Travel Tuesday: Las Vegas

View of Bellagio fountains and Las Vegas strip. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Viva Las Vegas

While Paris is my favorite travel destination, for le Monsieur it’s Las Vegas. We’d been planning a visit for weeks to celebrate his birthday. After last week’s horrible shooting, we were ambivalent about whether to go still, but decided that going would support the city and people. The tragedy was still on everyone’s minds, but the people we encountered seemed resilient and determined to carry on. Though the mood felt just a little more subdued, the city was as hospitable as ever.

We did some of the usual Vegas things (a little bit of gambling, some shopping, lots of eating) and one more unusual excursion that I highly recommend: a twilight tour of the Neon Boneyard at the Las Vegas Neon Museum.

The Neon Boneyard, a museum of old Las Vegas neon signs. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Neon sign from Stardust Las Vegas. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The walking tour lasts about an hour, and covers the science and artistry of neon and signage, as well as some fascinating Las Vegas history, culture and characters.

Las Vegas neon sign. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Las Vegas neon sign at Neon Boneyard. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

neon duck sign at Las Vegas Neon Museum. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

La Concha vintage neon sign, Las Vegas. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I really enjoyed the tour; it was SO cool! This is a popular attraction, and you will want to book in advance. It’s just a little bit north of the strip. They’re going to be expanding the boneyard in the next few months, and there will be even more to see.

What I Wore In Las Vegas. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

We kept trying to get some outfit photos, but the lighting was really difficult. I wore this outfit two out of three days. Even though it was warm outside, most indoor spaces has their air conditioning cranked and I needed that jacket! (In fact, I wished I’d brought a sweater.)

blouse | jacket (similar) | jeans | bag | bracelet | shoes

We returned home yesterday to smoky skies from the Anaheim fire. I know several people who have been impacted by the fires up North, and am holding them and the firefighters in my thoughts. The dry weather and winds make the fire danger particularly acute in California this time of year.

Have you visited Las Vegas recently? Do you have a favorite attraction or activity?

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  1. October 10, 2017 / 5:19 am

    No interest in Vegas; I’d be more interested in the deserts nearby. But I wrote to express my concern and sadness for the people farther north in those beautiful wine districts (now, we’re talking…) That is terrifying weather.

  2. Meg
    October 10, 2017 / 5:54 am

    I loved the Neon Boneyard, and have always wanted to go at night. I also like The Mob Museum and the double decker bus tour. I am frequently in Vegas for work, so don’t get to be a tourist on those trips, but my husband and I look for the good deals and visit then. I do love Vegas. It feels like being on another planet.

  3. October 10, 2017 / 6:07 am

    The “neon at night” looked spectacular and fun! You do find the best wherever you go–an inspiration!
    But I agree with the first commentator, the real beauty of Las Vegas are the state parks nearby, where we have hiked.
    We live in Northern California and the smoke and the concern for friends is ongoing.
    But Puerto Rico needs help too-and we wish the best for the people of Anaheim.

  4. Lynn
    October 10, 2017 / 6:20 am

    Given what happened recently in Vegas, I was a little surprised and disappointed by your post. I might have saved it for a later date. I know the city goes on, and people should continue to visit. The post just felt a little too “business as usual” to me. Also, I usually love your style. This time, I feel your outfit missed the mark. People wear all things, from super casual to formal, in Vegas. So, your outfit isn’t inappropriate. It just felt very dressed down. I would have liked to see something that was casual but with more style. Sorry. Just my honest thoughts today. On a positive note, I love the Vince shoes, just for a different setting.

    • Susan B
      October 10, 2017 / 9:10 am

      Lynn, it was not my intention to be insensitive, but rather to support a city a) that’s always shown us a good time and b) where tourism drives the economy and people’s livelihoods.

      • Pat
        October 10, 2017 / 5:49 pm

        As a Las Vegas resident, we appreciate your support and your visit!! It has been a tough time. We will never forget those lost and those injured. I did not feel this post was insensitive. Thank you, Susan.

        • MARLA
          October 12, 2017 / 9:51 am

          Susan having been in Vegas a few months ago, I think your clothing looked comfy, smart and appropriate. With so many stretchy tee shirts and too tight cropped pants and fanny packs that I witness when I’m there you positively rival Coco Chanel in your cute jeans, jacket and DARLING sneakers! I think it was a great time to go to Vegas!
          Thanks for the Anaheim fire shout out;….yep we evacuated my sis and stayed on alert for ourselves and that’s where we live. All has died down but it still smells like smoke around here.

