comes with the territory free drinks
crowds & lines
Who knew Vegas had turned into a giant theme park--like being inside a video game?
We planned to go to Las Vegas, home of Elvis and the Rat Pack, en route to Sedona because of the cheap flights. Since it was the first time to the fabled oasis for both of us, we chose a premium hotel, the Luxor.
The Luxor's theme is Egyptian. The hotel is shaped like a giant pyramid with a Sphinx entrance. At first it seemed fun and exotic, but it got old quick. One disadvantage is that the lobby is HUGE (so it's a lo-o-o-ong walk to the elevators). We chose a lower floor, and ended up with slanted walls and a view of the back side of the Sphinx (and a close-up view of the backside of a roofer!)
We got all the guidebooks and tried to hit all the highlights while we were there. Being Power Shoppers, of course we had to look for western wear--what a disappointment! Pigeon Forge has a better selection. The stores (and we hit several) looked like their stock was selected by someone from New Jersey. Overall, Vegas was a shopping flop--although the mall at Caesar's Palace is a must see because of the simulated sunrise/sunset. Clothing in general was a let down. After all those movies, we were expecting elegance and evening wear. What we saw was old ladies in sweatsuits, old men in bermudas with black socks, and tourists in T-shirts.
Subgroups Geriatric Locals
You can, however, eat very well in Vegas. We sampled buffets at a different place each meal (you're never more than 100 feet from a buffet in Vegas). Of course the emphasis is on quantity, not quality. And judging by the people in the lines, some folks must come to Vegas just to eat! When we burned out on buffets we hit Hard Rock Cafe AND Planet Hollywood, both scenic and scrumptious.
Vegas has a lot of free shows--part of their new family image. We watched the volcano erupt (loud), saw the white tigers (asleep), and the King Tut hologram (squint) in the fountain during the Luxor's nightly light show.
There's lots of free stuff in Vegas--of course most of it is junk. We were part of a test audience for a new tv show (for a free meal). We hit all the welcome centers and got lots of free stuff (hats and mugs and decks of cards). We took the free chocolate factory tour (free samples that ARE worth it!) and took pictures in the adjacent cactus garden--also impressive. On the way out of town, we stopped by for more free samples!
Best part of Vegas: Ethel M. Chocolates!
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