Vegas Baby!

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vegas was the next stop on our trip and definitely a good place to visit before we were on too much of a budget. As we landed we knew we had arrived in a place that perceives everything slightly differently, as there are even slot machines in the airport! The whole city is completely ridiculous, over-the-top and exactly how you would picture it from the movies. Everything is flashy and bright and it is all about either money or sex.

We stayed at the Mirage which was unbelievable. They try and make it so that you don't leave the hotel so there are tons of restaurants, pools, bars, clubs and obviously a sprawling casino. There was even a 'volcano’ out in the front which put on explosion shows every half hour in the evening and a ‘big cat’ zoo (with white tigers) and a dolphin pool out the back. And our rooms were so cool! They were also hosting the National Rodeo Championship which was completely crazy. Half the guests were these real cowboys with the whole family in matching jeans, checked shirts, big belts and cowboy hats. It was incredible and they even had a night of line dancing.

Each hotel is absolutely massive and you can walk for ages around each one and only manage to see two or three of them. The Bellagio looked a bit more fancy than the others and had a really impressive fountain show. Caesar’s Palace was huge and I think the most impressive with everything modelled on ancient Rome. We watched the Lion King show at Mandalay Bay, which was really fantastic and lots of fun.

We tried our hand at gambling but started believing that all the games are rigged because none of us one anything, besides Zia who won $150 on the slot machines. Roulette was even worse because they sneak in a 00 block just to mess you around even more. But we were quite controlled compared to some people and you knew there were some addicts when you saw them while on your way to breakfast still sitting at the tables with a glass of whiskey in hand. It is definitely the kind of place that would be great fun to visit with a group of friends and you need to be happy to write off quite a few dollars in the name of fun. It’s a city you have to visit at least once just so you can be part of your own little movie-land.

We took a flight to the Grand Canyon which was amazing. We flew over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and very bleak desert landscape before catching a glimpse of the canyon dropping away. The canyon was extremely beautiful and the size, colours and depth are breathtaking. The funny thing about visiting it is that there are no guard rails or safety signs and you can stand right on the edge of this huge drop which is a bit scary and not typical of America. It’s also strange because it is such an amazing place but you get the feeling that they aren’t really making the most of it with the facilities and infrastructure not quite being up to scratch. Apparently that is because it is part of an Indian reserve and they are in charge of it but expect everything to be done for them rather than take any action themselves. We even saw real Red Indians, or Native Americans I should say, dressed up in the full feathered kit and with tepees and everything. It definitely goes down as indescribable, and that’s not an exaggeration, and the surrounding scenery is really stunning in a way that only deserts can be.
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