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Las Vegas – Post-Covid

Las Vegas Gets a Medicare Jet-Setters Groovy Review

Vegas is always fun, a fantasy world for adults, where we can play games, forget the real world exists, and be a little crazy. That is still true post covid.

However, the days of cheap food, cheap hotels, loose slots, and free lounge shows are pretty much a thing of the past. We were shocked at the high prices now in Vegas and the tight slot machines. We guess they must make up for the revenue they lost during the Covid shutdown.

The reason Medicare Jet-Setter Neil Johnson wanted to go to Vegas in February was because of the display in the Bellagio Conservatory. The display theme was The Year of the Tiger. Neil’s birthday falls into the years that place him in The Year of the Tiger. The Bellagio Conservatory measures 14,000 square feet, and they change the displays five times a year. The collection uses flowers, plants, pools of water, and innovative lighting. The tiger represents strength, passion, bravery, and ambition. These are all qualities that we should strive for as humans.

Be prepared and know technology is everywhere in Vegas. Using our phones for almost everything is the future, so we need to embrace it or be left behind. At the Bellagio, where we stayed, we stepped on the elevator and pushed the button. Nothing happened. A younger couple also on the elevator showed us how to unlock the buttons to go to our floor. Your key to your room is on an app on your phone. You hold your phone to a black square on the elevator keypad. Then you can push the correct button to your floor. Every time from then on, when we rode the elevator with someone just checking in, either we would help them or someone else on the elevator would. It did my heart good to see how everyone was willing to assist a perfect stranger in understanding this new technology.

Be prepared for smokey casinos. We were surprised to see how many people smoke these days, knowing the health problems cigarettes cause. An interesting tidbit is that while smoking is illegal across much of the country indoors, gamblers in Las Vegas can still light up. Casinos defend the policy of smoking because they think it helps their business. Per a study by the University of Connecticut, smoking is proven to increase gambling, even causing people to “crave” the activity. There is one smoke-free casino in Vegas. It is called Park MGM, which was formerly known as the Monte Carlo. It became smoke-free in 2020. There are a few other casinos that offer non-smoking sections.

If you are going to Vegas to visit some of the old traditional casinos, you better make a trip soon. The Hard Rock has purchased the Mirage, and we learned from our cab driver several other casinos are looking to change hands.

Our most outstanding meal was at the Peppermill Restaurant. This historic restaurant is at 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. It just looks like a diner you would see anywhere from the outside. However, when you walk inside, you will be greeted by an elegant server, a neon-lit lounge, romantic booths with lots of trees in the restaurant, and unique cocktails. The portion sizes are generous, so you will walk away full even if you share a meal. Our server told us the Peppermill used to be the hangout of the Rat Pack. The food is excellent, the service is terrific, and the prices are reasonable. The Peppermill is one of the places you can still get value for your dollar.

Sometimes, when you are on vacation and have eaten one after the other of huge and wonderful meals, you want a burger and fries. Neil spied a White Castle. His mouth started to water, and he said, “Tomorrow, we eat there.”

White Castle burgers are delicious, and the buns are so fresh. However, White Castle holds a special place in Neil’s heart. It was his go-to place when he attended Valparaiso University in Indiana. It is always fun to discover a place on vacation that triggers fond memories of your past.

Walking downtown at night and enjoying the experience of Fremont Street, also known as “Glitter Gulch,” is always a treat. The light show is still free and fun to see. Watching people on the zipline is groovy. Be sure to visit some of the historic casinos while walking Fremont Street. I did spy one good food deal for prime rib steak in this area. However, my stomach was too full to indulge in another meal.

Check out Shin Lim Limitless Magic Show at the Mirage if you love magic shows. Shin Lim is the only person to win ‘America’s Got Talent’ twice. The show has audience participation, laughs, and inspiration. We left the performance saying, “How did he do that?”

Now for a little secret, The Palm, a restaurant inside Cesar’s Palace, is a hidden gem. Centered between the forum shops and the casino sits The Palm. Ready for the secret? We suggest you go in the late afternoon and sit on their inside patio. Order a glass of wine to sip on and an appetizer. Sit back and watch the crowds. The people passing before you provide a fashion show, and you get to observe a mixed bag of life in motion. It is the best entertainment in Vegas.

Then the sleet came to Oklahoma, and the message light flashed on our phone. Cancelations were listed, and our flight was on that list. We could not get on another departure until two days later. We learned a valuable lesson. When vacationing in the winter months, be prepared for the unexpected. We decided a higher power must have been watching out for us because we might have slipped on the ice and hurt ourselves if we were back in Oklahoma. When I thought about falling and breaking a hip or even worse, I suddenly noticed many people were using assistive devices at the casinos. If you need a cane, wheelchair, walker, or motorized vehicle, the casinos make the use of these items easy to maneuver.

Post-Covid Vegas, be prepared for crowds, smoking, and rising prices. However, it is still a great place to be transported from the real world to fantasy despite those things.

Las Vegas gets a Medicare Jet-Setters groovy rating.

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