Viva Las Vegas

I have to admit….Las Vegas is having a hard time winning me over.

First of all, the hotel…as cool and trendy as it might be, is not growing on me. It’s just too crowded, too loud, too..desperate to come across as hip? I dunno, but, maybe it is just too much in a way. Inasmuch as the idea is a nice one, the little parts in itself are nice, the big total though is just to blinky, glitzy, noisy for me. I do kinda prefer the MGM Grand from what I’ve seen outside of their rooms…and have to admit that the Bellagio IS rather nice from the inside. Especially the lobby area with the piano bar just outside of it. Maybe I am too old for the NY, NY? Or just too petty burgeois, who knows. And no, don’t comment on it, thank you.

We scored tickets for Ka, the Cirque du Soleil show in the MGM Grand for a rather good price, still a heckuva lot of money though. Thus having made arrangements for our evening, we decided to go exploring. Man, it’s hot in Vegas during daytime…and it’s not even summer. Sheeeesh. We decided to hop on the bus and take a ride down to the ‘historic’ part of Vegas, yanno, the stuff you know from the older movies like the Golden Nugget and what not. It is a bit…I wouldn’t quite call it scary, but compared to the strip it feels a bit less save. More exposed and more…uhhhh.. no, I doubt I’d like to walk around there past nightfall as we did do yesterday around the NY, NY. It looked more authentic though in a casino kinda way, still, even here all the old one armed bandits were converted to the fully electronic kind with dollar bill and card slots, no quarters here, either. Feh. I swear, I am a seventy year old trapped in the body of a guy in his mid-thirties. Shaddup, you whipper-snappers!

The hike back to the hotel was a mix of getting back into the bus to the beginning of the strip, then hopping from shade to shade while looking at all the different hotels and then taking a train for one station back to the MGM Grand. The Bellagio really is growing on me, the Venetian did look kinda nice. Caesar’s Palace, I dunno, I expected more from it. Yeah, we were there during the week, so I guess all casinos were not at their peak, still. Treasure Island, hahumm…Paris? Puh-lease.

Seriously, what peeved me though all over the place was the fact that you nowhere really could get into the/a game. I wanted to first take a good look-see at a table, at the people playing there and at the guy hosting the game before I sat down and whipped out my wallet. I didn’t want to spend much on gambling, hence my wish to scour a bit first. But to no avail. People were odd, giving you weird looks when you walked by and….I dunno, not much for the vibe-thing but I always got the feeling, wherever I was, that this ain’t the right table for me. Blah. Figures, go to Vegas and don’t gamble a cent. Feh.

The Bellagio though…geeez. I could have just spent more time there. Screw the gambling, give me a table in the piano bar, give me a good player and I spend my time there nursing my drink of choice, thank you very much. That’s what I could get used to. People watching, there’s been quite a lot of opportunity for that in the lobby area, enjoy decently played music and nurse a drink, yeah, that sounds like me. They even had a good sample of virgin drinks on the menu, so, yeah, just the spot for me.

The more time was going by though and the closer the time for us to head to Ka though came, the more I started dreading it. I read up a bit on the whole show stuff and wasn’t quite sure that this was really my cup of tea. Plus, yeah, I was really looking forward to seeing some typical shows like…I dunno, Mr. Las Vegas maybe or Penn&Teller or another decent Illusionist, sadly though the shows were either sold out or the people dared to not be in Vegas but being on tour. Here’s looking at you, Penn, Teller and Newton….

Arriving at the queue in front of the theater…rather standing in line just shy of opening the doors, we were aghast to find out that they were rather adamant about not taking cellphones and cameras into the theater and them evicting people with items like these even only found on them, because we had a small snapshot camera and a cellphone with us. Time was too short to return to the hotel and we were just hoping that they’d leave us alone…which they did, even tough they were looking inside the bags. Whew. That would have sucked.

The show itself? REALLY knocked me out of my socks. Amazing. I get why having a theatre built for a specific show might be a good thing now. Before, I thought it a bit over the top, but coming out of it, it was just that good. What can I say, it did kinda turn around my whole experience of Vegas. Where before I would have happily left the place and not be bothered with having to watch one of the Cirque shows, I now was cursing my luck for not having the chance to stay a few more impromptu nights to accomodate MORE shows into our schedule.

Alas, it is getting a tad late. Mel is already in going-to-bed mode, we both forgot to have dinner though, so I guess I will scavenge for something to eat and drink, likely just a bunch of pretzels (healthy…*cough*) and pop for both of us, then some TV and mentally preparing for the drive back to Phoenix tomorrow morning. Hoover Dam. I am kinda looking forward to that one.

So…Good night, Vegas! You suck significantly less than you did last night…actually…I might even come to like you in a kind of way I am not too sure yet about….

More tomorrow

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