Las Vegas is not my favorite destination. I don’t gamble, I don’t drink a lot, I prefer entertainment where people keep their clothes on, and I tend toward the miserly. That eliminates a lot of the popular attractions Vegas has to offer. Still, Vegas is a popular destination for other reasons as well. In our case, a lot of medical conferences occur there. It is also a stopping point on our way to other destinations.
Energy. Frantic. Frenzied atmosphere. Vegas is charged with action, crowds on the move, vibrant colors lighting the streets, music and advertisements drawing your attention at every turn. Casinos are full, with a minimum of 75% of everything spent going to the house. People come from every nation imaginable. Every shop (it seemed) is staffed by someone from another country.
Any kind of food you could possibly desire (for a price) is easily found; from the typical bar food, to the best of the best. We got to watch as team red and team blue had pictures taken outside of Gordan Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. We almost had dinner there, just to say we did. We even got as far as looking at the menu… And the prices… I’m sure the food is excellent.
Entertainment of all kinds can be purchased for “merely” half of the average week’s income. That’s all. Unfortunately, if you don’t have something planned for the evening, there isn’t a lot to do with your time.
As we navigated the strip, it felt a lot like I was in the middle of some cow herd, forced to move with the flow. At one point we witnessed the frantic desperation of a father, two children in tow, screaming at the top of his lungs and shoving through the crowd looking for his missing toddler. The crowd froze, all wanting to help, none knowing what to do. Thank God, this story had a happy ending when hotel security located the missing toddler.
I learned quickly that I am not the only woman who is more attractive NOT squeezed into that tiny black dress, and that I am not the only one who doesn’t know how to walk in high-high heels. Fortunately for me, I learned these lessons a while ago, so I was able to stroll in relative comfort, me in my comfy clothes and sandals. With traffic a constant stop and go, walking is the preferred and fastest mode of transportation.
My recommendation if you’re going to Vegas and feel like you must dress up: carry your heels and fancy dress in your fancy purse, then change when you arrive at your dress up destination.
Yeah, well. Told you I was an oddball in Vegas.
Some people claim that making prostitution legal in Vegas makes it safer for the prostitutes (health tests, less likely to have violent pimps) and decreases the chance of sex-trafficking. I am not persuaded. Making it legal to make money selling a woman’s body only protects the money makers, not the woman. (click here) Along the sidewalks we encountered an uncomfortable number of women imitating Janet Jackson at half time, with a few feathers tucked in, and an equal number of men displaying their muscular torsos. From accents overheard, many of these people are from Eastern European countries. The phrases “sex-trafficking” and “coercion” yell into my subconscious. It breaks my heart that this is considered an okay thing. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. You wish. Or maybe you don’t.
There are some things I enjoy. Some of the hotels are magnificent buildings meant to make you feel like you have travelled to another country. It almost works. I love strolling alongside the canals of Venice, listening to Italian tenors serenading their passengers as they navigate their gondola through the water. The ceilings are painted to resemble the sky just before sundown, and shops are disguised as a Tuscan village overlooking canals, fountains and graceful Greek sculptures.
I can (and did) spend hours strolling through the various art shops. Unfortunately, I must look like someone interested in spending a crazy amount of money (did I mention I tend toward miserly?) or perhaps I look untrustworthy. I always seem to acquire a tail in the form of a very attentive and highly informative personal guide giving me every detail of information I could possibly desire on every single art piece in the store. It’s amazing how much you can learn that you had no desire to learn.
Shows. Vegas is known for some amazing shows. Cirque du Solei has permanent, and thus elaborate, stages and most are worth the high ticket price. O, Mystere, and Ka are physical and musical astonishments. They have a Beatles show for those who are major Beatle fans, and one for Michael Jackson fans. While we appreciate some of their songs, our fanship isn’t sufficient to pay out Cirque prices to watch. Zumanity’s reviews persuaded us it wasn’t our style of show. Blue Man Group is also up there on my list of worth while entertainment.
Our one show on this trip was to see Ray Romano’s comedy show. I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. The evening was over way too soon. Good show—and the man has an excellent vocabulary. 😉
Our last afternoon, I was hungry for Middle Eastern food. Everything close to the strip was either fast food or minimum of $85/person, but we did find a place with good reviews about 2 miles away. Pulling up the menu, we discovered it even had fatoush salad. I love fatoush salad. Have I mentioned we like to walk?
We are the only people I know that can take off on a walk for lunch and get back in time for dinner. On the way, we discovered the Nevada Atomic museum. It’s worth the stop. The Las Vegas area likes toying with things that can kill you. During the era of bomb testing, tourism encouraged folks to don their special glasses and sit up on the hill to watch the mushroom cloud in the distance. REALLY?
I’m sure there’s some prime real estate on some fallout layered hillsides for sale. Anyone interested?
I can’t remember traveling anyplace I couldn’t enjoy, but some destinations remind me how fortunate am to live elsewhere.