Out West Vacation 2010: Vegas, Baby

Vacation Journal … nearing an end …

So, after leaving St George and the temple, we drove on to the decidedly different-in-feel Las Vegas. Right away, this place had a different vibe from the rest of the nature-centered trip.

In an odd homage to St George perhaps, one of our first sights was a view of those most famous of Mormons, Donny and Marie.

las vegas donny marieAfter an interesting 30 minutes or so of navigating our way to the hotel lobby where we were to meet my dad, we made it into the casino. For you see, every hotel in Las Vegas has as its ground floor a huge casino. This was so odd to me. Everywhere you looked, here at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, were masses of humanity playing slot machines. Heck, there was even a machine themed after one of my favorite reality shows!

Survivor slot machine Las VegasAs many of these casinos as we walked through (and it was a lot!), I never did see the appeal of them. Of course I do however play Farmville, so maybe I can see a bit of the appeal. And these casinos were also very loud. This particular one had some impersonators loudly lip-synching various rock stars.

Once we met my dad, we proceeded down “the strip” to see various hotels and sights. Despite the 104 degree temperatures, it was pretty interesting (and I did notice that 104 degrees of dry heat was preferable to 90 degrees of humid Hoosier heat).

Las Vegas flamingo“The Flamingo” had a wildlife refuge in its courtyard.

Bellagio balloons Las VegasThe hallways of the Bellagio went on and on, flanked by swanky shops and the occasional neat sight like this.

Las Vegas chapel weddingYes, we saw several Wedding Chapels.

Las Vegas coke bottleEverywhere you looked, the bright sights of commercialism.

Las Vegas ExcaliburExcalibur – pretty cool!

Las Vegas LuxorLuxor – huge and awesome as well.

Las Vegas Luxor scantily clad womanAnd here we encountered a bit of the disturbing, seedy side of Vegas. There was a very average looking, 30-ish guy in baggy shorts and a t-shirt hanging out with this lady. He would take her picture, then he would pose with her and take their picture together. I was fascinated by the backstory to this. Was this lady a rent-a-date? Rent-a-bride? It was just really weird, yet seemed pretty typical of what you’d see in Vegas.

Later that night my dad took us to a light show downtown. On the way back, things were definitely not kid-friendly. There were all sorts of folks handing out – um – inappropriate cards and photos. Vans drove by, offering you the chance to “buy a girl.” I found it all rather depressing and awful.

Domo stuffed creatureOkay, on to a more wholesome topic. I found these very endearing, and actually tried to win one! I failed.

Las Vegas StratosphereWe went to the top of the Stratosphere Tower. Believe it or not, you can pay $100 to jump out. We saw a few people do this:

Las Vegas Stratosphere jumpWe also visited a Pawn Shop that the rest of the family had seen featured on a TV show. I’ve never seen the show, but it was meaningful to them …

Pawn Stars pawn shop Las VegasAnd golly – I have so many more photos of Vegas, but this is getting pretty lengthy. I think you get the idea! It was a busy, bright, dark, bustling place of highs and lows. But I guess a lot of life is that way …

2 thoughts on “Out West Vacation 2010: Vegas, Baby

  1. I’ve never been to Vegas and doubt I ever will go. Sounds interesting!

  2. I flew out of one of the Sin Cities in Nevada with your grandmother because it was the least expensive place to pick up a plane after our trip through Washington, Oregon, and northern CA. The lobby of our motel had a few slot machines only. We didn’t even leave the motel after getting there except that I had to go to drop off the rental car.

    That was a traumatic period of time, because she didn’t want to be left alone in the motel (this was only about a year before she went home to heaven) and I didn’t want to leave her, but I wasn’t sure about getting her back to the motel. God was good to us. Nothing happened to her while I was gone. She was very glad to see me when I got back.

    Traveling with her at that stage of her life was almost like traveling with a child in an adult body. It had its complications, but in general, she so enjoyed the trip that I’m glad I made the effort.

    The younger Pastor Hunter and his wife picked us up in Louisville when we got back. He said he had never seen Mother so animated. She was bored so much of the time in her last years because she couldn’t concentrate on anything like reading, etc. so I’m glad I was able to do this for her.

    Later someone told me that we should have rented a taxi and had it take us through the Strip. I’m not sorry we didn’t.

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