Friday, June 3, 2016

A bit of Vegas history

Today was my last day in Vegas. I decided to forgo most of the conference in favor of exploring more casinos and museums, and I'm glad that I did. I discovered my second favorite hotel in the Strip: New York New York! The indoor "streets" looked just like Brooklyn, complete with a guy scarfing his breakfast on a quiet side street. However, the best part was the Hershey store!! I loved the wall with Kisses dispensers, and I would have mixed a bag up if I wasn't afraid everything would melt in the > 100 degree heat.

New York New York hotel from the outside and inside (top), and the wall of Kisses (bottom)!
I continued walking down the Strip to reach the Luxor hotel, passing by the Excalibur along the way. The Luxor is Egyptian themed, and I think it's one of the most interesting to look at from the outside. The Excalibur felt very childish to me - more like Disney world than a hotel that takes itself seriously. But, then again, Camelot and fighting knights have never been my thing.
Luxor and Excalibur hotels
The Bodies exhibit came highly recommended, but honestly I was disappointed because I think it's only about half as large as the sister display in Georgia. The exhibit teaches about the human body by showing all the different systems in both component and full-body form. I was most intrigued by the nervous system. I am amazed at the ability of the human brain to control not only physical movement, but also emotions and imagination. Electrical impulses sent from the brain can travel up to 270 mph through your body - breathtaking from an engineering perspective.

My last stop of the day was The Mob Museum. As a side note, the museum is close to Fremont Street, which is known for having a huge lights display that runs the length of 4 city blocks - see picture below. I figured that it would be fun to explore a subject I know absolutely nothing about, and the museum did an excellent job of giving me a basic understanding. I had no idea there was such a web of organized crime across the US, and that it still continues today. I mean, I KNEW, but I didn't KNOW know... 

The museum is housed in the old Las Vegas courtroom and post office, and part of the tour is to watch a video about the 1950's Senate hearings (led by Senator Kefauver) while sitting in the ACTUAL ROOM they conducted the Vegas hearings in. Another cool artifact is the brick wall from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Early in the Mob's history, George "Bugs" Moran and Al Capone were leaders of competing gangs in Chicago. On Valentine's Day in 1929, seven of Bugs Moran's men were tricked into an ambush by Al Capone's gang. I got a picture in front of the actual bricks that they were lined up and gunned down against - the bullet holes are still there, as the bricks were saved when the building was torn down and put back together to stand in this museum.

Me in front of the massacre wall (top) - in hindsight, I should have looked more scared instead of smiling, but I didn't think about it at the time. Me ready to go into the Bodies exhibit (bottom left), and the view from Fremont street (bottom right).
I'm currently sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home, and I feel as though I left no stone unturned in Vegas! My trip here has been thoroughly enjoyable, although my one constant frustration was that the hotels don't mark their exits well enough. I know they want you to stay and spend more money, but seriously people, I'd be scared for my life in a fire.

Until next time, Las Vegas!


  1. I'm right with you on the Hershey kisses.... load 'em up! Thanks for sharing your adventures on the blog. Knowing how much you like traveling, there will surely be even more good reading for us as we ride along with you and take in the sights.

    Enjoy being home for a day or two!

    1. I would have loved to bring some on vacation, if I thought they would survive the trip! Glad you're enjoying reading about my adventures - I appreciate knowing that you're following along. :)