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Las Vegas – The Anytime Getaway

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Written by Angela Brya.

January seemed an appropriate time to escape the winter doldrums for a few days and head to sin city “Las Vegas”. With a group of friends in tow, we quickly learned that Super Bowl weekend is the second busiest time of year in Las Vegas. The first is ringing in the New Year.

To many, the definition of Las Vegas is casinos and gambling. Instantly you could hear the “cling, cling” of slot machines, several were getting chips to play black jack, roulette and craps. Not me, being a novice, gambling is intimidating for me. Plus money is even more valuable. There are so many things to do even for the non-gambler.

The weather hit a warm stretch while we were there, with a high of 70 degrees. Boy did that feel good coming from the freezing Michigan winter. We have been to Vegas several times, so this time around we decided take some time to check out some highlights for the non-gambler. The first night we saw “Mystere” a Cirque du Soleil production. It was out of this world-literally! This show is an adult circus, with unbelievable feats of strength. The music, dancing and costumes were wonderful. I highly recommend seeing Mystere; you will leave astonished.

During the day we did some sightseeing, checking out some of the newer hotels including, the Venetian and its replica of St. Marks Square with gondola rides through the canals, the Bellagio, where we walked past Mike Ditka, Paris, the Aladdin and visiting the Lion exhibit at the MGM Grande. Then over to the New York, New York to try out the outdoor roller coaster, on top of the hotel. The cost was $12.00 per person, but who’s counting when you could lose that in one hand of blackjack.

That evening we went to the Stratosphere to get a view of the city at night. It was spectacular and a little scary. There is an indoor and outdoor observatory. For the thrill seekers, there are two rides, the Big Shot and the High Roller. Both are over 100 stories above the ground. The floor shook when the rides were running. That was enough excitement for me. I think the cost was $8.00 per person, and well worth it. The rides were an additional cost. The next stop was the Frontier hotel to ride the mechanical bull at Gilley’s Saloon. Just my luck, we missed the bikini bull riding by one night. I am sure that is a sight to see.

Well, the next day was Super Bowl day and bets were being placed. We scoped out a spot at the Aladdin to watch the game. They had 3 huge screens and hot dogs, nachos and beer for sale. Needless to say it was a tense game. I opted to go shopping instead. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and the shops at Aladdin kept me busy for a few hours. At least I had something material to show for my loss of cash in Vegas. Being our last night there, we elected to head downtown, to the famous Golden Nugget Hotel. After a fabulous Italian dinner, with singing waiters, at Stefano’s, we headed out to the canopy. There were several outdoor vendors and lots of lights. We stayed long enough to see the canopy light and music show, which runs on the hour and has different versions.

It was after midnight, so we went back to the hotel to rest up for our trip back to reality the next morning. As you can tell, we had a very packed but fun trip. I did not even mention the gambling in almost every casino we set foot in. That is a given, right?! Las Vegas is a great destination for all kinds. The next time you are ready to get away from it all, call me to plan your trip to “Sin City”.