Sun City, AZ was the first of the Sun City complexes built for retirees by Del Webb in 1960. The community includes homes, shops, recreational complexes, parks, golf courses and more. Sun City residents must be 55 and over.
The story goes that at one time a gentleman owned a home for, shall we say, a friend who was considerably younger. Since he didn’t live in the home, and the friend didn’t meet the age criteria there was a problem. Youngtown is a town that seceded from Sun City and has no age restrictions. The story is not corroborated by Wikipedia, but I like it better than their version.
Although Sun City is self-contained, it is close enough to enjoy all of the big city benefits of Phoenix.
We bid our friend farewell and headed back to Vegas. We drove up to as close as we could to the West rim of the Grand Canyon. The West Rim access is owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. From the visitor center, you can book bus trips to the rim, helicopter rides, airplane rides and Skywalk tickets. We arrived late afternoon and there was a long line for shuttle bus tickets so we opted not to go. We have both been to the South Rim and had a magnificent view on the drive up.
We arrived at our resort which was lovely and located a few miles from the strip, with several shuttle buses per day. Next stop was a grocery since we had a full kitchen and planned to eat only one meal a day out.
The strip was much more impressive—clean, beautiful and family friendly—than I expected. My favorite was The Venetian with its canal and beautiful painted ceilings. The ceilings over the squares were duplicates of famous Italian ceilings, but the cloud laced blue sky over the canal looked very real.
Our big gambling venture was my husband’s $3 win at the slot machine. I then proceeded to lose the same $3. We found a wonderful breakfast place for Sunday brunch and a very good Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our resort. We saw Cirque Du Soleil Mystere, a great performance with half price tickets bought in advance.
We were caught off guard by a $4.50 bottle of water in one of the hotel gift shops, but we were mostly frugal.
Red Rock Canyon is very close and well worth the time. You can hike, rent horses, or drive through the area. We also went to Springs Nature Preserve which helped us to identify the desert flora and fauna. The Butterfly enclosure cost extra but was worth the visit.
Although Las Vegas wasn’t really on my bucket list, it was a fun place to visit and I would return happily.
Susan Williamson is a novelist and freelance writer as well as a former extension agent, riding instructor, newspaper editor and food-coop manager. She is the author of How to Get By As Time Goes By, How to Buy Your First Horse, published by High Tide Publications. She also the author of the novels Turkmen Captives and Dead on the Trail. She is a contributor to Next Door Neighbors Magazine as well as Tidewater Women.