One of the many duties of a writer is to convey senses in a way that can make a situation come to life. They can make you fully immerse yourselves in a world of their creation, sights, sounds, smells – the burn of the baking sun absorbing every inch of moisture from your skin?! I’m not sure there are words that can ever make that realistic. Let me tell you that Las Vegas heat is like no other. I simply cannot explain it to you. Los Angeles heat is humid, but Las Vegas is just so dry.
On our drive from California to Nevada we were in the blissful comfort of air conditioning. However, placing our fingertips on the car window it gave us a little hint to what was awaiting us outside. An oven, basically. As a pit stop we pulled into a little market in the middle of nowhere, which I compared to Walter’s market in Tremors (the Kevin Bacon classic all about man-eating worms under the ground – cinema’s finest). They say air conditioning dries your skin out but my god my face felt like a wrinkled prune walking in that sun. Clinique’s moisture surge is vital for me at this point. Still, no matter how high the temperature is (104 as the tallest thermometer in the world states, 40 in Celsius) this English native promised to savor the moment and remember those warm rays on icy January days when we have all of 6 hours daylight, ha.
Our arrival wasn’t particularly smooth as out hotel wouldn’t allow us to check in as were under 21, despite allowing us to when we booked it. “New management, new rules”. We were then told they could change the name of the booking and allow us to stay. But let’s just say first impressions are okay to be judged upon with hotels and we quickly decided we were NOT staying there, nah ah. The palpitations I had when we pulled up to that first hotel told me I was right to be nervous. Luckily we managed to make a booking at the Riviera on the South end of the strip which was lovely.
Panic over. Next mission: food. Hard Rock Cafe it was then.
The atmosphere in Vegas is insane, you’re never short of something to do whether its a show, street entertainment, exhibitions and just browsing the hotels. They are definitely an attraction themselves. If I had to choose a top three, 100% it would be Paris, The Venetian and The Bellagio. Everything is huge, wild and beyond anything you could imagine. I was amazed how the mini Eiffel Tower goes straight through the hotel and comes out of the top. So you’re there wandering through a casino or down an authentic cobbled street and – oh wow, a leg of the Eiffel Tower – its incredible. Our last meal was actually at a restaurant called Le Cafe in the Paris hotel and honestly it was one of the best meals I’ve had since I’ve been here. Soft bread, grilled chicken, amazing fries and vegetables, just mmm.
The Bellagio Fountains. TIme to say goodbye was my favourite song to watch.
Inside the Mirage
Inside The Venetian.
Stormy skies over the mountains. The whole sky lit up after a clap of thunder.
Spending my 20th birthday in Las Vegas is seriously something to remember. Whilst I was sad I was away from family and couldn’t spend the day with them it was an amazing experience and a lovely way to start the next decade of my life. “Start as you mean to go on”, they say. I certainly intend to. My hopes and dreams for my 20’s are aplenty and travel is a huge part of it.
To celebrate we went to see the Jabbawockeez show, which was entertaining, comical, creative and baffling all at once. Of course, a visit to the Cheesecake Factory was necessary as a celebratory meal. Overdosing on food was not part of the plan however and so we dragged our pot bellies back to our base.
After some recuperation we donned our trainers once more for a day of exploring, this time at The Grand Canyon.
Nothing I can say will convey the sheer beauty of this place. Its difficult to get your head around something as intricate and unfathomable as that.
On the way home we made a stop to see a man made phenomenon this time, the Hoover Dam. Walking across the Memorial Bridge literally takes your breath away; with the dry air and cars speeding by at 70mph, 880 feet above the ground you certainly feel the effects. It was cool to see it in real life rather than on documentaries, as well as being in two states at once on the border of Nevada and Arizona.
Whilst I’ve shared the most significant parts of my stay I’d like to mention one more. I went to look around the Titanic exhibition at the Luxor. Unfortunately, no photographs were allowed , but it meant I could really take in everything around me. In short, it was incredible. But deeply saddening. On entry I was given a boarding card in the name of the passenger that would have been on board the ship. Kate Phillips was a 19 year old girl running away to Los Angeles with her new husband who was roughly 25 years her senior. This personal addition to the exhibition was unique and helped you to understand the lives of the individuals on board, the concerns of the era, class systems and so on. All around were snippets from diaries, belongings of passengers, crockery, utensils, shoes, letters, medals and even a huge piece of the ship. Hearing that some passengers were on board that ship in a cruel twist of fate is just heartbreaking. I was happy to know that Kate and her unborn child did survive that night. Sadly, her husband did not. Each name on that list of passengers was a real person with lives not to far from yours or mine. They were a mother, a father, a child, a sibling and a loved one. The sinking of Titanic was a tragedy and I’m so glad I gained an insight into the lives of the crew and the passengers, I’m glad I was able to be a part of something that would keep their memory alive.