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Vegas wasn't for me, but this book helped me to make the most of it
on 23 February 2014
I need to be honest front he outset. I didn't choose to visit Vegas. My husband was going to a conference and it meant that I could have a holiday for the cost of the flight to somewhere hot in April. Even then I didn't really fancy it - I was going to be six months pregnant and the bright lights and casinos didn't really seem to be a suitable holiday for a heavily pregnant woman. However, as our last chance to travel sans children I bought this guide book, took a deep breath and booked. I'm pleased I did.
Lonely Planet guides have been our stalwart companions for the past 13 years on any travelling we've done. And when I say travelling I don't mean backpacking or finding accommodation when we've arrived, I mean planning what to see, what to do and where to eat after I've checked out the best areas to stay in and the best month to visit. They've yet to fail us and this guide was no different.
This Discover guide divides the strip (which is massive by the way) into casinos and what to see and do in each, along with walks/day trips out and around them. It helped me get excited about more than having some sunshine after the harshest winter I could remember and plan some pregnancy friendly outings that didn't involve black jack or foot long tequila cocktails.
Maybe it's my naïveté about Vegas, but what the book didn't convey for a first-timer is that everything is indoors! It talks you through the casino areas and having a gelato in St Mark's Square at the Venetian or crepes in the French village eateries in Paris - lovely I thought, but when you get there you realise you are inside with the ubiquitous twinkle of the slot machine lights. This was really disappointing - not just the fact that this is Vegas, but that despite reading pretty much from cover to cover, the guide didn't make me aware of this. It also didn't convey how run-down and dirty many place saw ere. The newer areas such as Aria are amazing, but whereas casinos such as Luxor are described as tired, I would describe as downright grotty. But maybe I wouldn't have noticed if I could've taken advantage of those foot long tequila cocktails!
However page when it tells you to get the Deuce or a taxi, do it. The scale of buildings in Vegas make things that are really far away seem deceptively close, a mistake we made once, but my poor pregnancy ankles couldn't take again!
What was also good about this guide was the sections of hangings to do just outside of Vegas - and further afield with the Grand Canyon section being enough to get you there and see the sight.
Maybe I'm just not a Vegas gal, and I couldn't fault the information in this guide, which was easy to use, well structured and full of information.