I find that every time Las Vegas is mentioned, people feel one of two things:
- Hatred and disgust for a fake, materialist, drunken, gambling city.
- Excitement and wonder, fun, parties and an exhilarating getaway.
Two very different opinions.
I guess if any city deserves that kind of a reputation, it’s Vegas. So where do I fall under these options? Surprisingly, the second.
I really like Vegas.
I met up with a girlfriend for a Vegas getaway over the long weekend. We decided to stay at the Venetian after days of pondering the endless options found on the main strip of Vegas. Having adjusted search results to display the cheapest options, there was the Travelodge (uh . . .) Circus, Circus (what?) and several other extremely unexciting options. It was my first time to Vegas, and I honestly think that the hotels themselves are attractions on their own, and we therefore needed to seriously up the glam factor on this stay. So, we chose The Venetian – fancy, elegant, luxurious, and mature.
As soon as we checked in at the hotel lobby, we were lost. We had to whip out a map in order to figure out how to get from the lobby up to our room. After several needless detours through the casino and the theatre, we arrived at our room. The hotels are just so massive and elaborate. I have never experienced such a thing before, mainly because all my travels are usually adventure and budget based rather than luxury.
I find the sheer amount of things to do on the main strip alone both impressive and overwhelming. After we semi unpacked, it was immediate itinerary checklist mode. “Okay, so first we’ll walk here, go in there, then eat here, then walk across the street and go into there,” etc, etc, etc. We walked up and down the strip, going into to pretty much every other hotel and checking them out along the way.
I am inspired by the sometimes nearly flawless replicas of iconic landmarks and architectural styles from around the world, all a few blocks from each other. They make me want to visit the original locations, and nostalgic if I have already been. I was in awe of the artificial skies seen within the Venetian and Planet Hollywood.
Inside every hotel are countless restaurants, bars, casinos, and lounges. Among these all, my very favourite was the Chandelier Room inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel. It is a fancy lounge inside a giant, sparkly chandelier.
I wasn’t expecting to see so many children with their families on this type of trip. I saw countless children working the slots with their parents. “C’mon, Billy! See how much more of your trust fund you can lose!” “Let me teach you allllll about gambling and how addictive it becomes once you start winning and losing.” “I don’t think you inhaled enough of that man’s cigarette smoke.” (Extremely sarcastic of me, I know) But maybe Vegas is trying to turn the Vegas Vacation into something more kid friendly, aside from the movie Vegas Vacation. I personally don’t see the appeal to ever bring the kids to Vegas, at least not when they’re 8. But boredom is beyond impossible when you’re spending a few days in Vegas.
When it comes down to it, Vegas is a fantasy, an escape. It’s a place to play pretend and act like we’re all wealthy socialites. (A stark contrast to daily life at home, standing in the chilly aisle of the grocery store forever in sweaty gym clothes trying to decide what is a better value for the price). I also work from home now, so the excitement in my life on a daily basis has dwindled (but spices up when I succeed in a challenging hip opening yoga pose).
Vegas is a place that allows you to live a few days and nights of the luxurious, glamorous life, before going back to work, e-mails and sweatpants.