Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Las Vegas: The Start of your Grand Circle Adventure
Las Vegas Blvd @ night
A lot of people would probably go to Las Vegas for only one thing: the Las Vegas strip. The Las Vegas strip is about 4.2 miles of Las Vegas Blvd (above picture ) where it has many of the world's largest hotels, resorts and casinos. This vibrant city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
I still remember when I was just visiting the US, and I was entertained by my fellow Filipino friends. My first day was going to Disneyland, and the 4th day was going to Las Vegas. Though there is so much to do in Las Vegas other than gaming, but my friends told me that: "you have never been to Vegas if you have not played at all!" So, following their advise, I used our hotel's coupons to get some coins, and whoa! I won $4.00!! My friends asked me to continue, but I told them, I am so happy with my $4.00, and if I stay longer inside the casino, I will be very sick. Staying indoor or simply relaxing in a vacation is not for me. My eyes have to be entertained to nourish my heart, and energize my feet!
Fountain @ Belagio choreographed to light and music
My friends showed me how "alive" and "vibrant" is Las Vegas. We went people watching in the strip, hoping to see some stars and celebrities. We cruised the strip, and walking the 4.2 mile long Las Vegas took too long a time because we had so many stops, just so many dramatic modern architectures to explore.
I would never have thought that I would be back to Las Vegas several times after that, because I am not the type of person who would prefer a city vacation or resort vacation over a nature wandering and adventure vacation. I am not the kind who would stay up late at night partying. The Vegas infamous lifestyle is not for me. What I love is to wander and wonder. quoting Socrates: "wisdom starts from wonder!" Wandering and wondering in the magical world of nature defines my idea of vacation.
My hubby showed me what I failed to see when I was just a tourist in this country before: the magnificence of the desert landscapes around Las Vegas. When I was still in the Philippines, my idea of desert is a wasteland, and my idea of Las Vegas is a "sin city". Never would have I thought that there is more to Las Vegas than just a plain "sin city", and the wasteland is actually a land of mind boggling gems of desert landscapes.
Hiking @ Grand Canyon National Park
Our first Grand Circle exploration blew me away. It was then, that I started seeing the desert in a totally different light, and started seeing the beauty in barrenness. I realized, Earth does not always have to be clothed with trees to be beautiful.
Stark Naked Earth, Death Valley National Park (near Ubehebe Crater)
The Grand Circle has been our nearby favorite adventure destination, where Las Vegas has become a convenient stop over for us, combining both adventure and entertainment activities. At present, one of my adventure goals in the Grand Circle is to hike Grand canyon Rim to Rim, hike to Havasupai Falls (both are strenuous hikes) and white water rafting at the Colorado River.
Here are some more parks aside from the Grand Canyon and Death Valley National Park in the Grand Circle.
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Zion Canyon from Angels Landing, Zion National Park, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Arches National Park, UT
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
And there are still a lot more to explore in the Grand circle that we ourselves have not yet explored. And actually, we can go back to any of these parks again since we also have not fully explored the trails in each park, because, there are just so many trails....so little time....so little energy!! Next time you plan a visit to Las Vegas, you may find it in the heart of your Grand Circle Adventure Vacation.