Las Vegas has never appealed to me as a destination in its own right...it never stole my soul like Rome...or my heart like Paris...or mind like New York. In fact the sole reason for passing through was it proximity to the main reason for my trip.
When I lived in the USA there were two places I wanted to visit and never had the chance...both are iconic of the US - New York and the Grand Canyon. I had the oppportunity with my studies to go to New York, but I concluded work or studies were never going to fund a trip to the Grand Canyon.
So I planned a trip...and the nearest 'large' airport where I could get a well-priced ticket to was Las Vegas. Oh well I thought...Vegas is supposed to be an experience in itself.
Landing on in Vegas during the Labor Day weekend, meant Vegas was crowded. I decided I would take a shuttle to my hotel...and we sat in snarled up traffic...the Strip was bumper to bumper. The next morning having not yet adjusted to the time change I was up at a time when many people in Vegas were just thinking of going to bed. I was on the Strip walking early...a few joggers...the odd straggler making their way home from the night before...and a handfull of people in search of coffee.
It meant it was a good time to 'sightsee' and wander in and out of the various resorts and not have to push and shove. But in the bright morning light everything just looked tawdry. The flamingoes in the garden at the Flamingo just seemed sorry and pitiful...the inside of the hotels seemed dark...the canals at the Venetian oh dear...
I was glad to make my tiredness to escape back to my room for a nap...even if it was an off-strip resort...and didn't head out anywhere before leaving for the part of the trip I was actually looking forward to.
On return...I stayed one night at one of those standard chain hotels...and you could have been in any city that night...we ate at the brewery opposite...which again could have been in any city. It certainly didn't look or feel like Vegas.
But then as I had two days to put in before my flight I had booked a cheap deal for a Strip hotel...when I had been booking it, the thought going through my head was that Vegas equated to the Strip, and that staying there was part of the experience. I slightly regret my decision except for the ease of access to public transport.
I dropped my bags...had a wander...and the Strip depressed me nearly as much as the first time. So I decided to escape...shopping at the Outlets...so I caught the bus...and bought a pair of trainers...then a stop at Town Center and lunch...but the heat was getting to me...so I had to return to the Strip...and retreated to my room.
A few hours passed...and my stomach was grumbling...so I had to venture out on the Strip again...dinner and a trip to Walgreens for supplies. But I retreated back...the casino held little appeal...flashing lights, noise, smoke...it didn't seem like a pleasant way to send the evening...never mind the fact I struggle to ever feel comfortable with gambling.
I had one full day left...ugh...I debated escaping Vegas...but I was feeling tired...and knew any tour like to Grand Canyon South Rim would just leave me shattered...and I had to hit the ground running when I got back. So having enjoyed coffee...I wandered the shops...ate lunch...and went to watch a film back in my room.
All in all...the best part about my Vegas trip was the part that was un-Vegas part...and my room in the Strip hotel which was the nicest of my trip.
Vegas simply came across as fake - helped by Paris, New York, Venetian, pirate ship, castles. The lights and constant noise provide sensory overload, meaning it was difficult to process the lack of substance to the place.
The only reason to return...the airport...but I'll not be spending time on the Strip