Things I Like About Las Vegas
Hating Vegas was easy. But after staying there for six days, I actually found some things to like about the place. This includes:
1. My hotel room: I definitely wouldn’t have made it through the week without a nervous breakdown if it wasn’t for my hotel room. Cheers to blackout curtains, a king bed all to myself, maid service, a lovely bathtub and shower, and Internet access.
2. Friendly locals: I was pleasantly surprised at how kind the bartenders, dealers, taxi drivers, and other Vegas staff were. I don’t know how they keep a smile on their face amid all the madness. Hopefully its because they are paid well and are smart enough not to gamble all their money away.
3. The bus system: The bus up and down the strip was a great way to save money on cabs – at $7 for unlimited rides in 24 hours, I highly recommend it, and there are stops outside of most hotels.
4. The shows: I can only speak for Cirque du Soleil’s KA, but if you have money, going to Vegas and seeing a bunch of the wonderful entertainment seems like a good way to go. My only complaint about KA was that the cheapest ticket with tax was $85 and I was so far away that I couldn’t see expressions on the performers’ faces. However, the stage was a technical wonder.
5. Bouchon and the lovely gardens at the Venetian: I love you, Thomas Keller.
6. Learning to play blackjack with my awesome colleagues at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall. Even though I lost the $15 I brought with me to gamble at the $5 tables, I really enjoyed learning how to play and watching others. I also prefer the camaraderie at the lower-end halls where I didn’t need to feel uncomfortable being a beginner and non-high-roller.
7. Sights including the waterfalls at the Wynn and the dancing fountains and Chihuly’s umbrellas at the Bellagio.
8. Lotus of Siam Thai Restaurant. The chef here tied with Austin’s Tyson Cole to win a James Beard Best of the Southwest award this year and when I tasted the food, I knew why.
9. Semi-legal Prostitution. Although I didn’t reach my goal this trip of meeting and interviewing a call girl, I did find out as much as I could by asking locals – like the bartenders at the rooftop bar of my hotel and a cab driver. What I learned is that call girls: carry big purses with all of their supplies, will not break eye contact with you like most women do, charge $800 or more for their services. They tend to work the same hotel once they get to know the security there and the staff, and as long as they don’t pull anyone off the [gambling] tables, they generally aren’t bothered.
10. The veggie burger at Burger Bar.
11. The way the lack of humidity and soft water make my hair look great.
So I didn’t hate everything about Vegas, in fact, I liked even more things than I thought I would. And while I would go back for a work trip, I’m pretty darn sure that I wouldn’t choose Las Vegas for a vacation. What did I miss?Tags: las vegas