Las Vegas Includes Family Fun by Bonnie and Bill Neely

Okay, so it is Sin City for some, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy many other types of activities in Las Vegas, Nevada, the amazing interruption in the middle of a vast wasteland of desert. Vegas is perhaps America’s most famous and infamous playgrounds, which every tourist to the United States wants to see. First of all, no matter how many times we pass through there driving from any direction, we are always flabbergasted that this thriving city can exist in the middle of nowhere. The desert around it is as desolate and devoid of scenery as the Sahara. How Bugsy ever conceived this unique place is a movie worth seeing. Las Vegas happens to be en route for us to visit our family, so we always stop for at least one extraordinary day and night to marvel at the imaginative architecture and see some of the shows.
This time we chose to see another Cirque du Soleil show, all of which are amazingly delightful and unique. Since 2010 is Elvis Presley’s 75th anniversary of his birth and we had just visited Graceland we wanted to see Viva Elvis, and what an extravaganza it is! The performance is in the modern theater at Aria Resort and Casino in City Center Complex. The theater is about four stories tall, and the huge stage’s amazing sets appear and disappear magically but unobtrusively throughout the show. In the lower tier of viewers, the sofa seats with thick cushions are extremely spacious and comfortable, but all the seating is comfortable and has good visibility. Viva Elvis is more of a dance performance by the talented Cirque du Soleil performers than the other shows we had seen. We marvelled at their amazing and unusual gymnastics throughout the numbers. The show is a real tribute to Elvis and an excellent review of his life and music, combining video, still photos, elaborate costumes, circus gymnastics, dance, live band performers, and Elvis’ own singing. The set is huge, and from floor to ceiling, always Elvis. We loved it and recommend the show for any age. Children will really enjoy it too!

Other Cirque du Soleil Shows in Las Vegas we also highly recommend are: “O” at Bellagio Resort, “Mystere” at Treasure Island Hotel, and “Zumanity” at NewYorkNewYork Casino ( very funny, sexy show, not for kids). On future visits we look forward to seeing “Ka” at MGM Grand, “Believe” at Luxor, and “Love” at Mirage. Also if you are in Orlando, be sure to see Cirque du Soleil La Nouba at Walt Disney World. (You do not have to have a ticket to the theme park to go to the show.) There are Cirque du Soleil shows in many major cities and each is unique and excellent! You will never go wrong with this wonderful entertainment by unbelievably skilled performers.
For daytime enjoyment and education for age five to 95 we highly recommend taking two tours in Luxor Casino: The Titanic and Bodies. The Titanic Exhibit is a very special tribute and commemmoration of the people who lost their lives a century ago in the 1912 tragic sinking of the most luxurious, largest and supposedly safest cruise ship ever built. We saw real artifacts which have been recovered recently by great efforts to save them before the sea totally destroyed the remains after over a century. All the names and many of the faces of those who perished are given in a special memorial section, and the entire exhibit is very sensitively presented. We were surprised to find many of the dishes, silverware and furnishings recovered in tact and displayed as if you are in the ship itself, complete with the carved wood Grand Entrance Stairway and crystal chandelier. We experienced the starlight, moonless night on the ship deck when all seemed well, and then we could touch the ominous iceberg which damaged five sealed compartments. Sadly, if only four had been broken the shiip would not have sunk. Haunting are the memories of some of the 721 survivors, some of whom tell in their own voices the events of that night when another 1500 lost their lives, including many of their family members, as only women and children were on the life boats rescued from the freezing sea. This is a meaningful exhibit done in a most respectful manner and a piece of living history.
Bodies, The Exhibition is an exhibit which has shown in many cities and will be on exhibit at Luxor through 2018.

We had wanted/notwanted/wanted/notwanted to see it and finally decided to brave it and hope it was not creepy. It is fantastic and not ghoulish at all! We think this should be required for all children and students to spend several hours to understand how our bodies are so wonderfully made and how amazingly all cells work together throughout our lives. The way of preserving bodies donated to science through plasticizing every cell was developed by scientists in China about twenty-five years ago. The bodies are now used for scientific explanation and study and have advanced the study of medicine and the understanding of our bodily systems tremendously. Each room of this exhibit has one or more people preserved whole with one body system revealed and explained. For example, in one room we saw the skeleton of a real person, with the bones named. The smaller exhibits around the periphera of the rooms give further explanation of each bone. In another room we saw plastecized humans with the skin removed to reveal the actual muscles and tendons. Other rooms were gastro-intestinal, transport of oxygen (with a scary exhibit showing exactly what cigarettes do to your lungs), the heart, the nervous system, the brain, the reproductive systems, and the stages of development of fetuses. It is like walking through a biology book, but much more fascinating and understandable because you are really walking through your own body. It is amazing and NOT TO MISS!!!
Since we were traveling in our RV, we selected randomly from our Trailer Life Book and found the most elaborate RV park we have ever discovered in our thirty plus years of RVing. In the middle ofa barren desert of sand and neon lights, this quiet, green Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort is really an oasis and truly a resort! With spacious, perfectly manicured lots, many large trees and wide driveways, this park can accommodate any type of camping. Some spaces near the visitor center have grassy areas for the picnic tables. Others farther away have attractive small colored gravel. The visitor center is surrounded with tall palm trees, as is the lovely pool and hot -tub area. There is a large adul-only pool and a separate pool for families and kids. Both are backed by a tall, scenic waterfall. In the Visitor Center we discovred a restaurant, which has varying hours depending on the time of year. The store is very complete with anything you might need for camping, great souvenirs, and a few video poker machines. You can order RV washing and repairs right at your site. Oasis RV Park and Resort is at the south end of the Strip just two and a half miles below Mandalay Bay. It is a perfect choice for your fun in Las Vegas, and it is located close to Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire State Park.
We know that local residents anywhere are the best people to ask where a good meal is, and the place several recommended to us was just what they said, “The best value and freshest food is Feast Buffet at Green Valley Ranch on Paseo Verde Parkway.” In fact, this buffet was voted the “Best in Vegas Award” for the past two years. We ate a perfectly delicious evening meal where there were hundreds of wonderful foods from which we selected, and the buffet includes all the fresh King crab legs you could eat!!! The restaurant serves three different buffets daily and is open around the clock. Everything was freshly made and appetizing looking, (by contrast to many buffets, where it looks like the food is picked over and may have sat there all day.) And every dish we sampled was delicious! We agree, this is a great place to eat when you are in Vegas. And since it is not expensive, you’ll have some bucks left for the Casino.
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