Sin City. Fear and Loathing. “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” My preconceptions of Nevada’s largest city centered mostly on glitter, glam, and excess. To some extent, they were right but there is so much more to Las Vegas than the strip. Sure, it can be fun to walk through the casinos and nightclubs, but the natural beauty of the Mojave desert is not more than a ten minute car ride from the Bellagio. Our trip took my travel partners and me from the MGM Grand and its spacious heated pool to Lake Mead and the Railroad Tunnel hiking trail and from the Fremont Street Experience and Golden Nugget casino to riding Vespa mopeds through Red Rock Canyon. Other stops off the strip included the Pinball Hall of Fame, Las Vegas monorail, and memorial site where Tupac Shakur was assassinated in September 1996 (“Pour Out a Little Liquor”). A hidden gem on the strip is in the parking garage of the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino. Original artwork by Shepard Fairey adorns the walls, and is likely overlooked by 95% of those passing through. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, I broke even on blackjack and won 9 cents playing slots. I’m rich.