The last evening in Las Vegas, before catching the red-eye flight home, is always fun. We go to the "Mirage" for dinner buffet. At $15 it's in the middle of the price range. We find it's a little short on selection (only about two dozen main dish types of thing to eat) but has better quality than the $15 buffet at the Rio. PeterK actually declares that the sushi is OK. I'm reasonably happy with the dessert selection.

2001:03:31 17:34:59 2001:03:31 17:35:19 2001:03:31 18:01:57 2001:03:31 18:23:25 2001:03:31 18:24:18 2001:03:31 18:27:59

We check out the gambling. I lose about a dollar in the nickel slot machines and call it quits. Bob goes to work on a video poker machine and comes out about $5 ahead. All in quarters.

2001:03:31 18:25:14 2001:03:31 18:51:48 2001:03:31 18:52:44 2001:03:31 19:06:10

We walk around outside, and I get some night-time Vegas pictures on the run. Some of these casinos have outdoor spectacles to attract crowds. The volcano erupts every 15 minutes in front of the Mirage with great thunder from subwoofers. Our goal is the pirate ship show in front of "Treasure Island"...

2001:03:31 19:18:49 2001:03:31 19:19:34 2001:03:31 19:20:08 2001:03:31 19:20:54 2001:03:31 19:21:59 2001:03:31 19:27:36

... but first we duck into the "Venetian" briefly. It has an actual water-filled "Grand Canal" inside, with gondoliers serenading their passengers and everything. I look carefully to see if the gondolas have propellers underneath. I can't tell for sure. I am quite surprised that the "blue sky" effect is actually illuminated with the correct colour of light -- I have to switch the camera to daylight balance!

2001:03:31 19:38:17 2001:03:31 19:39:41 2001:03:31 19:41:29 2001:03:31 19:43:09 2001:03:31 19:44:53 2001:03:31 19:46:33

We watch the pirate ship show. It is spectacular. The "good guys" (British I think) come sailing around the side of the building, exchange words and cannon fire with the pirate ship (with lots of real fire and explosions) but end up getting themselves sunk. The captain stands in salute as he slowly goes beneath the waves. The ship then pops up again with the wet captain still there and everybody bows and the show is over, total duration 12 minutes. As the lights go down you can already see maintenance guys climbing around resetting the trapdoors, explosion effects and so on, for the next show an hour hence.

2001:03:31 21:13:15 2001:03:31 19:55:37 2001:03:31 20:39:32

We go back to the Mirage via one of the rail tram gimmicks, find the cars, drive back to the motel, load up, check out, and go to the airport...

2001:03:31 20:46:22 2001:03:31 20:57:02 2001:03:31 21:01:56

... to find that there is no flight! US Airways has cancelled our flight because of crew availability problems.

We have to wait for four hours in a lineup to make alternate arrangements. These are: A flight at 10AM tomorrow, via San Francisco, to arrive in Ottawa at midnight! Meanwhile they are putting us up in a hotel. From the list of hotels available, we choose "Paris" -- another gimmick luxury hotel. Not that we will have much time to enjoy it.

2001:03:31 22:22:05 2001:03:31 22:34:05 2001:03:31 22:34:20 2001:03:31 22:34:48 2001:03:31 23:15:31 2001:03:31 23:48:53 2001:04:01 00:05:50 2001:04:01 00:11:57 2001:04:01 00:34:36 2001:04:01 00:35:02 2001:04:01 00:36:08

We get to bed at 3:30AM and we are to meet in front of the hotel again at 8AM.

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