I spent most of last week in Las Vegas on a vacation/late-anniversary-trip.  It was wonderful.  I hadn’t had a real vacation in over a year so it was long overdue.  Somehow we managed to get upgraded to First Class on the flights there and back.  We stayed at our favorite Vegas hotel, THEhotel at Mandalay Bay.  Because it was Thanksgiving week, we got a killer deal on both the airfare and the hotel itself.  We checked into one of the lovely suites there, and went to a great italian dinner at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

Monday night we saw one of my favorite shows, Crazy Horse Paris (previously known as La Femme).  It’s not one for kids, but was amazing as always.  We had killer seats, like last year, thanks to Emma’s awesome-ness-ity.

Tuesday was my favorite day of the trip.  For my birthday Emma wanted to give me a day of renting a Shelby AC Cobra, one of my dream cars , however Seattle does not have any exotic car rental places.  So it was postponed until Vegas.  Unfortunately the only Cobra in town was taken for two weeks, BUT as a consolation prize I rented a Dodge SRT-10 Viper.  It was a new convertible Viper with 500 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque.  We picked it up, and headed out to Hoover Dam.  There was some traffic leaving the city, but soon we were rolling along empty clear roads through a national park.  The scenery was beautiful, especially if you’re from Seattle.  The desert is filled with so many colors and rock outcroppings and alien looking landscapes.  We made it to the Hoover Dam, but opted to not take a tour as it would have taken up too much of the daylight driving time:)  The Dam was pretty amazing (note: I restrained myself from saying “pretty dam amazing”.  You’re welcome.).  I’d seen pictures and video of course, but the size in person was breathtaking.  I’m always a sucker for amazing feats of engineering.

Then we headed out and drove around in the desert for a few more hours.

About the Viper:  It’s fast.  Below 4,000 RPM it’s fast, but not insanely fast.  My normal car is fast.  Actually, I’m looking at the dyno charts, and up to about 4,000 it’s not really faster than my car.  More torque, but similar horsepower.  What’s impressive is when you cross the 4,000 rpm line, and floor it.  At 60 mph, on dry pavement, flooring it past 4,000 will break loose the rear end in a scream of engine and squeal of spinning tires.  It will eventually hook back up, and send you to 100 mph in a split second with a neck wrenching leap.  It’s awesome.  I must have done that 40 times.  Much to Emma’s surprise each time:)  It was a really fun car to drive.  However, due to the rock hard suspension, small trunk, and the tendency for the light rear end to slide out around corners even when you’re just pulling away from a light and going as gingerly as you can, it’s not a daily driver I’d want.

We eventually headed back into the city for dinner.  Emma had scored us a reservation at Tao, one of the hottest new restaurant/clubs in Vegas.  The food was spectacular, and we had a great time.

On Wednesday we saw Zumanity, which while occasionally impressive, had way too much crass humor filler for my tastes.  Then again, most people think I’m lacking a humor appreciation gene.  So take that for what it’s worth.

Thursday we flew home, baked a pumpkin pie, and made it to our friend’s house in time for Thanksgiving dinner.  Thanks Russell!