Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last Vegas - Sin City

For those of you who have never been to Las Vegas the first part of this blog provides some background information and overview to help you appreciate the unique atmosphere and sights in Las Vegas. For others who may have been there but not at the specific attractions you can probably skim over the first bit of the travelogue. We did manage to get in a lot of sightseeing in our few days there - so keep reading - over the next several weeks I plan to cover all the major hotels and sights which we enjoyed so much.

Las Vegas is a resort city which was built for gambling, fine dining, shows and shopping. It is spectacular in that way, perfect for that which it was built and there is much there to keep you busy and entertained. Las Vegas is Spanish for The Meadows, but its knick name is Sin City, because it pushes the boundaries of what is permissible in entertainment. As they say “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. It is in the Mojave desert, but apparently in the 1800s there were artisan wells which provided sufficient water to allow a fair bit of greenery to thrive, hence the name “The Meadows”.

The thing that sticks out the most about Las Vegas is its over the top architecture. Everything in Las Vegas is over done and spectacular. 19 of the world's 25 most largest hotels are located in Las Vegas, on “The Strip”. This is a stretch of 4 Miles of roadway upon which the best hotels and attractions are located. There is the older downtown section of town, and I understand this is well worth seeing, but we had no time to do that. In the few days we were there (one day was spent at the Canyon) we did well to do ¾ s of the length of the strip.

We stayed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and it was very well appointed and decorated in a Tropical Theme.
Our room was on the 21st floor and it featured a floor to ceiling wall of glass which overlooked the pool and the beach.

Yes there was a beach! It was, after all, called Mandalay Bay hotel for a reason. The most notable feature about the hotel was the pool area.

While there were a couple of “ordinary” swimming pools, the best area was the Bay. It reminded me a little of the wave pool at Canada's Paramount Wonderland, in that the pool was designed to mimic a beach with the pool getting gradually deeper from a ground level “sunbathing” side. Except at Mandalay Bay they had trucked in thousands of kilos of beach sand and so it did seem like a beach. There even was a wave which lapped up toward shore to all the bathers delight. The wave (singular) was fairly small and there was just one wave every few minutes not like our Wonderland which is much closer to ocean waves.

The first day was quite warm enough for sunbathing and Barb and I sat out for a couple of hours on a beach chair soaking up the ambiance with a tropical cooler. On the 2nd day, I joined Barb at the Beach after her day at her conference (I had been out seeing the sights all day), and it was quite a bit cooler. However, Canadians were out in their shirtsleeves enjoying the comparatively warmer temps while the lifeguards, waitresses and other locals were in parkas and mitts!

The first night we treated ourselves to a really nice steak meal at one of the nicer restaurants. We got a fixed price meal for, as I recall, $59.00 - which was a reasonable price for one of the better restaurants. It was very nice and a good way to end a busy day of travel and sightseeing.

While our hotel was pretty fine and was extremely well appointed and well decorated throughout, after seeing some of the others, I thought it would be really neat to get to stay at one of the other more interesting ones – and I think Venice would be my hotel of choice, or perhaps Paris as those were more interesting inside. But I get ahead of myself.


  1. My sister-in-law's niece will be visiting Las Vegas in June this year. She will be visiting from England. I forwarded this blog posting to her. I believe your informative details from your visit in this posting, as well as the ones to come, will be of interest to her.

  2. That is great! Thanks, it is nice to know that someone else can use the information I will post about Vegas! Stay tuned, over the next couple of weeks I should have covered the places I saw and wanted to see but did not have time.


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