Fasten your seat belts, folks…it’s time for sensory overload in Las Vegas, Nevada, a colorful playground smack in the middle of the blistering Mojave Desert. Every over-the-top venue is here for the taking, so embrace your inner cheese. This is Vegas, baby. And if you’re gonna do it right, just go all out.
The day I was supposed to depart, New York was being threatened by a major storm. Visions of cancelled flights in my head, I did the only thing a sane person would – leave a day earlier, pay exorbitant penalty fees and squeeze in just one more day at the luxurious Palazzo at the Venetian.
The real Venice is a true, unsurpassed marvel, and I’ve had the good fortune to visit twice. But I have to say, I loved the Vegas version. The suites were immense (try the $20 trick upon check-in). And although the Venetian’s canals were bright blue in contrast to the murky green/brown of the real deal, it was just so darned cool. Fake blue sky…a scaled down version of St. Mark’s square…costumed actors performing Italian songs…a creepy chalk white mime dude who pretended to be a statue…high end shops…bars and restaurants galore….it was fabulous. Eating gelato and watching the canals skim the water whilst tourists were serenaded was pretty romantic. And if you’ve had enough of the crowds and the ding! ding! dings! of slot machines, you can regroup in the pretty peaceful gardens throughout the immense property.
Seeing Love at the Mirage was another major highlight. I’m a huge Beatles fan, and watching Cirque du Soleil pay tribute to the Fab Four was extremely moving. And the food? Vegas is a culinary Mecca, but a sure bet is Bouchon, world-renowned chef Thomas Keller’s French restaurant located in the Venetian (one word: escargots). Exploring the strip, visiting neighboring hotels such as the Bellagio and the Wynn, going to the wax museum, shopping, and just chilling made for a fabulous 3-day getaway.
Next time I’d like to see Old Vegas and explore some off the beaten path venues, but one thing’s for sure, Las Vegas is always awake and in your face with options. And when the darned flight fares go down, I am so there.