So our son Ruairidh reached his 21st birthday (8 hours later than he would have done at home). He's decided on the previous day that he wanted to have lunch at Carmine's in Caesar's Palace (the Vegas outpost of a renowned New York Italian-American restaurant). So in the morning we all went back into town and kicked of the day with some shopping (mainkly at the Ballegio and the Venetian). Our daughter acquired a singing gondolier dog, proving that she really is a child at heart, and all the rest of us had fun in the shops and on the curved escalators in Caesar's Palace. Then it was lunchtime: all Carmina's portions are family-sized (serving 3-4) but in the end we went for their two signature dishes, spaghetti with meatballs and penne al vodka. Bothe were marvellous, and there wasn't much left of either by the time we were through. Then we went to the Bellagio where Vanessa introduced Ruairidh to the (now legal for him) joys of losing money on the slot machnes. And of course as it IS Vegas, Hilary and I joined in.
So then it was back to the hotel for a quick swim before being collected by our limo and taken to the airport for a helicopter trip over the Hoover dam and the Grand Canyon (landing in the GC for a champagne picnic) and returning via the Strip. Great fun, even though all the other three admitted to having been a bit nervous about helicopters beforehand. The pilot was very informative, and it was rather a shock to realise that where we landed, which was very obviously in the Grand Canyon - indeed not all that far from the Skywalk - was an hour by helicopter from the part of the South Rim where we'd been a few days earlier. Not just very deep, not just very wide: the canyon is also very long.
Finally, we all went back in to the Strip to see it after dark, especially in the hope of catching the Bellagio fountains by floodlight. But it was getting stormyu, the wo
ind had got up, and the 9.00 pm fountain show was cancelled. Over the next hour the weather became much worse and we had another torrential downpour. (It seems that the one that struck while we were at Joe's the previous night had delivered 25 mm of rain in an hour, the heaviest rainfall in Vegas since 1951.) So we sat in a bar and drank, which gave Ruairidh his first opportunity to be ID'd as a 21-year-old. All in all, a pretty good day.
And in view of its being Ruairidh's first time playing the slots, here's today's music.