Monday, January 12, 2009

VIVA LAS VEGAS!!









I'm back from my travels Stateside and I have to say... I wanna go back!!!
I have had the time of my life in Las Vegas and then New York. Wow... what a place! No matter what I saw on TV or through the Americans that I met before I went, nothing prepared me for the amazing place that it is. The people are the friendliest and most genuine I have ever met and I would love to move over there!
Las Vegas was another world in itself. Each hotel was like a mini city - huge in every way and so impressive (or should I say 'awesome'?). I was expecting serious tackiness and I hardly saw that at all. Yes, there were a couple of places that were a tad on that side but the majority were simply beautiful - they took my breath away. We walked for miles and miles and we were there for two weeks but we still didn't get the chance to see it all.
The New York New York Hotel and Casino boasted its' own mini statue of liberty and roller coaster (no... I didn't have a go!) and inside was like taking a walk through the city itself.
The same goes for The Paris - beautiful.
I loved the MGM purely for the stunning lions that were there throughout the day. They had a purpose built area that was sound proof and smell proof so that they remained calm and comfortable while there.
One of the most beautiful, and well known hotels, was the Bellagio. Every quarter (or half) an hour, the fountains came to 'life', dancing to music so that everyone in the streets could watch. It was simply stunning.
The Venetian had its own canals, where you could ride a gondola, while the gondoliers sang to you (a little embarrassing, I guess, so we just watched!). Also there, was an exact replica of St. Marks Square - unbelievable!
Caesars Palace was by far the most impressive of all hotels and casinos. It was absolutely enormous and the attention to detail was exquisite. It's hard to describe just how beautiful it was.
The Stratosphere is a must see! Soaring more than 100 floors upwards, the views from atop were breathtaking, and not only that... there were terrifying rides up there!! I was nervous just watching people climb aboard them. I even shiver now, at the thought! The photos above sum them up!
Venturing out of Las Vegas, we hired a car and sat nav (we called her Sheila), and headed for the Grand Canyon. Sheila took us two hours in the wrong direction! And then when we were on the right road, we had to travel 21 miles on a dirt track. Bear in mind that it had also been snowing, it was a bit icy (and dicy!). We eventually got there, excited at the prospect of seeing one of the wonders of the world.
However, we would be disappointed. We chose the West Rim because of the newly built Sky Walk (where you could step out onto a glass ledge to see the depth of this impressive site). Once there, we had to pay 20 dollars to park the car. Then we had to take a bus to the canyon - another 30 dollars EACH. Once there, the main view had been blocked by the construction of what appeared to be some kind of hotel at the Sky Walk. And if we wanted to go on the Sky Walk, we had to pay another 20 or 30 dollars EACH! Obviously we could see part of the canyon but were told it had been completely spoiled. We were very disappointed to have wasted so much money. If we ever go again, we have decided to go on a helicopter tour instead - at least then we will be able to see unobstructed views of this awesome site.
The Hoover Dam was also on our list of must-sees and we weren't disappointed there. It was fantastic! A new motorway was being built across it and so it was pretty incredible to see that! Pretty terrifying too, to imagine the workers up there!
I'm sure you're beginning to get the picture now just how amazed I was by everything there was to see at Vegas. It's somewhere I would recommend everyone visit at some time in their lives. I'm sure I'll be back!
I'll tell you all about New York later!