A SURPRISE IN LAS VEGAS

As I said in my last post, for my last full day in Las Vegas before I went back to the cold of New York City, the plan was to visit as many casino hotels as possible and take in everything else happening in Las Vegas for that weekend.

Not only were hockey players invading the home of the Vegas Golden Knights, T Mobile Arena, but over at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders football team, the NFL All Star game, the Pro Bowl, had football players invading Las Vegas also.

It was the first time in sports history that two sports leagues were having their all star games in the same city, and not only was Las Vegas more than ready for it, the Sports Diva was in her element.

This is what I came for, to see all the hockey goings on in town.

I didn’t go to the Fan Fest on Friday because I was trying to rush back to my hotel in Downtown Las Vegas and pack for a 6am flight the next day.

Plus I wanted to see my favorite part of any sports all star game.

Not the all Star game itself, but the festivities before like the Home Run Derby in Baseball, The Slam Dunk and 3 Point Contest in Basketball and in hockey, Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Most Accurate Shooter, Mascots Dance Off and the Breakaway Competition in which players from the different teams come up with creative ways to score on the goaltender .

As for the football all star skills competition, nope, sorry not a fan of that.

Anyway, as I said, I had plans for Friday.

My Vegas Golden Knights friends had other plans for me.

My friend LB: “Jo Ann where are you now?”

“I’m just walking into Resorts World now.”

My friend LB: “Lisa and I are staying at Park MGM.”

Park MGM Hotel and Casino are across the street from T Mobile Arena, but I figured we were going to watch the Skills Competition from the girls room.

“Okay, I was going back downtown to my hotel and watch the Skills Competition.”

My friend LB:”Lisa has an extra ticket to the Skills Competition, you wanna go?”

I didn’t know if half of Las Vegas Boulevard could hear me screaming, but the Sports Diva screamed as though one of her teams had just won the championship or something.

Oh hell yeah, I wanted to go.

Packing could wait, the Sports Diva had a hockey All Star Skills Competition to go to.

Need I mention that LB and Lisa are Vegas Golden Knights seasons tickets holders so we sat in their seats watching the mascots act the fool with fans, dancing with the Vegas Bellas, who are the showgirls who preform at Golden Knights games.

The mascot dance off was won by the Pacific Division mascots from Vancouver, Los Angeles,Anaheim, San Jose and of course, Chance from Las Vegas, who did a routine with the showgirls to a song by The Weekend, “Blinded By The Lights.” Very appropriate for Vegas if you ask me.

The Metropolitan Conference mascots, led by Gritty from Philadelphia, Sparky The Dragon from The New York Islanders, Iceburgh, the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot, and The Eagle from the Washington Capitals, came in second dancing to The Harlem Shuffle.

Outside of the Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot Competition, which was won by Jordan Kyrou of the St. Louis Blues (and really is one of the fastest skaters I have ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty fast hockey skaters in my time)and Victor Hedman of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, everyone was waiting for the Breakaway Competition.

The event was won by Alex Pietrangelo of the home town VGK, but even the Vegas fans were booing this decision.

Like me, they thought it should have gone to Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks, who shot into the net blindfolded while the mascots threw dodgeballs at him.

It could have even gone to Alex Debrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks, who dressed like Alan from the movie The Hangover.

You can’t get any more Las Vegas than that.

Debrincat brought the house down when he came out with Derek Carr, the quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders who threw a football , which Debrincat caught and then shot it into the net.

It got really crazy when the All Stars were announced and the loudest boos weren’t for players from the Los Angeles Kings or San Jose Sharks, the rivals of the VGK, no it was reserved for Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, who believe it or not is the second most hated man in hockey.

After the competition was over, it was time for me to go get something to eat and finally pack because the shuttle van was coming to take me to the airport at 3:30am.

I always love my 30 Plus Teams Tours of Las Vegas, but this one was really good and what a surprise.

Youpi and SpartaCat, the Ottawa Senators mascot, meeting the crowd
Blades the bear, the Boston Bruins mascot

LAS VEGAS BABY ! – LAS VEGAS , NEVADA – A QUIET OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT, BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY AND BOTANICAL GARDENS .

You’ve  been  in  Las  Vegas  for  three  days  or so ,  but  it seems  longer  because  there’s  so much  to  do  and so many places  to  see.

You  can’t  believe  that  you’re  actually  on a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Las  Vegas ,  but  you  are.

You gambled  a little ,  you ate a  lot  at the  buffets ,  but most  of  all  this  is  Las Vegas ,  so you definitely  did a lot of  partying .

Way too  much  maybe.

Now  you just  want  to  get  a little  peace and  quiet  here .

Just a  little ,  if that’s  possible .

Your  concierge  thinks  that  he knows  just the  place .

The Bellagio  Hotel  on the  Las  Vegas  Strip .

You’ve  already  been  there  before .

That’s  the  one with the  dancing  water fountains that  look  oh so  beautiful  at night ,  just like  the  rest of  the  Las Vegas  Strip  does .

”  No ,  it’s  the  Bellagio  Conservatory  and  Botanical  Gardens   that’s  inside  of  the  Bellagio , ”  he says .

How did  you  miss this ,  you wonder ?

Easy ,  you  didn’t  go inside  of  the  Bellagio ,  as it looked  just  way  too  elegant  for  your  taste .

Very high end and sophisticated ,  you think.

Since the Bellagio  isn’t  far  from the  hotel  that  you’re  staying  at ,  you’re  going  to  walk there, even though  you’re  very tired.

You’ve  been  walking  all day and you just know  that you haven’t  seen all of  this  place .

The Bellagio  does look oh so fancy from the  revolving  front door  to the   Dale  Chuily  chandelier  in the  lobby .

You  see the  signs for  the  Conservatory  and  Botanical  Gardens  right  in  front  of  you .

You  realize  that  you  aren’t  the  only  person  who’s  going  there .

The  Bellagio  Conservatory  and  Botanical  Gardens  are  one  of  the  top free attractions  in  the  city ,  and as you can  tell ,  it draws  a lot of  visitors .

You  can’t  believe  all the  of the  beautiful  flower arrangements  that are in front  of  you .

You  heard  that  the  conservatory  changes during  the  seasons  and you can just imagine  how it looks  during winter time  as well as  Chinese New Year .

You  know  that for Christmas ,  this  place must go all out with  the  flower  arrangements .

Right now  though ,  it’s  summertime  and  the  lavender ,  yellow ,  orange ,  blue  and  red  flowers  in front  of  you  are simply  breathe  taking .

You smile  to yourself  and think that who ever does these arrangements  isn’t  getting  paid  enough  for all this  work .

You  find  a  bench  nearby  and  sit  down ,  still  admiring  the  flower  arrangements  all around  you .

Your  concierge  was right .

This is  a  very  quiet  place in spite  of  all  the  people  that are  here.

No one  is  being  loud ,  nor is there loud music  or music  of any kind  being  played  here.

People  are  taking  pictures  and  just  admiring  the  scene .

Lots of  selfies  are being  taken ,  that’s  the  only  sound  you hear, people  posing  that perfect  shot.

For the  hour or so that you  were here, admiring  the  flowers and the objects  around them, the Bellagio  Conservatory  and  Botanical  Gardens  was an oasis  of  quiet  in that  hectic  city  in the  desert .