Last weekend was my first ever trip to Las Vegas – I went with my husband and a group of friends. Before that, I was a vegas virgin. I’d always wanted to go, just that there’s a lot of places I want to go and I have yet to reach my true calling in life – to be one of the idle rich. Until then, I take the trips that my few vacation days and cheap flights from Buffalo allow.
I have to admit that I didn’t find as much tackyness and schmaltz as I’d been hoping, but there was still some of it hidden away in spots. Las Vegas looks like it was a war zone about a decade earlier, and they’re only now rebuilding. There’s cranes everywhere, and gaping holes and fields of gravel between the gargantuan hotel/casinos. And somehow, I did manage to function on only three hours of sleep per night.
Another thing that suprised me is that I expected more hard-core gamblers than I saw. The sort that frequent the other casino towns, sitting at the same slot machine for hours on end, eyes glazed over. The ones with those cards on a string. Nah. Vegas was more for alcoholics – a booze-hound’s paradise.
The first couple of nights we spent at the Four Queens on Freemont Street – the old Las Vegas strip. I was kinda disappointed it was covered, but at least some of the classic signs were there – the giant cowboy, the Golden Goose. Of course, I thought at the time that I took more pictures of the area than I actually did. Somehow, in my brain, with picture taking only, intent gets mixed up with ‘already done’. At least I’m not like that at work…
The remaing two nights were at the Stratosphere. They no longer have a roller coaster on the top of the tower, but there are two other rides there. I have to admit only one in our group braved the ride. I’ll blame cheapness rather than fear on my part – I didn’t want to pay the bucks to go on it. Maybe if I’d actually won some money I might have. The hotel did have a very nice rooftop pool surrounded by resort-beach type murals on all sides. It was especially nice since it was about 25 degrees celcius and one of my friends had just been on the phone to someone back home telling them it was colder than minus twenty-five. Oh, it was hard to go home again…
I’ve heard Las Vegas described as Disney World for grownups and it is. Where that’s most apparent, of course, are the fake european city streets in Paris Paris, the Venetian and Caesars Palace. It didn’t really remind me of Europe, but of that long-ago trip to Orlando, Florida.
All in all, a good trip. Next time I’d have to see all that I missed on this trip such as New York New York and the Bellagio fountain, but that’ll be in the far-off future for now.