When I planned a surprise weekend away for my husband Jae and myselfâ€”our first couples’ getaway in six yearsâ€”I chose a destination I’d spent a lifetime hearing about: Las Vegas. From countless sit-com scenarios to captivating travelogues, I had great expectations for Sin City.
Casinos, of course, with high-stakes gamblers wagering into the morning. Dazzling shows featuring magicians, glamorous showgirls and internationally renowned entertainers. Elvis impersonators on every street corner. Wedding chapels at every intersection.
Okay, maybe not chickens.
I really wasn’t looking for chickens in Las Vegas, honestly. It was our first afternoon there, and I was in the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas gift shops. There are quite a few locations, but this one was in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace.
I was looking for souvenirs to bring home for the kids, and it so happened that this particular store had an entire section for candy. Not that I was going to bring the kids candy, fully knowing that their stockings would soon be stuffed with treats. Still, one particular sweet caught my attention: gummi chicken feet.
I had just watched a program on Food Network in which chicken feet were a key ingredient. Sorry, not my cup of tea. And now here were gummi chicken feet, taunting me.
I asked one of the sales associates if people actually purchased these, given the dozens of other confections available. To my surprise, she told me they were one of their top selling sweets, after jelly beans.
She had no idea why. But she informed me that “everyone loves them.” Sure enough, as I looked through the keychains, magnets and T-shirts, I saw not one but four people buy these gummis.
I wasn’t one of them. But, as longtime readers know, I see chickens everywhere. And now my poultry sense was tingling, heightened and on the lookout for the chickens around Las Vegas.
Read more: There are chickens everywhere!
I didn’t have long to wait. The next morning, the Comedy on Deck tour we took to Hoover Dam stopped at historic Boulder City. There, just a block or so from the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, I had the second chicken encounter of my trip.
An egg encounter, actually.
Sculpted by artist Kimber Fiebiger, “Eggcited” features Humpty Dumpty sitting atop a stack of egg-related books, including “Unscrambling Taxing Problems” and “Off the Wall Thinking.” It was quite possibly the last type of statue I expected to see in a town that commemorates the heart-wrenching history of the Hoover Dam. But I suppose a little levity is always welcome.
After this, it was almost as if chicken-related items jumped out at me all around Vegas. There was the person dressed in a chicken suit standing outside Planet Hollywood, hoping to pose for photos for a handout. (I do believe that Captain America, the Flash, and Batman had better luck with the tourists.) There was Eggslut, a modern, egg-centric cafe located inside The Cosmopolitan. There was the blingy, brightly lit and blaring slot machine featuring flapping white chickens apparently laying golden eggs. (Sorry, no photos allowed inside the casinos.)
And then there was that fabulous pair of sterling-silver egg cups at Tiffany’s, for which I’d have to sell 360 dozen eggs in order to afford their purchase price.
On our last evening in Vegas, Jae and I strolled Las Vegas Boulevard. We took in all the lights and sights that the Strip has to offer. There is so much more to see and experience than what we managed to see during our three days there.
We want to go back, and not just to once again experience the sensational brilliance of the Strip. We also wish to discover the real Las Vegas beyond the boulevard: the one with nearby snow-capped peaks and red-rock canyons. The one where residents can keep backyard birds.
Yes, you can keep up to 10 hens even in the most densely populated residential districts of Las Vegas. I never would have even suspected this had I not struck up a conversation with the casino security guard who stopped me from taking a photo of that chicken slot machine. It turns out he and his wife keep a quartet of bantams in their backyard.
But then again, anything goes in Sin City, even chickens … although most Las Vegas visitors will think of the 6-foot-tall White Leghorn standing outside celebrity chef Richard Blais’ restaurant, The Crack Shack, rather than the backyard variety. Often decked out in local sports-team attire, the Crack Shack chicken is hard to miss.
We look forward to seeing itâ€”and other poultry points of interestâ€”the next time we visit.