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The Land of Oz: The Southern Guide to Visiting Vegas - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper.

The Land of Oz: The Southern Guide to Visiting Vegas

The Land of Oz: The Southern Guide to Visiting Vegas Derek Osborn

In a country full of divide based on gender, color, political affiliation, equal rights, religious views and differing opinions, there is still one place in America where none of it matters, so long as you have money to spend or your credit card is not maxed. I submit to you that the unlikeliest of locales of which I speak sits in the middle of a desert in Nevada. 

Welcome to Las Vegas, where what happens no longer stays there, but is blasted across social media platforms worldwide. 

Somehow, through the luck of a conference the missus had to attend, we found ourselves in the middle of the world famous and absurdly grandiose Las Vegas strip. Keep in mind that the underlying definition of “trip” in our world typically means throwing a bag in the back of the GMC Acadia and lying on a beach by the Gulf of Mexico. This was obviously quite different. 

Here are a few things you need to know if you ever head out West and attempt to take it all in. 

Walking Shoes: Take a good pair. The strip itself is only about six miles long. But the mazes of attractions and restaurants and shops seem endless as you navigate through multiple levels of the various properties. If you are into counting steps, I was just shy of 27,000 on the first day. 

See a Show: And I’m not talking about Britney or Celine, although I’m sure they are titanically fabulous. Take in a musical or a theater production or a Cirque version that fits your taste. We checked into “Star Crossed Love” at the Palazzo and it was more than we could have hoped for. And, according the locals, skip Criss Angel. 

Go to at least one ridiculously expensive restaurant: Nothing says “extravagance” like eating food that you can’t pronounce, and some of the best chefs in the world are hanging out waiting to take your money in the local eateries. Bring your appetite and a truckload of cash because to be honest, everywhere you eat in Las Vegas is expensive relative to Alabama and the $5 Footlong.  

Go see the Grand Canyon: Yes, it’s just a hole in the ground. But it’s a BIG ol’ hole. Spend the extra cash and see it by helicopter, just to get a perspective of how small we truly are on this beautiful planet.

Other than that, beware of the ladies of the night, carry plenty of tip money, and don't bet the ranch. You will lose. 

Everyone should visit Vegas at least once. And I’m not even opposed to going back one day. However, my wallet is a different story.   

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.           

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby.  He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica.   

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Derek Osborn

Executive Director at PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, the only  non-profit agency in the Tuscaloosa area that informs and educates the parents, students, and community about the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.


Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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