Viva Las Vegas?

One of the seven pools of Venetian resort 

During our long walks through the corridors, casinos, shopping areas of the Venetian Resort  we noticed a curious maneuver which we dubbed, the “Venetian Turn-around”. This was the 180 degree turn guests made while lost in the vast, 7000-room resort. It is second-largest hotel in the world. For example, to get from our room to the nearest casino floor, we took 2 elevators and probably walked 500 meters. We had a brief stay so we never did thoroughly understand the layout of the resort.

It was so hot, Nadia easily entered the pool! 

This was the second Venetian I visited, the other in Macau, and I came to the conclusion that they are on too large of a scale to make a stay enjoyable. Going from your room to the pool, restaurant, shopping, etc. is a hassle and the whole experience impersonal. The pools were nice but a bit crowded. I wanted to show the children the profligate nature of a city in the desert, but I would not come back for another visit. It had been 24 years since I was last in the city and it has grown tremendously in that time. I don’t know how so much people and stuff can be supported by the desert environment. It brought back memories of our time in the Arabian Gulf .  I could see the whole thing being a ghost town in a couple hundred of years.

A selfie in front of another Trump property…

We ate extremely well! I had one of the best breakfasts in my life at the Peppermill Restaurant, a Vegas institution.  The two restaurants we ate at in the fake St. Mark’s Square and fake Venice were of gourmet quality.


I don’t understand the appeal of a Las Vegas vacation. Gambling, sitting by the pool, shopping and watching tacky night shows are not my idea of relaxation and enjoyment. I am very happy to be in our condo in the small town of St. George, Utah this week for some R&R. Getting out to nature always refreshes my soul…





The Blue Danube


Ocean, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

We had a lovely stay at the Hotel Danubia in the Silver Lake Resort. The resort is just outside of Veliko Gradište, The town is located about an hour east of Belgrade on the banks of the Danube, Dunav in Serbian. It is a new hotel and reasonably priced. We took our bikes and there are many great biking trails, perfect for kids. We rode to main plaza in Veliko Gradište twice. The town is quite poor and nothing spectacular, but the bike trail is safe, and there is a really nice park for kids. The Danube itself is quite wide and really fresh. It made me remember the summers on the lakes of Upper Michigan. We also did some swimming, frog catching, and eating some fresh perch. Today on the way home we stopped at the Ram Fortress and climbed around it a bit. Typical Serbia, no signs, no interpretive materials, just an old abandoned fort the kids could climb around. Awesome!!!!

I highly recommend a visit for a weekend get-a-way from Belgrade.