A peek into my life for my friends all over the world!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Las Vegas

During my stay in Aspen we went to Las Vegas for 3 days and 3 nights. We drove from Aspen to Denver (4 hours) and then we took a 1.15hr flight to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Antonella, Gus and Raegan came along with me.

What to say about Las Vegas? Well, I have to say that the city totally exceeded my expectations! I expected lots of casinos, some roller coasters and lots of lights...I didn't expect an Adult Disneyworld!!

The main entertainment is in the "strip" which is a VERY big and wide street along which the most popular hotels are situated. Each hotel has its own characteristic and it's built according to what it's supposed to represent. We stayed at the Excalibur, which looked like a castle in the middle ages, and of course the whole inside decoration had that as a theme.

So you can imagine that the New York, New York was built as a small Manhattan and it included the Empire State and the Statue of Liberty; the Paris had the Eiffel Tower, the Venetian had canals and Gondolas, The Caesars had a small replica of the Trevi Fountain....you get the picture.

Even though it appears that the hotels are next to each other, walking from the beginning of the strip to the other takes FOREVER. Each hotel is HUGE!!!! So we did quite some walking.

The cool thing is that you can walk in Las Vegas with your very big glass of beverage (I mean alcoholic one), which can be re-filled in another hotel. There's escalators and moving walks ALL over...so you can go from one hotel to the other easily.

Inside each hotel there's a whole world: restaurants, bars, theatres, shops, swimming pools, discos, chapels for the spontaneous weddings and of course, the casino! Once inside a hotel...you have NO clue whether is day or night.

During the 3 days we tried to visit most of the hotels, we had delicious meals, we enjoyed the over 30 degree weather by the swimming pool, we rode all the roller coasters, we drank very nicely, we watched the Cirque du Soleil and we obviously gambled.

Las Vegas it's a great place to go and have fun....even though money disappears SO fast...and I'm not talking about gambling money...everything is just so expensive that dollars leave your wallet way too fast.

Still, I'd definitely love to go back!

If you want to look at my photos from las vegas go to this link http://picasaweb.google.com/antonellab82/LasVegas2007?authkey=1wmtHR6xttY

My holiday destination: Aspen, Colorado

I went to visit Antonella (my sis) and Gus (my brother in law) on my last holidays to Aspen. This was not my first time in Aspen, I had been there for 8 days 2 years ago...but I have to say that even though I had already been there, the same things that amazed me back then, still amazed me now. I'll share this with you below!

The first time I was there it was for a rather short time, I spent most of my time skiing during the day and going out at night, Anto didn't have a car so we were relying a lot on buses...and I was there visiting only my sister.

This time, I didn't only have a sister but also a really cool brother in law ;-), plus some really nice American friends that I had met back in October during Anto and Gus' wedding in Peru. During their stay in Peru we had some really fun times in Lima, Mancora and Cuzco...so lets say that I knew I was going to have some fun in Aspen too!

Aspen is a bubble in the US. At least that's how I view it. It's this very cute little town in Colorado where the rich and famous live...those and also young people who go there because of the great sports and life and because they can make good money by working there.
There are 4 montains to ski: Aspen, Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. For American standards they are quite close to each other but for me, spoilt in Amsterdam, it seemed pretty far to go from Snowmass (where Anto lives) to Aspen...it's about a 25 minute drive!

Downtown Aspen is like Disneyworld. It doesn't really look like the centre of a city...it is all really cute, all the buildings look like they belong to a story...and of course all the shops are Gucci, Christian Dior, Prada and Louis Vouitton...so as you can imagine, I didn't really shop much. While walking down the streets I had a big laugh by running into this EXTREMELY rich women with beautiful Gucci stilettos with matching hand bag, designer clothes, big Channels sunglasses and big expensive furs. Of course, most of them had a matching small dog...the dog would be wearing a very expensive designer coat too ;-)

Talking about rich and famous...I have to say that the parking place of the Aspen airport is quite a site...not because of the cars parked there...no, that's quite ok. But can you imagine driving past the airport and seeing a couple of commercial planes and then a HUUUUUGE extra area with all the private jets? ;-)

As you can imagine, this is a very secure town. Lets just say that we were out of the city for 4 days while we were to Vegas and Anto and Gus didn't lock their door. This meant that ANYBODY could have just opened the door and walk in...and of course nothing happened! This habit of leaving the door open is rather weird for me, as when friends come over they usually knock the door and immediately walk in. I have to say that one day I was waiting for a friend to pick me up and I needed to pee...I don't know how many of you actually close the door when you pee at home alone! Lets say that I was VERY glad I thought this before...because indeed the moment I sat on the toilet the door opened!

The whole bus system is very well organised. During skiing time buses leave every 20 minutes and they go to any of the mountains totally free of charge. All the buses have special holders for the skis too.

One of the things that I also find rather funny is the fact that EVERYBODY knows EVERYBODY. So every time I would walk around Snowmass or Aspen with Anto, Gus or some other people, they would say hi every 2 minutes to either people passing by or to: the waiter, bartender, the police officer, the bus driver, the fireman, the ski instructur, the disco bouncer, the sales person, etc. Even funnier....the friend who one day was the ski instructor would be the bartender the second day and the bouncer on a third ocassion!

So as you can imagine everybody is really nice and friendly, everybody chit chats for a little while. Of course I don't want to imagine how are they with the gossip ;-)...I was not long enough to find that out...I guess you need to be a local for that!

As all of you know, America is very customer service oriented...ok, anywhere much more than the Netherlands! However the attention from the waiters over here is unbelievable! And I guess it had to do by the fact that you are supposed to tip them 20%- can you believe this??????? Lets just say that being a waiter brings good money, and the service is so good that I was happy to pay it.

During my whole stay the weather was really nice to me. Blue skies and beautiful sun....the snow melted around the town during the time I was there, of course there was still snow in the mountains! You'll see in other posts and photos that I was even wearing short sleeves in some occasions.

In general...a great place for holidays...only thing is that if you don't have where to stay...it's better if you wait until you make a little more money ;-)

Welcome to my BLOG

I left Peru on July 25th of 2000...it's been almost 7 years now and so much has happened. Since I left, my Spanish speaking friends received for about 4 years my news through almost weekly mails.

I have saved them all and it's really nice to go through them because I can remember how I felt about going to new places, about discovering Europe, about travelling and meeting new people, about living on my own and making friends.

I guess I stopped writing often once I was more settled down, that happened when I stopped my rotating job and therefore country and when I got my permanent position at Canon and when I found my own place (no more company apartments) and when I started calling home Amsterdam.

However I do want to share with you my thoughts, my ideas, my doubts, my happiness...As I am blessed with having friends in different parts of the world, this is the ideal way to stay in touch and for you to know what is going on in my life.

I'm new at this, so I guess it will get better and better....so welcome to Cate's blog!