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A Vacation In Las Vegas: Concerts, The Excalibur And Sirens

The last time that I visited Las Vegas was at the beginning of August in 2004. It was very hot and dry there and in particular early in the evening. We spent most of the time walking underground up and down the strip, in the huge shopping arcades below the hotel casinos. A quick burst of sunshine between hotels and then back in the more comfortable shade.

Las Vegas is worth visiting once even if like myself you aren't a gambler. It's an amazing place and there are other forms of entertainment besides the huge casinos. One afternoon that wasn't spent around the hotel pool, we spent watching flair bar tending at an outside bar. We couldn't believe how the barmen managed to serve drinks up while juggling the bottles and glasses and without breaking or spilling anything. I tried it myself at the bar I was working in at home and nearly got sacked!

We had a laugh visiting Madame Tussauds and taking snapshots of each other with our favourite stars. I was really disappointed not to see Arnold Schwarzenegger's double, but then we caught up with him later on at Caesar's Palace and I got my photo taken with him.

We stayed in the Excaliber hotel. A Disney like version of a fairy tale English castle. The rooms were great except for the lack of the tea and coffee making facilities that the European hotels that I've stayed at provide. Coke does not taste as good as coffee first thing in the morning. Apart from that the rooms were clean, comfortable, well decorated and a good size. Breakfasts were buffet style and everything that you could possibly want to eat was waiting there for us to help ourselves.

The casino took up most of the ground floor and you couldn't escape the constant noise of the slots. I actually spent $5 on them on our last day, that's a lot for gambling hater me! Our party was moved on by the doormen on a couple of occasions when we paused on our way across the casino floor to get to the lifts. That was because my 20-year-old American nephew was with us. Ironic when you think that he had just returned from fighting and risking his life for his country in the Gulf war, yet he couldn't be in a casino until his next birthday.

One evening we watched a show in our hotel called 'The Tournament of Kings' a strange and unrealistic story of King Arthur and Camelot, but we enjoyed it. My sister in Law and I discussed going to see another show that was on in the hotel called 'Thunder From Down Under' but that was vetoed in favour of the tournament. A pity, 'Thunder' was voted the best male strip show in Vegas last year.

Apart from breakfasts and the finger banquet that came with the medieval show we didn't eat any other meals at the Excaliber. That was because we wanted to dine at famous places like the Hard Rock Cafe, the Rainforest cafe and Caesars Palace Restaurant. Got to admit the most memorable meals were those Excaliber breakfasts.

One evening we were walking down the strip and saw that a show was due to start up outside the Treasure Island hotel and casino. The show, called 'The Sirens of Ti was basically about sirens luring sailors to their island and then battling with each other. Entertaining enough and even impressive when you see the scale of it and know that it is free to watch.

Our final evening was the most memorable. We went to watch Sir Elton John at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace where his Red Piano tour originated. I've never been crazy about Elton and his music but I was absolutely enthralled to watch him live. My favourite song that night was his performance of the Who's Pinball Wizard.

Some really good memories there, and as we are going back again this year I expected to see a lot of changes when I was researching online for our next trip. I was wrong, everything that I have mentioned in this article is still happening in Vegas and that includes shows from Sir Elton John and Thunder From Down Under - this time!

However, if we go a little later in the year we can see Celine Dion at the Colosseum instead of Sir Elton John and that's a tough choice between 2 massive superstars who I know will blow us away.

A� Patricia Jones 2012