Happy Friday, everyone! As you read today’s post I am either in the air or have landed in Las Vegas! As I mentioned in my reflections post earlier this week, I turned another year older. And I’m completely ok with it. I’m actually pretty proud of it. I’ve made it this long on Earth and the ride has been really awesome so far. “Doing life” with my best friend of a husband has been the greatest gift and I’m so thankful for all the blessings and opportunities that have come our way, especially traveling. I’ll talk more about this at the end of the post.
It’s been a little tradition around here to spend my birthday in Vegas and the tradition continues this year. Las Vegas will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first place my husband and I traveled to right after he proposed to me. I’ll never forget seeing my brand new engagement ring gleaming under he casino lights. It sounds corny but it’s true. It was the first place I got to call him my fiancé.
Las Vegas was the first place I truly felt like an adult. Forget about my twenty-first birthday. The first time I walked into a casino and placed my money on a roulette table was the first time I felt like a grownup, and a sophisticated one at that. As I watched that wheel spin I had visions of glamour from all the old Vegas movies, the Rat Pack, and Bond girls, where the who’s who of Hollywood would be waltzing by in their finest attire. That romanticized ideal is what Vegas was to me, and what it still is for me now.
A lot of people have asked me over the years why I like to go there so much, as in what is there to do besides gamble? To be honest, I enjoy the gambling. I don’t go overboard and I consider it paying for my own entertainment. As long as you budget for it, then it can be quite exciting – even fruitful. Some of our favorite memories and funniest stories have stemmed from the people we encounter in the casino.
But if gambling isn’t your bag baby, there are plenty of other things to see and do. We always plan a day at the pool. Vegas hotels have some amazing pool designs from lush and tropical (The Mirage) to Italian villa (The Bellagio) to chic and modern (Aria). You can also enjoy world-class dining just about anywhere. Wing Lei in the Wynn is the first Chinese restaurant in the U.S. to be awarded a Michelin star. The food is incredible! If you enjoy architecture and design, spend some time walking the strip and going into each of the hotels. Take in the grandeur and just marvel at man’s ability to create beautiful spaces. One of my favorites of these spaces is the Conservatory and Botanical gardens in The Bellagio, which is always decorated with colorful plants celebrating the season. It’s free to visit, too. You also can’t come to Vegas without experiencing a show. We have seen just about every Cirque du Soleil show (I highly recommend The Beatles LOVE) but there’s also magic, comedy, and artists in residence. I can’t wait to see Britney Spears tonight!
All of this being said, I can’t not address the recent tragedy. It’s important not to become immune or callous when it comes to the senseless acts of violence human beings do to each other. It hurts me deeply to see these evil deeds happening all over the world. As avid travelers, my husband and I have seen our share of violence in the cities we love most, and thank God we have not been victims of it. It would be so easy to stop traveling, to stay at home, and never get on a plane again. But that’s not the answer. We won’t let our decisions be driven by fear. Traveling allows us to understand people and the world we live in in ways that we could never know otherwise. Travel builds empathy. It brings us closer as humans. I am incredibly thankful to have the ability and opportunity to travel as much as we do. It’s a part of our life that I never take for granted.
I hope my enthusiasm and excitement for being in Las Vegas for my birthday this weekend is not perceived to be a blind eye towards recent events or selfish desire. Vegas is a wonderful city that needs us. It needs us not only in the wake of tragedy, but it needs us to continue to visit and love it. To continue to make it an amazing destination. Just as I will return to Paris, London, Madrid, New York and other cities around the world that have experienced terrorism of all kinds, I will return to Las Vegas year after year. I hope you do, too.
Thank you so much for reading!
Why I Go To Las Vegas Every Year For My Birthday appeared first on Cathedrals and Cafes