#3…Visit somewhere in the US I’ve never been….CHECK

Don’t know if you all have heard, but I went to LAS VEGAS last week!  Ya I know, sorry I didn’t mention it before.  Weird.  Anyway.  It definitely lived up to the hype.  It was loud, sparkly, neon, hectic, hot, diverse, delicious, and different.  It was very, very different from anywhere I have ever been before.

Las Vegas has all the best components of some of the greatest places in America.  It is a big, loud, night-owl city like New York.  The people are very relaxed and friendly, similar to those in west coast cities like LA and San Fran.  It has the dry heat from places down south like Dallas.

It is a city in the middle of the dessert, literally popping up out of the ground, in a flat valley completely surrounded by towering red rock mountain tops.  The strip during the daytime is overwhelming.  I have been to NYC and seen towers that kiss the sky, but the strip is on a completely different level. On one side of the street there is a giant pyramid and an obelisk, while just a few 100 feet farther down the road is the empire state building, right across from the eiffel tower. At the very end is the Stratosphere, looming over everything in view.

The strip in the distance

 The strip at night is an entirely different situation.  I have never seen anything so vibrant and alive.  People flood the streets illuminated by the neon signs drawing you in to gamble, drink, and dance the night away.  We had the opportunity to view the strip all lit up at night from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris Hotel, and it was breath-taking.  Never will you see so many lights and so many people in one place.

The Strip from above

I love everything about Las Vegas.  I am defiantly a person who thrives during the night, so Vegas is the place for me.  There are more than enough ways to occupy yourself during the day time in Vegas, but it doesn’t truly come alive until the night time, raging along until the wee hours of the morning, pulsing with the passion of the people who fill its streets.

The heat, ohhhh the heat, the heat felt amazing.  It was about 75 and sunny during our trip, and the best thing was: the heat was dry.  It wasn’t the oppressive, suffocating heat of the North East.  It was a warm, drying sensation that tickled my skin and made me feel content and alive.

One of my favorite things about Vegas had to be the food!  Celebrity chefs from around the world flood to Vegas to showcase their talents and exercise their creativity.  You can find anything from delis, to tapas, to mexican, to anything you can imagine to eat on the strip.  We ate so much good food while in Vegas, and it will truly be one of the things I miss most.  I sampled grilled PB&J, fried macaroni and cheese sliders, the Bellagio Buffet, goat cheese pops, and so, so many other delectable delicacies.  Mmmm….I’m hungry just thinking about it again.

While I am most certainly very, very happy to be home (a 6 hour red eye will make anyone happy to be home) I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience Vegas.  I absolutely suggest that everyone visit at least once in their lives…it has something to offer for every.  In fact, it has too much to offer!  Not only did Ollie and I see a Titanic exhibition, visit a shark reef aquarium, see the Hoover Dam, walk along the grand canal, ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, stroll through the Roman Forum, and a million other things, and I still feel like we didn’t even make a dent in the list of things we want to experience in Vegas.

I have found that Vegas is essentially what you make it.  If you want it to be one big bender-it is.  If you’re looking to experience great foods and tastes-Vegas can be that for you too. If shows and exhibitions are your thing-Vegas is one big stage for you.  If you want it to be one big blackout that lands you married and/or in jail-I’m sure Vegas could accommodate you.  Vegas is a chameleon, constantly changing to meet the needs of the masses.

We tried desperately to stay an extra day but the flights were too expensive (we didn’t win big enough in the casinos to fund that), so we are already planning our return trip.

I love to travel, to see new places, and experience new things.  Unfortunately I haven’t had the time/money/money/money to travel as of late, so I am so glad I was able to take this trip (thank you Ollie for having a birthday so we could have an excuse to take a trip). I must say though, as much fun as we had, and as much as we saw and did, it always feels good to be home.


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