I just took a vacation with friends from France, and their kids (my Godchild and her siblings again), to a place where I haven’t been in 14 years: Las Vegas. I’d been there 3 times in the past, just for a day or so, and found it a bit dazzling and overwhelming, but it’s definitely a place one should see at least once. And on my friends’ American Tour with their kids this summer, it was their next to last stop and I agreed to join them. And Wow!! What an adventure that was!! I never thought of it as a place for kids before, but we didn’t stop for 3 action packed days. We saw the fabulous Cirque du Soleil’s O show, which is as beautiful as I remembered, combining acrobatics with swimming, a pool which appears and disappears, and then disappears partially, while one part of the cast is dancing on a solid floor, and the others are diving acrobatically (or from high trapezes) into the water. It is a breathtaking experience for all ages, and the children I was with were as dazzled as the adults were. On our last night we saw David Copperfield’s magic show, which is less poetic than O, but totally amazing and fascinated us too. And in between we went to roller coasters inside 2 hotels, Circus Circus and New York New York, we watched the volcano erupt outside the Mirage Hotel, and the water show of fountains outside the Bellagio. We walked for miles along the Strip, peeking at enormous, impressive hotels, each with a special flavor of its own. Some of our group went to the Venetian Hotel, but I missed that, we walked through the lobby of the Bellagio, and walked for many blocks along Fremont Street, which was a little less my cup of tea, with half naked people in costumes posing for photographs, and a lot of souvenirs and tattoo parlors. I wasn’t as crazy about that, it felt like the old days in Times Square in New York, a little on the seamy side. But the rest of what we saw in Vegas wasn’t seamy at all, but mostly fun and exciting.
We were fortunate to go with a friend who knows Las Vegas well, so he knew just where to take us. We lounged at the pool of our hotel, but not for long, just long enough for the kids to have fun swimming. We ate at very good restaurants, and indulged in gargantuan desserts at Serendipity 3, which were amazing and delicious. (I even had a banana split—shades of my own childhood!!). And I’m not a gambler, but shopping is my vice, so I never gambled, but I indulged myself with 2 heavenly hours on my own at the shops at the fabulous Wynn Hotel….and wow!!! I had a ball, and came away with trophies I love, some costume jewelry, a skirt, and 3 pairs of really pretty shoes. The wares in the shops are glitzier than one would find at home (lots of sparkle and rhinestones!!), I got some really cute gold flats, and a pair of evening shoes!!! Much more fun than gambling—-for me—-and I get to take something home, instead of just losing money. And I found the people in Las Vegas, the locals, amazingly friendly and kind, helpful and welcoming. It must be tiresome having hordes of tourists around all the time, but they are really nice about it. And it’s a fairly international community. I had a Filipina, a Kenyan, a Chinese, and Russian cab driver at various times. And you hear every imaginable language on the streets. We arrived on Wednesday, left on Saturday, and by Friday I was walked out, we had covered miles!!! It was a wonderful trip and a fun time, a unique American city that everyone should see at least once, there is something for everyone, even non-gamblers, and for kids. The trip was a huge success, and I had a ball with my friends and their wonderful children, who had incredible endurance and were as sweet as ever. We kept them up late, trying to see everything, and walked their feet off (and mine!!) and they were still happy, cheerful and polite even close to midnight when we got back to our hotel (the 4 year old was still singing—-I was not by then). It was a perfect end of summer for me, 3 action packed days among friends I love, in a city that provides LOTS to see. And now it’s back to work for me!!! End of the summer, but a very nice one!! I hope your summer has been great too, and ends on a happy note.