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Viva Las Vegas

- Elise

We’ve all heard the motto: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Sounds a bit promiscuous, right? Well I’m going to break this fake “law” and tell you about my experiences in Las Vegas.

What comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas? Maybe show girls, gambling, parties, and fancy hotels. Not exactly the best place for teens, don’t you think? While this is somewhat true, there are other ways for teens to have fun in Las Vegas.

I went to Las Vegas two years ago with my family during spring break. We stayed at The Circus Circus hotel. It wasn’t really anything special or memorable. But it’s probably the best kid-friendly hotel because it’s not super-fancy and it has some activities for teens (just don’t stay there if you have a fear of clowns!). However, Circus Circus was a far walk from the main strip of Las Vegas. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. See, Las Vegas is basically in the middle of a desert, so things look like they’d be really close, but in reality, they’re not. My family and I made this mistake a few times and suffered from some tired legs.
Believe it or not, in Las Vegas, the main attractions are the hotels themselves. Each hotel in Las Vegas has its own theme. So while you’re walking down the Strip, stopping into the different hotels, it’s like you are stepping into whole new worlds. The Bellagio Hotel was inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy and is famous for its elegance. When I walked into the lobby of the Bellagio, I was stunned by the beautiful ceiling made out of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers. Also in the Bellagio is the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Here you’ll find a gorgeous display of plants, flowers, and trees all with a great amount of detail. Another thing that you cannot miss when traveling to Las Vegas is the Fountains of Bellagio. In front of the Bellagio hotel is a 9-acre manmade lake. Every 30 minutes in the afternoons and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight there’s a water show. More than 1,200 nozzles shoot water up into the air to make the water “dance” to music. At night, the water is lit up to be all different colors. It was a really cool show and it’s completely free for whoever is walking by.

Another memorable hotel was the Venetian. Themed after the Italian city of Venice, the Venetian has canals running through its main floor. Here, you can take a gondola ride or enjoy some delicious gelato. What’s cool about the Venetian is that the high ceilings are painted to look like the sky. The beautiful architecture and the airy atmosphere really makes you feel as though you are outside roaming the streets of Venice.

Ironically enough, I think my favorite hotel on the Strip was New York-New York. I live close to New York City, so I thought it was funny that I flew almost 3000 miles away from the Big Apple and still liked the New York-New York hotel best. The outside of the hotel was made to look like the New York City skyline with recognizable landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and, of course, the Statue of Liberty. Inside the hotel, the main floor is separated into the areas and neighborhoods of New York City. Even the hallways are named after different streets in New York. In the hotel, there’s a fun arcade modeled after Coney Island. Here, you can play some Boardwalk style games, like my favorite: Skiball. Another awesome part of this hotel is that there is a rollercoaster going around the hotel’s exterior. I went on with my brothers and it was a lot of fun. I had never been on a rollercoaster that goes around a building before so it was definitely an experience. Also, the rollercoaster has a 114-foot drop which was really thrilling. The rollercoaster cars were designed to resemble old New York Checker Cabs, which I thought was a nice touch.

There’s tons more to do and see in Las Vegas, so I’ll be writing another installment of Viva Las Vegas next week.
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