My first trip to Vegas was the most random trip ever. A friend of mine and I were sitting in a bar in Easton, Pa, after work, and we were talking about the fact we both had an upcoming weekend off from work — something that was extremely rare.
There was a guy sitting near us and he made some type of off-the-cuff remark to the effect of, “you two should go to Vegas for the week.” We both looked at each other and a light bulb went off. Let the planning begin!
That might have been my shortest trip to Vegas ever – arriving late Friday night and leaving early Sunday afternoon, it started a string of Vegas trips very close together. The next trip was with my best friend Kelly for a journalism conference. We went a day or two before a conference I was a panel on and stayed a day or two later. It was really the first time I got to experience Vegas, and it was fun. I didn’t gamble, so just walking around and seeing everything was a lot of fun.
After that we went back with her boyfriend, another friend, for Kelly’s birthday with her grandma and uncle one year, and after a long hiatus from Vegas, the past few years I had been going back yearly for a work event that is always held at Mandalay Bay. And, while I have had some pretty fun times — even though I don’t really gamble — if I had to pick, I would say my favorite trip, was about 8-ish years ago when I surprised my Dad and took him one November.
He hadn’t been there since the early 1970s, and clearly a lot had changed. While we walked the strip, and had some good dinner, the best part was that it was the first time I had a car in Vegas. So, we got to go off the strip — which seriously, if you haven’t done, please go do it.
We drove ourselves across the Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon, where we got a fabulous tour of the rim, went horseback riding and saw where they were going to be building the not-so-new anymore Skywalk. We drove to Lake Meade and then along a river where my Dad showed me the place his aunt and cousins used to stay. We drove through Red Rocks and saw some wildlife that came right up to our doors.
It’s when I learned there is more to Vegas than bright lights and loud nightclubs that I have no desire to be in. One of my trips out there, my friend’s boyfriend and I went ATVing in the dessert, which was a blast, so I knew there was more to Vegas than meets the eye, but the trip with my Dad let me actually see some of those beautiful sites.
The photo above is a little blurry, but I posted it because it was taken at Red Rocks, which is where I am traveling to for work tomorrow. Red Rocks Canyon is beautiful. The colors, the animals, the mountains.
Although I will not be seeing much of it, because I will be at a conference and working, driving past the beautiful landscape to and from the airport, and seeing it from my room, is all motivation, at least for me. Motivation that if I work hard, and do a good job, one day it will all pay off, and I will have the means to do many of the things I want to do.
Have you been to Vegas? What’s your favorite, or least favorite, part about the area?