A September 2005 trip
to Las Vegas by Saphira
Quote: I took a trip to Las Vegas but it was a little different. My trip highlights don't include wild nights of clubbing, drinking, and poker tournaments. My Las Vegas was full of mountains, waterfalls, and desert butterflies.
Instead of gangsters and starlets, you are more likely to see rowdy college kids jumping from kiosk to kiosk filling up large plastic cups with liquor. Despite the fact that this is Las Vegas and not New Orleans, beads seem to be very popular amongst the vast never-ending sea of pedestrians. This was the first time in my life that I actually saw someone fall down drunk. A young college-age blonde girl fell down and proceeded to pull her two willowy friends down when they tried to help her up. I also saw the police, chase, tackle, and handcuff a man. The casinos didn’t even seem nostalgic as they were packed with rowdy frat boys hogging up all the good tables.
Of course the main draw of going to Freemont Street is the four-block mega screen, which comes alive displaying various creatively assembled short movies. This, in fact, is extremely impressive and must be seen at least once if you are visiting Las Vegas. It was remarkable to see a hush fall over the crowd as the last show of the night began. The show we saw was "Area 51" an alien/space theme. The story was hard to follow, but who cares, it was amazing just to experience thousands of people transfixed with their heads looking upward encountering this vast technological wonder.
If you like the "party scene" then by all means go forth into your wonderful oasis at Freemont Street. If you just want to see something really cool, then time it so you can see the show and be on your way to discover even more mesmerizing sites.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2006
Fremont Street Experience
Westernmost 5 Blocks Of Fremont
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
(702) 678 5777
Attraction | "Grand Canyon Tour Company"
The first thing I noticed, much to my delight, was that our bus was primarily filled with Japanese tourists. There was also a couple from Germany and two college age girls from Ireland. My husband and I were the only Americans. The bus was very comfortable and our driver, Louie, would speak into his intercom every so often to tell us interesting facts. Then the Japanese translator would translate. We made a brief stop at the overlook for Hoover Dam for some pictures. Since we had already seen the Hoover Dam the day before, we just used the opportunity to stretch our legs. Back on the bus, Louie put in some documentary type movies about the Grand Canyon. This seemed to pass the time until we reached Max and Thelma’s, where we were to have lunch. The restaurant, which was built as a tour bus stop, was huge, crowded and noisy. The food is served buffet style and was fairly tasty. Due to the massive amounts of people who come in and out, you are seated in groups. We were politely rushed through lunch, and ushered back on the tour bus to reach our destination, the Grand Canyon.
I was talking to someone recently who also visited the Grand Canyon, and I quote, "it was soooo boring, all it is, is a big hole in the ground." I had to bite my tongue very hard. Everyone should see the Grand Canyon in person. A mere picture does not do it justice. It is an awe-inspiring experience. So vast, it emanates such a silent beauty. My only regret was the lack of time. There was so much to see and explore and yet we were ushered quickly from point to point on the bus tour. It was like getting only a bite of a really delicious dessert that you would just love to finish. After only about 2 hours, we were ushered back on the bus and made the long five-hour ride back to Las Vegas. Movies kept us entertained, but I couldn’t help feeling like I missed out on something.
Grand Canyon Tours did an excellent job. They were organized and inexpensive ($99 per person). Louie was great and I learned a lot due to his knowledge. If I were to go again, I would do the drive myself, and stay at one of the Grand Canyon lodges for a few days. Beauty such as that needs more then two hours to be admired and explored.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 6, 2006
Grand Canyon National Park
P.o. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 7, 2006
US Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
The Beehives were our first stop. They reminded me more of the hair-do my Great Aunt Fran wore instead of an insect dwelling, but they were certainly unique. A good piece of advice is to not wear sandals or flip-flops. You do a good amount of walking in the sand and it is hot. Even though the bottoms of your feet are covered, the sand that flips up on top of your feet will hurt like crazy. I wore sneakers and was glad I did after witnessing a couple of screaming flip-flop wearers. Arch rock was a great photo sight although it was strange to take in. To think that due to the constant erosion from wind and rain the piece of artistic nature I am now witnessing will no longer exist. I somehow felt very privileged to be there at that moment to see it. We continued our tour with a hike to the petrified logs and Mouse’s tank. Mouse’s tank is a natural rain- water reservoir named after an Indian who used it as his hiding place. The hike to Mouse’s tank is especially interesting, as the trail has some great prehistoric petroglyphs. It’s so amazing to look at them wondering their age and interpreting their meanings.
It was somewhere around the White Domes where we lost our momentum. We wanted to hike the trail to the old movie set, but the heat and our bodies just wouldn’t allow it. We had long since drained our bottles of water and had now wished we had brought more than just one a piece. A la Clark Griswold, we jumped out of the security of the air-conditioned car, stood a moment, snapped a photo, and jumped back into the blizzard wonderland again. This is what we did for the rest of the scenic spots, except for the cabins. They seemed really interesting so we got out and walked around. Built in the 1930s, they were used as shelters for passing backpackers. Although they are not used any more, I could still see a die-hard backpacker choosing these rustic stone dwellings over the mega resorts of the strip.
Even if you are only in Vegas a few days, Valley of Fire is worth a stop. The formations are unique unto themselves, and may not even exist sometime in the future.
Just beware that the heat will zap your energy fast so decide which sites are really worth the hike.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 23, 2006
Valley of Fire State Park
P.O. Box 515
Overton, Nevada 89040
Pine Hill, New Jersey