Sorry for the extended hiatus. The Mrs. and I took a well deserved and long overdue vacation. Since the peanut will be arriving in 3 months or so, we figured this was our last chance to travel by ourselves for the next few years. So to relax, we went to Las Vegas. It was an educational experience.

We’ve been to Vegas twice. Once on our honeymoon and once when we moved from the Northwest to the East Coast. Both times we went for one reason and one reason only – Cirque du Soleil. We saw O when it was the only show there and fell in love with the costumes, acrobatics, and jaw-dropping sets. Our next trip was to see Mystere and it was very enjoyable as well. If you’ve come this far and have no idea what I’m writing about, do yourself a favor and see a Cirque show. Trust me.

This time, being as we don’t see many trips to Vegas in our future, we saw every new Cirque show – three of them. Zumanity is Cirque’s ‘adults only’ show, Love is the history of the Beatles set to their music, and Ka is a story of separated twins with martial arts inspired acrobatics. We came in with high expectations and left a little disappointed.

Zumanity is Cirque’s burlesque show – not much plot, few clothes, and some twisted humor. It was the funniest of the three shows we saw, as long as you can appreciate some adult humor.

Love was a huge letdown. We were expecting Cirque-style excitement set to Beatles music. This was a shortened Beatles concert with Cirque costumes. I imagine that if you grew up with the Beatles and have memories tied to their songs, it’s a good show. The music was good, but that’s about all we took from it. It’s the first Cirque show that the Mrs. or I could be in – the others are too acrobatically or contortionally involved for us to even think about attempting. In this one, we could have been one of the umbrella twirlers.

Ka is perhaps the future of Cirque, for better or worse. In previous shows we’ve seen, there is a plot but it’s very loose and so hard to follow. That doesn’t detract from the show because of the acrobatics. Ka however has a much more coherent plot at the expense of the jaw-dropping-heart-pounding acts. Ka seemed to be more theatre than circus. There were two acts that the Mrs. and I thought met our expectations – 1) a fight scene on a nearly vertical stage that, just to make things interesting, it also rotating. 2) a guy on top of a 15′ hamster wheel that’s rotating on a spinning arm 90′ off the floor – jumping rope, sumersaulting, and other insanities without one of those nice safety harnesses some of the other people get. I guess he drew the short straw. My heart was in my throat with some of the things he was doing.

I’d recommend Zumanity and Ka to anyone going to Vegas, but only see Love if you’re into the Beatles. We have now seen all the Las Vegas Cirque shows and probably won’t go back unless another one crops up.

Also on this trip we indulged ourselves with a massage. Not one of those aqua massage booths you find in airports, but a true spa experience that included herbal teas, white bathrobes, and soft music. I was surprised that I could relax while being rubbed by a woman who wasn’t my wife…while naked under a towel. I was also surprised that my favorite part was getting my knee-caps massaged. Really, it was the best part. (The Mrs. is dying of laughter right now. – Ed). The only time I wasn’t relaxed was when the masseuse grabbed my wrist to massage my hand. For some reason I tensed up. The same thing happened to the Mrs. during her special prenatal massage. I wonder where that reaction comes from?

Like I said, this trip was educational.