My husband and I are eating brunch at the Nine Fine Irishmen Pub inside the “New York New York” hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
This is my first trip to Las Vegas since I was 16 years old and had to stay in the hotel room at Circus Circus babysitting my 4 younger brothers and sisters. This time, my friend warned me, would be very different. She said people were walking around wearing “things” that belonged in a strip joint. I have not seen that so far. I have seen “hen parties” – you could tell because they had matching hair ornaments or Hawaiian leis, and very, very short dresses and very, very high heels.
I’m having the “Full Irish Breakfast,” which here, like at any good Irish Pub, is served all day. The pub itself is two stories of dark wood with scroll work above stained glass windows. We are seated in an alcove with one other table which is a nice, relatively quiet, closed off area. “Nice” because everywhere in Las Vegas is noisy, so it’s nice to find a place of relative calm. (I was disappointed by the “Full Irish Breakfast.” The toast was white bread, and the mushrooms tasted like they were canned, although the hostess swore they weren’t.)
The interesting part about NYNY is that there are sidewalk cafes like in NYC. There are pizza places and hot dog joints with wrought iron tables set outside. So as you’re walking between them you can imagine that you are walking down the sidewalk in New York City. (Of course here it is very clean and not as rushed.)
The pool at NYNY is hopping! With energetic music and a volleyball net, it’s a place for fun, or at least watching the fun from your lounge chair. (And you can watch the roller coaster as it climbs then hear the screams as it drops.) The pool gets the shade of the next building in the late afternoon, so get there early.
The pools at the Aria are more relaxed. They have 3 separate pools all surrounded by trees so you can pick shade or sun. The drinks are expensive. But the view is beautiful. You are looking at trees and condos, so you can forget you are on “the strip” for a while.
Las Vegas is safe and the temperatures in October are very nice. There are ever present security guards in all of the casino resorts and police patrolling the sidewalks. One o’clock at night seems like one o’clock in the afternoon except the sky is black. The highs in mid October reached 90F with night time temperatures in the 60s. Nice pool weather during the day and nice outdoor walking weather at night.
“The strip” is one casino resort after another with stores like Gucci, Pravda and Crystal dotted in between and eateries right and left. You can take a taxi from one hotel to another if you’re wearing shoes not made for walking otherwise after indulging in a high calorie late night meal, you can walk and take off your shoes and get black feet or bring along something to slip into.
Now that I’m home, I realize that I actually enjoyed Las Vegas. I didn’t expect to. My idea of a holiday is a cottage in Ireland or Scotland not a city full of lights and unusual people. First of all, there are many “normal” people in Vegas – like Bob and Sue from Iowa. Although, I did see a couple of girls on the sidewalk at night – apparently trying to sell tickets to shows – with big angel wings and missing the part of their panties that was supposed to cover their bum.
I have to say, Vegas has something for everyone. Of course there are shows and spas and night clubs and gambling. But we only spent $5 gambling (and we do gamble, we just didn’t feel like it on this trip.) I took my tripod and got some unusual pictures of Vegas
looking up at the night-lighted buildings. We hung out at the pool and just relaxed. We went to Irish Pubs (much cheaper than going to Ireland and our waitress and the band had real Irish accents.) There were car races going on the weekend we were there.
There is a roller coaster right outside our resort and inside actually. There are many different types of tours to the Grand Canyon. Oh, did I mention the shows? (Everyone told me “You have to see a show!” Does Na Fianna at the RiRa Irish Pub count?) You can rent a car and drive to Red Rocks Canyon. You can book a helicopter tour and see Vegas from the sky. You can find your thrills at Adventuredome Theme Park. There is a Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio. The list is endless and ever changing – Vegas never stays the same.
A good site for things to do is: http://www.visitlasvegas.com/activities/
If you want some tips on Las Vegas: where to go or where to stay and what to see, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I apologize for the quality of the pictures in this blog – they were taken with my phone because I didn’t drag my good camera everywhere with me. If you wish to see my night time pictures with the good camera, you can view them at http://ahpinc.smugmug.com/American-Holiday-Planner/LasVegas/LasVegas/