Date of Trip: December 2005
Well, I thought I was in for a warm treat visiting Vegas in December and getting away from the cold of Pennsylvania, but who would know that I was going to bring the cold with me. (It went down to 36 degrees at night!) Don’t let the weather stop you from going any time of the year. This is a mecca that is alive 24/7 and caters to almost any need you have. Just get up and go.
Everyone should see Vegas at least once, and this was my second trip. Of course, you have to see the Bellagio water show and the inside of the hotel. The garden had the holiday display, and you have to see Dale Chiulys’ blown-glass sculptures. Treasure Island was under construction, so if you are going soon, be careful where you walk or you will be sidetracked through the hotel big time. New York New York is a small disappointment, except for the delicious deli, and of course, unless you want to go on the roller coaster. Go to the Rio for the great New Orleans show and beads galore.
We walked the Strip and visited the shops. If you have not been to Vegas before and you are not a gambler, I guess you’ll want to see the shops and the hotels because they are all different designs and beautifully decorated. The new Wynn hotel was still not complete. The wood, glass, and fabric were gorgeous. Everything there was classy, even the waitress staff. And if my husband can even point that out, it must be so. He mentioned that the women serving the drinks were dressed and built so much classier then the women at the Venetian. Of course, it was the first thing I noticed, but for him to actually say it to me was an eye opener.
We stayed at the oh-so-beautiful Venetian hotel for $149 a night, pre-paid. You get a bathroom that’s a room unto itself, with a sunken tub, separate shower, and the toilet in a separate room. Then the bed is on one level, and you step down into a little living room area. There are two TVs. So if you have kids, that’s a great feature. The Venetian is the largest hotel in Vegas and the world, so they say. There are shops on two levels. And of course, they have the gondolas there. If you like the Italian scene, you either have to stay there or visit.
The Venetian is known for its Canyon Ranch Spa. They have a fitness gym, restaurant, and spa. Some people are crazy for this and they do it well. The outdoor pool is another best feature here and if you like to swim, come back when it is warm, or bring the bathrobe from your room. The pool is fabulous and heated.
Las Vegas Entertainment
We saw the Blue Man Group show. It was a great show, but yeah, it’s expensive, big time. But what isn’t expensive that is good? They are entertaining and fun. But the theater was not full. I was surprised.
The next night we saw KA, one of Cirque Du Soleil’s productions. It was an amazing show, as this was the one with their moving stages. The effect was awesome, but I have to tell you that if I had to recommend one of the shows, I’d say go see “O”, the one with the water. Both cost another fortune. But if you want to see something that is out of the ordinary, these are the type of shows to go to; they are not the Ringling Brothers type of circus. I repeat, if you are going to spend your money, go see “O”.
We had dinner at Canaletto’s the first night, and the food was very, very good. If you get a table on the patio, you are actually in the courtyard and get to see all the people strolling or the performers. We sat inside along the canal and heard the singers in the boats. I had the polenta appetizer–bits of rectangular polenta with different toppings that were to-die-for. The sea bass entree was wonderful, and the three different pasta dishes were excellent. The bread disappeared in a minute, and we had seconds. I must say that I can’t remember what dessert was, so it did not leave a lasting impression.
Grand Canyon From Las Vegas
Talk about money, and talk about big. This was it. If you are going to be all the way out in this part of the country and never going to be there again, go for it. Since we were in Las Vegas, we were picked up from our hotel. We took a bus to the airport, a plane to the Canyon, then took a helicopter down into the canyon, then took a boat down the Canyon River, then did the reverse and had lunch on an Indian Reservation, and then finally got back to our hotel. The whole thing took about 5 hours.
Now, here’s what I want to tell you: You can get a deal for this. Yes, you can. Talk to the people at Scenic Airlines or Papillion Helicopter. It should cost you about $285 to maybe $300. That’s for this time of year. Ask them for discounts, and ask them for AAA discounts. I got taken for a ride by another outfit. They all use scenic airplanes, and Papillion helicopters, helis. So call them first and get a price and a time, and then ask around. Book early if you can and do it. You don’t have to do all of it, but if you can do the helicopter part or the plane part, go for it.
The most amazing features that I found were the colors of the land that you see only from the air. Sometimes you see an artists’ drawing of a scene from the Grand Canyon and you think “Hmmmm, where in the world did he come up with those colors?” And you know what I now know: where those colors came from. Cause I saw them go by on the ground from the helicopter and airplane. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Pinks, purples, mint greens, dull grays, sparkling emeralds–one right after the other. It’s the next best thing after Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand.