America’s Playground – Visiting Las Vegas & What to do There

Hey Sweeties,

It’s been a little while since my last #tbt post where I told you about my trips to New York City (here), but while I sit here shivering in my cold house I wanted reminding of hotter times and my holiday to Las Vegas sprung to mind!

Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas with my parents and Ian in October 2013 for a week and it was amazing. Las Vegas is one of those places where you can’t really explain it without actually going there yourself. The saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” couldn’t be more true but one of the things that people seem to assume is that all Las Vegas is good for is gambling. Yes there are casinos and slot machines littered up and down the strip and in all the hotels but -and believe me here- you can go to Vegas and not have to step into one single casino if you don’t want to, there is so much else to see and do, the trip guides really don’t do the place justice.

My parents have been a few times before (and since) -they just love the place! Ian and I hadn’t been before and aside from wanting to see everything we could, there were two main things Ian and I wanted to do -1. visit the Grand Canyon (ideally by helicopter) and 2. catch a show so we got these things planned and booked in straight away. This is also what I had budgeted most of my spending money for as unlike New York City, you don’t go to Las Vegas to shop, you go for experiences.

Unfortunately taking a helicopter flight out to the Grand Canyon was just too expensive  so we had to settle for a small plane. We were also visiting when most of the national parks were shut owing to some kind of strike -I know, great timing! But tours to the western rim of the Canyon were still taking place so the following day after booking we were picked up very early and taken by mini bus to the air base where all the tour flights for the canyon took off from. Once we were checked in we were soon on board a tiny little plane (and I mean tiny) and jetted off towards the Canyon! Woohoo!

Las Vegas

We were on a tour that took us to three visitor attractions but most people only stopped at two. The first was a small little Indian/cowboy ranch where you could ride out from on horse back (which I was gutted not to do to be honest), before making our way to the Canyon. To say the place is breathtaking is honestly, not even close to what you feel when you are stood looking out onto miles and miles and miles of open space. The place is utterly incredible and no words written here will ever do it justice. I strongly urge all of you to make this trip at least once in your lifetime!

Grand Canyon

grand canyon

Grand Canyon

For extra $ you could go onto the ‘Skywalk’… not one for those scared of heights!

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking places in the world!

The second thing Ian and I wanted to do was see a show and Ian was keen to see the Blue Man Group which we managed to do and was just fantastic. Again, like much of Vegas it’s hard to describe exactly what it is but essentially it’s three men dressed up in blue and they make music out of all these weird objects and things (Google it!). It’s quite bizarre but in equal proportion completely brilliant! Well worth catching if you can, I think they do tour elsewhere, not just Las Vegas!

When not visiting the Canyon, or seeing a show, the rest of your time should be spent walking up and down the strip going in and out of all the hotels, these are literally places in themselves. All the hotels are themed (all fantastically so) and inside there are shops, resaurants, aquariums in some cases and everything else you can imagine ( & not imagine) and visiting each of these can easily take up all your time not to mention make you feel that you are anywhere but in Vegas.

New York New York

Towards the end of the week, once we had done all the key things we wanted to do, we were left filling in the gaps such as, the rollercoaster outside of New York New York. Now, I am not great on rides and things but I’ll do them as long as they aren’t too ridiculous so without much thought we went on the rollercoaster. Never have I laughed so nervously the whole way round! Ian found me hilarious but rather than scream with terror I just laughed as we hurtled up, down and even upside down on this thing! Mental!

Las Vegas Rollercoaster

Word to the wise, always worth watching the rollercoaster before you go on it!

Las Vegas

By night, Las Vegas becomes something else, a real playground for adults! Some of the hotels put on special shows that repeat throughout the night (and day) and up and down the strip things that are invisible during the day come to life -look out for the exploding volcano! One of the most beautiful spectacular sights are the famous fountains outside of the Bellagio hotel -jets of water soar into the sky and dance to music! Doesn’t matter how many times you walk past, you can’t but not stop and watch the fountains do their thing. One of the evenings we were there my parents treated Ian and I to a meal at the Eiffel Tower restaurant and we were sat right by the window which had a birds eye view of the fountains. Beautiful!

Treasure Island Las Vegas

Las Vegas Fountains

The fountain shows are fantastic

An area that Ian really wasn’t keen on (understandably) were the wedding chapels that are situated at the very end of the strip in the older part of the town that I made him let me go and have a look at. These really have to be seen as they are classic Vegas and if you don’t think of gambling, you think of the little white chapel when you conjure up images of Las Vegas. If I had my way, I honestly would get married in one of them as I just think how funny and memorable! The place isn’t all sleeze and you could actually have a really good wedding day there if you mixed a chapel with one of the more expensive up market hotels. I was desperately trying to persuade my parents to renew their vows (in front of Elvis) but they were having none of it… pair of spoil sports!

Little White chapel

Who wouldn’t want to get married by Elvis?!

Reminding myself about this trip makes me all the more excited for my Trek America vacation in October this year where for a couple of days I will be going back to Las Vegas, but with a totally new group of people. This will mean I get a completely different experience of the place and I for one cannot wait!

Until next time x

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