As a student of Ayurveda and yoga, the least likely place to spend 9 days of vacation is Las Vegas. But as a mother of twin 21 year-olds, when asked where they would like to celebrate such a milestone birthday, Vegas was on the top of the list. Combining it with an annual birthday trip for my dad and sisters, this “quick trip” became an extended visit to Sin City. I was worried; I have taken my daily routines on the road many times before- but never to a place where food and drinks only play second to the constant high pitched dings of slot machines and ubiquitous tobacco smoke.
Little did I know, Las Vegas can be very kind. Staying at the Wynn, I quickly discovered that Steve Wynn himself is Vegan, and as a result every restaurant in the complex offered a vegan menu. You can even get Vegan smoothies at the café, and the often forgotten almond milk was available everywhere on the premises! With that, and a large (enough for yoga) room on a quiet super high floor (courtesy of my very well-connected doctor friend who lives here). Sleep was plentiful and food was delicious! Can’t beat the weather in the desert late march, so grabbing a cabana or some lounges by the pool was easy enough instead of lingering in the hyper vibrations of the casino. Another unique aspect of the place is the staggering variety of entertainment. Music venues are incredible and treat their artists so well that they are happy to come. The resident versions of Cirque du soleil offer something different every night as well as the best show in Vegas right now, Michael Jackson “One”. It was so mind-blowing I had to see it twice!
Finally- in the category of cities-that-have-big-nature-right outside-the-city-limits, Hiking in the red rock canyon national conservation area is only 30 minutes away, past the affluent suburban neighborhood of Henderson. Super easy to rent a car for a few hours (Hertz is in the Wynn). Nice to spend the afternoon among the awesome rock formations of southern Nevada. Just an hour north is the Valley of Fire, a place of raw natural beauty more than rewarding of its name.
If this sounds like a travelogue, it is. Vegas still might feel overcrowded, ostentatious and soulless at times, but it also has enough to satisfy the eye of the beholder. In the spirit of the inherent flexibility of Ayurveda, this trip once again confirms the notion that wherever you go, there you are!