Neon glow. Riotous cheers. General debauchery. Pure indulgence in the senses. An oasis from the vast desert surroundings.
That’s right. We’re talking about….Las Vegas!!!
We took on the City of Lights for three days before finishing out the first portion of our journey, I40. We knew Vegas was going to be bold and showy, but we couldn’t get over just how truly overdone everything actually is! If the Venetian casino has canals and gondola rides, then the casino Ceaser’s Palace has a replica of the Coliseum and Trevi fountain. If the Paris casino boasts the Eiffel Tower, than MGM Grand has REAL lions. And of course, thanks to the famous Ocean’s movies, everyone knows about the Bellagio casino water show! Although this main strip in Vegas is really just a few blocks, there is so much to look at while walking back and forth. And we had a great time doing just that, taking in the feel of Vegas and watching some of the crazy characters that invade the city.
We also tried our hand at roulette, and although we did quite well for awhile, the house always wins. But we were fine with that. We went to Vegas with a set amount of money we were okay with loosing, and once that money was gone, we were done gambling. So although we didn’t win big, what we spent was worth the hours of entertainment we received.
Vegas is commonly referred to as ‘Sin City’—which far too many people take way too literally—but it is also known as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’. And for good reason! One of the highlights of our weekend was having the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. For two hours we watched breathtaking acts of balance, strength and agility as performers twirled above and danced below. We won’t give away the details in case you see the stunning show for yourself, but rest assured you will leave amazed.
There are also plenty of opportunities to do some exploring off the main Vegas strip. We spent one afternoon visiting the Hoover Dam (along with every other tourist in Vegas). Constructed during the Great Depression, it was a massive engineering feat that required the hard work of thousands of workers. The dam diverts the water from the Colorado River (the same epic river that carved out the Grand Canyon) and provides energy to California, Nevada and Arizona.
We spent another afternoon exploring Red Rock Canyon. Casey’s cousin-in-law, Douglas, was kind enough to take us on a scenic drive and short hiking venture through the mountains. Although we didn’t see any rock climbers (the canyon attracts rock climbers from around the world) we did witness the magnificent shades of reds and grey that blend together in crazy rock formations and leave you wondering “how did this happen?”.
We had a fabulous weekend in Vegas, and although we didn’t win the jackpot, it was a fantastic last-stop on our I-40 Journey.