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July 4th in Las Vegas

Author: Adrienne L.
Date of Trip: July 2010

The morning of July 4th found us landing at the McCarran airport in Las Vegas. As soon as we arrived we could sense the energy of the city. Some things never change. Although we have visited Las Vegas dozens of times, we were drawn by its non-stop excitement and our knowledge that a Las Vegas vacation can be anything we want it to be. The acclaimed dining scene, golf courses, spas and shops have something for everyone. The attractions and entertainment options continue to get better. Headliners such Cher, Wayne Brady, and Barry Manilow are regulars on the Strip. Cirque du Soleil mounts shows in 5 different theaters. Other nightly acts include the Jersey Boys, Blue Man Group and magicians Lance Burton and Criss Angel. There are even Broadway shows like Phantom of the Opera and Lion King.

Las Vegas is also a family-friendly vacation destination. Hotels such as Circus, Circus and New York, New York offer arcades and theme park attractions. The Stratosphere features heart-stopping thrill rides high above the Strip like Sky Jump, X-Scream and Big Shot — not for the faint of heart.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find in Las Vegas. With so many options, where does one begin? We began with a slow drive up the Strip, taking in the sights that had changed since our last visit. Most prominent was the new City Center complex that includes the Mandarin Oriental, Vdara and Aria hotels. We soon arrived at our hotel, the Palazzo. Although we had stayed at the Venetian Hotel several times, this was our first visit to the Palazzo. We were given a lovely suite on the 30th floor with a view of the Strip and 5 swimming pools. Since the Venetian and Palazzo are shared properties, guests have access to pools at both resorts. After settling in, we ate at the Grand Lux where our favorite brunch entree is their famous chicken and waffles.

Since it was July 4th, we had done prior research to find out the best places to watch fireworks. Little did we know that the view from our window would be the best place. We were able to see the complete 30-minute Caesar’s Palace show from the comfort of our suite; and it was spectacular. We could also see other shows across the valley.

The following morning we went over to Caesar’s to enjoy a few hours relaxing at our favorite spa, Qua ( a one-of-a-kind experience. It has a fitness area, Roman baths, mineral pools, Laconium room and Arctic Ice room. After their workout Robert and Marcus watched a World Cup soccer match while relaxing in the gentleman’s lounge, sipping on specialty teas and organic juices. Adrienne also enjoyed the elixirs brewed by the in-house tea sommelier while reclining on a thermal stone deep relaxation chaise. What a great way to rejuvenate and gear up for a day of shopping.

We have taken advantage of the great shopping that Las Vegas has to offer for more than 2 decades. It offers everything from top designers to great outlets. We have found some of our best deals on the clearance racks of high-end boutiques. This trip was no different; the deals were plentiful.

With the triple-digit temperatures, we enjoyed our time at the pool. The water was refreshing and so was the environment.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the buffet at the Wynn Hotel. The word “buffet” does not do justice to this dining experience. You have to witness it to really understand this level of culinary artistry. It is much more than taste; it engages all of the senses. It is an international gourmet dining experience.

We left Las Vegas feeling rejuvenated and satisfied. We got what we expected — and a little more. As our plane departed heading back to San Francisco, we began planning for our next trip — to Las Vegas.

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