30 May 2012

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, a theme park for adults.

Cool so after finally getting out of Los Angeles to meet my parents here in Las Vegas, I honestly don't have too much to say about this place (which may sound surprising), it was cool, but nothing amazing. Well, not for a highly budget conscious backpacker in the company of his parents that is. I think to enjoy Las Vegas in the traditional sense (wild nights, gambling, drinking and crazyness) you need to have some great mates with you and not care about your budget or expenses what so ever.

In saying all that however I still had a really great time just chilling out with my parents, it had been 2 months since I had last seen them so that in itself was rewarding enough, but also just to have some nice, reliable company for a week. Not to mention them letting me stay in their hotel rooms!

Living out of hostels and a backpack is exhausting...

The main part of Las Vegas is on the Las Vegas Boulevard (aka The Strip), a large road that runs straight through the center of Las Vegas from one side to the other with all the big casinos along this one road. They are all absolutely huge, and way over the top, and have fierce competition in trying to attract you in to spend your money with them. The winner here is the tourist with so much to see and do!

I will let pictures do most of the talking.

No need to go to Paris now, I've already seen everything there is to see now!
Inside the Pairs casino, with the ceiling painted like that it made for a really cool atmosphere!
Excalibor Casino, pretty epic
New York New York Casino, amazing
Bumblebee beak dancing in the street
As I mentioned, all the casinos try their best to attract you in so a lot of them have these amazing free shows. The Ballagio Casino has this really impressive water show with jets of water shooting about perfect choreography in tune with a song. It was really well done.

It was so good in fact that my parents and I went back that night to catch it again. Oh and Travel Buddy joined us!

It's a big city for a small bear!

We then went into the older part of town to a place called Fremont, where they have this huge 200m or so long LED screen which basically acts as a roof of an entire street. They put on a really great light and sound display show every hour, it was insane.

Then I found this place. I already have a continually diminishing respect and view of America, and a place like this just takes it to a whole new level. It is called the Heart Attack Grill where they have these massive burgers, and out the front they advertise that if you are 350 pounds or more you get to eat there for free. 350 pounds! Only in America...

Afterwards there was still so much to explore.

Mirage Casino
Luxor Casino... one of my favourites!
How impressive is that! It is hard to make out, but there is a gigantic black glassed pyramid that is the actual casino and hotel! With a huge Sphinx out the front for an entrance. This Casino was easily one of my favourite in terms of theme and the impressiveness of the engineering that went into designing and building it.

Inside the Luxor, very cool!
The next day my mum and I went out to explore a few more casinos we had yet to see.

Venetian Casino... can you guessed the theme?
Inside the Venetian, pretty impressive
And that was just a small taste of how the last week has been like. But yes, in essence, nothing too crazy happened. Which is cool by me.

My best advice I can give about this town is how to get free drinks at the casinos. Simply sit and pretend to gamble, whether you are sitting at the slot machines, or at the craps table, and just do a bit of arm waving in 'frustration' that you didn't win and before long a waitress comes around asking if you'd like a drink! You could really do it all day if you wanted. There was one time I was sitting at a slot machine simply waiting for my parents, not even pretending to gamble or anything, heck I wasn't even facing the machine and a waitress came and offered me a drink haha!

Oh and another piece of advice is to chat to absolutely anyone, Las Vegas I would guess consists of more tourists than locals, with the spectrum of the type of people varying dramatically. For the first few days I was alone before my parents arrived and one night I went to grab some dinner at an outside burger bar, while there I got talking to this sitting next to me and before long 2 hours had gone by and I left noticeably more knowledgeable about Canada, it's people, the rules and potential excitement of the game billiards (pool table), and how much 'better' British Canadian citizens are so much cooler then the French ones haha! Great night.

And that, rather anti-climatically I admit, was Las Vegas... ha! Mostly consisting of walking around with my parents, checking out all the free attractions, and thoroughly enjoying having the privacy and space of a hotel room for a change. It really was a great week and I don't think I could of asked for it to be any better really.

With Las Vegas accomplished it is time to hit the road! And what a really amazing upcoming days we have planned! With my parents staying for another week in America, tomorrow morning we are touring the Grand Canyon! Followed by us picking up a hire car and driving to Kings Canyon National Park! Then slowly making our way to San Francisco! 

It is going to be legen - wait for it - dary!


Tania said...

Haha, were your Canadian friends from Ontario? I don't think the western provinces have quite as much loathing for the French Canadians as the people from Ontario seem to. We on the West Coast think their accents are silly, though!

I think the biggest thing about America that's different from Canada (I know people from outside of North America often, wrongly, think we're the same) is how they're all raised to believe their country is the centre of the universe, and it shows in all their arrogant, can-do-no-wrong attitude. Even the nicest Americans have the attitude that America is best and everyone else in the world is jealous.

I love my healthcare and explaining to American tourists that if they want to get shot while in my city, they need to bring their own guns and shoot themselves with it!

Azz said...

Ha umm, I can't remember where exactly he said he was from. Something about being from 'British Columbia'? If that makes sense?

Anywho, yes well as I've been here for nearly 3 months now I can sense the arrogance somewhat, although I don't believe it is the citizens fault completely, and is more being a result from influence from the media and government. Americans seem to know so little of the outside world, although I don't know if this because of a lack of exposure from education and media, or perhaps they are arrogant enough that they are void of any willingness to care to learn. Either way, a little more of an open mind and broader knowledge would go a long way, although I have indeed met plenty of Americas who are really great =)

Tania said...

British Columbia is my province, so yes, it makes sense. :)

Their education system doesn't really focus on much outside of America at all. I mean, we had a unit on Australia in elementary school, most of our history studied was European, plus Canadian and American and Australian and Asian and African, but America is all "who cars about the rest of the world!" until university, I think.

It's very insular in that sense. The people aren't BAD, just arrogant in their sense of their country's entitlement.

Azz said...

Ah, I see, well that would make sense then ha.

Yes that is definitely apparent, while the vast majority of the travelers I have met whom have been from a country other than America are always rather knowledgeable about the world, too many Americas on the other hand don't seem to know some very basic facts such as where exactly Australia, or many other countries, are even located in the world. A few were even surprised that in Australia we do indeed have a Winter season (as in, it does actually rain and get very cold and isn't just 365 days of sun) which was thought was rather astonishing.

It is a shame.

Tania said...

It's kind of funny; I work front desk at a Canadian motel, so I get to meet travellers from all over the world. Americans are always kind of strange.

Like, when quoting prices, they ask "Is that in American dollars?" Or when they pay in American cash, they're upset to get change in Canadian money. Like, what were they expecting?

And it happens all the time, probably with about 80% of American guests.

Australians are always awesome, though!

Tania said...

Wow, I said "like" a lot in that second paragraph.

Azz said...

Haha... very strange indeed. And I can imagine that happening too. Oh well, it is what it is I guess.

I am glad you find the Australians awesome =)

After talking to a lot of travelers whom have been to Canada, it seems like it is a place that I definitely must visit someday. Will see what happens but it is on my list of places to visit now =)

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