Las Vegas, Nevada

Although Vegas is known as Sin City, you can definitely go the squeaky clean route if you want...what with spas, healthy cuisine, and the great outdoors... there's more options than you'd think both on The Strip and off it. Then again, it's better to keep it balanced, with a little sin and a little clean ;o) Pix
  • Canyon Ranch spa at The Venetian/Palazzo was a blast, I totally enjoyed the locker rooms, the lounge, and the sugar scrub treatment. Not to mention the conservatory and salt grotto.
  • The Venetian Hotel is aging a little, particularly their rooms and the upkeep of said rooms, but the shopping and public areas are in top shape. Kudos to Taqueria Canonita restaurant for awesome modern Mexican cuisine and an amazing Moscato Margarita to die for.
  • Dal Toro restaurant was a blast, especially considering the authentic-tasting Italian dishes, the rhythmic pounding of the electronic/trance music, and...the fact that I was sitting next to four to five Lamborghini
  • Hoover Dam is an amazing feat of engineering and human achievement. It was completed under budget and ahead of schedule without the use of computers...something the US government has been unable to do since.
  • Lake Mead is a gorgeous turquoise when viewed both from land and by air. The white "tub ring" around the perimeter shows what the highest water level was in the early 1980s. They say that currently the level is going further down, indicating a possible sustainability red alert from mother nature.
  • The West Rim of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai Indian reservation helped me exceed my expectations of the Grand Canyon. I've always underestimated the power of the Grand Canyon, favoring instead the Yellowstone National Park (still to visit). The Pink Jeep Tour (it was actually a Dodge 3500 chassy with a Jeep grille, but don't tell anyone!) driver, Chris, was sharp, knowledgeable, and humourous, and a great conversationalist. I even got to scale a somewhat icy and snowy rocky mound on an outcrop well above 4,000 feet above the GC's floor...talk about an adrenaline rush (or a possible fall) you'll never forget.
Spa visits and hiking may become my new favorite things to try while on vaca...we may have created a monster! ;o)

Here's a toast to 2009, that it may bring as much adrenaline, thought-provoking conversation, substance, and knowledge absorption as possible! Cheers!