A few months ago, Ritu had the chance to speak at a conference in Italy in September and we contemplated taking the entire family. Unfortunately, they found enough speakers before he committed and the opportunity was lost. So, when we planned our Las Vegas trip, I thought it would be mighty funny to stay at The Venetian as a lame stand-in for our lost visit to Italy. Most of the hotels on The Strip have some sort of gimmick and The Venetian is no different. Their theme is a trip to Venice complete with it's own Grand Canal.
As a disclaimer, I will say that much of the hotel was gorgeous and the guest rooms were possibly the nicest I've ever stayed in, but there was a Grand Hokeyness factor that I couldn't overlook.
For instance, when you first pull up, there is a huge portico covering 5 lanes of traffic.
The ceiling is covered with numerous paintings. Doesn't this just scream Park Here to you?
Hey look! I think these guys are playing craps.
The lowermost level contains the Grand Canal Shoppes and the aforementioned Grand Canal itself.
The gondola rides featured, of course, singing gondoliers. You just know this guy's mom tells everyone her son has a job in show business.
Here I am enjoying my stroll along the canal.
Here is Ritu. Note what a lovely sunny day it is here in the basement of the Venetian.
We spent hours strolling around Venice, er, the Venetian. Eventually, as the sky turned pink and gold with the sunset, we stumbled upon a large piazza.
It was filled with street performers. Who doesn't love street performers??
Like this guy on stilts! Pretending the jester guy! Is his marionette! Oh, how we laughed at those scamps.
And a strolling accordion player. I simply can't get enough of the dulcet tones of an accordion. Ritu insisted I get my picture taken with him. That husband of mine is forever looking out for my happiness.
And what visit to Venice would be complete without The Guy Who Pretends He's A Statue?
I hate this guy. He wasn't even a good statue. He blinked like a 4-way traffic light and fidgeted more than a three year old in church. I envisioned running full tilt at him and knocking him down. The hostility this man provoked in me was completely unreasonable and could only be quelled by many glasses of red wine. Thank goodness the Venetian has no short supply of that.