Viva Las Vibrant Vegas!

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This is a hyper-spiritual blog post about my recent trip to Vegas...JK! :P This is about why I went to Vegas and what I inadvertently learned along the way.  (I’m one of those Type A personalities who tries to learn something new every day, whether vacationing or working.)  A lot of people have only one experience in Vegas - one I don't care to commiserate - but when I was offered the chance to go, I jumped on it!  I’ve heard a lot about Vegas, but I was curious to experience it myself.  I’ve heard it’s the most fun city in America, and I’ve heard it’s the most rotten city in America.  (You can tell I grew up in the Bible Belt...)  Either way, I don’t like to let people do my thinking for me.  The first reason I went was to challenge the notion that Vegas is the devil child that some people say it is.  Unfortunately, I have learned a lot of tough lessons through challenging people's opinions, but I've also learned good things that caused me to expand my horizons.  This time, it was definitely a positive lesson.

In my normal life, I live in sunny St. Petersburg, where flip flops and beach hair are the norm.  My day-to-day 9-5 is spent inside of a little gray cube, and I type most of the day. I’m involved with community groups and invested in my church.  I’m usually in bed by 10PM, even on the weekends.  My life has a lot of serenity and peace which I strive to maintain...and it's wonderful!  But I want to experience more things in life - things that are outside of my norm, outside of my box, outside of my comfort zone.  I want to see the world!  While Vegas isn't the whole world, it is definitely waaaay different than my everyday life.  Where St. Pete is chill, Vegas is vibrant.  Where St. Pete is older, Vegas is 21 again.  Where St. Pete is ordinary, Vegas is glitzy.  Don't misunderstand me:  I love my chill, small beach town with all the hippies and microbreweries, but I definitely don't want to experience only one facet of life.

That was my perspective when I booked the trip….and then came the trip announcement.

big money

I had several well-meaning people tell me that Vegas is a quintessential sin haven and I wouldn't enjoy it.  If only they knew how much I like to play the odds – oh, Vegas lingo – they wouldn't dare tell me that!  Part of the reason I really wanted to visit Vegas was to see if it really is "Sin City", i.e. if I would be so overwhelmed by the vulgarity that I would spontaneously speak in tongues the rest of the trip.  And surprise, surprise...it wasn't.  It's really no more "sinful" than New Orleans, besides their one infamous law.  In my opinion, cities aren’t sinful; people are sinful.  Think about the terror that is happening by the hand of Boko Haram:  it’s not West Central Africa that is evil; it’s a specific group of people residing there.  (Alas, that’s another blog altogether.)  The only terribly sinful thing I did in Vegas was pay too much for a fancy dinner that wasn't very good...and since we came out on top in roulette, it isn't too sinful, right?

That's the backstory going into this trip: I wanted to go experience something different and to gain my own perspective on a place I frequently hear about.  And here's a free little insight:  the mountains are underrated.  If you live in a flat, low elevation area (like me in St. Pete!), you will truly appreciate the breath-taking splendor of the mountains.

the mountains

My short review: Vegas is a super entertaining destination!  I had SO MUCH FUN! :)

And in case you want more deets... My experience in Vegas was atypical, and I loved it!  The city is vibrant at all hours of the day, and it's tough to run out of things to do, mind your budget.  There is so much sightseeing – more than you can imagine – and the shows, shopping, dining, casinos, and spectacular ambience were all bedazzling!  Sure it was touristy, but I met people from all over America, including some local Vegans (just kidding…Vegasians? Vegasi?)  It was new and shiny and so distant from my day-in and day-out life.  Just being somewhere different would have kicked me out of my gray funk, but Vegas is a very creatively stimulating place.  Sure it was pricey, but it was a small price to pay to stretch my preconceptions, inspire creativity, and give me an experience drastically different than my norm.

All-in-all, I had a SPECTACULAR time and I now understand all the hype associated with Vegas.

If you’re going to Vegas, here are my suggestions for places to hit:

  • Cirque du Soleil – There are 7 Cirques (with varying themes) in Vegas. I saw Zarkana, and it was amazing!

    neon museum

  • The Neon Museum – it’s surprisingly intriguing, and the tour guides are highly enlightening docents who tell enchanting stories of the history and development of Vegas
  • The Las Vegas Strip – which seems like a “DUH!”, but make sure you walk the entire strip…not in one day. It’s approximately 4.5 miles long. I think I walked it twice, including walking through the casinos, malls, etc. And for your own sake, wear tennies!  (You can thank me later.)  On the Strip, the casinos have a fun array of themes:  There's New York New York, where you can see the Statue of Liberty;  Paris, where you can dine in the Eiffel Tower;  The Venetian, which has the best shopping;  and The Bellagio, with its renowned Conservatory & Botanical Garden which displays a new theme every season

bellagio

  • The Grand Canyon & the Hoover Dam – admittedly, I didn’t see either, but next time I will book a couple of extra days to visit both places. I also want to play on Fremont Street (AKA Old Vegas) next time

And some final tips:

  • Bring lotion and chapstick, and drink lots of water…it is literally dry as a desert

celeb spotting

  • Check the weather. “It’s always hot & sunny in Vegas,” they said. We happened to be visiting during 2 of the 4 rainy days for the year. But then again, your warm weather odds are 361:4
  • Be on the lookout for a celeb or two...
  • Skip the hip, hot new steakhouse and go for the storied Vegas restaurants

My overall sentiment associated with Vegas has absolutely nothing to do with Vegas….it has to do with me.  A lot of people are content living their lives within religiously upright standards declared by the loudest Pharisees, but that's all balderdash to me. Yes, I use spiritual wisdom when making decisions, and I truly value my close friends'  God-given wisdom.  But spirituality & morals are different than religious rules.  If you tune your perception to God's frequency, you won't have to live according to man's rules.  Live your life how God is leading you, not by the leading of other people.  Experience things, don't fear them.  If your intent is not to offend God, He will let you know when you are sinning.  But don't live in a tiny little box your entire life to keep from maybe possibly accidentally sinning.  That in itself is a sin to me – a waste of a lifetime.

With that said:  GO TRAVEL!  Experience the world!  Live a full life!  I know I am.

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With a vibrant love, PriskaTabitha