Viva Las Vegas...
Our three days here are up. We’ve been hassled and hustled and smell like the contents of an ashtray. It has been amazing to see this world-famous city in the flesh, and there is certainly a lot of it – even in winter. Chauvinism is alive and well in this part of the world and it is indeed a bachelor’s paradise. We chuckled as we lined up to have our photo taken under the sign with all the other tourists, felt a chill beneath Mandalay Bay - a block from our accommodation, and marvelled at the never-ending shops, casinos and attractions inside each hotel.
Just before reaching Las Vegas we stopped at the border to look at the Hoover Dam, a monolithic structure (with no safety net – Australian OH&S would have an absolute dummy spit…) which serves several States' water requirements and provides energy and irrigation to an area that grows 80 percent of Americas fruit and vegetables. Visitors are visually reminded not to take their firearms out along the walkway while heavily armed border officers are there to enforce the rule.
We finally arrived at The Desert Rose Resort, a quiet self-contained two bedroom apartment with a kitchen which we were all grateful for - after two weeks on the road we have eaten our weight in fast food burgers. We decided to purchase the ‘$57 for 3’ passes on offer, which gave us the opportunity to take in several attractions. We visited the Titanic exhibition at the Luxor. To see part of the ship itself, as well as various salvaged artefacts, which once belonged to passengers, was fascinating. New York New York held a fairly terrifying rollercoaster which the boys rode over and over. They refused to sit next to me after I screamed too loudly the first time. The final stop was Circus Circus to visit the Adventure Zone, a sort of Aussie World experience, but with a nicotine stained ambience and the ability to have a hard cider between rides. (If you need another reason to puke!)
My husband and I gallantly agreed not to mention a word to each other about how the Vegas experience might differ as a couple rather than a family, while the kids loved all the rides and souvenir shops and followed us around like troopers.
We took in an amazing Cirque du Soliel concert, KA, to celebrate our oldest teen turning fifteen, while she thought of her friends and how she wasn’t able to hang out with them this year. Nonetheless, the show left us all in awe of the acrobats’ skills and fearlessness.
We walked 18,000 steps in a day trawling through the likes of The Venetian, Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio. Having visited both the real Rome and Venice, Ben and I found these resorts comical imitations but nonetheless a great experience. At dusk we positioned ourselves outside the Bellagio for the fountains and were just getting into the performance when it ended – prematurely, in my opinion – three minutes in, after failing to reach the heights expected of such a celebrated landmark.
So Las Vegas, it’s been a good time, not a long time. Legend hasn’t always lived up to reality, but in other ways it has been exactly everything we hoped it would be. Adios and on to San Francisco!