OK, I’ll admit it: I’m a snob. Why would I want to visit a replica of the Eiffel tower when I’ve been to the real one?
Vegas is full of replicas! Everything is fake – from the Sphinx to the Coliseum, to the Elvis(es) that troll the strip. But, having accepted this tacky truth, I was ready to go and have fun. And I sure did!
Is Vegas my favourite travel destination? Alas, no. But it’s hot, uninhibited, and only 2 and a half hours from Calgary. Best of all: Vegas has something for all ages and preferences. There’s so much more than Blackjack!
Here are some of my “crib” notes. Enjoy!
I stayed at the Luxor. Although it’s not quite as far north on Las Vegas Blvd as I would have liked, it was still easy to walk to the other hotels and spots of interest on the famed “strip”. With restaurants, night clubs, a casino, pools and a spa all under one (giant, black, pyramid-shaped) roof, there was hardly any reason for me to leave the hotel. I stayed from Sunday to Friday, and was able to get a stellar rate - $39 per night! However, if I had stayed on a Friday or Saturday night, the rate would have increased at least three-fold.
Rollercoaster! I rode the rollercoaster at New York New York, and I have to say that it’s really not as scary as it looks. In fact, my sister, an avid rollercoaster rider, used the term “lame” to describe it. While I wouldn’t go that far, I would say that with only one upside-down loop, its fear factor is somewhere between the "Mindbender" at West Edmonton Mall, and an actual cab ride in NYC.
Zumanity! I’d never seen a Cirque Du Soleil show before, and now I’m a huge, huge fan. Zumanity is marketed as the “sensual side of Cirque”, but it was that and much more. I whole-heartedly recommend it for both singles and couples. Guaranteed to spice up your trip! There’s no need to buy tickets in advance. Save money by buying them (sale priced!) on the strip. I bought my ticket a few hours before the show and was able to get a fabulous seat.
Shopping! Skip the Miracle Mile. I checked it out, and found that most of the stores there are also at my local mall, here in Calgary. Instead, head to the outlets. There are great brands, and really great prices. However, if you’re not planning on leaving the strip, then check out Ross. Imagine a Winners store, but with better brands and lower prices. 5 new pairs of shoes is my testament to the fact that the sales are tremendous (ask me about my teal Ralph Lauren loafers)!
Stripper 101! The upside: an authentic Vegas stripper – er, uh, “entertainer” – told me that I had a great swagger. The downside: I spent the remainder of my vacation with bruises lining my knees, inner thighs, and forearms. The verdict: yes, spend the $40 for an hour of instruction, but go easy! Pole dancing (as I’ve discovered) actually is hard work.
Vegas truly does have something for everyone. If you’d like to know more about Vegas or any other travel destination, visit your local library branch. We’ve got guidebooks, maps, DVDs and more!