I’ve been back and forth numerous times to Las Vegas over the past 30 years. To me it is a given that this is not the real world, although I know that people actually live there and raise their families there. But this past weekend it became evident in the extreme that this city is the licentious wet dream of a secularist society gone mad!
Upon arrival, one decants from the airplane into a lobby area filled to capacity with slot machines. But not the kind of "slots" we’ve all known and loved over the years, oh no! Now you have to make a “commitment” to gambling because these machines only accept BILLS. No more little old ladies with their cups full of nickels playing for hours. Oh no – it’s all COMPUTERIZED now. Over the long weekend, I wandered 3 different (gigantic) casinos in vain looking for a freaking blackjack table. Never did find one. Messed around a bit with video poker. Nowhere near the same!
The entire ethos of Las Vegas is dedicated to separating tourists from their money, however that can be done. The days of 75¢ shrimp cocktails? Gone! Cheap but exceptional food and free drinks? Gone! Pleasant staff? Hard to find. I will, however, extend sincere kudos to the lady at the Business Center in the Imperial Palace Hotel who was both helpful and pleasant very early on a Sunday morning!
The change lady at the airport when I was waiting for my return flight? She was downright rude! And, surprise surprise, English was clearly NOT her 1st or even 2nd language!
On the other hand, some of the tourists were pretty nasty as well, including a bunch of joggers who nearly pushed me off the sidewalk and into a very busy street early on Friday morning while Sis and I were walking down the Strip trying to find a Walgreen Drug Store so she could fill a prescription!
The architecture of Las Vegas is fantastic. Construction beavers on seemingly endlessly. A taxi driver who took us around on Friday confided that as soon as the school year ends, he’s moving his family back to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has 3 daughters and he wants them to grow up around normal people. I cannot blame him.
We had a couple of great meals in Vegas: Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar & Grille” in Harrah’s was superb and I loved the unsweetened iced tea served in a gigantic mason jar. We also had extraordinary food at The Range Steakhouse in the same hotel! And I cannot say enough good things about the charm and inventiveness of the bartenders at The Range Steakhouse. Have YOU ever tasted a coffee martini? Wow!
There aren't enough nice things to say about the staff of Southwest Airlines. It's rapidly becoming the ONLY airline I am willing to fly.
My bottom line? This was definitely my LAST trip to Las Vegas. Atlantic City is closer and in the same time zone, thereby avoiding the jet lag I am still suffering. Besides, I really missed Sam and Tim and they seemed ecstatic that I was back, even though Auntie Pam took really, really good care of them for which I thank her very much!