Recommend July 2010 - (Page 36)

north america 48 HOuRS IN LAS VEGAS a high-rolling experience Y carla hunt 36 july 2010 onsite review june 2009 You count your blessings when you’ve had the luck to travel to and even live in fascinating foreign places from A to Z: say Aleppo and Antarctica to Zacatecas and Zimbabwe. To appropriately frame that travel clock, when I was in Zimbabwe, it was called Northern Rhodesia. In any case, today’s wish list of not-to-miss places is topped by Chicago, New Orleans and Las Vegas. And now, check that last one off, for a funny thing happened on the way to rafting in the Grand Canyon: my husband and I detoured to Las Vegas. And in short: what a preposterous and creative, over-the-top and interesting, good times in bad times city-resort it is. Travel agents know better than this writer the importance of matching client vacations to client interests, and mine don’t include gambling. And perhaps you have to be a non-gambler to have time to “seize the day” in Las Vegas. I left my husband by the pool and at the tables and took off for two days to dip into the experience and find out exactly what all the Las Vegas fuss is about. The obvious place to begin is along the famous Strip, and the double-decker sightseeing “Deuce” buses running constantly on this 3-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South make this fairly easy and a lot of fun, especially when shared with fellow passengers seemingly from all over the country—no, make that the world. During two days of hopping on and off those buses, what turned out to be of greatest interest was the mind-boggling assemblage of themed hotels: the South Sea-themed Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino with its Shark Reef aquarium; neighboring Luxor, an onyx pyramid of a place with an impressive re-creation of King Tut’s burial chamber; and The Venetian, which links to-scale replicas of the Rialto Bridge to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square—complete with singing gondoliers and wandering entertainers. Also within this city-ofcanals-themed hotel, the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was a surprise find. And every good New Yorker must stop in at New York-New York: well briefly, at least, to gape at the mini-Grand Central Station and the Manhattan Express that hurtles patrons Coney Island-style across a faux-Manhattan skyline at 70 miles an hour. To get a taste of yesteryear, one takes the Deuce bus from the Strip to Fremont Street, officially tabbed as the focus of efforts to save Downtown, where Vegas was born. The old casinos remain—locals almost all agree that following $100 million worth of renovations including shark MGM MiraGe

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2010

Cover: Experiential Travel
Editor’s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk
Tour Talk
Louis Cruises'
Shamwari Game Reserve
Las Vegas
Rancho De Los Caballeros
Calling Indiana Jones Types

Recommend July 2010