A perfect day to head to the Las Vegas Strip

Apr 5, 2011 6:07 AM

The thermometer hit 90 degrees Saturday, the skies were sunny and there was a hint of breeze in the air. It was a perfect day to head to the Strip.

Of course with such great weather the hotel pools were doing big business. Sunbathers in all shapes and sizes lounged on the decks in various stages of exposure, while others sloshed around in the water. A few were turning shades of red and may have felt like well done lobsters by evening.

As we wandered in and out of casinos we noticed the tables in most were moderately busy. As expected, games offering $5 and $10 minimum bets were full and those with $25 minimums sat mostly empty with only an occasional player. We fail to understand why casinos don’t have more games at the lower limits. Maybe someday a friendly casino boss will enlighten us.

We also noticed substantial check in lines in a number of places as we wandered by the registration areas, which may be a sign of more visitors coming to our fantasy land. That can only be good news.

One of our favorite lobbies is the one at The Mirage. Behind the front desk is a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium with all kinds of exotic sea creatures swimming about. Sometimes when we need to chill out we go there and sit for a bit. In no time we’re totally relaxed.

Although the acrylic window is four inches thick, the view is as bright and clear as if you were looking through a thin pane of glass. You can watch angelfish, puffers and colorful tangs glide effortlessly back and forth around the corals.

Then, when you least expect it, a stingray will sail by. There are also sharks, eels, gobies and more. Nearly 1,000 sea animals representing 60 different species from Australia, Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, the Caribbean, the Red Sea, the Marshall Islands and the Sea of Cortez call this recreated coral reef home.

Speaking of corals, if you are concerned about the preservation of living coral reefs, don’t worry. Mirage is just as concerned and these, while beautiful, are totally artificial.

HIDDEN TREASURE: If you’re looking for a little kreplach soup or a fresh pastrami sandwich, Harrie’s Bagelmania is the place to go.

This small, out-of-the-way, Jewish deli on East Twain near Swenson is well known to old-time Vegas residents. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods and isn’t very fancy, but the food is fabulous.

In addition to Jewish specialties, they also serve a variety of traditional sandwiches, soups and salads. Breakfast is on the menu, too. Eggs prepared any way you like can be served with bacon, sausage or ham, and potatoes.

Of course, as the name implies, they have bagels – lots of them – made fresh daily, and they are better than any you’ve ever tasted, even ones from New York.

LEI DAY: Our Tahitian friend, Turereura Tapu, is excited about the upcoming Lei Day Polynesian Festival at the California Hotel, April 30 and May 1.

There will be music, dancing, crafts and food, all showcasing the best the islands have to offer. Turereura says she can’t wait to try some of the kalua pig, lau lau, poi and hot malasadas.

The best part is the music and dancing can be enjoyed by all because there is no admission charge.

FILL ‘ER UP! With the price of gas inching ever higher, we cringe at the very thought of having to pull up to the pump.

But, SouthPoint casino is doing its part to help ease the price sting. During the month of April, if you are a member of The Club, the points you earn can be redeemed for a gas card, which is good anywhere in the United States. For every $25 worth of points you can receive a $50 gas card.

Not a member? Just head to SouthPoint and sign up; there is no cost to join.

See you around town.