The Romantic Times (RT) convention this year will be in Las Vegas. VEGAS!
You know, subtle, low key, modest, relaxing Vegas.
Since I grew up in California, Vegas is a day’s drive. So with routine visits, I’ve witnessed its transformation over the years. For Vegas newbies, there are two main parts to Vegas. The original downtown centered around Fremont Street and the newer, glitzier Strip. In the 60’s, I remember the Strip with two story buildings and sand around the driveways. Now it’s the main center of the action. So while romance readers will descend to Vegas en masse, I highly recommend you take a few days and experience some of the delights that Vegas offers. I’m ignorant about the rollercoasters and club scene (my days of discos, mirrored balled dance floors, and big print polyester dresses are long gone—and deservedly so). But Vegas can offer some unforgettable delightful and/or really unusual experiences. Some you cannot have anywhere else in the world. Here are a few things to do that this aging nerd girl enjoys.
Food (with or without bacon):
Okay, yes food is first on the list. In the 70’s, my ski team use to stop in Vegas coming and going to Colorado. In those days, most buffets were 99 cents. Those days are long gone. Plan to spend about fifty dollars for a buffet. My favorites are at the Ballagio and Wicked Spoon. Be sure not to eat beforehand! Another rule for dining in Vegas is to make reservations. Really. Otherwise you will be presented with an hour (usually more) wait at the best restaurants. Unforgettably delightful experience you ask? Well at Hofbräuhaus you can stand, lean over your table, and receive a good spanking with a wooden board. Yes, really. I love that restaurant because I can embarrass my hubby by joining along in the chicken dance. My favorite restaurant experience is a corner booth at the Bouchon. With just enough wine, you can believe you’re in Paris.
It’s best to go to Fremont Street at nighttime. Then all the old school neon lights are on. You can even take a zip line down the street surrounded by lights. When the glam gets too much, take a seat at old school Binion’s cafe. There you can grab a burger and pretend it’s 1940. Or get your 80’s vibe on at the Peppertree Fireside Lounge. On the drive back to the strip, there is a store that sells feather fans and boas. I plead for my husband to stop, so I can buy a feather fan. He never does.
There are a lot of museums in Vegas. I really miss the Liberace Museum (sniff, it’s closed now). For Regency fans, it had one of the best Broadwood and Sons baby grand piano in the world--in a strip mall, in Vegas! Good museums are the Mob Museum (plan to spend half a day), Neon museum, car exhibits (okay, it's my jag thing), and my favorite museum, The Atomic Testing Museum. In that museum, they have a large theater like most museums, only when the show starts, all you see is a large clock counting down…
If there is an Elvis show somewhere—go! Some really talented impersonators do Elvis all over town. Definitely see at least one show, but be sure to get your tickets early. If you want to go cheap, walk up twenty minutes before the show. As for unusual experiences, how could any show beat one we saw in 2010? Basically on stage, the Titanic sank again surrounded by girls with no tops on. Huh? Only in Vegas.
Hoover dam. Turn the corner in the visitor museum and the first person you see is a drawing of a Regency era gentleman complete with cravat, Michael Faraday. He essentially invented the generator that turns waterpower into electricity. Also the dam is a place of stunning scenery.
Vegas is the place to go to be ENTERTAINED.
Here’s a quiz. Is this a pic of me in Vegas or Paris?
Have a great time RT'ers.