Well, the flights went well. Krista’s was delayed a bit, but it all worked out in the end. Thrifty upgraded us to a PT Cruiser, so we’ll be driving around in style and comfort all week long.
We left the airport, I knew that the Stratosphere was at the end of the strip. So, we headed towards it, then drove back down the strip. Parked at the Luxor, went in and had their buffet for lunch. Pretty yummy, great service (I don’t think my pop ever got below half full).
Then we caught the tram over to Mandalay Bay, walked over to the Shark Reef exhibit all the way on the other side of the casino resort! What a walk! You’d think they would get you at least a little closer to their star attraction. Oh well, waited in line about 30 minutes (they only let so many people in at a time) and then entered the attraction. We each got a little handset which we could enter code numbers located next to each tank and get a bunch of detailed information about the aquatic life located in said tank. It let you proceed through the exhibits at your own pace, in small groups, spend as much time as you wanted looking at the life in the tank after you got done listening to the audio tour.
The tour concluded with three special exhibits. The first was a petting tank which had stingrays and horseshoe crabs which you could touch and feel. I managed to get a touch of the skin of a stingray, quite slippery smooth. The second was a giant tank of jellyfish, lit with a black light. Quite a beautiful sight, lots of floating purple.
Finally, there was the “sunken ship” tank. It was filled with over 10 different kinds of sharks, some green sea turtles, swordfish, stingrays and other miscellaneous fish. I really enjoyed watching the sea turtles floating around the tank, they were so graceful in their slow speed swim around the tank. The highlight of the display was the only hammerhead shark in captivity in the US. While it was only a young one, it was already 6 feet long. It was something else to see, I had only seen a hammerhead shark before in cartoons!
The gift shop was incredibly disappointing at the Shark Reef, it was as if the gift shop owners had never been through the exhibit. So, we picked up a few things, but the hightailed it out of the shop and back to the car.
Then it was back to the hotel, where we checked in. Got upgraded to a room with a view up the strip, 20 floors up and went up into the room and got settled. Quite a great view. I was pleased the the shower was installed by a non-midget plumber, plenty of pressure and just the right height. A digital thermostat for the room temperature was a nice touch, too. We ended up heading to bed kinda early, since it had been a busy day and we had plenty planned for the next day.