Joel Goes to Las Vegas!

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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Come along with Joel Barish as he tours America’s most ultimate Sin City

This week, I took a quick trip to Las Vegas with the intent of spending two full days doing some advance preparations for the DeafNation World Expo, scheduled to occur in July 2010. Las Vegas is well known to you and me as the country’s greatest gambling city, and it is also home to the country’s best cheap buffets, too! However, much of what you remember about Las Vegas is now outdated, because the city looks so new here, so refreshed. I’ve had the fortune to see Las Vegas change over the last two decades or so since the late 1980s, and let me tell you, it’s been an incredible change. The city didn’t even get a hotel with over a thousand rooms built until after 1989.

Las Vegas is now incredibly full of great and modern entertainment, upscale dining restaurants, and countless shopping malls. There are so many shopping malls here, actually. I’d say that there are over 1,500 stores alongside the strip, and one of the malls actually has almost two miles’ worth of stores. I bet I probably underestimated the total number of stores here! The hotels here have changed the way they do business, switching from all-out gambling to increasing the number of hotel rooms, bringing better entertainment, and setting up world-renowned restaurants. A lot of well-regarded chefs from around the world even come to the city to open up their own restaurants there.

Despite the intoxicating atmosphere of gambling, I was surprised that I hadn’t yet gambled or played the slot machines the whole time I was here. I grabbed the freedom of time that comes with not gambling to check out the sushi in two different places. One had Happy Hour going from 3 PM to 7 PM for half price, and the other restaurant was an “all you can eat” restaurant, with both of them being upscale and offering top notch sushi. The sushi there was great and amazingly tender, thick with raw fish meat and soft rice. Whenever you get a chance to visit Las Vegas, you should grab the opportunity to try these two places: RA Sushi at the Fashion Show Mall Center, and Hyakumi at Caesars Palace.

During the night, there are plenty of outside shows. You can walk along the strip all night, without even riding a vehicle. The Sirens of Treasure Island (TI), for example, did a 17th Century-style clash between two groups of pirates, and other shows ranged from the Fountains at the Bellagio to the volcano show at The Mirage, as many people watched from the strip. I definitely have to recommend that you stand nearby the Bellagio Hotel and look at the Paris Hotel so you can catch the water show amidst the gorgeous background of the Eiffel Tower. It was an amazing sight for me personally, especially when I went up to the top of the tower. The view from the tower is beautiful, and definitely a must-see.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ride the unique gondolas at The Venetian, so I went on over to the area. The gondolas are authentic, coming from Venice, Italy. An oarsman (the gondolier) propels the gondola, by standing & facing the bow and rowing with a forward stroke, followed by a compensating backward stroke. I saw the other gondoliers singing to their passengers, but my gondolier took his break while I was riding on the boat. I found it funny because I didn’t get a chance to tell him that I couldn’t hear anyway. We went beneath bridges, and he had to duck to protect his head. The whole ride was relaxing, as I got to be outside on a beautiful day and enjoy a sunny Las Vegas. You should definitely leave your pager alone on the gondolas!

Mystere, one of the shows at TI, was still running, and I got some tickets for their show. Amazingly enough, Mystere has managed to sell over 8.5 million tickets, all of them since December 25, 2003. I’ll be honest; you really don’t need to have an interpreter for this show except for their brief introduction. One of the people involved said that we were not allowed to take pictures or film their show, thus making it clear that it would be silly to have an interpreter for just a minute’s worth of work.

My trip wasn’t supposed to be all fun, no work, so I went over to check out the convention site for the World Expo, at Sands Expo Center. The center is perfect for our event, as it is Deaf-friendly. Two of the workers from The Venetian and The Palazzo know sign language, and one of them actually work at the Concierge’s desk. I suggest staying at the Palazzo because she will be able to communicate with you through sign language and give you the best dining reservations or tickets to the hottest shows anywhere in Vegas! They showed me some rooms at both of the hotels, and all of the rooms are suites. Both hotels have over 7,000 rooms, and they’re considered to be the world’s largest hotel complex. The prices of the suites at Treasure Island, The Venetian, and The Palazzo are great especially when compared to other prices for suites in other cities.

There’s always much more to do in Vegas, and yet I’ve only covered at least five percent of Las Vegas so far! I definitely will be returning to Sin City as much as possible to prepare for the July 2010 DeafNation World Expo, so keep checking back here for more updates! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity here; come along with me to Las Vegas!

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wangwei says:
Posted on: Jul 09, 2010
Eric says:
Thanks for sharing! Reminds me of how fun Vegas can be. It's only a short drive away from LA, should head out there more...
Posted on: Dec 17, 2008
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