Well, they say you should experience everything once. So, I’ve experienced Las Vegas and, if you have the chance, I’d say take any opportunity, go and then decide, perhaps like me, that you never need to go again or decide, like my wife’s cousin Kimberley (who admittedly lives only a car drive away in LA), that you’d love to go back most months of the year.
Now I could be pretty prudish about Las Vegas and complain that it’s a sin city where all life hangs out – and I mean hangs out! And certainly, no-one can go to Las Vegas oblivious to its deserved reputation. It does what it says on the tin. You’re bombarded with offers of ‘girls, girls, girls’ and you can have your photo taken in the street with the naughtiest nuns you’ve ever seen or with female police officers whose handcuffs look ready for 50 shades of grey rather than law enforcement activities. And do they offer ‘extras?’ Yes I think so! Fun to observe, for sure, but when you look into the eyes of those doing the offering, they don’t look wholly happy with their lot.
Similarly, I went with no interest in slot machines or any other type of gambling. More fool me, I hear you say, as going for 4 days to Las Vegas without an interest in gambling is like going to Stamford Bridge for 4 Premier League matches without an interest in football. Slot machines meet you in the airport terminal and in every hotel lounge. Games of ‘craps’ or ‘blackjack’ can make your fortune or, much more likely in the long-term, leave you like the sad, homeless hombres on most street corners.
This is all making it sound like I didn’t enjoy my trip. But I did! I loved the spectacle of looking out from the top of a half-size Eiffel Tower, or walking through an indoor shopping mall at dusk (c/o artificial sky) which so-much resembled Venice that it had real canals, gondolas and gondoliers singing to their customers. I loved walking ‘the strip’ with choreographed fountain displays and watching a volcano erupt across the street from Denny’s restaurant. I even laughed at the name given to one restaurant, ‘Heart Attack Grill’ with customers in surgical smocks and waitresses all scantily clad in their nurses’ uniforms.
Las Vegas takes you to a series of fantasy worlds. Las Vegas doesn’t care about your colour, class or gender (or transgender for that matter); only your money. And, for me, 4 days was great but, also, it was enough – enough for one lifetime I think!
P.S. I couldn’t resist this view from a bridge in Las Vegas – ‘Trump, The Mirage (if only…)’