    • October 10, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Such a strange perspective.

      In my opinion, it’s incredibly legitimate and appropriate to support Vegas by doing so economically and by enjoying what Vegas offers the world.

      “Life must go on!” is a wonderful way to support any community that’s suffered a blow, whether from bad weather, terrorism, or any form of violence.

      Susan, I’m loving those skater sneaks of yours. Gotta get me some of that. 🙂

    • Linda
      October 10, 2017 / 11:55 am

      Susan, I don’t believe you were insensitive.

      • Christine G
        October 10, 2017 / 2:01 pm

        I’m glad you posted! We are taking the whole family to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving, and were only briefly hesitant about going. Sadly, these tragedies can happen anywhere, so we do have to carry on. How awful it would be if everyone avoided Las Vegas and blocked reference to it.

        Thanks for the reminder to book the Neon tour!

  5. Lori McClintick
    October 10, 2017 / 7:56 am

    Yours is a style and fashion blog and it is totally appropriate to post about your trip to Las Vegas. I’m sure the people of Las Vegas appreciate anything encouraging people to visit and spend money in their city. I also appreciated seeing your casusal look. I am sure it is hard to have negative posts and hope you don’t take them personally. I also hope you don’t allow them to influence you to not post more about your trip to Las Vegas. I am interested in reading about where you ate, where you stayed and what else you did and the people of Las Vegas appreciate you encouraging tourism there.

  6. Bobbie
    October 10, 2017 / 8:11 am

    It’s exactly the time to go to Vegas and write about it. It shows support.

  7. Harriet
    October 10, 2017 / 8:35 am

    I know and enjoy your fashion blog. I just think the timing of this particular travel spot was a misstep. I am not ready to talk about sightseeing in Las Vegas but am ready for a serious discussion about gun restrictions, violence and hate in America.

    • Susan B
      October 10, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Harriet, I think those discussions need to happen as well. My intention was to show support for the people there who depend on tourism to make a living.

      • Harriet
        October 10, 2017 / 3:14 pm

        I respect your decision to support tourism but I highly doubt the tragedy will have long term affects. You were brave and bold to choose this city to highlight. I just felt it was a bit early, at least for me. Thanks.

    • Kristi
      October 10, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Hi Harriet – appreciate your perspective (and others who share it) and can’t agree.

      This is a blog about personal style/travel. And I agree – Americans really should talk about gun restrictions – and more importantly, finally take action (what will it take?) – it’s just not this blog’s job.

  8. Agnes
    October 10, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Love your blog, but agree with a few of the previous posters. Just a little too soon after what happened in Las Vegas.

  9. Paula Brink
    October 10, 2017 / 11:40 am

    I’d love to see the Neon Boneyard, fun idea. I also think you look great in your outfit, certainly better than a large percentage of the folks one sees in Vegas.
    Also I disagree with the people who are criticizing you about your timing, good for you for supporting a town that you enjoy.
    Maybe as a Canadian I have a different perspective, these shooting events are so common in the U.S. that it is hard to continue to feel shock, horror etc when we know that there will be another one right around the corner.
    Also, your blog is about travel and fashion, why does everything have to devolve into politics?

  10. Claire
    October 10, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    I applaud you for going to Vegas, Susan. Imagine living there and going out and seeing no tourists, everyone stayed away out of fear? Just “being” somewhere in a time of need shows love and support and I would say especially in Las Vegas where they depend on tourism. Our son lives there and his job depends on it. Thank you for supporting the city.

  11. October 10, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    When I visited Vegas several years ago from Australia, I must admit that I thought I wouldn’t like it at all. How wrong I was! My favourite memory is still watching and listening to the Bellagio fountains. I could have sat there for hours – day or night – and found they struck a deep emotional cord. The size of the lake, the sound of the music and the booming fountains as the water dances and then – silence. Isn’t it wonderful that humans could make something so awe inspiring. I loved the shows, the hotel lobbies and going to restaurants where you felt that you had all of a sudden time travelled to another country. Beautiful v. Ugly. Dessert v. Oasis. Rich v. Poor. Style v. Crassness. Delight v. Dispare. An incredible city of such contrasts at every turn.
    My thoughts go out to the people of the US at this time such sadness, shock and of deep soul searching.

