Las Vegas Holiday

    There really is no other city like Las Vegas. Situated out in the Nevada desert with its imposing high rise hotels and artificial pools, one almost feels like an extra on a futuristic movie set. However, that image does not last very long. The city that once saw the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis Presley, is now filled with holidaymakers and their young children seeking sun and fun in what was once touted as the most glamorous city in North America. [photo:1349572965663] Today, glamour can still be found in all its ostentatious form on the strip. The hotels are enormous and the exteriors impressive. Tourists are in awe of the staged productions that take place in front of many of the hotels. Not to mention the massive billboards advertising the latest shows performed n the various theatres. At night time, with the added lights, the sights and sounds, Las Vegas does look a little bit glamorous. Try not to remember that it is all artificial and you have your slice of glamour during your stay. I was there for a very short visit – three days. Just how many days do you really need in Vegas, anyway? I was quite surprised to discover that the majority of the visitors during the summer months are Canadians: especially Canadians from the West Coast. Who can blame us? Here in Vancouver we hardly have a summer. The idea of sweating it out under the sun in shorts and t-shirts does become very appealing. Then, there are the Europeans. I really felt tempted to ask them what they thought of this manufactured city. By all accounts, they seem to enjoy it. Lining up to take photos outside man made canals replicating what they already have at home. It does seem a bit odd until you remember that Las Vegas is now a theme park resort for adults. During my stay, I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and utilize the pool. The hotel I was staying at was at maximum capacity due to conventions taking place in town. However, I pleasantly discovered the pool to be free of crowds. The toddlers and babies seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. It did make me wonder how parents explained the city to their children as I understand children are allowed to walk through the casino but not linger at any of the gambling tables or slot machines. It is strictly enforced, but, to be honest, I saw more screaming babies and toddlers running around than security personnel trying to keep them out. Apart from the hotels and the amenities, food is another big thing. You can ask anyone and you will be given a list of where the best buffets are. Every famous celebrity chef seems to have carved a corner for themselves. You can find everything from good old fashioned American fast food to fine dining. No matter your budget, there is something for everyone. Be warned though, to dine in a fine establishment you have to dress the part. Otherwise, you will be handed a shirt and tie and asked to attire yourself accordingly. Even some of the slightly more relaxed restaurants requested t-shirts with sleeves. Fine dining and flip flops do not make a happy couple! Las Vegas during the daytime is very family oriented. However, once the sun sets, out come the mini-skirts that leaves nothing to the imagination and the vertiginous platform heels. Las Vegas shows its true colors at night. The vibe is electric. A whole different crowd of people materialize. The nightclubs are buzzing and some even have long queues of people waiting to enter. The gambling tables fill up and the slot machines are ringing. It is 24 hours of people trying their hand or losing the shirt off their backs. I never could manage to stay up long enough to discover who actually does stay out. The thought of a cool air-conditioned room with a Jacuzzi and a great view of the strip tempt me to my room each evening. Away from the hustle and bustle, lying in bed watching the television, it occurs to me, I could be doing this at home!