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Las Vegas-An Exciting Holiday

Editor's Note: Editor's Note: Carole Robertson is President of the Toronto Chapter of the NFB:AE

I was finally here! For many years I have been longing to visit Las Vegas. Having heard so much about this fascinating place I wanted to experience the excitement. Now that dream was finally coming true. From the moment I stepped off the plane I could tell from the chatter of people around me that I was in a city that offers so much to do and "see" that I could hardly wait to do it all.

After registration at my hotel I immediately decided to explore the famous "Strip". My husband and I had rented a car so out we went driving up and down this magnificent street. We were amazed at how large the many hotels were.

It was described to me that each hotel had a different theme and each one tried to outdo each other with special effects and blazing colours. I knew I wanted to explore each hotel more thoroughly and experience the differences. Where should I start?

It was truly overwhelming. I knew it was impossible to see it all in just a few days so I made a list of those places I had heard about first and went about exploring them. There was M.G.M., New York, Paris, Venetia, Aladdin, Luxor, Bellagio, Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and on and on. Each hotel had many restaurants, theme areas like a carnival, circus acts, animal zoo, gondola rides, fountains, one act plays, exploding volcanoes, etc.

Then there were the Casinos. Each hotel had many different areas of slot machines and gaming tables and when you walked in you could hear the clamor of all these machines as they vied for your attention with bells, whistles, animated voices calling out for you to try your luck. The slots ranged from many 5 cent machines to those with much higher stakes. We even found a penny machine.

The tables were crowded with many hopefuls milling around. The whole scene promised fun as long as you didn't go overboard and spend your money carelessly. We settled on the 5 cent slots. They were fun to play and every one of the TV game shows were represented in a game. i.e. Wheel of Fortune, The Price Is Right, Bingo, I Dream of Jeannie, Monopoly, Let's Make a Deal and on and on.

These games were not passive activity but were very proactive. You could spend a lot of time playing these games without spending a lot of money.

Then there were all the games of matching bars, 777's, and cherries. I put my money into the machines and when it went "ding, ding, ding" I knew I had won something. One won frequently enough to keep the excitement going but alas, the big jackpots came few and far between. It was exciting to hope you might win, but most often you just came close .

When it came to restaurants I don't think there is anywhere that offers such a wide expanse of choice. There were restaurants that offered all the types of food you could possibly think of-and each hotel had different choices. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was alive and the service was great. In most places you were treated as though you were the most important person there.

If shopping was your wish, almost every hotel had a shopping concourse and there were also many places along the street where you could get what your heart desires. Dotted along the Strip and in several other locations there were the most adorable small wedding chapels. They added so much to the essence of the place.

If one chooses to explore other parts of Las Vegas there are the museums of which the Liberace museum is the most popular. The city had so many other attractions to offer including the special sky-show of lights in the downtown area. The shows were outstanding. They had top name performers, comedians, pantomimists {not for the blind}, singers, etc.. Each one offered a wonderful evening of entertainment .

After I was there a few days, I had seen the ocean beach at Mandalay Bay, the roller coaster at New York, the exploding Volcano at Mirage, the dancing fountain at Bellagio, the Star Trek exhibition, the Pirate Show Ship Battle at Treasure Island, and many more exciting exhibits. I knew Las Vegas was a place where a person with limited or no vision could really enjoy. You could hear the sounds and the music, smell the food, taste the delicacies, and absorb the atmosphere. And if you played the games you could be a possible winner and experience the excitement and the fun. It was a great holiday and I look forward to returning and again live in a fantasy land if only for a short while.