But since I can't afford to take every single one of you with me to Sin City, I thought we could do a virtual tour. So here are 5 real-life locations you'll find in Cat Sharp's Las Vegas.
1. Fremont Street To the far north of the more famous hotels on the Strip, Las Vegas Boulevard juts off at an angle, spawning a smaller--yet just as dazzling--aisle of avarice. This compact cousin is Fremont Street. When I worked selling vacations to Sin City, the basic rule of thumb was this: if you want a Vegas experience without the hype of the Strip, head for Fremont. There are many casinos, bits of old Vegas history, and the entire street is one big show. There is a roof covering the sidewalk that projects pictures synced with music to create the Fremont Street Experience. The light show draws a huge crowd. Just look at the picture and feast your eyes on the ocean of humanity. (If you've got issues with claustrophobia and crowds, Fremont is not for you.) It might be small and off the well-trodden Boulevard, but Fremont packs a glittering punch.
2. Caesars Palace Central on the Strip, Caesars Palace is well known for its Roman theme. The casino even made a special auditorium to mimic the Colusseum for Celine Dion's stage show. (I'm told that her ego lost to Russell Crowe in the 3rd act. Tragic.) Other than Diva Dion, you can see headlining acts like Elton John and Elton John. (Because really, do you need more than Elton John?) The show that I want to see is "Absinthe", a self-proclaimed "...fantastical blend of carnival and spectacle..." Circusy, over-the-top burlesque named after the Green Fairy? Not only does it sound wickedly familiar, but I'm so in! If shows aren't your thing there are a bajillion restaurants at Caesars, including Gordon Ramsay's joint. Also? Bars. Hordes of them.
3. The Forum Shops Adjacent to Caesar's is a shopping mall built in the image of the gods. Almost literally. It's the Forum Shops. There's a huge-ass fountain inside with animatronic statues. Every half hour or so these statues perform a show for weary shoppers. One of the more amazing things about the Forum Shops is the double-helix escalator. Flanked by huge caryatids, the escalators are a grand focal point of the architecture of the joint. The shops themselves offer the height of extravagance: Gucci, Dior, and Tiffany. Then again, there are still stores aimed at the plebian masses such as ourselves. And nightclubs. (They're everywhere in Vegas.) Most importantly, however, is the chocolatier on the first floor, Vosges. You want to go there. Nay, you want to make a pilgrimage to Vosges, for what you will experience there is nothing short of holy. Try a Naga bar and thank me later.
4. The Mirage Moving north up Las Vegas Boulevard, we come to the next stop on our tour. This is probably one of the more family friendly venues you'll find on the Strip. It's central location makes for good walking times if you're venturing out, but you don't have to. It's well-known for its dolphin encounter where you can swim with Flipper. There's the tiger exhibit that was formerly home to Sigfreid and Roy. And, if you want a truly glorious experience, go see LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil tribute to The Beatles. But, the jewel in the Mirage's crown is the waterfall outside. It's a beautiful scene with tropical flowers, and if you look just right you'll see a rainbow. But every fifteen minutes or so... well, I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.
5. Treasure Island Avast! For ye be coming to the end of our tour, mateys. *cough* Yeah, nevermind the voice. Anyway, just north of the Mirage is Treasure Island. As you probably guessed by now, the theme is pirate-oriented. Every hour or so, the two tall ships in the hotel's lagoon turn into the scene of a nautical battle for the ages. There are the expected restaurants and nightclubs at T.I., and also another Cirque show, Mystere. (And if you hurry, you can see Bill Cosby. He'll be there Thanksgiving weekend.)
So there ya go! You know a bit about the actual place. Now, if you want to find out how they play into Cat's story...well, you need to read WILD CARD. There are shennanigans. Through Vegas. With a satyr. And gods. Of the trickster variety.
Five days, kids. We're almost there! I'm so freaking excited that my hair might turn into confetti. So yeah...click on the link above and you can find all the nifty ways to pre-order the book which will be delivered to your device of choice on Monday. Oh, and stay tuned here at the blog. OH!! And tomorrow I'll be over at Terrible Minds in the 10 questions hot seat as Chuck Wendig grills me like a salmon. Or something.
Anyway, I've got something very special for you on Friday. You won't want to miss it.