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West Coast Tour: Las Vegas

The final stop in our West Coast Tour was Las Vegas. This city was built to entertain and boy it doesn’t disappoint.To get there we drove through death valley which is known for being the driest, lowest and hottest point in Northern America. It was already 111 degrees Fahrenheit at 10am which made it even more peculiar that we saw a cyclist riding through – CRAZY! The only things you will see along the Death Valley desert road are tumble weeds and towering sand dunes, don’t expect tot see to many people. They say if you break down on the road it is best to get under your car and sit in the shade as there aren’t many people that pass through. Whilst there is a lot of geographical and exteraestrial interest here it does get a little mundane driving down the same road for 2 hours with not much to see, so we were itching to get to Vegas.

There is a sudden jump from desert to Vegas in which an empty land is filled with life, extravagant hotels and endless things to do can keep you busy for hours. However the heat is still the same and so we had to jump from hotel to hotel just to keep cool. While in Vegas we stayed in two very different hotels, these being the Golden Nugget (on the old strip or downtown) and Circus Circus (on the main strip).

The Golden Nugget is famous not only because it houses the largest golden nugget ever found- it is on display in the hotel if you wish to see it- but also it has a slide that goes through a tank with sharks. YES WITH SHARKS. Don’t worry you are separated by the very thick glass part of the slide, but you should try slowing down to see the sharks, its like your own private aquarium.

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The old strip has to be one of our favourite parts of Vegas. Here you can see the iconic signs including the Pioneer Cowboy and walk along the amazing Fremont Street that changes throughout the night, giving it that light show effect that you expect from Vegas. During the day there isn’t much to do except gamble on the old strip, which isn’t really our thing- so if you are looking for more to do during the day the main strip is best for you.

If, like us gambling isn’t your thing (or if you are too young to gamble) there are SO many things that you can do in Vegas without loosing too much money. While we were there we went and saw Mama Mia at the Mandalay Bay hotel- which was AMAZING! Shows here are so much fun and a good way to stay out of the desert heat. You should also take a look around the hotels, especially on the main strip as the hotels are also shopping malls, fairground attractions and amazing spectacles of art and extravagance. For instance, when you walk inside the Venetian Hotel it’s as if you are in Venice. The ceiling is painted as if to look like the sky on a clear day and there are canals running trough the hotel with gondolas; we took a ride on one of these gondolas with the most fabulous signing driver. Shopping in these hotels could be endless, with Chanel at the Wynn and a M&M store along the strip there is something for everyone.

At night it is much easier to do things outside! Each hotel has a ‘performance’ like the famous Bellagio fountain displays which are set to music every half an hour in the afternoon or every 15 minutes in the evening. You can see the water cannons shooting hundreds of feet in the air and dancing to the sounds of Frank Sinatra. Or you can see the pirate Ship show outside Treasure Island Hotel. The show is a rather cheesy story with sword fights set to music, singing sires and explosions, almost like one you would see at Disney or Universal.Another of our favourite shows was the Volcano light and fire show at the Mirage Hotel which is on at 8pm and 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 8, 9 and 10pm Friday to Saturday (however, this may vary due to high winds). And of course we can’t forget the light of Luxor Hotel, an amazing beam of light that projects in to the darkness of night, you can see it for basically anywhere on the strip. 

Other hotels that we visited included Ceasers Palace which has a massive trojan horse toy shop, MGM Grand Las Vegas which had its own MGM lions like in their opening credits, The Mirage, Wynn, Paris, Circus Circus, Mandalay Bay, New York New York which is well known for its roller coaster, Luxor, The Palazzo, Treasure Island and The Golden Nugget. All have their own unique style and it is interesting to walk around and see what each hotel has to offer. However, They all seem to live by the Vegas motto of ‘go big or go home’. We could spend all day just visiting all the hotels.

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To get a better view of Vegas at night we booked onto a helicopter ride which flew us all over the city. Grace sat next to the pilot and was very nervous that there was an extra steering wheel inferno of her. The views from the helicopter were absolutely stunning and we would totally recommend taking a look at Vegas from the skies. It allowed us to see so many things that we hadn’t seen before and we got up close and personal will the Luxor beam which really can be seen for miles.

Now that we are older it would be interesting to go back to Vegas to see how it compares now that we can actually drink and gamble and enter nightclubs. Grace would also like to go to the top of the Stratosphere and go on some of the rides at the top so if any one has been on them, let us know how they are!

This was our final stop on our west coast tour! We hope you enjoyed following us along our journey. If there are any other places we need to visit, let us know!

alice&grace

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