Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is all that it promises to be. You won’t be disappointed.

My parents suggested taking my brother and I for our 21st birthday (we’re twins) and originally I thought why? I thought all there was to do was gambling or clubbing – neither of which I thought I’d do with my family. Although a brilliant place to go to party with friends!

But there is so much to do in Las Vegas besides club and gamble. It exists in it’s own little bubble where everything is larger than life and fake but amazing and the main atmosphere is fun. It’s jut a fun place.

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We stayed for five days in Las Vegas in September last year at the Palazzo hotel, which is connected to the Venetian. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. The amount of detail that went into the interior and exterior of the place was incredible. Just the hotel seemed like an attraction!

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We had a very long twelve hour flight from London, so when we arrived we were all pretty tired. Out from the airport we walked. Into an oven. I’m not kidding, that’s how it felt. Obviously, Las Vegas is located in a desert, so we should have been expecting the heat! The heat follows you wherever you go and, as English people, we couldn’t get used to it. It’s not in our nature. But never fear, everywhere you go has the air con at full blast.

After checking in, the first thing we did was go to the connecting Venetian hotel, which is, just as the name suggests, Venice themed. It is so lovely, everything in that hotel looks like it really could have come from Venice. There’s a canal (in a hotel!) where you can take a Venetian gondola ride. You get a person on the back singing in Italian and everything. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice, so this made my dream a little bit more of a reality. It wasn’t a cheap ride but we loved it.

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Whilst we could actually spend all day in our hotel exploring (each hotel in Vegas is like a shopping centre and casino with loads of restaurants, you could live there forever), we had Vegas to explore! We went outside and died in the heat, then came back to life and went to nearby Caesars Palace hotel. The one is Italian themed. My favourite was the Trevi fountain-inspired statue in the middle of all the shops. I know it’s all fake, but I loved the detail that went into building it!

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After dinner in The Cheesecake Factory, we admitted defeat and gave in to our jet lag. The next day, we got the monorail down the strip to check out the sights down there. The monorail was great because even though it’s called the strip and so sounds walkable, the truth is that in the Las Vegas heat, you don’t last for long when walking! That morning we went to the Luxor, an Egyptian inspired hotel, and had a wander round. They have a massive sphinx outside that is taller than the actual sphinx in Egypt!

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We went to the hotel New York New York and looked around the Big Apple inspired interiors and then went on their massive roller coaster. I’m a big fan of rides and this one was brilliant. Not for the faint-hearted though. The inside of hotel New York New York is decorated like New York streets, and is so fun to see. Outside, there is even a fake Brooklyn Bridge.

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Then we went to the Parisian hotel and went up the fake Eiffel Tower. Almost as good as the real one! You get a great view of Las Vegas from up there. You can see all around the strip. And the inside of the Parisian hotel was so lovely and so French!

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One of the things we’d booked before coming to Vegas was tickets to see Britney Spears! She was performing at the Planet Hollywood hotel and after eating a Chinese at the restaurant there, my mum and I went to see her concert! It was a fabulous night; we were dancing the whole time! All the classics, and the new ones too. Ms Spears has still got it.

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The next day was one of the biggest of our holiday. I was up early (painful, considering I was still jet-lagged) and went with my brother on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon!

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It was one of the best experiences of my life!

It was my first time in a helicopter, and amazingly I was sitting next to the driver so had a full, unobstructed view of the Grand Canyon, which completely blew me away. The landscape is so rugged and beautiful, and the canyon is unbelievably big! The dry, orange landscape looks like it could be from Mars. It’s a landscape I am completely unused to seeing, and want to see again.

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On the way back, we went over desert – miles of it. This would have been even more impressive if we hadn’t just seen the Grand Canyon!

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After returning back to the Palazzo hotel at lunchtime, we all went to the Flamingo hotel, where there are, you’ve guessed it, flamingos. It’s a nice, peaceful place. There were other birds there too, as well as the flamingos, and was a nice change of pace from the bright lights of Vegas!

That night we went across the road from our hotel to The Mirage hotel, to see their free volcano show. Using light and sound to show a volcano erupting, it was mesmerising.

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On our last full day in Vegas, we spent some well-deserved time chilling out by the pool. The pool at the Palazzo and Venetian is beautiful- it really feels like you could be in Italy! There are multiple pools and the warmest Jacuzzi I’ve ever been in – bliss. Then we went down the southern end of the strip, to Hotel Circus Circus, where we’d heard there were free circus shows. I hate to disappoint you – but they’re not really worth it. You get a 10 minute show every half an hour, and yes, they are free, but not worth going there just for that. Luckily, we had other plans.

We made our way to Stratosphere, the tallest hotel in the strip. From their bar at the top, we got a terrific 360 degrees view of Las Vegas! A great place for a cocktail! At the top of Stratosphere there are a few roller coasters, set all the way up the top of the building! They are probably the most extreme rides I have ever seen and whilst my brother braved one of them, it was a definitive no from me. Too high! I’m not scared of heights, but this was something else. Proceed with caution…

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That evening, after a great dinner, we walked down the strip to see the Bellagio fountain show. This is better than it sounds. The fountains dance in time to the music and lights, and the whole thing is quite spectacular! And it’s all free. I also recommend seeing inside the actual Bellagio hotel, as it’s quite quirky – there was a sea-themed installation in the lobby when I went, and it was great to look at!

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Las Vegas left me wanting more. I am definitely coming back here one day to live life to the full again!

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