Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Las Vegas!

Our first destination in our family trip was the city of sin. This was going to be only my second time to this city. My first visit was in 9th grade for a marching band competition, so I wasn't exactly taking the city up on any of its unique charm :). This time around, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Sure, I was 22 now, past that magic age of 21, but am not really into the wild drinking/gambling scene. In fact, I haven't yet delved into the gambling facet of the post-21 age.

So, we arrived after a 4ish hour drive at New York, New York.

It was my younger sister's first trip here, so we were both trying to wrap our heads around this disneyesque world of recreated wonders. From the outside, the New York was our favorite of the hotels in our area. It's pretty cool from the outside, complete with skyscrapers, the brooklyn bridge, and the statue of liberty. The bright sun reflected off the buildings and made the already intense heat just a little bit stronger.

However, as soon as we stepped through those doors, it was nighttime. We were affronted with black ceilings and walls and rows upon rows of slot machines. Though it was only 2:30, it might as well have been 10:30 for how it looked inside. We guessed that the decor was done this way so people didn't feel weird drinking and gambling in the early hours of the day.

Our room was on the 23rd floor,

meaning that we had a pretty darn spectacular view of the strip from our windows. While that was great, we found that the darkness of the downstairs decor had followed us to the bedroom. While the decorations were modern and somewhat classy, the room itself just seemed very dark. After a quick cleansing rinse in the shower, we were off to explore the strip, going through excalibur, and the luxor

(where we tried to see an exhibit on the titanic, but it was closed) and finally to mandalay bay. We stopped there for drinks (I had the risque choice of apple juice because I was feeling a bit dehydrated) and then took a tram back to our hotel. We relaxed for a bit then headed down to dinner at el fornaio, which was in our hotel.

Next, we did was was unquestionably the highlight of the vegas experience- an Elton John concert :)

Having grown up listening to songs like crocodile rock, this was really exciting. I've never really gone to any kind of concert besides the classical variety, so this was really fun. The show was great, Elton was great, and the props were...well...great, if also quite over the top.

After the show we walked down the strip where at least every block there were people propositioning men to go to some kind of sleezy thing involving women. We did get to catch the water show at the bellagio,

which was beautiful, but we were glad to get back.

The next morning we slept in until about 8:30, grabbed breakfast, and somewhat gladly said goodbye to vegas. My sister and I decided that 1/2 a day was more than enough to take in the grandeur and glitz of vegas without becoming too overwhelmed. This city is certainly an experience, and we also had an amazing time with the concert and a good dinner. However, we were ready to leave.

I was excited to get onto the more nature-y part of our trip as we went onto Zion :)

2 trips down to vegas, and I've still never gambled...


Jean said...

Cool, sounds like a great trip. I will bet the Elton John concert was excellent! I have never been to Vegas myself, but it looks and sounds like a lot of fun!

Sarah said...

I go to a conference held every other year in Vegas. But, yeah, a 1/2 day is really all I can take too. : )