December 31st, 2007 – by: smileydd23
Red Rock Canyon
I was on a mission to spend New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
. I thought I had it easy-my brother lives in Vegas, so I already had a place to stay. The only thing I had to do was to get there. I decided to drive the exhausting 1300 mile trip from Austin, Tx. It didn't seem that big of a deal at first, but then I forgot how long it takes just to get out of Texas! In Texas alone, I drove past the beautiful hill country, the fresh lakes, many different cities, aged mountains and the dry dessert in El Paso. Then I saw it, the city lights of Las Vegas, arriving there around midnight. Viva Las Vegas!
With all the casinos being built, it's nice to escape the busyness and go sightseeing off the strip.
I went to Red Rock Canyon within the Mojave Dessert and took a one way, 13 mile scenic loop around the breathtaking mountains. I felt like I was in a heavenly place, connecting with nature and God. From there, I went to Mount Charleston. Mount Charleston is known for its snowcapped peaks and is the 8th highest mountain in Nevada. The air there is crisp and cool, not what you would expect to feel with snow around. There is lots of laughter from the kids sliding down the hills with plastic lids, sleds and cardboard boxes. We observe the fun for a little while and then decide to call it a day.
Then the day came- New Year's Eve, with all the anticipation. We decided to park at the Hooter's casino and just walk until we reach the middle of the strip. We stopped at O'Shea's Irish Pub: good atmosphere, cheap drinks and we got the inside scoop that this was the best spot to watch the fireworks.
Las Vegas strip
With two hours left until countdown, it was starting to get crowded. With a 1/2 million people on the strip, you are better off staying in one spot unless you want to feel like a fish swimming upstream. The noise of chatter, slot machines, craps and blackjack dealers surround us. We found a 'backstage' path to the roof of O'Sheas and start the countdown. Lights go out and people start cheering, 10,9,8,7,6- I'm thinking, wow! I'm here, on a rooftop in Las Vegas and its an overwhelming sensation. People are everywhere, but I'm lost in this moment and I felt alone. 5,4,3,2,1....Happy New Year! The fireworks burst in the air, in sync with every other casino. It appeared to last forever, but it was only 10 minutes. It was such a sight.
My seven days in Vegas was a vacation I will never forget. I would recommend experiencing New Year's Eve in Sin City at least once in your lifetime. No other place compares to all the excitement it has to offer.