On our last few days in Nevada, Ouel drove us to see some of the casinos in the Strip. On our way there, we got to see little of old school Las Vegas.
I don’t know which part of it we were going through then but on our last few days in the city, my cousins Ouel, Kuya Obi, Igo, and I drove to Downtown Las Vegas. It was my first time being with Kuya Obi again too in Vegas! During the family reunion around December 28, 2014, he wasn’t able to go, because he had work.
We had gone to Arizona already prior this short trip to Downtown, so from AZ, Kuya Obi went with us back to Vegas.
Before going to Downtown, someone was craving for boba – at first, I didn’t know what boba was! We called them pearl shakes in the Philippines. Haha!
We got some boba, and I think I got the yellow one? I can’t recall too what the name of the shop was, but I do remember us getting light sushi in the Japanese restaurant in the second floor of the building.
On our way to Fremont Street, they were playing Westlife’s If I Let You Go, and my cousins sang along. I can’t remember if I was singing, but because it was such a long time since I got to be with them, I was being so formal. I can’t recall if I sang. But I wanted to. Haha!
Ouel was telling us that there’s The Strip Las Vegas, but there’s the old school Downtown Las Vegas where everything originated from until other high-rise hotels and casinos came to the Strip.
Before coming to Vegas, I’ve also seen on an episode of Amazing Race a long time go, if my memory serves me correctly, the Neon Boneyard where the iconic neon signs of the city were kept. It’s an outdoor exhibition space under the Neon Museum, a non-profit organization comprised of groups and individuals who aim to collect, preserve, and showcase these signs for their historical, cultural, and artistic significance to the community and to tourists. If ever we come back, hopefully we could see the Neon Boneyard, and be inspired with the numerous embellished signboards and their corresponding history.
Back to Downtown Las Vegas – to Fremont Street!
I appreciated the mural that greeted us on our walk to the street which Las Vegas was famously known for before.
Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas!
Surprisingly, there were only a few people. It was days after the New Year, I think.
Officially established in 1905, Las Vegas had a lot of firsts that happened in Fremont Street. According to the A2Z Las Vegas website, this street was first to be paved in 1925, it had the first traffic light, the first elevator in the Apache Hotel in 1932, and the first high-rise Fremont Hotel was established here in 1956.
Before the Strip became the go-to tourist spot in Vegas, there was Fremont Street, which was the pioneer of the gaming industry in the city. In the 1940s, that was when neon started to emerge and became what Vegas’ visual identity was prominently known for.
When we went nearer, there was this arched ceiling covering a long stretch of Fremont where more souvenir shops and casinos were in. A lights and sounds show occurred too, and you could see the visuals projected onto the ceiling. And, people can also have a one-of-a-kind dynamic Fremont experience by getting on a zipline where you zoom from one end of the ceiling to the other.
As we walked, my cousins were dancing to the songs playing. It was such a joy watching them. I’ve longed for moments like this where I could have new memories with my cousins whom I haven’t seen in several years. I grew up without their physical presence, so I treasure these kinds of nights with them.
Paradise City was playing too in the background, and I took videos of my cousins and the whole area. Fremont was bright and lively, but Ouel said there were probably more people there during New Year’s Eve.
We also went to a souvenir shop where I got to buy magnets as a remembrance from Fremont Street.
After that, we had light sushi as a midnight snack to cap of our evening. We also went bowling that night too. I lost, and I think Ouel won.
I think we left Vegas for California the night after that. But before moving to our adventures in Arizona and California, I still need to share more about other beautiful places in Las Vegas.
Slowly, the lights get a little dimmer and turn to the warm glow of yellow or white. From the captivating lights in the city, my cousins Jango, Ouel, and Kuya John C showed us more of what Vegas had to offer. I got to see the places they frequented, which for me, was a special blessing. To see our loved ones’ favorite restaurants and nooks and crannies is a joy they got to share with us.
On my next entry under the Landing in Las Vegas post, I’ll write about the small shops and restaurants we got to go to. You may read my first Vegas travel post here.