Viva Las Vegas, Baby!

vegas 2013 022Las Vegas is the sandbox/playground for adults and a very reasonable tourist destination for people like Ed and I who don’t gamble or drink. We spent a day wandering around the world for our first stop on our winter retreat last week.

The base of the Eiffel Tower within the streets of Paris

The base of the Eiffel Tower within the streets of Paris

Venice Marketplace - including indoor clouds and canals

Venice Marketplace – including indoor clouds and canals

The weather was a bit warmer than our Oregon winter but the mist and clouds that day were very familiar though oddly rare according to the locals. We didn’t mind the mist one bit and it was a relief not to worry about sun burn.

Outside the Eiffel Tower hotel and casino is when Ed was asked to take a picture of four lovely young women and it was nostalgic for us as they were sisters. Three even had dark hair and the forth was a blond – just like our four girls. Taking the picture of the four sisters had a circle-of-life feel. We began as a couple, and now are again.

Ed and I have not been to Venice, yet, but we were able to get out of the misty streets of Las Vegas and wander along Venetian styled canals – complete with Gondoliers serenading the passengers – and through a representation of an outdoor marketplace.

The sky and cloud painted high ceiling really made it feel like a summer day. The aromas were mouth watering and this hotel-casino is on our list as a place to stay when we return to this desert oasis.

Lady Liberty in the desert

Lady Liberty in the desert

We have been to New York City many times and were amused to see a magical castle in place of Ellis Island, and a roller coaster instead of the bridges. NYC’s city streets (inside the NY/NY hotel-casino) had the flavor of an earlier time than our memories from the past few decades. We could have wandered those streets all day.

But there were gardens to enjoy and Grecian Statues to admire.

vegas 2013 034We also loved the dolphins, waterfalls and fountains – some even danced to the music.

Outside the Bellagio - dancing to Luck Be A Lady by Frank Sinatra

Outside the Bellagio – dancing to Luck Be A Lady by Frank Sinatra

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which lived up to its name with loud music and memorabilia that included spangly outfits and smashed guitars. Every dynamic entertainer was represented in life size displays and actual costumes. The casino is always open and players were always present, even on a Thursday afternoon in January.

However, the real highlight of our one day-night in Vegas was directly across the street from our hotel – The Hofrbrauhaus – a traditional German beer hall where we not only enjoyed the foods but the music.

Hofbrauhaus - The German Beer Hall

Hofbrauhaus – The German Beer Hall

This was very nostalgic for us as we attended The Hofbrauhaus in Cleveland, Ohio, on many weekends when we were dating. The first song played, as we took our seat at the long tables, was performed exactly as we remembered.

Dressed in traditional Bavarian apparel (Dirndl), the staff paused from serving steins full of beer to participate in The Chicken Dance that has somehow become an Oktoberfest requirement – at least in America. The lead singer of the band shared that this song & dance is no longer performed in Austria or Switzerland and has been replaced by The Macarena and other group dances.

This was my first trip to Las Vegas and it was an utter delight for me. I’ll be watching for package deals for winter-weekday specials in the years ahead. I’d hate to be there during the busy seasons but the variety of international flavor, only a two hour flight from our dreary Oregon winter, is nicely condensed. There was nothing dreary or shabby about the Las Vegas I tasted.

Little Red Riding Hood Penny Slots - played in honor of my friend Gina.

Little Red Riding Hood Penny Slots

We did gamble a bit and lost about seven dollars.  This picture is to prove I played the slots as I promised my friends I would. I stuck with the penny and nickel wagers and only played the machines that appealed to me for personal reasons. Like Lil Red and her wolf reminded me of my friend Gina, who knows a thing or two about playing the slots. I’ll have to ask her for insights before I try again.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

4 Responses to Viva Las Vegas, Baby!

  1. Trish says:

    This post makes vegas sound more appealing than I ever imagined it!


    • terripatrick says:

      There are some tacky aspects, like the street corner gaggles with their stack of cards and the promise of “girls” in twenty minutes. Of course this is “off season” and yet there were lots of visitors, gamblers, tourists, and some of them were rude and rowdy like the ladies that decided to bring the party up to their hotel room at 4 am.

      But if you can ignore the obnoxious people (the minority in off-season), and the legal indoor smoking in all casinos, the competition for customers makes all the resorts and restaurants do their best in quality and service. There really is a sense of elegance in construction and presentation along the strip and a feeling of being in an international wonderland full of charming places, great dining experiences, and all types of free entertainment.

      We were only there one full day, and it was enough for a first time as there is so much it can be overwhelming. But I want to go back for another day or two at a time. We didn’t even get to Old Town Las Vegas, which we’ve heard is pretty awesome, especially at night.


  2. A few years back Karin and I toured the USA west coast in a hire car and spent a few days in Las Vegas. I loved it, though I don’t gamble, other than a few dollars on the slot machines. We stayed at the Hilton where Elvis used to perform so that was special for me.

    It made a good contrast to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, L.A., San Francisco and so on.

    Loved the whole of the west coast and the people. Must save up my pennies for another such trip.


  3. Pingback: As 2013 Began | Terri Patrick's Blog

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