I flew Virgin Atlantic to Las Vegas and although it was a long journey the hostesses were superb and treated us very well. I stayed in two hotels during my trip. My first was The Westgate. The first thing I saw as I walked in was all those shiny glitzy slot machines winking at me! They are fun but I doubt you will win your fortunes on them. I had a go anyway! I walked around and avoided the ones that had just paid out. My room was spotlessly clean, housekeeping staff friendly efficient and A1 service. A truly comfy bed, bathroom had both bath and shower which was great. The Westgate is at the far end of the strip but it has a monorail station which makes an easy connection to all the brightest lights of the strip! The swimming pool was warm and large with a shallow end for children and vertically challenged folk like me! There were quite a few others using the pool but there was a nice atmosphere and everyone was respectful of other people’s space. That night I had tickets for the BARRY MANILOW show. He is a consummate showman, the show was upbeat, with my favourite songs and some songs I didn’t know too. He has a great voice and I could listen to him play piano all day. The show featured a 3D tour of New York with Barry as guide! The show was perfect for Vegas. Outside the theatre they have a Manilow store – shop to your hearts content folks – from key rings, to glasses to bath towels to pillow cases to calendars – everything Barry, wow!

After that I moved on to the Flamingo Resort, very different to The Westgate. The Flamingo very bright and contemporary, the Westgate is not formal and has a slightly more traditional feel. My room was huge with a view of the pool below. Irons and hairdryers are provided at both resorts. The Flamingo has a wildlife habitat with Chilean flamingos, pelicans, turtles that sunbathe motionless and play dead, and all sorts of birds. Being right on the strip (opposite Ceasars Palace) it was easy to go for a walk around the Linq shopping centre and find something to eat. There is a variety of eateries there. It was a few days before Halloween and every shop was decorated, even the assistants dressed in Halloween garb. There was Monster Masquerade dancing and singing which was fun to stop and watch.

I took a taxi to the Luxor (another nice hotel) for the Titanic exhibition and Body exhibition. When you enter the Titanic exhibition it is just like going on board. They tell you a bit about how the Titanic came to be built and the exhibits range from letters, wallets and serving dishes from 1st and 3rd class, items from the kitchens, workmen’s tools – all of which have lain under the sea for over 100 years! Fascinating, and emotive. I was amazed that anything had survived at all and it seemed to be the items that had been in leather cases that survived well. There was a complete packing case of small dishes where  the case had disintegrated away leaving the dishes neatly stacked unbroken in the sand. A large section of the Titanic itself including broken portholes had been lifted and brought to the surface – there for us to see. It surprised me how many people were not supposed to have travelled on Titanic but changed their booking at the last minute due to the coal strike and cancelled sailings. There are many stories like that, all fascinating.

The Body Exhibition is not for the faint hearted: it is made up of real specimens, bodies and organs that have been specially treated. Gruesome at times, (I now know what a diseased kidney looks like!) but fascinating too. The amount of blood that pumps through our bodies every second of the day is incredible: also three dimensional views of the body like an MRI scan. When it came to the section dealing with the reproductive system you are given the opportunity to bypass it and move on, as it could be upsetting. Although made up of real bodies and specimens, I did think the exhibition was handled sensitively and respectfully. There was information from Breast Cancer Care about avoiding things like smoking and obesity.

On to the Celine Dion concert at The Coliseum Caesars Palace. What that lady can do with her voice is just, unbelievable. I only have one CD of hers (two now!) and she sang lots of my favourites such as Titanic, Power of Love, A New Day. Also some songs I hadn’t heard before which is always good, like Seventeen. Celine was responsive to the audience and very funny at times. I’m glad I got to see her, it was a good show.

Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport is not as big as Gatwick, so not quite as many shops but a range of eateries while you are waiting. The flight home was shorter but not as smooth as we hit some turbulence. Once again the cabin crew were really nice and couldn’t do enough for us.

Now I’m home and back to work with lots of memories, wanting to save for the next trip. Barry’s 3D tour of New York has got me thinking. Mmmm!!