I should have known that my trip to Las Vegas last summer would be out of the ordinary when one of the first things my uncle said upon taking us to the infamous ‘welcome’ sign was, “They probably don’t want you to know this, but a guy killed himself here yesterday. It looks like they’ve cleaned up all of the blood, though.” I’m going to be honest: I hate things that make you seem excessively tourist like, and this is hit the nail on the head. It’s a sign, people. While it may be iconic, there are many more experiences to be had that you might run out of time for. It’s worth driving past, but please don’t waste valuable time gawking at it.
Our family actually began our real excursions by venturing out to the Cedar City Shakespeare Festival. The Cedar City Shakespeare Festival was absolutely wonderful to say the least. The festival had such a terrific spirit about it; you could tell that the actors and crew truly cared about what they were doing. Do not let the title of ‘Shakespeare Festival’ frighten you away, however; out of the three shows that we saw, only one of them was Shakespearean. While at its heart dedicated to such performances, the Festival includes musicals and contemporary plays as well. It was truly a fantastic time and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone.
Our next stop on the way back to Vegas was Zion. It is absolutely gorgeous, but the ride down the canyon is enough to empty your make you bladder several times, especially at night; it’s terrifying. Zion had plenty of gorgeous walking paths to choose from, complete with a shuttle system to get you to the starting point of whichever you chose. As we began our journey back, we also stopped at Bryce canyon. I can honestly say that I have never seen a more diverse place in my life; I heard at least ten languages spoken. So not only did I learn about hoodoos, I learned that my public education in foreign language was along the lines of a failure.
Finally, we were back in the city. My parents and I took to Las Vegas on our own. I don’t find it necessary to go into how wonderful each of the casinos were, because that goes without saying. However, I will take time to rave about the dessert shop inside the Paris. I have one simple instruction: Go there. My mom and I ordered a chocolate raspberry torte. It came covered in a perfect chocolate ganache. The cake was moist – obviously made with real chocolate – and had a delectable raspberry compote in the middle. It was heaven, to put it lightly. While New York, New York is worth skipping, definitely save time to visit the Bellagio. It’s worth it, if nothing else, to visit the gardens and the fountains. Also, anyone visiting Vegas must see a show- it’s an unwritten law. We chose to see Cirque du Soleil’s “Love”. Never having seen a Cirque show before, I was floored. I found myself crying several times at how remarkably beautiful it was.
Las Vegas is a must see for all people. While it would have been more enjoyable if I were eighteen and able to gamble, there were plenty of things to keep a teenager such as myself interested. Just keep a few things in mind: 1) Know where you want to go 2) Use the buses that are available 3) Try not to talk to the people handing out naked pictures on the street.
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