The last time I was in Vegas was, I think, 2001. I was not old enough to drink or gamble and just walking through the casinos made me feel like I was doing something very wrong. But even back then I was put off by the smoke-filled, dark, loud rooms. Ew! Who would willing spend time in such places?! But I did really enjoy walking through the hotels and seeing all the architectural wonders they acheived.
Our conference was at the Cosmopolitan and that's where we stayed. This hotel wasn't built the last time I was there and it was odd seeing two huge 60+ floor towers in that space by the Bellagio. But the hotel was amazing - clean, modern, and chic.
Complete with balcony - and a view.
It really was incredible. I could have just watched the Strip for hours from our terrace. The only downside: you hear the Bellagio fountains all night long. Think cannon fire every 15 minutes and you'll understand.
We walked a lot, making it to almost every hotel on the Strip. We even ventured out to Freemont Street - old Las Vegas - on Friday night. We were supposed to do this Thursday but our plans changed. Little did we know just how crazy it gets in Vegas on Friday nights. You get carded and wrist-banded before entering the Freemont Street Experience.
We wandered around the casinos and finally got dinner after dark, at about 8:30. After a frigid 30-minute bus ride, we were deposited once again on the stifling Strip, hopping off at The Mirage. Mr. Higgins wanted to see the Srip at night. Oy.
It was packed. I felt like I was in New York City. And let me tell you: I have no desire to see NYC. None at all. So when I came upon a crosswalk and waited behind a hundred people to cross the street, I got a little nervous. I'm not claustrophobic but I don't like crowds and feeling trapped.
The Bellagio fountains provided a brief reprieve....
....until we saw a homeless guy being kicked by the police. Wow. Can I go home now?
I don't know if I'll ever want to return to Vegas. I think that's an every-ten-years-or-so kind of destination. There's only so many encounters with odd people that one can take.
Oh, and we shared an elevator with a gigalow who was just getting "off work" at 10am on Saturday. He had been so "worked" so hard all night long that all he wanted was a shower. Ewoh!