At last! I’m finally getting to my trip to Las Vegas. Between the earthquake and the hurricane, it’s been tough getting anything done. This was my first trip to Las Vegas, for a work-related conference. Most of my associations with were gambling and what I saw on TV in the 1980s, when a lot of shows were filmed there. Though I did get a tour book — it focused on gambling, of course — nothing prepared me for this place.
It’s an adult playground. I never realized how many things are tailored for adults with kids until I got to Vegas, and it had this more adult flavor to it. According to a coworker, Vegas has been trying to discourage bringing kids by cutting back on events the parents would bring kids to (i.e. tiger shows). I mean this is place where you can walk the sidewalks and drink booze. Try that in DC!
The strip is deceptively large, because the resort hotels are so enormous. I’d see the Mirage (my landmark) and think that I wasn’t too far away. And then I’d walk and walk and walk. When I told someone I walked from my hotel, the Venetian, down to Paris, they were amazed that I’d walked so far. It was a mile. It doesn’t look like a mile. Though I disagreed with someone else who said the streets were so enormous that you couldn’t even cross them. She must have been a small town; the streets were like what I can find in spots in both Los Angeles and Virginia (I think parts of Route 7 are the same size).
I stayed at the Venetian, which was nothing like I’d ever seen before. When you think of hotel, you think of a basic lobby and a small room with a bed and hopefully no bed bugs. The Venetian is beyond extravagant. Outside, it has canals and gondolas, and a duplicate of it inside. You can actually get in a gondola and have a gondolier sing to you! The inside of the hotel is Italian everything. The ceiling was covered with beautiful Italian artwork, and there were Italian statues everywhere. It was all about the experience and the extravagance. When I went into my room, my first thought was that they had made a mistake — I had a suite! It had a bedroom section, a sunken living room, three TVs, a sofa — and a bathroom that was bigger than my bedroom at home. It was a wonderful place to stay in.
Between the time difference (3 hours for me) and the conference, I ended up not having as much time to have adventures. But I was able to see:
Mirage’s Volcano: http://www.vegas.com/attractions/on_the_strip/volcano.html
Fountains at Bellagio: http://www.vegas.com/attractions/on_the_strip/bellagiofountains.html
Blue Men Group: http://www.blueman.com/
Venetian Gondola Ride
I also wandered around as many of the casinos as I could. Everything, inside and outside, is pure extravagance. It’s all about show.
The flight back also had its moment of adventure. Thunderstorms were over DCA, so we were put into a holding pattern to see if they would clear. Then we were diverted to Richmond Airport, then we were diverted back to DCA. We landed in the storm, with lightning flashing around us — nothing was nearby. Though we did hit turbulence, which caused the plane to drop twice. The pilot landed us without any problems — though my seatmate (a Marine, of all things) immediately called his girlfriend, claiming it was the worst flight he’d ever been on and that the plane had almost crashed. His girlfriend stopped that — she’d had two emergency landings.
I decided though that I’d like to go back, as a vacation. Actually, as a reward for finishing Miasma. My goal is to have it done in December — a deadline I set for myself. I’ve overcome so many major problems and learned a lot about my writing that a reward to reward to a fun place is important. I’ve already booked the Luxor for next year, because it’d be cool to stay in a pyramid.