Monday, September 24, 2012

Things I Learned in Las Vegas

Weekend before last we took a jaunt down to a little redneck town called Las Vegas.  I had never been (unless you count driving past on the way to Disneyland), and it seemed like high time.  We were only there for a weekend, but I learned a few life lessons along the way:

1) The GPS is not always right.  How did we learn this?  By trusting it to take us to a long-term parking place but instead it led us to the heart of downtown Salt Lake.  Consequentially we missed our flight...

2) All is not totally lost if one misses one's flight.  Well, maybe it is sometimes, but it was not for us.  We missed it by less than ten minutes, thanks to the GPS, a crawling shuttle, long security lines (at 7 AM??), extra security hassles and having a gate at the very end of the terminal.  You know, pretty much everything.  BUT Southwest bumped us onto the next flight and we made it to Vegas just a couple of hours later than planned with no further issues. 

3) I do not want to own a timeshare.  On the way to check in at our pyramid, we were unwittingly suckered into what turned out to be timeshare presentation.  Long story short, we spent several hours with Mr. Timeshare and got free lunch as well as some dirt cheap tickets for a few different attractions.  He kind of looked like an older Karl Urban and by the end I was having a rather good time telling him no.  I don't think he had as much fun.

4) I very much enjoy a buffet.  Intent on stuffing my face as much as possible, we got an all-day, unlimited pass for the buffets at the Luxor and Excalibur hotels.  Naturally, we went to both at each meal.  Highlights included the chocolate milk (yes), a cheese-stuffed something, the desserts, crab legs and...well, that's all I can remember.

5) Aquarium tunnels are just as magical as I hoped.  

One of our timeshare benefits was tickets to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  It was pretty small but fun and they had a tunnel!  For some reason I have always longed to feel as though I am at the bottom of the ocean...

6) There are slot machines for every fandom.  Do people really walk through a casino and say "Oh man, a Wizard of Oz slot machine??  I will gladly give it hundreds of dollars in coins."?  Speaking of which...

7) People waste a lot of time. 

8) People waste a lot of money.  Egads.

9) People are unscrupulous.  This wasn't really a surprise, knowing Vegas's reputation, but I'm still amazed at the lengths businesses/people go to to push their sordid, seedy entertainments.  And with kids walking around and all!  Of course, that also begs the question of why anyone would bring small children to the Strip.

10) It is delightful to eat with one's hands.  I was skeptical about the Tournament of Kings (in which you are given a medieval-ish meal [sans silverware] and entertained by a horse-filled medieval play of sorts), primarily because it cost about $60 a person.  Ridiculous.  But thanks to Mr. Timeshare it was about $5 for both us.  Now, maybe I was just starving, but I devoured that little Cornish hen and everything else.  In fact, maybe we also LOOKED starving because the waiter offered us extra soup. 

11) I still got it, or, I prefer Drewbles.  While Drew waited in line to pick up our Tournament of Kings tickets, I went back to the hotel to pick up some stuff.  Whilst on my way back, I met with a few fellows, one of whom declared himself in love with me and tried to lead me away from my matrimonial obligations.  I think not!  Later, while Drewbles was still gathering his crab legs, another fellow tried to talk me into eating dinner with him.  Oh ho!  Dudes.

All told, Vegas has its fun things and it was a fun trip, but overall--and I don't think this will come as a surprise to anyone--it has a fancy exterior with a cheap substance.  It reminded me of a creme puff I ate once, that turned out to have mold on the inside.  But at least there was no mold at the buffets. 

Here, have some pictures:

The real New York has a roller coaster in the midst too, right?
The closest I will probably ever come to one of my very favorite works of art in the world.
What a delightfully fancy mall.
Drewbles surveys the kingdom.
This amused me to no end.  No end!

These little globs enchanted Drew to no end.  No end!
Another lesson: Las Vegas is very hot and sunny.

One day I hope to compare this to the original.
I give the fountain show two thumbs up.

This also amused me to no end.  And yes, I did cut out the strip show ad below it.  Take that, Vegas!