Culture shock and a happy surprise in Las Vegas

What do you get when you’ve spent eight nights camping, mostly in scenic national parks, and you suddenly find yourself on the Las Vegas Strip? Culture shock.

Streets are busy with cars and buses. Sidewalks are thronged with gawking tourists and local hustlers. Billboards and signs flash ads; music blares from bars; helicopters buzz overhead. The place is a zoo.

But hey, it’s Las Vegas. We couldn’t come this far and not visit Vegas. We splurged on a sumptuous room at the Palazzo Hotel. We dined in fine restaurants, saw the dancing fountains of the Bellagio, got lost in the maze-like concourse of our hotel and hung out at a fancy bar.

A trip to Vegas must include a show. What were we going to see? Cirque du Soleil, burlesque, a hypnotist, a comedian, a big name artist?

To our delight, Santana was playing at the House of Blues. It’s a small venue. We were able to get standing-room-only tickets, which put us on the dance floor only a few feet from the stage and Santana himself. He was in great form, has a terrific band and the place was hopping. We danced, we cheered and we sang along with some of our favourite tunes. We were thrilled to see him in concert especially since neither Ken nor I had ever seen before.

Vegas does have something for everyone.

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