  12. Julie
    October 10, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Susan, I believe you did the right city in helping support a city that had a senseless catastrophe. If this had been any other place than Las Vegas, I doubt would there be criticism of your trip. Thanks for doing your part.

    I keep liking your red purse and you have me thinking about one too.

  13. Pam
    October 10, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    I do not care for the desert at all and Vegas gives me the creeps, but as someone who has family in there, I was so glad to see your post! There is much fear that the recent tragedy will stop tourists from coming. I know that everyone you met, at every place you went, deeply appreciated your visit. Thank you!

    I love your outfit, especially your skaters and that red bag. Every time I see it, my resolve weakens!

  14. Jannie
    October 10, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Mon Dieu.

  15. October 10, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Actually, I think pseu does well to accept this compromise with Monsieur Pseu. I couldn’t, but pseu is still (presumably overall happily) married and I’m not. I wouldn’t have commented at all if I hadn’t been so upset about what is going on farther north in California; I have friends in the vicinity.

    One environmental advantage of this trip is that it is relatively short, whether by road or air. Ideally, it would be by rail, but we just have to work towards that.

    It is important not to be cowed by terrorists (and I think this wealthy ultra-violent white guy was every bit as much of a terrorist as the screwed-up Belgian guys of Muslim origins). That is what they want.

  16. October 10, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Sue, before I read the comments I was thinking that you struck a perfect note in carrying on with your life and also showing caring and sensitivity to Las Vegas and its people and the people who are affected by the fires too. I still think that. And I really don’t want you to be talking politics – – there are plenty of other places for that. I enjoy reading your blog for your sense of beauty, ease, and exploration. With all good wishes for you and all of your readers and everyone everywhere.

  17. October 10, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    We were in Las Vegas a few years ago and splurged at Picasso restaurant. The food, the view, and the art were fabulous. We also went to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We also wanted to try the Japanese restaurant Raku, but the 11:00 pm reservation was too late for us. Next time we will book ahead and try for a more age-appropriate dining time. :-). Vegas is fun, but in small quantities, at least for me. Love the neon, though!

  18. Kay
    October 10, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    The people of Las Vegas depend on tourism for much of their livelihood, and staying away because of the violence does them no favors. Love it or hate it, Las Vegas is a place everyone should see at least once, in my opinion. (My parents were married there after WWII.)

  19. Jan
    October 10, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    My husband, close friends and I are just coming to the end of a wonderful four week holiday in the US (currently in NYC) and visited Las Vegas a week or so before the tragic shooting. We were looking forward to seeing it but all of us found it dreadfully sleazy and boring (We’re not gamblers) but that said, no regrets as we all wanted to see the place, and now we have.
    I think we should all support places that have suffered tragedy, such as the shootings in this case or fire, floods whatever as soon as it is safe to visit to show support for the locals and restart the economy. After any major crises at home in Australia, the local residents beg tourists to return to the disaster areas so that failed businesses don’t add to their misery. I think it’s great that you went.

  20. Cathy D.
    October 10, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Just wanted to say I think your timing was perfectly OK. After all, what could have been accomplished by waiting a few weeks or whatever? Las Vegas is not my favorite place and I do have trouble understanding how the same person could love it and Paris, but that’s just me. The Las Vegas residents are Americans and deserve our support.

  21. Nicole K.
    October 10, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    We visited years ago to see a Monty Python’s Spamalot, which we otherwise would not have been able to see. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see the Neon Boneyard then.

    Love seeing you in the Liberty print blouse and your easy styling with that EF jacket (which I covet).

    As for the naysayers…a big shrug. I am fairly certain that avoiding Las Vegas due to some political reason (either wanting gun control or wanting to turn it into a silent graveyard) seems rather unhelpful for the people of Las Vegas.

  22. McKristie
    October 10, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I love this post. I love Vegas, for the dining options and the shows, the spas and for the completely over the top aspect of it. And I love Europe and tons of other cities. We visit frequently due to work obligations or a quick weekend trip. A visit there can be anything you make it. And you look completely appropriate and perfect. We have a trip scheduled in the next month and will visit w friends who were at the concert. Joel Rubuchon and Craftsteak are amazing for a dining experience. Thank you. I still covet your shoes!!

  23. Viv
    October 10, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    Would highly recommend the comedy musical “Menopause” at Harrods. Had to twist my husband’s arm a bit to go but he loved it-haven’t seen him laugh so hard in ages!

