Walking around MGM, which we found was actually attached to our condo via a series of indoor walkways --- could have used that information when we were sweating our butts off earlier that day --- we decided to grab some dinner.
Nate and I are usually ones to go for something different when we're on vacation. We like to find interesting restaurants with items that we just can't find at home, but we followed our friend to a burger place.
Side note: My dad loves burger places. We constantly make fun of him for traveling to exotic places and coming home to tell us that he had an awesome hamburger. Like Hawaii --- he came back to tell us he ate at the same burger place seven times over vacation, and we railed him for it. And here we were on vacation at a burger place, but anywho...
Looking over the menu, my eyes floated to the PB Crunch Burger. A hamburger with bacon jam, peanut butter and crumbled potato chips.
It sounded gross.
So I ordered it.
I have seen so many TV shows talk about peanut butter burgers, and I have always thought it sounded just disgusting. But I am committed to my goal of trying new food items when on vacation, and this sounded like the weirdest thing on the menu so I thought I'd try it.
It was so good.
That first bite, the peanut butter just added an earthy/nutty flavor to the meaty patty, and crunched up Ruffles potato chip and bacon jam added the perfect amount of salt. It was incredibly balanced, and so delicious that it's not on my menu for the month. I'll let you know how that goes when I make it.
The next night we planned our fancy night out after a day at the pool. It was to begin with a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant followed by our first experience with Cirque du Soleil.
Dinner started out pretty simple with a bottle of wine and a caprese salad appetizer with a side of delicious bread.
Looking over the menu, two items were on my mind --- the short rib raviolini and the lobster gnocchi. The raviolini had black truffle oil, and I just wasn't sure I would like that flavor, since I know it's supposed to be pretty earthy. The lobster gnocchi sounded like the better choice, so I ordered that while Nate tried the raviolini.
When our entrees arrived, I tried mine, pretty good, and then offered some to Nate. He tried mine, and I tried his.
"Yours is better," he said.
"Yours is better," I said.
We smiled and switched bowls while our friends looked on with grins.
After dinner, we headed to Ka, the Cirque du Soleil show in MGM. I really wasn't overly excited. Cirque du Soleil always looked weird to me, and the only description we had from the concierge --- other than it being her favorite show, but that didn't hold a ton of weight since I'm sure she tries to sell it --- was that it was the only Cirque du Soleil with a storyline. The story was that a Japanese brother and sister were separated during a war and were trying to find each other again.
We walked in, and the theater was impressive. We were told it was nine stories, and it was crazy to set the massive set in front of us. It didn't even look like it would fit inside the MGM Grand.
There were pillars of gold and walkways above us, like we were looking at a giant ship. A few minutes before the show, people in full dress began to swing from the different levels, jumping off of them without fear and climbing like they were born to do it.
The show started, and we were quickly amazed. Nate and I just kept awing over things to each other. I think our conversation went something like this:
"Oh my gosh."
We're great theatre reviewers aren't we?
A live ship rocked back and forth in the fog on stage. People jumped off of it and disappeared into the sea. Then we watched one of them sink into the ocean, and I thought we were all literally underwater.
But then wait, we were on a sandy beach, and a giant turtle, crab and sea star were there messing with the people on the beach.
And then the greatest thing I have ever seen happen in a theatre happened.
The stage tilted, and all the sand on the beach began to slide off --- to who knows where.
"What is happening?"
The sand slid and slid and slid until there was no more sand on the beach, and then what was a beach turned onto its side and stood up at an angle until it was a mountain that people were climbing. And then it turned into a sheer rock wall that people were sitting on!
Holy cow, this was the most awesome set I have ever seen in my life.
From shadow puppets to rappeling to giant wheel stunts --- this show was absolutely amazing.
(You can see the promo here https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/ka, but it doesn't do it justice.)
The only bad thing about the show was that we attended the 9:30 p.m. showing, but we forgot to take the time change into consideration. So throughout, I would look over and see Nate's eyes closed and rub his hand or gently nudge him to awaken him so he didn't miss it. Apparently he did the same thing to me.
Our friend Nate said he at one point looked over to his side and his wife, Nate and me asleep.
"Good use of our money," he said.
So even though we may have dozed once, or twice, or three times, this was the most amazing theatre production I've ever seen.
And I've seen "The Lion King" on Broadway.