Las Vegas

Las Vegas: How about that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City… As we drove down the strip on our way to our hotel we realized that all the stereotypes of Vegas were spot on: the heat, the lights, the vulgar but awesome structures, the Elvis wedding chapels, and the hedonism that seeps out of every corner. There were also slot machines EVERYWHERE, from gas stations to liquor stores and hotel lobbies. We were excited. Checking in to the MGM Grand was an experience in itself- it felt more like an airport check-in than a hotel, with 20 lines 10 people deep and a 500 inch TV screen behind the desks blaring out the latest music videos.

Light show in the front of the Mirage Hotel & Casino

On our first night we stayed mostly within the MGM complex because we were afraid of the heat. After eating dinner and losing a few singles in the slot machines, we went back to our room briefly before heading out.  Suddenly, as we were taking in the view from our window of Paris, New York and the other famous sites, the power went out in the entire hotel. We thought we were on the set of Oceans Eleven with someone trying to heist the casino vault! Unfortunately we think it was the result of some construction mishap, but you never know…

Paris, Las Vegas style

The next day we braved the heat and hung out by the pools at the hotel, particularly enjoying the continuous lazy river on our tubes with frozen margaritas in hand. Later on we went to a great Italian restaurant called Dal Toro at the Palazzo.  The best part of this restaurant (and I don’t mean to belittle the food, because it was excellent) was the unobstructed view of the show at the Treasure Island hotel across the street. The tall ships, crewed by scantily clad men and women, battled fiercely until one of the ships actually started to sink. The special effects and the choreography were spectacular.

High roller at the casino… in case you can’t see, that’s a voucher for $5.50. Solid win

After dinner we went to a comedy show at Harrah’s hotel, which was hilarious—Dicken got called out for being his British self… why does he still have an accent after 5 years in the states? Then we traversed our way down the strip, taking in all the sights and stopping at the famous hotels such as Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio and Paris.  Everywhere we went was extremely elaborate and impressive, from the gondolas in the canal outside the Venetian to the indoor Parisian market at Paris; Vegas really is a Disney World for adults. Although neither of us are big gamblers, or more to the point, can’t afford to be big gamblers, we tried our luck on the blackjack tables and to our surprise had a little bit of success!  All in all it was a very cool experience.

With our wallets dented and energy drained, we continued west for the last time on our trip…


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