Thursday, 18 August 2011

What Happens In Vegas....

1st – 5th August

Ah, Las Vegas.

Glittering jewel in the desert or dark black canker on the earth fed by humanity’s greed, egotism and desire for something eternally just out of reach.

When you’ve decided, let me know.  You’ll find me by the pool sipping a Strawberry Daiquiri.

There really is something about Las Vegas, which is probably why I’ve returned so many times.  Many see it as a fake town and in some respects it is, but no more than say the whole premise of Disneyworld.  Hey kids, that’s not really Cinderella’s castle but you’re still going to puke with excitement.

And like Las Vegas, Disneyworld is designed to make us want to stay, to see what’s just around the corner.  So that Italian marble bathroom in my hotel room bigger than my lounge at home, is there to make me feel good, and it does.   The electronic drapes and the giant bed with Egyptian linen is there to make me want to stay, and it does.   But if this is what I can find in my room, what wonders await me outside, just around the corner, along the corridor and down the elevators which glide to the casino floor with such speed that your ears pop.  

One could easily spend a whole week in Las Vegas and not really gamble at all.  It’s just one massive resort and you would probably need all that time just to visit every hotel.  At Treasure Island you will see two full sized pirate ships battle it out with cannons each night on the hour, culminating in one sinking below the surface of the lake.  At The Mirage, a giant volcano will seemingly spew hot molten lava into the air and into the lake below.  The Luxor hotel is a giant glass pyramid for goodness sake.  These are fantastic Disneyesq spectacles. 

Back at our hotel, the food is incredible.   You can eat cheaply in Vegas, but for just a little more you can have excellent food which you will remember.   If you are gambling, either at a penny slot machine or $100 blackjack, your drinks will be gratis.  If this were the UK, I have no doubt my Merlot would be poured from a chemical toilet cleaner bottle that someone had drawn a grape on.  Here, it’s the real deal from the Californian vineyards just over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Our time was spent lazing around the pool in the day, having dinner and mooching between casinos in the evening.  We didn’t see a show this time, as in summer headline acts are a bit thin unless you like watching a guy with his hand up a puppet for two hours; and we’ve pretty much seen all the Cirque Du Soleil shows.  Having said that I could watch ‘O’ on a continual loop.

For the first time on this trip, we weren’t travelling and could really relax into lazy mornings and late nights.  Also, we both really noticed the lack of jet lag which seemed to make our time here last even longer.  

We didn’t break the bank of Las Vegas, but old hands like us know a few tricks and Mr Wynn was happy to pay for our accommodation. 

This place really does have a hold on me, and it would please my dear old Mum so much to know just how many times we’ve all been able to visit her since we placed her ashes here on a family trip in 2006.  She loved the place too, and my fondest memories are of seeing her sitting at a 5cent slot machine swinging her legs for the sheer fun of it.  That memory alone will keep me coming back until like her I am on my own final adventure.

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