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Hey Dan, How was Vegas?

Okay, first, Vegas was awesome. I had a great time with my brother and brother-in-law. The helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon was fantastic, and I DID walk out on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The down side, when I got home, I had a sinus infection, and as I write this is may be turning into bronchitis.

We stayed at the New York, New York resort which was great except for the check-in problems. Also, if you ever plan on staying there, just keep in mind that there is a roller coaster that goes around the entire resort … day, and night.

The Haulapai Native Americans were extremely friendly during the Grand Canyon tour. You can see they are still working on developing the entire Skywalk area. They are planning a restaurant with a view, and a museum.

Me at the Grand CanyonThe Sundance Helicopter tour was great, but it was a bit cramped in the helicopter. We took off from the helipad, and flew over the Hoover dam and then down to the edge of the Colorado River. (Note: our pilot said we were going about 140 MPH). We then exited the helicopter and took a short trip down the Colorado on a pontoon boat. The boat captain then shut off the engine and let us drift back to where the helicopter was. It was extremely peaceful and serene.

From there we took off toward an area called the Terminal, where helicopters and airplanes converge on a bus terminal. The buses take you to the Skywalk and other viewing areas.  The views were spectacular, and I took tons of photos (to come later).

The entire tour, which I will detail later with photos, was amazing. If you have the opportunity to do it, I recommend it.

The Vegas strip is like a cattle run. There are so many people its almost impossible to walk, especially during outdoor shows like the Bellagio fountains, the Mirage Volcano, and the Treasure Island “Sirens of the TI” shows. Night time doesn’t exist with all the outdoor lighting and TV screens. Anywhere they can plaster an “ad” for a performer or show, they do. There are even billboard trucks that go up and down the strip, only adding to the congestion of taxis.

From the look of it, Vegas went from a gambling town, to trying to be a family vacation destination, and now seems to be trying to get away from the “family” part. The last time I was in Vegas was 1990, and the one thing I remembered is that you had no idea what time it was. Now, with all the shows, and restaurants and other entertainment, everyone is on a schedule. I think this is hurting the “casino” business.

Every resort has a mall, and a crap-load of restaurants, oh, and at least one Starbucks.

I’ll write more once I feel better and have time to go through all the photos.

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