There is so much more to Las Vegas than, “The Strip.” The area abounds in beautiful hiking trails, for example. At this time of the year many trails wind amongst the blooming desert plants. Early Saturday morning Chris and I decided to hike to the top of Reverence Mt located just south of Chris’s home. Sophie and Teagan would be snuggled in for some time to come so away we went. On the way to the top views of the surrounding area could be seen in all directions. Then, before I knew it we had arrived.
On our Sunday evening hike the girls sped down to the playground we visited before.
Saturday afternoon we found ourselves back on a bus heading over to Fremont Street to remain there until about ten o’clock. Just off the east end of Fremont Street is an odd, but interesting, little park called, “Container Park.” Container Park is an open-air shopping and entertainment venue featuring 38 unique retail shops, restaurants, and bars. What’s unique about it is that it is built from 43 repurposed shipping containers and 41 locally manufactured Xtreme cubes creating a very whimsical world.
The highlight of this area is the praying mantis.
The Mantis is 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide. She throws giant fire flames reaching six stories high. Built in 4,000 watt surround sound system, can speak more than 20 different languages, and is operated by a team of trained, licensed professionals. Every night at sundown (weather permitting) The Mantis is awakened by a drum circle celebration. It is huge, hot, noisy, smelly, and spectacular. Overlooked in regular media, generally unknown even to locals, but only a couple blocks off the Fremont Street Experience, so it’s a safe spot, and worth the extra minute’s walk. We sure got a kick out of her anyway.
In the early 1990s, the decision was made to help modernize the downtown area of Fremont Street and to help bring in more tourists. City officials spent nearly $70 million creating the Fremont Street Experience which opened in 1995. The Fremont Street Experience covers the first few blocks of Fremont Street and includes free concerts, shows every evening, casinos, restaurants, bars and the largest video screen in the world, and even a giant zip-line that soars over the street. Downtown Las Vegas now attracts many more visitors to the area each year, including those who visited Las Vegas to see the Strip but who want to see more of the local area and the history behind Las Vegas.
I will attempt to share our Fremont experience through a series of video clips we assembled.Three bands were playing. We moved from one to the other through the crowds and activities. It was a blast !
Sunday arrived, so off we went to attend Mass at St Anthony of Padua at ten o’clock. St. Anthony of Padua’s life is what every Christian’s life is meant to be; a steady courage to face the ups and downs of life, the call to love and forgive, to be concerned for the needs of others, to deal with crisis great and small, and to have our feet solidly on the ground of total trusting love and dependence on God. St. Anthony is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints being the patron saint of lost and stolen articles. He’s typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms.
St Anthony lived from 1195 – 1231 and has many churches named after him throughout the country.
I was pleased to see the church nearly full. The Altar looked like a huge open cupboard that could be closed off with doors.
After Mass we drove to The Red Rock Casino for breakfast at the Lucky Penny Restaurant. They were extremely busy and it was 2:00 before we left there. Sunday evening we went for another hike in the cooling air and stopped to play on the park toys one last time. The following day our flight departed Las Vegas at 1:04pm. With a 60 knot wind blowing us home we arrived in Portland in no time. Jeannette drove us over to Jeremy and Steph’s place to get my pickup where I had parked it for the trip. Thank you Jeannette, Jeremy and Steph, and of course Chris for helping us with our travel transportation. We three ladies truly appreciate all your help.
This is the view from Chris’s roof top, although I zoomed The Strip, closer than it is. On a different note: The Fremont Street Experience is five blocks long and the light show is on Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen. The Viva Vision screen is 1,375 feet long, 90 feet wide and is suspended 90 feet above the pedestrian mall below.