One teen’s experience in Sin City

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By Kenzi Hunsaker

The lights, the sounds, the malls. I recently took a trip to Las Vegas, Nev., with my family and best friend Lily Johnson. I was born in Las Vegas and lived there while I was young, so I never got to take advantage of all the exciting adventures that Vegas has to offer to a teenager.
Granted, Las Vegas is known as “Sin City,” but it has another side that provides nothing but harmless, teen-friendly fun.
Shopping is hands-down one of my most favorite activities. Luckily for me, the malls on The Strip are anything but small.
Living in Los Alamos means that I do not get to spend time in malls with my best buddies all that much, so shopping in the Vegas malls was a completely new experience.
Lily and I spent an entire day at Forever21, Abercrombie Fitch and even Build-A-Bear. Every store we could think of was bound to be there, and that was something we two teenage girls absolutely loved.
Driving around Vegas at night is incredible. Seeing all the lights, which have an arresting beauty, was one of my favorite parts of the trip. They shine brightly, and exciting performances boom and twinkle from inside of the buildings.
Although the sun sets at around 5 p.m. in the winter, Vegas never truly gets dark. Roads hardly need street lights because the glow of the buildings almost creates an illusion of daylight.
Many hotels and malls have shows that occur about every 30 minutes. One hotel that we passed had an amazing water show; geysers shot high into the sky and literally danced to loud music. Another hotel had a fake volcano that erupted periodically; it was such a sight to see.
How can people sleep in Vegas? Pigs will fly before there is ever a quiet moment in the city. Every building we passed had its own music playing, everyone was always talking and the cars drove by in a constant stream.
The hubbub was sometimes overwhelming, but it also stirred an exciting and wonderful feeling within us, and we found ourselves joining in on the noise.
Teens normally do not like to go to bed early. I know I never want to. Vegas is the perfect place for staying up late. The malls do not close at 9 p.m. like they do here in New Mexico. Instead, they always seem to be open. The restaurants also have long hours of operation. At 11 p.m. every single restaurant is packed.
Lily and I hopped onto the New York-New York Roller Coaster, which goes 65 mph and has two loops and a corkscrew. We were horrified to go on it, but once we did we wanted to ride it 10 more times. We also enjoyed M&M world, which contained three stories of nothing but M&M merchandise.
Our trip was everything that we had dreamed of, and I wish that we could have discovered everything else that Sin City has to offer for high school students like ourselves.
There was so many activities and not enough time. I don’t regret a single moment in Las Vegas and I cannot wait until I travel there again.