Your support can turn a life
A visit to the US is incomplete without seeing its “Sin City”, which is now a “Fun City”, states Anna Varki.
When you return from a-sight-seeing tour of USA, very often you’re asked: “Did you go to Las Vegas? “ Those who have a yen for gambling of course will not fail to visit Las Vegas as it’s in the only state in USA (Nevada) where gambling is legal. I made two trips to Las Vegas, one in 1984 and then again in 2001. What a world of difference! It is a man-made paradise.
New York in Las Vegas with Statue Of Liberty
Theme of Venice - boat ride in the canal
Las Vegas (the meadows) was given its name by the Spanish explorer Antonio Amijo, who used the water from artesian wells in the area while heading to California. The city is on an arid basin, which used to be marshy, and later became a desert, surrounded by mountains varying in colour, from rust to pink gray. Its original inhabitants were American Indian tribes Anasazi and Pauite, who gradually disappeared with the modernisation.
Transported to France - Eiffel Tower
Me and my grandaughter in Paris listening to Mera joota… his pronunciation was perfect
Las Vegas, the most populous city in the state of Nevada, is now a major vacation and gambling centre. It is marketed as the entertainment capital of the world and is also called the SIN CITY thanks to its numerous gambling dens and casinos. By early 1850, Mormon wagon trains travelled from central Utah to Los Angeles, stopping at Las Vegas, and it became known as the Mormon Trail. Mormon missionaries have established a settlement in Las Vegas Valley.
The real birth of Las Vegas was with the coming of the rail roads and construction of the Hoover Dam about 30 miles away, when casino-gambling promoted its growth. The ambience changed after World War II, with the construction of hotels and places of entertainment. Originally the purpose was to lure people to sample the thrill of slot machines and black jack! It was traditionally considered a city for ‘Adults only’; when we went there in 1984. My husband and I were so thrilled to operate the slot machines or “one-armed-bandits” as they were called. We found it very difficult to leave, seeing the person next to us getting a shower of coins, which only egged us on to keep trying our luck till we were drawn away by our son!
Fun with Family
My daughter and granddaughter transported to Egypt
My daughter in law and myself at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, with Elizabeth Taylor - a perfect replica in wax
My next visit was with my daughter in 2001, to a different world altogether! I couldn’t recognise Las Vegas. It had become a “fun city”. No longer could it be termed a “sin city” as gambling was not the only reason to visit, and one could go for a holiday with kids and pets. Visit Las Vegas and see the world, since one can be transported to New York, France, Italy and Venice! The best comedians, singers, dancers and movie stars began performing in Las Vegas drawing crowds throughout the year. Older hotels were erased and new hotels and casinos built to provide comfort. No dress code is enforced though some conform.
There’re excellent resorts like the Venice Resort Hotel where one can take a boat ride in the water-filled canals just like you would in real Venice except that here the water is recycled and kept clean! The Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel has figures of mammoth dragons spouting water! One can view the simulated Statue of Liberty and other architecture that make you feel you’re in New York. As for France, one can go through the Arc De Triumph and walk under “the Eiffel Tower” with the feeling that it transports you to France. In front of the Paris Hotel there is a hot air balloon, which displays various ads whereas other hotels have wide screen TVs on display. When we went through the French sector, my daughter and I were dressed in salwar kameeze. A wandering minstrel, playing an accordion, switched to “Mera joota hai Japani “ on seeing us. We stopped in our tracks aghast, burst into laughter and made him sing again! There’s a huge Mall where one can find everything including branded goods. The luxurious Luxor Hotel with the Egyptian theme has a huge Sphinx and a building depicting the great Pyramid.
Sleepless in Vegas
A city that never sleeps! It’s a feast for the eyes; the whole city is lit up at night and looks spectacular in various hues. It’s quite common for youngsters to have a holiday here. Some hotels provide pet care with food and lodging too. There are museums, even Madame Tussaud’s wax museum! You also see the Guggenheim Hermitage museum.
Want a quick divorce or wedding? File in Las Vegas! You can get it in a short time. Every 24 hours there’s a wedding with a church, priest, reception, in a “Hey! Presto” manner! Name it and it’s done! The latest attraction is a parking-lot dentistry. It’s an “on-site” dental van in a parking lot, where you step into an air conditioned mobile dental office, with eight dentists at work, replete with X-ray machine, power drills, and the works. No long drives to the dental clinic or waiting for your turn. This unit is invaluable since it saves employers’ time as the dental work is done on the spot and most of them are employees from casinos and hotels nearby. Anyone can use it. You never know when you might need an emergency, since a toothache can spoil your holiday!
As a vacation spot, it caters to different kinds of sports, apart from gambling. There are bus tours which take you round the city. Our stay was brief, but we left with lasting memories. Au revoir Las Vegas!!