Lost in the Lights of Vegas!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, January 26, 2012

We cruised down Route-66 and 6-hours (pit stop for shopping and Starbucks) and 250-miles after leaving the Grand Canyon we were passing the ‘Hoover Dam’ and hitting the infamous ‘Las Vegas Boulevard’ - a.k.a. THE Strip! We had now entered the desert state of Nevada where we have spent the last 4-spectacularly-hectic-nights.
Vegas baby! 
Where do I begin… 18 of the worlds largest hotels, all in competition for flamboyancy and novelty value. From the ‘Oceans 11’ water-fountain show at the ‘Bellagio,’ to the erupting volcano at the ‘Mirage.’ Lion habitats inside the ‘MGM Grand,’ roller-coasters whizzing through ‘New York, New York,’ endless flashing lights, shows on offer, live music, impersonators, and other temptations to part you from your money
You can ride up the ‘Eiffel Tower’ in Paris, gaze at the ‘Statue of Liberty’ in New York, and then be serenaded on a gondola ride in Venice. All in one street! The possibilities are endless. Anything can be purchased for a price, it is truly an adult paradise playground. And I haven’t even mentioned the gambling opportunities, or the infinite themed bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, and market-stalls. Phew.
The experience of Vegas is everything I had hoped for and more, no disappointments. I expected a lot of brashness and tack, and whilst it may be true to some degree the strip is kept immaculately clean, safe, and has an air of sophistication. We encountered a lot of drunken people (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em) but there was no trouble. Everyone from the street performers, waiters, casino personnel, shop assistants, dancing girls, and tourists were extremely friendly, helpful, and generally high on the Vegas-vibe. Along with a few other stimulants in some cases. It is a brilliantly crazy and fun-filled place where you will never get around to doing everything you set out to, and always wish you had one more day. 
It’s also impossible to not be happy in Vegas, and I spent a lot of my time dancing and singing my way down the strip to varying songs being blasted out. The place is addictive. We stayed in a ‘Travelodge’ ideally located opposite Gucci and the Bellagio (nice) but my favourite hotel has to be the stunning ‘Caesars Palace’ in all its Roman splendour with extravagant towers, fountains, and statues. Seriously impressive and ridiculously grand. Then there was ‘Excalibur’ and its striking mock medieval castle with drawbridge and fairground rides. Thrills and glamour.
Casino-wise it has to be the ‘MGM Grand’ as I had my biggest win of $26 (TWENTY-SIX DOLLARS) there and then spent it all on pic ‘n mix. We also learnt about the ‘free drink system’ at the MGM when a waitress brought the drinks we’d ordered over to our slot machines and then never returned. We waited and waited for her to come back so we could get the bill and move on, and eventually had to ask another waitress nearby. Obviously she thought I was completely foolish as the drinks are complimentary and you’re just supposed to tip the waitress (no wonder she didn’t come back). Anyway, after free wine was on the agenda the rest of the night only became funnier!
The variety of food does not disappoint either, and we ate everything from pizza, to Chinese, to burritos, to the most fabulous meal at an English Pub in the ‘CityCenter.’ Some of the best restaurants in the country are in Vegas and the choices are overwhelming, with ‘Caesars Palace’ alone having 11 restaurants. Not to mention the quantity of Starbucks, with at least two in each of the big hotels/casinos and copious others found in the food courts and shopping centres. Now that’s what I call paradise! 
My favourite moment has to be watching the famous 'Fountains of Bellagio' with more than 1000 choreographed fountains, lights, and music, from the top of the half-scale replica 'Eiffel Tower' which straddles the ‘Arc de Triomphe.’ So beautiful, the sparkling views were spectacular. The gondola ride in the ‘Venetian’ down the ‘Grand Canal’ while being sang to by our very own gondolier. Very cute. Then there was the erupting ‘Mirage’ volcano that spewed out water and fire into a huge lagoon below every 15-minutes, exciting and most impressive.
On our last night we watched the ‘Beatles Tribute’ show at the ‘Saxe Theatre’ in the ‘Miracle Mile Shops’ at ‘Planet Hollywood Resort.’ It was BRILLIANT. I love the Beatles as much as the next person and when they opened with ‘Hard Days Night’ the whole crowd joined in and were soon on their feet. The whole 1.5-hour show was live and they sang all the Beatles classics impeccably. Really entertaining. 

Unfortunately our time in Vegas came to a sharp end when our alarm woke us up at 6AM this morning for our flight to Chicago. So we said our goodbyes to Vegas, dropped off our little Chevy, and are currently 2-hours down on route to the “windy city.” 
Vegas is SO much more than a Strip stuffed full of slot-machines, it is the entertainment industry at its finest. There’s no place like it. 
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