Just a little blog about me and mine.

Vacation Planning April 23, 2009

Filed under: travel,Uncategorized — Katie @ 2:01 pm

Our vacation is getting closer and closer, and while I wait impatiently for it, I’ve been looking up things to do while we are there. PL and I did have a discussion that we might intentionally leave our computers behind and have a no email or facebook vacation–which actually sounds lovely. The only snag is that Emory parking registration takes place at 7am one day we’ll be there (which of course is like 4 or 5 am local time in Las Vegas and we aren’t sure the hotel has free wi-fi even though it’s super fancy). This important task might get assigned to my dad, since he did such as good job getting online and getting us Peachtree Road Race numbers when we couldn’t be at a computer that day.

Most people in my close group of friends haven’t been to Las Vegas, so I don’t think they know much about it other than the gambling parts. If gambling was all you could do there, PL and I probably wouldn’t be going back. We did do some gambling on our visit, but it doesn’t seem all that fun to me to pay $5 to play roulette and then lose that $5 in just a few seconds. The same goes for Blackjack–most tables have a $5 minimum bet, fancier places have a $10 minimum, and that’s just for a single hand. What we did last time is just have a certain amount of money we were willing to spend for the entertainment value–maybe $50 each–and then when it was gone that was it. We had fun playing the games (treating them more like arcade games where you pay just to enjoy them and don’t expect to come home richer), but then didn’t lose tons of money in an attempt to win back what we lost. We did play some of the slot machines and video black jack things (since most of those are 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents and a a dollar to play), and didn’t really win much but had fun with it. Our one big mistake is that we didn’t take the cocktail waitresses up on their offer of free drinks. That was stupid! They just walk around and give you alcohol for free, but I’m sure they don’t lose any money doing that since you get competitive and lack good judgement when you’re drinking.

As a side note before I mention some of the attractions we hope to see, I want to describe the overall vibe of Las Vegas a bit. It’s kind of a strange vibe, but I never felt out of place. There are older, retired people who hang out at slot machines and smoke–oh, I forgot that some casinos are smoky which is nasty, but most were ok. There are young, single guys who are just not as cool as they think they are. There are white, straight couples who wear American flag t-shirts. There are foreigners who seem to be spending lots of money. There are couples way too dressed up, even in the middle of the day. There’s a lot of families too, which even though there are plenty of family friendly things, most of the kids I saw were either pre or post-meltdown. I’m a world-class people watcher so it was fun for me. When I’m some place like New York I feel very un-cool and for some reason–even though no one notices me–I want to not look like a tourist. In Las Vegas, everyone is a tourist, and I’d never be so tacky as to be from the midwest and wear a fanny pack, so I’m quite hip.

But here are some of the fun, somewhat bizarre, truly amazing and otherwise really cool things we hope to see and do. Today I’ll list a few attractions we saw last time and hope to repeat. Later I’ll post some of the new things we hope to see and do.

Fountains at the Bellagio
Probably my favorite thing in Las Vegas. (Think those diet coke bottles with mentos times like a billion, and a lot more class). Every 30 minutes between 3 and 7 p.m., and every 15 minutes until midnight a huge body of water comes alive with a choreographed foundation show set to different kids of music (mostly classical but also some show tunes and popular hits). It takes up a giant city block, so there is plenty of space to find a good spot to watch it, but the best view might be across the street, on top of the …

Eiffel Tower at Paris


This is an exact 1/2 replica of the Eiffel tower, and for a small fee you can go up to the top. It’s a great view of the city lights as well as the surrounding landscape. Prior to going to Las Vegas, I had never seen the wide open desert before (I had been to El Paso/Juarez so it was similar but not as scenic), I got to experience a little landscape that’s different from the Southeast. So I really enjoyed the flight into the city and some of these high-up views of the surrounding mountains and desert. There’s also a restaurant up here, but I’m fairly sure it costs more than we’d ever pay for a meal.

Volcano at The Mirage

Every hour on the hour during the evening, a giant “volcano” erupts in front of The Mirage hotel. It’s not mind-blowing even with the water, fire and music, but it’s fun to watch (and free), so it’s worth trying to be in that part of town some point in the evening to see it.

Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio

There are free seasonal exhibits at the Bellagio, and like everything else in Vegas, it is done on a huge scale. When we went to Las Vegas the first time it was in December, and the Conservatory was decorated for Christmas and it was very pretty. It’s all plant based, so there are lots of very interesting plants, but also all props are done Rose Bowl Parade style with everything being plants, seeds and flowers. I’m not sure if we’ll be there for the Spring or Summer exhibit, but either way it will definitely be something we check out.


2 Responses to “Vacation Planning”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Sounds like you guys will have a blast! I’ve seen the Fountains at Bellagio and your totally right, it was the best part of the whole strip for me. But you have to be there to even think about getting the full experience. Hope you guys have a great time!

  2. Erin Says:

    I would be one of those in the “friends who have never been to Vegas” category. I can’t wait to read all about your trip!

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