"Leave the gun, take the cannoli..." No, I don't speak Godfather, if that's what you're thinking.
For the uninitiated - "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" - is a line from Francis Ford Coppola's epic movie "The Godfather". Peter Clemenza said it to Rocco Lampone after killing Paulie Gatto, as they were about to leave the murder scene.
The impact of the movie was such that over the years, this particular line has been quoted and parodied in other movies and TV shows - and not forgetting, inserted into daily conversations (hence, the term speaking Godfather).
Confession: I don't remember the line "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" from "The Godfather". Truth is, the first time I ever became aware of the line was while watching Nora Ephron's romantic-comedy "You've Got Mail" (and now you know the types of movie I prefer...)
In You've Got Mail, Joe Fox explained to Kathleen Kelly that The Godfather is like the I-Ching, it is the sum of all wisdom - and has the answer to all our questions. If one were to ask, "What should I pack for my summer vacation?" obviously the answer would be "Leave the gun, take the cannoli..."
And so, the term "cannoli" stuck in my head since You've Got Mail. Since it was associated to a gun in the movie line and mentioned in a mobster movie, cannoli must be some kind of a firearm.
I was in Arizona recently for work - and my colleagues took me for dinner at this Italian-American restaurant called Buca di Beppo.
At that moment of enlightenment I learnt that cannoli is actually a tubular-shaped pastry dessert with no resemblance whatsoever to any weapons of destruction - except that if you eat too much of it at one time, you'd probably become sick...!
And, the only thing the cannoli has in common with the mafioso is that they both hailed from Sicily, Italy.
Anyway, for those of you You've Got Mail fans that might have spent years thinking that cannoli is some variation of a gun - this article is for you.
The "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" clip from The Godfather:
It was our last day in Arizona. Hannah decided that we had spent enough time in meetings and the outlet visits, and that it was imperative that we experience the Wild Wild West before we go back.
And so, off we went to Apache Junction, where Goldfield is, for a dose of ghost town experience.
We had lunch at the Mining Camp Restaurant, which was a few minutes away from Goldfield. While I can't say much about the food, I thought the live band was memorable. It was enjoyable listening to the bluegrass/western music and lyrical songs from the resident artists, the McNasty Brothers.
I've watched enough western and cowboys movies and TV series to know what to be expected of a typical mining town. So, to be honest, I was kind of skeptical about visiting Goldfield at first.
But Goldfield was a pretty entertaining visit, I must say. The buildings - saloon, shops, church, post office, etc. - were replicated to the exact details, a reminder of how things were back then in the 1890s, when Goldfield was a booming gold mining town.
I can't share about the rides because we didn't do any. What I did mostly was walk up and down the Main Street, taking photos of the buildings, artifacts, and the beautiful cactus and ocotillo.
From Goldfield, Superstition Mountains looked amazing. It was a sunny day, the light was great, and the sky the clearest blue. Superstition Mountains stood out amidst the skyline and the Arizona desert. At that point, I haven't heard about the mountain and the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine legend.
Of course, just like the good tourists we were, we had our antique photo taken at Time after Time. We posed with sling guns, ponchos, parasols, hats and all - sans smiles!
Apparently, in those days, photographs were taken with somber, serious looks. Anyhow, looking at us Asians in the western lady/cow girl garbs reminded me of Shanghai Noon!
After much walking - we stopped at Miner's Grill and Ice Cream Parlour. The root beer plus vanilla ice cream were cooling and invigorating as promised. A refreshing finale to our visit back into the old West.
Don't you just love this scene from "Ocean's Eleven"?
Personally, it's one of my favorite scenes from the trilogy. I love how the camera pans slowly to show us the earnest looks, half smiles and almost grins. As the water moves gracefully in front of the Bellagio with Claire De Lune playing in the background, the men celebrate friendship and their sweet success silently, no words needed.
The fountains of Bellagio is a famous backdrop to movies set in Las Vegas. When I was there, I managed to catch the Bellagio Fountains show twice - once during the day, and the other time at night. And each time, a different experience.
The show is free. Depending on the day of the week and the time of the day, its frequency ranges from every 15 to 30 minutes. To watch the show, you only need to be at the viewing area on time. On second thoughts, be there slightly earlier to get yourself a good spot!
Of course, unlike the Ocean's gang, you won't get the whole place to yourself, ever! You'd be sharing the experience with tens (if not hundreds) of others, every time. Nonetheless, just immerse yourself in this grand ensemble of choreography, light and music and, you'll find that time stands still as the water dances.
I saw all manner of characters as I walked along the Strip...
From horror fictional characters like Frankenstein, to super heroes like the Iron Man and Wonder Woman. I also bumped into Hello Kitty, Astro Boy, and the Super Mario Brothers. Along the way, I stopped and exchanged smiles with the show girls, beautiful in their dancing attire.
Night and day, dozens of costumed characters work on the sidewalks of the major resorts along the Strip. If you see them, you can stop and take photographs with them with some amount of tip.
So, the next time you're at the Las Vegas Strip, maybe you can take a selfie with Frankenstein, or your favorite Avenger?