A no-holds barred look at Las Vegas, good and bad.
|The afternoon was humid but clear. Las Vegas seemed quiet, even for a Saturday. We checked into the hotel and thought we had become royalty. Our luggage was picked up and saved for later room service. We didn’t have to carry anything.
If anyone thinks Las Vegas is just a nice quiet town they are severely mistaken. Not only was the casino (since everyone knows every hotel has a casino) loud with the sound of well…money, and after coughing my way to the elevator, I promptly got lost in the maze and outright size of the casino. Good thing we didn’t have to carry that luggage!
I was here for a conference. But I should have known that all these distractions would definitely cause me to miss a lot. We saw three shows: Celine Dion’s A New Day at Caesar’s Palace, Blue Man Group Live at the Luxor, and Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo. I tell you if you don’t know it already, Las Vegas is about the shows not the gambling in my book. You can gamble at any old Native American casino. But you cannot see three distinctive and BIG shows like I did in a week.
Don’t get me wrong, Vegas has its faults. For one, not enough people realize that Las Vegas is not for kids. It is not family friendly at all. I don’t care what anyone else, including Las Vegas itself says. Do not bring your kids to Las Vegas! (unless you are prepared to explain a lot later). Las Vegas is a sensual city. Billboards announce topless reviews with unabashed graphic description, leaflets and newspapers sell porn, sex, and prostitution. Distributors shove these items into your hands even into hands of families. Even shows (such as Celine’s and Lance Burton’s) have sexually suggestive material in them. Now you can argue that a lot of people do bring children, but be warned.
However, if you’re an adult without children and you want to satisfy some of your vices, this is the place. Gamble till you’re in debt. Drink at all hours. Join those visitors who carry margaritas proudly down The Strip.
I didn’t even take one picture in the city. I rebelled after convincing myself that the city was nothing but facades and bigger wasn’t better at all. It is after all, only facades and fake scenery. But still, Las Vegas isn’t just that. I know that. I still enjoyed myself.
I saw two world-class museum exhibits (albeit at outrageous prices) at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Guggenheim Hermitage at the Venetian. I couldn’t believe the educational and visual masterpieces of the Monet exhibit and the Egyptian treasures exhibit. I would recommend them both to anyone, children included. There is nothing quite like experiencing art at this caliber to make you forget you are in a city of excess.
We splurged and spent $110 at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill (Caesar’s Palace). Where it just was not worth it. The food is creative and there is plenty of fish for the fish lover but the taste was below average and the price exorbitant. A much better deal is the eateries in the Excalibur or even the older hotels. In fact, that leads us to one of the better deals in Las Vegas…
The older hotels such as the Stardust, Riviera, Sahara and even Harrah’s are fantastic deals. Not only on player cards but on rooms and meals as well. Don’t expect frills or the modern, beautiful, excessive hotel stuff here but do accept the hospitality and good deals. I would also recommend the Stratosphere and Terrible’s which probably outshines them all.