A Las Vegas Trip

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You may have seen in my New York post from earlier in the year that my boyfriend and I were also lucky enough to visit Las Vegas as part of our two-city birthday trip to the USA.

Our stay at the MGM Grand Hotel was included with our package deal, although we had to pay our room tax separately at the end of our stay.

Our Las Vegas trip was much more laid back than our time in New York – although this was partly because it rained non-stop for pretty much the whole time we were there so we didn’t want to be trudging around outside that often. After arriving, we soon realised that we were able to enter neighbouring hotels for free and take advantage of their casinos, shops and restaurants. This meant that instead of spending all our time in the MGM, we ended up walking to the Excalibur, Mandalay Bay and The Luxor quite often. In fact, we decided to take the tram to The Luxor quite a few times because we booked tickets to Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition and the Bodies (Body Worlds) exhibition that were being held there.

I wasn’t overly keen on viewing The Titanic exhibition to be honest, but my boyfriend persuaded me to buy joint tickets to this and the Bodies exhibition. Upon arrival, we were given boarding cards – which looked like the actual boarding cards for the RMS Titanic – each with a name and room class of a real person on board. At the end of the exhibition there was a wall full of the names of every passenger with information on whether they lived or died – and we were encouraged to find the name on our boarding pass to see what our fate would have been had we had boarded The Titanic. My boyfriend and I both had cards belonging to first class passengers – Mrs Hudson J.C. Allison and Mr Charles Duane Williams – so we were fairly surprised to see our two names in the list of people who perished on board. It was such a humbling experience to see the huge list of people who never made it home, especially when we’d just spent the last hour reading survival stories on information boards throughout the exhibition rooms.

We spent quite a lot of time walking along a reconstruction of the promenade deck and reading about the recreations of the main staircase and several different classes of cabin – all of which were really interesting to see. We were particularly interested in a video documenting the timings of the initial contact with the iceberg and the final sinking of the ship, and the star of the show which was the aptly named “big piece” – a 15 ton section of the ship brought back to the surface in a 1998 expedition.

Out of the two exhibitions we’d paid for, I was most looking forward to Bodies. Bodies is just as it sounds – it is an exhibition dedicated to the human form, and was created by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens who invented the process of plastination to preserve tissues. I’d previously seen his work in the UK with animal specimens, so I was particularly interested to see his work with humans. Of course, parts of this exhibition were extremely sad, with a pregnant woman, young men and several foetal specimens among those on show. But mostly the exhibition was a celebration of the human body in all of its forms, yet also a sort of warning against harmful habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol – as several damaged and diseased organs were also on show.

Despite my initial reservations about the Titanic exhibition, I really enjoyed it and I’d fully recommend both of these exhibits – even though they may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Las Vegas! They were definitely worth the money we paid and they made our time in Vegas much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we were unable to take any photos in either of the exhibitions as cameras were banned, so I don’t really have anything to show unfortunately – just photos of our tickets!

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We also had time to fit in a show during our short stay at the MGM – although we almost missed it because jet lag kicked in and we fell asleep at 6pm before waking up 20 minutes before the show… A Cirque du Soleil show was on our Vegas bucket list, so we made sure to book Ka as soon as we got to our hotel. I’m not sure I fully understood the story we were watching (as there’s no speaking – just lots of shrieking noises) but the martial arts, acrobatics and various other stunts were incredible to watch and I enjoyed every moment of it all the same. Annoyingly, there was a technical hitch half way through that stopped the show for about 30 minutes but it didn’t make a massive difference to our enjoyment – it was just a bit awkward to watch…

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We also made time for several trips to the Vegas outlet malls and all the restaurants we could fit in. 3 days is not long enough to spend exploring this weird desert City, so once again we tried to cram in as much as we could. Both of us would love to go back at some point in the near future and visit all of the other hotels, exhibitions and maybe even take a trip to the Grand Canyon!

Have you been to Las Vegas?


Song Recommendation:

Hozier –> From Eden

#LabelNV

 

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