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Living it up in Vegas version of Monte Carlo

Vegas’ Monte Carlo More Elegant, More Fun than Monaco’s

Now there’s a comparison for you -- Grace Kelly’s principality versus Las Vegas -- and I’ve been to both. You remember Grace Kelly don’t you? Big Hollywood star who married Prince Rainier of Monaco.Of course, there is a half-century comparison between the two, and finally taking a vacation in nine years because of my fear of flying since 9/11, July 10 brought me to the Fabulous Fun City; there, too, is a half-century between visits.

Sharon chose the Monte Carlo because when last there we stayed at the mammoth Mandalay Bay, which is a sister property to the MGM Mirage, Sharon realized that too large a Casino/Resort like those just mentioned entailed her walking miles and miles just to get to the pools, restaurants, shops and restaurants from your room.Me, I didn’t care, she hired a scooter for me and she couldn’t keep up.

When we visited most of the hotels last time, we loved the layout of the Monte Carlo. When you checked in, the hotel elevators were right there and you could see the pools, the Food Court, restaurants and shops and amazingly even I didn’t get lost!The rooms were large and comfortable, the elevators swift and the Monte Carlo was centrally located, so with a quick walk you could get to the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, New York, New York, Planet Hollywood or hop on a tram or grab a cab to get anywhere in Vegas for about ten bucks. Vegas is in the tail end of constructing City Center that is adjacent to the Monte Carlo and is due to open this fall. City Center is a complex of residential co-ops, shops and businesses smack dab in the center of the Fun Capital of the World and within walking distance of complete bankruptcy from any casino.Perfect for the avid gambler who could crawl home after losing every dollar he has.

Watching the myriad of skyscrapers almost finished from poolside, I noticed there was a pair of buildings that were leaning towards each other. I thought at first it was an optical illusion, but scooting around the pool area, I realized that it wasn’t.Nor was it designed by an architect who had had one too many. It was designed that way to bring attention to the area and it sure worked.

Most hotels had buffet dinners, fine dining restaurants and show extravaganzas to compete with each other and the Monte Carlo is no different. Its headliner was Master Magician Lance Burton. The Monte Carlo spent $27 million to custom-build a special theater for his show and he continues to thrill audiences with his brilliant daring skills. He’s not at all flamboyant and his easy, laid-back manner dazzles you as dozens of pigeons and birds share the stage. Not merely a prestidigitator, some of his stunts have his Corvette flying across the stage.We had dinner before his last show at the hotel’s Café, which one might have thought to be a high priced diner, but boy were we fooled.

Dinner was perfection; service was perfection and the ambience lovely!We really hated to leave but the show was about to start. What a great way to end our vacation! We were to leave the next afternoon. (To be continued in a future column dealing with the 106-degree weather, poolside and this tubby almost drowning.)

Screech at you next week!

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