Las Vegas was reached on a Friday evening as the sun was setting, giving our travellers a first glimpse of the flashy lights on the Strip. To avoid too much of a culture shock, the first evening was spent off the Strip at the Gold Coast bowling alley which boasts 70 lanes. Three games and some beers followed by a midnight snack at TGI Friday’s were quite a nice way to relax after days of driving.
The first morning offered a long awaited chance to sleep in and midday was spent poolside at the Hilton Grand Vacation Suites. Then it was time to head bravely towards the heart of the Strip. The desert heat was close to unbearable, so it was nice to find that most of the huge hotels were connected to each other and offered an air conditioned corridor for comfortable walking.
As Vegas in known for spectacular buffets, there was only one possible choice for dinner, the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar’s Palace, claimed to be the best of the best. The buffet did not disappoint: everything one could think of from king crab legs and oysters to smoked brisket and truffle soup alongside various cuisines from different parts of the world and an unbelievable desert selection. It was impossible not to eat too much.
After the feasting was finished, there was some time to wander around and admire the magnificent water fountain show at the Bellagio. Next up was another Las Vegas must, a show full of glimmering rhinestones and feather headdresses. The Jubilee at Bally’s was just the thing with dozens of dancegirls and a completely bizarre storyline.
The rest of the night included some wandering around various casinos and malls along with a little bit of gambling with two cent bets at one-armed bandits. Finally at three in the morning, it was time to call it a night.
The second day in Vegas started again at the pool with some swimming and a lunch of nachos and quesadillas in the pool bar. The early evening was filled with arcade games and minigolf at Circus Circus, the legendary home of an indoor amusement park complete with roller coasters and a circus running year round.
For dinner, it was necessary to head to the south end of the Strip. Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar at Mandalay Place offered great sliders and a wonderful pumpkin spice milkshake, yummy! After dinner drinks were enjoyed at a steampunk inspired bar, Rx Boiler Room, which had an interesting decor and a relaxed atmosphere.
The rest of the evening was spent walking north aling the Strip to the Mirage for the famous volcano show, which left everyone amazed (and quite hot, as the flames were scorching in the best viewing area). Overall, Vegas offered maybe a bit too much, leading to sensory overload and a dazed feeling best described as “what did I just see?!?” Hattivatti agrees that everyone should probably experience Las Vegas first hand once in a lifetime, but that once is quite sufficient.
After two full days of zero driving, the morning started with a trip to the Hoover Dam, an impressing display of human engineering skills. The size and scale of the dam and the nearby bridge offering wonderful views of the dam are incredible feats of construction.
Before leaving the City of Sin completely behind, it was deemed necessary to make one more stop for some lunch. The choice for the day was naturally the one place in Vegas were narrow waists are not necessarily the sought-after norm, Heart Attack Grill. A shared Single Bypass Burger along with fries cooked in lard and a buttery vanilla milkshake made for quite a hearty meal. The concept is unique and the burgers tasty, no matter what one may think about the idea of promoting the eating of as much fat as possible in one go. True Las Vegas decadence.
Epicness and oddness of Las Vegas on The Scale of Epicness: