Las Vegas Journals

Las Vegas- A Different WILD

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A September 2005 trip to Las Vegas by Saphira

Awesome Fountains Photo, More Photos
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.

Las Vegas- A Different WILD

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Overview

Hiking Trail Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Anxiously I munched my animal crackers as the sound of a crying baby filled the plane. I took another peek out the window only to be disappointed by the view. No sign of the lights glittering like a thousand fireflies to announce my arrival in Las Vegas. Across and a few seats in front of me a middle aged woman wearing a C.S.I. T-shirt gives the bellowing infant an annoyed look. She chats with two handsome young college guys about the best places to play black jack. The two young men chat with each other over poker and black jack strategies and map out their unofficial night club schedule, where they will see who can score the hottest babe. They are anticipating a land flowing with alcohol, hot girls ...Read More

Fremont Street Experience

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Attraction

Fremont Street Experience Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
I never really felt the nostalgia for "old Vegas" while visiting Freemont Street. Perhaps I don’t really know enough about old Vegas to feel nostalgic, or perhaps the five guys who walked past me wearing lederhosen just didn’t seem to fit the theme. I expected to see old gangster looking men sporting on their arms, women with sequined dresses flirtatiously twirling their feather boas. Don’t get me wrong, Freemont Street is a great place for people watching, but it lacked the mythological old Vegas sense of class that I so desperately wanted to see. 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....Read More

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

Grand Canyon National Park

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Attraction | "Grand Canyon Tour Company"

Grand Canyon National Park Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
The tour bus picked us up at our hotel at a bleary 6:30am. Our first stop was to the Grand Canyon Tours mega center. It was the perfect definition of organized chaos. Hundreds of tourists trying to find which line they were supposed to be standing in to find out exactly what they were supposed to do next. As crazy as it seemed the staff were friendly and helpful and in no time we paid and boarded our bus. 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 ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 6, 2006

Grand Canyon National Park
P.o. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
(928) 638-7888

Hoover Dam

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Attraction

Hoover Dam Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
After walking around the outside snapping a million pictures, we found out that the visitor’s center and tour would be closed due to it being September 11th. We would have to come back another day. When you drive up to the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas, cross over to the Arizona side. The official Hoover Dam parking garage charges $7 to park. There are several free parking areas on the Arizona side. You just have to walk a little further, but it’s worth it. Once out of your car, you are free to roam around the outside and take pictures and marvel at the grand architectural achievement. If you desire you can take the “discovery tour.” I would only recommend this if you are r...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 7, 2006

Hoover Dam
US Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

Stratosphere Tower

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Attraction

Stratosphere Tower Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
There is nothing like waking up to your first morning in Las Vegas. As you shove your face full of cheap buffet pancakes and scrambled eggs, you brainstorm ideas as to what you should do first. As my husband and I thought that we would be spending money throughout our trip, we decided the first activity should be free. As guests of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, we were allowed to visit their famous tower for free during daylight hours. We elected that the tower should be our first adventure. The vision of Bob Stupak, quite notorious in his day as a very eccentric casino owner, Stratosphere Tower is the tallest free- standing observation tower in the United States. It is 1,...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 7, 2006

Stratosphere Tower
2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
(702) 380-7777

Valley of Fire State Park

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Attraction

Valley of Fire State Park Photo, Overton, Nevada
Quote:
The sun was causing the road to shimmer the day we visited Valley of Fire. It was easy to see how early settlers had mistaken the bright red rocks as firey pillars. The park was a scenic one—hour drive from the Vegas strip and light on the wallet as well. No matter the size or amount of people, it is just $5 per vehicle. A free park map is given to you upon arrival although the roads are well marked and just as easy to follow without it. 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 s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 23, 2006

Valley of Fire State Park
P.O. Box 515
Overton, Nevada 89040
(702) 397-2088

Hey, It's Free

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Story/Tip

Awesome Fountains Photo,
Quote:
Desert Passage at Aladdin:Be whisked away as you stroll the streets of a Moroccan outdoor market. A few times an hour there is a “thunderstorm” that occurs. More or less, water falls from the ceiling into a pool below. There are some sound effects and flashing lights and smoke to make the effect of an actual storm more realistic. If you’re already there it’s worth seeing. It’s even better with some really good gelato you can purchase in the Desert Passage.Caesars Forum Shops: At the Forum shops statues come to life and converse to each other while producing a laser light show. This was very cheesy. The sound was bad, and you could barely hear what was being said. The lasers appeared to...Read More

Spring Mountain

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Story/Tip

The hike pay off Photo,
Quote:
On every vacation, there is always a pinnacle day. When all the other memories of your trip fade away, this one day will forever be etched in your memory. For me, no other day was as special, as the day I spent hiking at the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area.Located just 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas, Spring Mountain is a nature lover’s 316,000-acre dream. As the car carried my husband and I through winding mountain roads the temperature soon turned a pleasant seventy-two degrees. It seems a bit odd once you arrive at the top of the mountain. Here you are staring at rising snowcapped mountains in a place known for its desert beauty. We stopped at the visitor’s center, where t...Read More

Red Rock Canyon

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Story/Tip

Desert Butterfly Photo, Las Vegas, Nevada
Quote:
Located just a short fifteen mile drive from the Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Canyon will make you thankful you decided to rent a car. It’s a silent, calm and wonderful diversion and you will most likely find the $5.00 per car entrance fee light on you wallet. After entering the park, you should make your way to the visitors’ center where you can pick up the necessary maps and take a brief tour of some of the exhibits featuring desert flora and fauna. Be sure to check out the desert tortoises there, because you will not see these elusive species during your visit inside the park. If you plan on just taking the leisurely drive around the 13-mile scenic one- way loop, you should not have any ...Read More
Quote:
I must admit that overall, I was a bit disappointed with the people watching in Las Vegas. Before the trip my mind conjured up all sorts of excited images, mainly always floating back to a transvestite wearing a Dr. Seuss type hat on stilts. What I discovered however is that most of the other people in Las Vegas were boring, non-interesting tourists just like myself. I was about to give up all together, when we happened to stumble into Barbary Coast. My husband ran off to the cheap roulette table and I was free to watch and wander. I viewed teenage girl after teenage girl escorted out of the casino by a burly security guard. I witnessed a rather drunk group of young girl...Read More