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The ''man made'' Meadow
Nov 04, 2003 04:03 AM 3525 Views
(Updated Nov 04, 2003 04:40 AM)

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Like the adage, magicians never tell, gamblers also never tell – whether they have lost or gained. It is something to do with gamblers luck or lack of it.


Las Vegas in Spanish means “the Meadow”. This is in fact a man made meadow. A visit to Las Vegas convinced me of the enterprising spirit of mankind – set in harsh desert climate and surrounded by dry arid mountains – Las Vegas has been converted to a beautiful place with lots of greenery, plenty of water and brilliantly lit up during the night.


Where to stay ?


Like all roads in France leads to Paris, all roads in Las Vegas leads to the Las Vegas Blvd which is also called as “The Strip”. A three mile stretch houses one of the best architected hotels in the world. With a family – the best place to stay is Circus Circus. The rooms are reasonably priced between $60 and $100 – be sure to book in advance and the best time would be during the week days – as weekends tends to become very crowded. Circus Circus is at the northern end of the Strip.


What to see and How to do it ?


Each hotel cum resort cum casino has been built up on a theme and one can easily spend hours just by going from hotel to hotel.


Parking is plenty and free at all the hotels. The best way to move around is to drive to one of the major hotels and visit the resorts cum casinos which are in the vicinity.


Plan to stay at least for 3 days. Here is a proposed 3 days plan.


Day 1:


The first stop is the MGM Grand. This hotel is huge and has excellent interior decorations – the lion symbols are interwoven into the architecture and the tapestry. Do not miss seeing the lion habitat – where one can see two lions – majestic looking – from very close quarters. Next to MGM is the M&M Factory with all types of M&M chocolates from all over the world – four stories of childish delight.


Walk across by the over bridge to the nearby New York New York hotel which has a NY theme and has the famous landmarks of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.


There is an internal passageway which leads into Excalibur. The Excalibur has been designed using King Arthur’s theme. Has a very medieval looking aura.


A tram ride (free) will take you to Luxor. This is based on the Egyptian civilization and has a huge Pyramid and Sphinx at the entrance. At night – a beam of light emanates from the tip of the sphinx, which is visible from space. The Luxor has a tall obelisk standing in the front with Egyptian characters – a must watch. Inside – there are statues of pharaohs and mummies – gives a very authentic look.


The Mandalay Bay is based on a tropical island theme complete with an artificial sea, waves and a beach. Amazing…Do not miss the sharks reef which is a huge theme park with all types of sharks and marine animals. Give at least two hours to go through the reef.


During the evening hours there are three show which are not to be missed.


* The dancing fountains of Bellagio. Architecturally the Bellagio is very majestic and elegant looking from the outside. During the evening hours, the area in front of the Bellagio gets lit up with fountains which dance to lilting music – a must watch. Inside – it houses a conservatory – with flowers and vegetables – it gives the feeling of strolling in a garden.


* The Volcano Eruptions in the Mirage. During the day time this is a fountain and during the night – it spews volcanic ash every fifteen minutes. The Mirage is built on a tropical theme and has a huge aquarium forming a backdrop to the registration desk – truly magnificent. Inside the hotel there is a huge life like tropical forest including the sounds.


* Next to Mirage is the Treasure Island– a buccaneer kind of spirit where one can see live pirates battling a ship. Gives an authentic display of high sea adventures of bygone era.


Day 2:


Start the day with a visit to the Ceasar’s Palace. Personally this is the best hotel on the Strip. This was the oldest theme hotel in LV and it has managed to retain its grandeur. The entrance is unique with a statue of Julius Ceasar hailing a cab. Inside one can see statues of David, Cleopatra, Julius and several other characters from Greek mythology – very elegant and very grand.


The next stop is Alladin which has an Arabian Nights theme – the best part is a mock thunder storm inside an alley called as Desert Pathway – very authentic.


Next door to the Alladin is Paris – which has a very French look both inside and outside with the Eiffel Tower and Arc D’Triumph in front.


Continue on to the The Venetian which has unique architecture in terms of canals and is styled after Venice.


If you still have time and have the inclination (I did not)– you can pop into Flamingo, Monte Carlo etc.


The Circus Circus (my home away from home) had scheduled free circus shows within the hotel itself which are of high class including clowns, trapeze artists, some aerial stunts etc. The Circus Circus also housed an Adventuredome – the largest indoor theme park – good to keep the kids occupied.


In the evening – go to Freemont which is in the downtown area of LV. There is an entire street which is only for pedestrians. This street houses some of the older casinos and the highlight is the entire street is lighted. There is a light show every hour – on top of the hour – where the casino lights bordering the street are dimmed and the entire street covered ceiling becomes one huge screen and has a wonderful display of images to the accompaniment of music.


Day 3:


This day is reserved for gambling. After ensuring that the family is well taken care of with good food and wild rides - I hit the slots. There are so many types of games played on the slot machine – most of them are very intuitive – I stuck to the basis cherries – three in a row.


Ahem errr…….. after three hours of constantly slotting and slitting and sweating and smiling – I made a neat profit. Gamblers never tell but I am not a gambler. Next I went to the play Black Jack on the $25 table. Time just flies. Noticed that they do not have any clocks inside the casino – so that the player looses all sense of time. Drinks are on the house. After five hours, I had to get up – I had exhausted the money I had allocated for having some “fun”. I walked away feeling tired but glad that I got to play in Las Vegas.


The Shows:


Besides sight seeing there are plenty of shows at each of the hotels and also in special comedy theatres. Every hotel has a desk where one can enquire about the shows and obtain the tickets – the tickets for a regular show range from $40-$100. Some of them are adult in nature. During this trip I was not able to see any show – perhaps the next time around.


Las Vegas is a fun place to visit and experience.


The only thing which you will not get enough of in Las Vegas is sleep. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of time to play catch up.


Good luck visiting Las Vegas.


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