For a southern California native, I am shocked that I had only been to Las Vegas 3 times in my entire life. The first time was a family trip when I was 9. The second was a brief one day stay while on a road trip from Utah back to California. and then again 3 years ago for a wedding.
This 4th trip to Vegas was a revelation.
It was fitting, that I found myself at Circus Circus, the first place I stayed in Vegas at the age of nine. Initially, it seemed all too familiar as if nothing had changed in the years that have passed. The exterior, the familiar stroll through the casino.. the registration counters, the Midway. But, I decided to explore a little more and leave no stone unturned.
I hit the Midway and the arcade and all that nostalgia hit when the acrobats took center stage. But, still, I knew there was more to be seen. I was curious to find out what all this hullaballoo was over "The Adventuredome". After a few twists and turns, a few stairs, I made a left down some corridor and found myself looking up at this massive roller coaster and quickly gathered this wasn't the Circus Circus I remembered. Here I was standing in this vast amusement park, I was paralyzed. Well, mostly jealous because when I was a kid, all I got to see was the Midway and the hotel room.
My experience at Circus Circus led me to believe there was far more to The Strip than beyond that of which I knew. I had always known Vegas as a place to gamble. That's it. Going to Vegas meant hitting the casinos and walking up and down the strip. I quickly found, that the best way to learn about Las Vegas, is on the bus. The Deuce is a double-decker bus that goes up and down the strip and downtown areas. The thing is, you're gonna be packed in with all these people from all over the world who are staying at various hotels and all experiencing Las Vegas in their own ways. So you can eaves drop or converse with strangers and get information and opinions.. horror stories, "best time ever" stories.. you get it all. And it's unavoidable because traffic on the strip can linger and if you have the time, you can learn a lot about Vegas on The Deuce.
Las Vegas was starting to welcome me and let me know that there was so much more to do and experience beyond the casino. I was starting to feel the vibe a bit, seeing shows and walking through some great hotels. However, the one single event that showed me how much more Las Vegas had to offer was the moment I stepped into Jet nightclub at the Mirage at 12:32 AM.
Honestly, for someone who prides herself on knowing a great club, Jet quickly climbed the ranks of my "best of list" for both west and east coast night clubs. I loved the decor, the fancy bouncers (gotta have that earpiece), and even the layout. I made my way through the massive crowd of nicely dressed people and found a spot to observe the spectacle. Everyone looked good. It was great to see everyone dancing and singing along, filling in the lyrics when the music dropped out. I was impressed how well DJ'd it was and how the crowd was just in non-stop hysteria. I felt like I was in a movie.
After I got back to LA from Vegas, I was still buzzing from the trip. All I could say was, Vegas, Oh how you've changed!