Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Las Vegas, Day Three

Time to catch up on some vacation posts from February!

Mitch and I began day three in Las Vegas by hitting up two History Channel hot-spots.  Our first stop was the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, home of the show "Pawn Stars."  Not only was it cool to be in the store where the show is filmed (one of the few shows Mitch watches that I actually enjoy myself) but it was very interesting to see some of the items for sale (lots of history in there!).  For example, if you have an extra $95,000 laying around, you can purchase Johnny Cash's license.

Our next stop was Rick's Restorations.  We took a little tour of the different work areas and got to see some of the items that are waiting to be restored as well as some items that had been completed.  So many cool, retro items at the shop and the fact that they look brand new after Rick and his crew get done with them is absolutely incredible.  Apparently there is a two year waiting list for items to be restored; that is, unless you have something truly unique they want to put on the show.

Brettly and Mitch

After our television show location visits, we headed down the strip to the Stratosphere.  Did you know that the Stratosphere tower is the the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States?  I certainly didn't know that when I was standing over 1,000 feet above the nice, sturdy ground.  And I thought the 460 feet of the Eiffel Tower got my heart racing and palms sweating!

The views were certainly breathtaking (or maybe that was just me hyperventilating).

As if the height itself wasn't enough, Mitch decided he needed to get my heart rate up even more by riding all three rides the Stratosphere had to offer and then to top things off by jumping off the tower.  You know, it's no big deal free-falling 829 feet; a descent from the 108th floor!

Landing pad

That evening, Mitch and I took it easy on the adrenaline rushes (yes, I count the mini panic attack I had looking out the window of the Stratosphere as an adrenaline rush!) and headed back to the Luxor to visit Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.  This exhibit shed a whole new light on one of the world's most famous shipwrecks; I highly recommend visiting if you have the opportunity.  I've always found this piece of history to be interesting but seeing actual artifacts recovered from the wreckage was a very moving experience.

We saw a huge variety of awesome items from all areas of the ship (unfortunately cameras were not allowed in the exhibit so no photos to share), from silverware and toiletries, floor tiles and windows,  to what many consider the crown jewel of the collection: "The Big Piece."  "The Big Piece" is the largest Titanic artifact ever recovered; a 26 foot long, 15 ton piece of the Titanic's hull.  Definitely an incredible feeling to stand next to a piece of history like that.

In addition to artifacts, the exhibit also featured replicas of the grand staircase (so beautiful and elegant); the promenade deck where you could hear waves crashing, look at a starry sky, and feel the cold evening air; and the third-class and first-class rooms (what an insane difference between the two types of accommodations!).

At the beginning of the exhibit, guests receive a "boarding pass" that contains the name and a brief summary - age and itinerary - of an actual passenger that boarded the Titanic back in 1912.  At the end of the tour, guests find out if that person survived by finding the name on the memorial wall.  The boarding pass I received was that of a first-class woman traveling with her father in search of perfumes for their business; she survived but her father did not.  The boarding pass Mitch received was that of a third-class male traveling with a friend; neither he nor his friend survived.  It was mind-blowing to see how few people survived this tragedy and how important class was in determining which lives were worth saving.

To read about the first two days of our trip, head here (Day 1) and here (Day 2) and stay tuned for Day 4!

1 comment:

Jess and Matt said...

I went to the Titanic exhibition a looong time ago (more than 10 years ago) and it was really amazing. You're right, to stand next to the piece of the ship is pretty surreal. I couldn't believe how giant it is. And then you see on the little diagram that it was just a minuscule piece of the behemoth ship. Anyway, sorry to comment on a post that's a few months old..just catching up!