The view from my room at Aria was amazing–including mountains, sunsets, Vdara and more.
I’m back from Vegas, and guess what? I didn’t get sick this time! That alone made it a winning trip for me. (God knows I didn’t win at the slots.) This time around, I really forced myself to slow down and relax instead of rushing around trying to cram too much in, and that really made a big difference. Still, I was able to squeeze in quite a few new experiences, restaurants, and a show, not to mention hanging out with friends who live in Vegas and meeting two new friends at the meetup at the Pub.
Here’s a quick look at my trip in tweets and photos. This should give you an idea of what sorts of blog posts to expect in the coming months. Continue reading →
Retro Vegas in the 18b Arts District, north of the Stratosphere.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas said to me that “Vegas has no culture.” I think he was joking; it’s hard to tell sometimes. But I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now. It may be hard to see the culture from inside a casino-resort on the Strip, but it’s there. Who creates the culture of a place? Its artists, of course. Find out where the artists spend their time, and you’ll find the culture.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been hearing a lot about “the 18b Arts District” in Las Vegas, mainly due to its popular monthly First Friday event, featuring artists displaying their works, food trucks, live music and a general block party vibe. Sadly, I am almost never in town on a Friday night, let alone the first Friday of the month, so I’d never made it to 18b to check it out.
Prior to my January Vegas trip, I received an email from a PR/marketing firm offering to show me around the Arts District so I could get a sense of what’s there. I thought it was high time I visited the neighborhood, so I took them up on that. If you, like me, don’t have access to a car when you’re in Las Vegas, you can get there via SDX or Deuce bus from the Strip or Fremont Street and get off at the 18b Arts District stop on Casino Center Drive. (If you have access to a car, you’ll also find parking along the street in this neighborhood.) Continue reading →
I’ve decided to do something a little different this week. I was going to write up a recap of my week in Vegas, but I realized as I was going through my Tweets from the week that most of what I wanted to say was already there. So. . .here is a summary of how my trip went, via my Twitter feed, with additional photos and comments. This should give you an idea of the kinds of blog posts you can expect to see here in the coming weeks and months.
I kicked off my trip with a 2-day, 2-night stay Downtown, using the Downtown Grand as my home base. With only a couple of minor criticisms, I loved this place. More on that in a future blog post.
Have you ever wondered how other people plan their Vegas trips? Well, step into my mind (It’s not that scary a place, really) as I walk you through a sneak peek of my upcoming Vegas trip–what I’m planning to do, and how some activities came off the list.
I know a lot of people just book flights and hotel and wing everything else once they arrive in Vegas, but I’m psychologically incapable of that. For instance, I had one unstructured day in Vegas on my last trip. I thought “Great, I can do whatever I feel like doing that day.” But when the day rolled around, I did nothing, because I am paralyzed with indecision when it comes to thinking on my feet. It was terrible. I wandered the Strip aimlessly and only succeeded in getting tired from all that walking. And trust me, that was not how I wanted to spend that day. No, it’s always better for me to have a plan of action.
This trip, however, was especially hard to plan. There are so many new things that have opened (hotels, restaurants, attractions) since my last trip in October, it was hard to squeeze everything in–and also make sure I have some rest and relaxation every day. (This is my vacation from my day job, after all.)
Here’s what made it onto my list, and what didn’t:
A few years ago, I heard Las Vegas referred to as the “Ninth Island”. I thought “Huh? How is it an island?” Turns out, this refers to the eight islands of Hawai’i and the close link between Hawaii and Las Vegas.
It seems a lot of Hawaiians vacation in Las Vegas. (Well, where else do you go on vacation when you already live in paradise?) Many have also moved to Vegas (around 200,000, according to a recent number I saw online during my ramblings).
What appeal does the desert city hold to so many Hawaiians? Who knows. I can’t even speculate. Maybe one of my readers from Hawaii can enlighten us.
King Kamehameha statue in the Hawaiian Marketplace, Vegas
This week, I’m off to one of the original eight islands. Since I’ll be flying home next week during my regularly scheduled post, The Vegas Solo will be taking a week off. In the meantime, while I’m in the Hawaiian mood, I thought it might be fun to list a few places in Las Vegas where you can get that island feeling if you can’t quite make it to the real thing. As for me, I’ll be sitting at a beach bar, sipping mai tais all week. Continue reading →