Well as promised… I have decided to finish my post about Las Vegas, Nevada. It took me almost two posts in that last post to get through the history of Vegas, which seemed to take almost as long to read as the actually history may have taken.
I was really very surprised by how many people posted a response, which stated they had never been to Vegas. But perhaps my surprise was just because I lived in Southern California for so many years, and it was no big deal to make the drive over to Vegas whenever we felt the need.
Even though it was a several hour drive from Orange County to Las Vegas, Nevada was something we did often when I was younger. (Maybe young and stupid would more aptly apply here?) Of course… in those days, Las Vegas was not the big opulent deal it is today. In fact in the short 10 years since I had last been there, this place had really turned into a beautifully classy desert oasis. This is a stark comparison to the neon city in the desert where gambling was “the king” and only a few of the larger hotels had major headliner shows working on the strip.
While Mrs. LZ and I were in town (to celebrate my birthday), we took in a musical “Mama Mia”; which if you enjoy Abba, would be a great treat for you (as it was for us). We also caught a couple of typical cabaret type shows that frankly didn’t do a whole lot for either of us. But none the less, we were glad we got a chance to experience them.
We also just had to eat at the “Planet Hollywood” Restaurant, just so we could say that we did it. Several others caught my eye as well like, Margaritasville and “In & Out” was a must for a burger, shake and fries and of course a tourist t-shirt.
Mrs. LZ opted out of going with me on the roller coaster (that goes around the front of New York, New York), but I went ahead by myself and had a great time. I still have a love of roller coasters from the days when I was a little boy and went on my first ride on one at about 12 years old. That is when my mother’s cousin took me on the old wooden roller coaster at the Pike Amusement Park on the beach in Long Beach, California, before it was torn down for condos in the pre-Jurassic period. I love that that memory has stuck with me all of those years. And this one at NY/NY was very high tech and as smooth as glass. Not the vibrations that the old wooden ones had that gave you a headache and loosened your tooth fillings.
We did a lot of walking around the city, but also had passes on the monorail and drove down to the old downtown area. Of all the things that I will remember about this trip, one that will remain with me for a long time, was standing in front of the Bellagio Hotel at night when all of a sudden, the load speakers came on and fountains lit up and starting firing water bursts hundreds of feet in the air in sync with the sound of Sinatra singing out “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”! It was a good thing that they shut off the fountains at the end of the song, or I may have still been there watching and listening to that song and water show.
I’ve stuck several of my favorite shots of the city-scapes while we were there down below, but the ones I really liked the best were the ones taken of the old downtown area which was more like I remembered Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s.
Frankly the nostalgic neon lights of old were not the only sights there that were enjoyable. I loved the Canals of Venice that wandered through the Venetian Hotel and into the mall and then even outside. The statues that were actually real live people were also kind of fun, but also a little frightening, if you didn’t happen to realize they were actually real folks in there under all of that neat make-up. “I have wandered all my life, and I have traveled; the difference between the two is this -- we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”
~ Hilaire Belloc