  24. Susan D.
    October 11, 2017 / 5:20 am

    I abhor Las Vegas. I’ve been there once–with my husband when he was speaking at a legal conference. He had promised me that I would not have to see any gambling and as we stayed in the Four Seasons, the conference hotel, I thought I was safe. Unfortunately, at the airport for our return home, AA told us that our late afternoon flight had been cancelled and there were no other flights available. AA put us up overnight in another hotel which was decent enough as far as hotel rooms go, but had a CASINO that you had to walk through. I was appalled. We made it through the evening and got safely home. I guess I just don’t like glitz and hate gambling.

    But, to each his own. I know that there are many people who love Las Vegas. I wish I could understand the charm.

  25. Susan D.
    October 11, 2017 / 5:25 am

    I want to add to my comments above that I have thought a lot about the people who live in Las Vegas year round and what it does to a city to have tragedy strike. I do want the best for the city going forward. The fact that I don’t want to travel to Las Vegas does not that I don’t care about the people who live there or travel there.

  26. Linda Boardman Kerr
    October 11, 2017 / 5:34 am

    Simple comment here: You look adorable in your outfit. Fresh, classy (I dislike that word but can’t think of a synonym)…
    Off topic: I do wish you would include more affordable items, for those of us who are style conscious but can’t justify the big bucks/designer items. I think there is a middle ground. Eileen Fisher is affordable for me, but several hundred dollar handbags, shoes, glasses, are not.

  27. Connie Gibbs
    October 11, 2017 / 7:46 am

    I too found it jarring to move on so fast after such a tragedy. The access Americans have to weapons designed for murder is terrifying and too many people accept it ( the access) and move on after these ongoing horrific events.

    • Susan B
      October 11, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Hi Connie, my post was in no way intended to imply acceptance of our gun/murder situation. I am sorry if this post was upsetting to anyone.

      • Kellee
        October 11, 2017 / 5:34 pm

        Susan – you did what we should all do – support the citizens of Las Vegas or any city that has been harmed by gun violence. Don’t apologize for contributing to the healing of the city by travelling.

        I agree with a previous poster – people make their living from tourism and it would be one more crime against the city by a mad man if people stopped travelling to Las Vegas because of his horrific attack on Las Vegas.

        Love Vegas or hate it…but remember, there are people there who call it home. There is much more to Las Vegas than the Strip.

        • Barbara Lynch
          November 22, 2017 / 6:02 pm

          Dear Kellee, As a Vegas resident, your comment was heartwarming. And it’s also full of humanity and common sense!

  28. Jeanne
    October 11, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    A psychologist friend of mine in Las Vegas who is counseling friends and family members of victims as well as uninjured but traumatized bystanders, told me the city is grateful for people like you who do not shun their city or assume it is too sick to receive you.

  29. Kathleen Meraz
    October 11, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    Brave post! I love Vegas. My favorite place to people watch. I was married there and am utterly devastated about this horrible, senseless terror. However I don’t think I’ll ever go back into to the casinos as I don’t want to be wanded, backscattered (look it up), and patted down. You know this is coming… However, I’ve never been to the Neon Boneyard. Think I will stop by on my next pass through to Southern California….don’t think I’ll be wanded, backscattered or patted down there 🙂

  30. Emily
    October 15, 2017 / 1:43 am

    It’s all about a good marriage. If your husband likes Vegas and you had planned a trip then it’s a green light to go. It’s called compromise a necessary ingredient for a happy marriage.

  31. Claudette
    October 15, 2017 / 6:36 am

    My heart cries for you, it is difficult to forget the replies that are unsupportive and critical…. let us support each other, there is enough shaming in this world without being attacked for a planned vacation that also benefits Vegas’s local population…this is your blog and is not meant to be political… bless you!

  32. Barbara Lynch
    November 22, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Dear Susan,
    I live in Las Vegas and my family and I all appreciate your visit! It was so gracious of you to come to our city and be supportive. Many thanks to you! And as for fashion, for anybody who hasn’t been here, the great majority of tourists are dressed comfortably for miles of walking up and down the strip. If you just turned 21, you might teeter from club to club in regrettable stilettos, but everybody else is a sensibly outfitted pedestrian. And your outfit looks smart, flattering and lovely! I think you must be as beautiful a person on the inside as you are in your appearance.
    Best regards!

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