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From Fine Art to the Fetid Funk of Lowbrow Casinos, Vegas Baby!

“Everything and anything you want to do, you can do in Las Vegas.” - Drew Carey

One of the wonderful things about Las Vegas is that one can be a spectator (or a voyeur depending upon the context) in numerous settings—both highbrow and lowbrow; there is the glamorous flash and cash element and the gritty underbelly which some people adore.  If you think you’re not a Las Vegas kind of person, think again; it has more to offer than you imagine . . .
Casino Hopping
You don’t need to be staying at a particular hotel/casino to enjoy what Las Vegas has to offer; in fact, most people “casino hop” from one to another on (and off) The Strip (where the main casinos are).  You might enjoy a luxury home exchange through International Vacation Home Exchange even more than a hotel.  This will give you more freedom to “casino hop.”  Each casino has its own character, and after a couple of nights on The Strip, you’ll discover which ones you like best.
The Bellagio
The Bellagio is mine and many others’ favorite casino.  The Bellagio’s fountains, made more famous by the movie, “Ocean’s Eleven,” seem to dance to music and lights; the crowds never get tired of watching, and there is always applause after every show.  The best thing is that it is free! 
Surprising to some is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.  Though the gallery is small, the art is first-rate; the current show is “Picasso:  Creatures and Creativity.”  It’s wonderful that world-class art has come to Las Vegas.  There are “Art and Wine:  A Perfect Pairing” events.  What better way to enjoy a glass of wine than looking at great art? 
Don’t miss The Bellagio Arcadia.  Near the hotel lobby, a floral masterpiece looms.  Designed by talented horticulturalists, this elaborate creation celebrates each season; a special display is also meticulously fashioned for the Chinese New Year.
If you want a feast for the eyes, look out over the pool area; it is so elaborate that I could almost feel my blood turning blue gazing upon the opulence.
Another feature of The Bellagio which I love is the pastry shop; the next time I am in Las Vegas, I will definitely revisit and get myself some more delectable treats. 
My very good-looking cousin became part of the charm of The Bellagio; after her first visit there, she chose to live in Las Vegas, and began working at The Bellagio. This place can entrance!  It even smells good—I’m not sure how they do it, as smoking is allowed in most casinos.
The Paris, Las Vegas
The Paris, Las Vegas is, as one might guess, a French-inspired hotel and casino.  A creperie within the hotel, “La Creperie,” is definitely worth a visit; the crepes (what else?) are delicious!
The Venitian®
As one can see, Las Vegas hotels/casinos borrow from the great cities of the world; and though The Venitian® hotel cannot replace the one and only Venice, it does a good job creating an elaborate, Italian-themed hotel.  There is a canal system of sorts set up both inside and outside the hotel, and “gondoliers” sing to casino guests as they row them around.  It was actually quite fun, and the shopping is fantastic.
The Orleans
Off The Strip is The Orleans Hotel & Casino.  A bit gritty, I enjoyed going in there just for the classic Las Vegas experience, and though it may seem incongruent, I received some really great pampering in their spa.  They have also drawn some big names in for entertainment.
Old Las Vegas – Fremont Street
Experiencing old downtown Las Vegas is a little like an American boardwalk amusement park, only more well-lit.  There is a covered mall-type environment with great, tacky Las Vegas treasures; also nearby are old hotels falling to the wayside yet somehow still kicking.  They have added a zip line above the madness below, and people-watching from above is just plain fun.
My favorite, quintessential Las Vegas idea for a business was Sexpresso. Sexpresso was a way to get your morning coffee and see scantily-clad women at the same time.  The cup sizes were labeled as women’s bra sizes.  Though I never frequented Sexpresso, imagine my disappointment when I learned it had closed.  I’m sure that Las Vegas being Las Vegas has come up with another creative, sensual idea such as Sexpresso—perhaps you’ll find the latest one. has Several Luxury Home Exchange Options in Las Vegas
There are several exclusive home exchange options in Las Vegas and/or the surrounding area.   An especially lovely home exchange is available in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas.  Henderson is a residential area and has some lovely desert gardens surrounding big homes.  If you actually want to get some sleep while in Las Vegas, this home is a great choice!
Whether you are going to Las Vegas for gambling, sensual delights, or just out of curiosity, Las Vegas really does have something to offer everyone.

This travel blog entry is dedicated to the late Rod Abbassi, long-time Las Vegas resident and desert dweller. - Sona Schmidt-Harris


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