A Hoosier in Sin City
On May 13, 2017, I boarded a plane that was headed to Las Vegas. For someone like me who isn't 21, doesn't much care for smoke, gambling or chaos, Sin City seems like an odd choice. Nonetheless, I was excited to get on an airplane and just go.
I was traveling with my boyfriend, Jake, and his family. They had planned a great vacation that would begin and end in Vegas, but in between, we would saunter around the desert to explore a few National Parks. That was the part I was really waiting for, but I wanted to give Vegas a fair shot. However, the first night was a bit rough.
The First Night There
We landed in Las Vegas a little after 8 p.m. We were all hungry, tired and adjusting to the time change. As we waited for our luggage to arrive, I was already weary. It was humid, I was tired and there were slot machines. In the airport! At that point, I was ready to scarf down a cheeseburger and go to bed. But the night was still young.
After a long wait to check into our hotel, we all chose our beds and got ready to head back out for food. We decided on pizza from a little casino and brewhouse called Ellis Island. It wasn't terrible, but my tired legs and grouchy attitude would have been fine without the walk. Once we all finished with dinner, we strolled a few more blocks toward The Strip just to take a look. I won't lie, the lights were fun, but on our way back we witnessed a car that had wrecked into a fire hydrant and the driver who'd made a run for it, but landed in front of a hotel entrance, walked by a man dancing and yelling in a gas station parking lot and encountered way too much loud music coming from cars that were driving way too fast. By the end of my first three hours in Vegas, I had decided it was not the place for me.
Bring on the Daylight
A good night's sleep and cream cheese bagels can go a long way. After a long night of travel and grumpily walking around, I was excited to start the next day off on the right foot; relaxing by the poolside and spending the afternoon at an outlet mall. I will admit that I was suckered into brand marketing and seemingly good sales, but I happily left with a pair of Nike shorts, Columbia leggings and my very first Kate Spade item. I love Vera Bradley, but there is just something about a Kate Spade purse that speaks to me. Someday I will have one to match my lovely wallet.
We all met back at the hotel to prepare for another night out. This time, we were going to explore a bit more of The Strip. It is an interesting concept to walk in and out of massive hotels. Caesar's Palace went on for blocks, The Venetian had a surprisingly adorable shopping area and every casino had flashy bright lights. Over the span of two nights, I lost count of how many casinos we saw, screamed (and maybe cried a little) about riding the roller coaster at New York, New York, tasted my first In-N-Out Burger and encountered way too many street entertainers.
A Day Trip to the Hoover Dam
During the first stretch of our trip, we took a break from the hustle of Las Vegas to visit the Hoover Dam. We had the cutest tour guide with awesome energy and a decent sense of humor. I think he really liked his job.
I really appreciate the dam and what it means for conservation and renewable energy. I also respect how difficult it must have been to build such an impressive structure without modern technology. Of course, as technology has become more advanced, the dam has also evolved with it. The generators were impressive. The Colorado River was impressive. And the possibility of altering our planet for good use is incredible. It was a good trip, plus we got ice cream on the way back to Vegas.
Downtown Vegas Saves the Day
Although I was warming up to the idea of exploring Sin City, I still had my hesitations. However, going downtown and enjoying the Fremont Experience changed all of my previous qualms; it was awesome. Ziplining, live music, bustling energy and a completely different atmosphere. Going downtown was by far my favorite part of visiting Vegas. There was just something about the buzz of a happy crowd and the sporadic shouts of humans flying high above your head. It was cool.
So all in all, I am glad I experienced a taste of life on the Vegas Strip. It is something fun to see in a lifetime, but I commend anyone who actually lives there. I prefer a simple life with plenty of open space and a place that frowns upon public smoking. Although, I freakin' love Europe and they'd never outlaw cigarettes in a public place. To each their own!