And finally we hit Vegas.
We had a long drive from Arizona to Nevada covering a large part of the Mojave Desert. I loved that barren, hot, dry landscape. We have nothing like it in England.
How can I describe Vegas?- so many sights and sounds. It was alive and vibrant. Bright and loud. Elvis sums it up to perfection:
‘Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire…
We stayed in Fremont at the Golden Nugget. Situated north of the Las Vegas Strip in Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street was the city’s actual birthplace, and the Golden Nugget was one of Vegas’s first casinos. It features The Tank a 200,000-gallon shark tank aquarium, which you can take a ride through via its water slide. Unluckily for us this was closed for the season, so we didn’t get that chance.
The free light shows at Fremont Street Experience are a must-see in Las Vegas, involving a variety of light shows with high-resolution imagery and state-of-the-art, 600,000-watt, concert-quality sound. They were fabulous- on the hour, every hour from 6pm with last one at 2am.
We were about 2.5 miles away from the Strip, but travel was cheap, clean and safe on The Deuce buses. A three day travel card cost $20.
So over the next three days I covered most of The Strip. Below is a summary of each resort I went to, starting with New York, New York, my favourite.
Evoking New York in architecture and other aspects, it features downsized replicas of numerous city landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge.
Signature attractions are the Big Apple Coasters and Hershey’s Chocolate World. I also loved the Irish pub and other eateries in this resort. I really felt like I was in New York.
Paris was another favourite. ‘Experience everything you love about Paris, right in the heart of the Strip.’ https://www.caesars.com/paris-las-vegas I really felt like I was in Paris- especially hearing the bellboys shouting ‘allez, allez’.
And then there was Caesar’s Palace. One of Las Vegas’s largest and best known landmarks founded in 1966 by Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin, who sought to create an opulent facility that gave guests a sense of life during the Roman Empire. It is iconically Vegas. And iconically Elvis.
I’ve not been to Venice but I felt the Venetian was a very good second. It had singing gondoliers and bridges!
The Mirage has a volcano that erupts every evening on the hour.
Excalibur had colourful towers and was named for the mythical sword of King Arthur, boasting a medieval theme.
Finally the luxurious and decadent Bellagio with it’s beautiful fountains.
‘Inspired by the villages of Europe, Bellagio Resort & Casino overlooks a Mediterranean-blue lake with fountains performing a magnificent ballet. You’ll discover that when you slow down, the world will rush past you and leave you with a moment all to yourself.’
I was transfixed for that moment.
Vegas was a blast. Lost in the slot machines but that was OK. It definitely wasn’t the winning or loosing that counted. It was the experience, the moment.