character. Christine, however, needed a tranquilizer.
To end the day, we went to Smith and Wollensky for a late dinner. Oh my gosh, the food. I had an iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing (even the tomato slices were beautiful and perfect), truffled macaroni and cheese, gorgonzola-crusted filet mignon, and for dessert...a trio of crème brûlée: milk chocolate, vanilla with raspberries, and toasted coconut. I could die just thinking about it.
All in all, a perfect second day in Las Vegas!