"You're the only person I know who goes to Vegas with plans to do all this other stuff besides the casinos," said my brother as I rattled on about what I was gonna do once I got to Las Vegas.
Don't get me wrong; give me a chunk of money and a hot streak and I'll gamble the night away and roll around naked in my winnings in the morning. I wanna be a whale; flying into McCarran International Airport on a private jet, driven to my villa and eat meals prepared by a personal chef.
But I can't resist the call of the other side. What's down that block? What's down that hole? What happened here 40 years ago?
So off I went to Las Vegas, camera in tow. Yes, I did The Strip and didn't care if I looked like the biggest tourist dork gazing upward most of the time. But I also had plans to walk along desert roads, experience the Las Vegas art scene, drink where the locals drink and channel my inner Danny Ocean. Mission accomplished.
What seemed to shock people the most was that I went alone. More than once when I went to a restaurant and told them it was just me, they'd ask "Just you?" as though I'd made a mistake. Being solo scored me a free meal one evening with a Vegas local. One casino rep who was signing people up for a promotion asked me when my husband would be joining me. Even on the way home, the guy stuck in the middle seat next to me chalked up my visiting Las Vegas alone to me being "from New York".
I wasn't in Las Vegas long enough to feel lonely. Being alone doesn't bother me. And to be able to sit in the sun and eat one of the best salads I've ever had (Thank you to The Perch!) and look out at mountains I wanted to reach out and touch was a much needed mental and emotional health break.
Las Vegas being pedestrian-friendly meant I was able to walk to my heart's content. I was so comfortable that I ended up giving directions to another woman - solo traveler as well - to an Off The Strip location. There were places I had on my To-See list but that didn't stop me from taking detours. It's that same philosophy I bring to NY and my Native Creative Concierge clients. There are places I'd been in Vegas that locals didn't even know. Can't help but smile at that.
If you'd like to view the rest of the photographs I took of Fabulous Las Vegas, visit Abigail Ekue Photography. I'd love to know what you think.