The flashing lights and semi naked girls, the one arm bandits and poker tables, the high rollers and the low lifes. Vegas was no real surprise to me, much to Rob’s disappointment I think. He asked me at one point what I thought of the place, well, that was actually a tricky one to answer because I don’t think we really did Vegas.
I gambled a total of $5 and came away with 45c. I had a few beers but didn’t get drunk and went to bed early, but not ‘Vegas early’, as some Irish fellas (‘course they were Irish) were doing, when we were up at 7am to drop Jenny off to the garage. So, it’s an unfair response to say “meh” about it. I know if I had been there with time on my hands and money to burn, I would have absolutely loved it, it’s bonkers. As America was built around the car, Vegas was built around money and how it can take it away from you, with a sparkly glint in its eye. You walk (surprisingly lots) through New York (New York), Paris, Italy, Greece and Egypt. All of them fantastic replicas of the real thing but still with a casino, slap bang at the centre of them all. Having tried my luck on a fruit machine, for which I had no understanding of what-so-ever, I came away with 4c (winner) and a little pleased that I had partaken in a little gambling (check out this crazy chick). We did a lot of walking; a lot of up and down escalators to cross roads and get to yet another casino. We walked to the TV station for Rob’s interview with the local news and we walked to the famous Las Vegas sign which was of course, surrounded by about a billion other people. Through all this walking you see lots of people. People on their hols having a lovely time; people “working” the street and people selling “stuff” and lots of people without homes. It was cold still, and the thought of laying outside and trying to sleep warm and safely in that weather made me sad and so grateful for the luck and life I have, after all, it’s sheer luck that we get born into the world, where we are. The luck didn’t extend to winning a million off of a dollar though!
Whenever I have thought of Vegas, I feel transported back to the 80’s, full of cash, cash, cash and buxom women with giant…perms. Glitz and glam with the edge of danger but it actually was nothing like that. It felt, just very corporate and as with all corporates, it’s about making money by providing just enough. We took advantage of the $23 all-you-can-eat dinner buffet, leaving us all a little full bellied and sleepy with a touch of food drunkenness. I must admit, I very much over indulged with 5 courses and a napkin full of cakes and cookies to boot. It was great but still with the slight tone of cheapness and tack. I guess that’s what Vegas is really, tacky but good tacky; like Blackpool but with fewer 12 year old smokers and bald workmen pinching your bum; like the arcades back home, except with men dishing out four $100 notes per game, instead of me gambling 20p in the 2p machine (that always looks like it’s about to drop about 20p’s worth) and very attractive ladies, dressed in feather boas, just covering their baps, walking around, instead of some greasy haired fella with a stained t-shirt that says ‘kiss me quick’. It’s just bigger and better but with a little bit of grime that I’m sure I wouldn’t have noticed, if I was getting in at 7:30am, instead of getting up. One of the best things we did, was go to the Mirage to see the Beatle’s Love by Cirque du Soleil.Now, I was speechless, apart from singing along to every song. The performance, colour, energy and sound just mingled into a giant ball of greatness. If you like the Beatles, then you must go see this show, if you’re lucky enough to get the chance. My particular favourite was ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Something’. They made me want to get my lycra out (I know ) and get swinging on some giant swing, being all floaty and elegant (I can picture it now!)
I’m on my own now, well, with the exception of Robla obviously. Olivia left us on Friday to return back to the UK – very sad. It’s quite nice having a little bit of time on my own, back. Perhaps in some ways, it makes me a little happier being a bit busier, I’m sure that will wear off soon though. I don’t think we’ll have any one visit us before I leave now so I guess this is it until March, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes of course. I’m happy for now though. I look out of my driver window, with the wind squeezing in through the gap, where it’s not quite closed and stare at the familiar, brown mountains of Arizona, with some sun, finally warming me up. Relaxed from escaping my rising anxiety of driving out of Vegas and through the tourist trap of the Hoover Dam (which was amazing too by the way), thinking about how I should probably start making Rob’s sandwiches for his lunch but just not quite ready to move yet.