Las Vegas

Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
Trip End Jul 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We left the Hoover Dam and a half hour later we were in Las Vegas.  We were staying at New York New York which is located at the south end of the strip, across the street from MGM Grand, the Tropicana and the Excalibur.  New York New York from the outside resembles the New York City skyline with a roller coaster running through it.  After all we are in Vegas.

                     New York city street                            Skyline

To get to the registration desk you must first pass through a sea of slot machines.  Sarah's statement about this was, "Wow!"  Of course the slot machines are right next to the registration desk, so hearing the clerk was a challenge.  Once we got to our room, which had a wonderful view of the roller coaster, we went for a swim.   The cool thing about that, besides the water, was when you floated on your back and looked up it was like floating on a street in New York City.

We then went to exploring a few the hotels adjacent to ours.  The MGM Grand was a very nice hotel with real lions in the casino.  There were two guys just sitting in the glass cage with the sleeping lions, who must be slightly more intelligent than the ones in Out of Africa, because they were not running around trying to get the lions agitated.  In fact it looked as if they might fall asleep.

After that, it was over to the Excalibur hotel which is on the other side of the street.  The Excalibur was a bit more themed than the MGM Grand, but it also appeared to be older looking.  By the time we were done looking at these two hotels Sarah was tired so we went back to the room.
The next day we toured several of the other hotels which consisted of over the top lavishness like the Venetian, to glorified hotels like the Tropicana.  I am not going to waste a bunch of time describing all of them, because it is just something you need to see to draw your own opinion.  Besides, I'd rather make fun of people...

Pat and Sarah watch a show on Saturday nights called What Not to Wear.  I have sat through enough episodes to get the general principal behind it.  Some earthy, schleppy person who make obviously poor fashion choices is recommended by their alleged friend to be made fun of on national TV.  In exchange, the schleppy person receives guidance from two self appointed know-it-alls (Clinton and Stacey) and is given 5 grand to spend on a new wardrobe.  The person receives the money, buys clothing , claims to be reformed, then after the know-it-alls return to New York, the schleppy person probably returns to their previous bad fashion habits, sells the new wardrobe on EBay, and makes $2500 for their trouble. 

By now you are asking what does this have to do with Las Vegas.  Bear with me.  I am getting there. I am no fashion expert, but I have found a way to cut out the alleged friend to find the poorly dressed person.  Just hang out in Vegas.  Here is a list of fashion issues I observed:

50 plus year old man, jogging pants, white socks and thong sandals.

70-ish man in dark purple shirt and lighter purple polyester pants with patent leather shoes, a handle bar mustache and a bad toupee.

Obesity and spandex.

Obesity, daisy duke shorts, and large snake tattoos.
Leisure suits.

Mini-skirts on women over 60.

Muscle shirts on men with bodies like mine or even worse.

Orange hair and green mohawks.

You get the idea.  I could not believe these people went out in public dressed like this. 

Another aspect of Vegas I had not fully considered is the fact that sex sells and Sarah is 12. This problem manifested itself in a couple of ways.  On our last night of vacation, at Sarah's request, we went to Margaritaville, Las Vegas.  Having been to the one in Myrtle Beach we thought we knew what to expect.  But it is Vegas and everything is PG-13 at a minimum.  Dinner went as normal.  6pm rolled around and the people on stilts came out.  Still normal.  The volcano began to erupt.  Still nothing new.  Then things progressed in an unexpected direction.  A young lady, who was more than capable of wearing Daisy Dukes and a bikini top without offending Clinton and Stacy, came out dancing around the room.  She then sauntered up the volcano; danced some more, slid down a slide into a giant Margarita pitcher located next to the bar.  She stirred the Margarita by dancing around in it, got out and danced some more on the bar.  I am not sure how much of this registered with Sarah, but I was slightly uncomfortable.  This is not the worst part of the evening.
                                                                      Stilt Captain

We then went to Treasure Island where they have an outdoor "Pirate" show in front of the hotel.  The show is actually a 20 minute dance review in which some poor male pirate is captured by a dozen scantily clad female pirates.   The plot continues with him wanting to be rescued by his fellow male pirates.  Please.  The only male in Las Vegas I could think of, who would want to be rescued from this group of "pirates", was Elton John who is currently playing at Cesar's Palace.  Anyway, after the male pirate ship is sunk they swim to the girl pirate ship where some interesting dancing occurs.  Eventually all the men are kicked off the ship, left with nothing, and the girls sail away.  Fill in your own metaphor here.  This was still not the worst part.

                                      TI Sirens                   TI Ship

Sandra Bullock fact insertion - Treasure Island and its ships were used in Miss Congeniality 2.  Unfortunately, Sandra did not dress like a siren in that movie. 
We then went to see the Freemont Street Experience.   It is hard to describe, but imagine more than 3 city blocks, covered with a canopy of millions of LED lights.  Now turn up "American Pie" by Don Mclean, and combine the music with generational pictures.  It makes for a pretty remarkable 5 minute show.

                                     Don Mclean                    Freemont
Now for the worst part.  Brilliant me decided that since it was dark it would be cool to drive down Las Vegas Blvd. and look at all the hotels lit up.  This next story needs a little set up.  At the beach they have planes flying over dragging advertising signs behind them for Dominos pizza, restaurants and other beachy things.  In Vegas they use a line of trucks with billboards on the back driving up and down Las Vegas Blvd.  The billboards advertise Vegas acts, shows, and women who will come to your hotel room. 

I, of course, end up next to a line of these trucks stuck at a light.  Sarah, of course, asks what these trucks mean.  I, of course, remain silent deciding this is a maternal teaching moment .  Pat proceeds to explain this is a way for men to get a date.  Sarah proceeds to read the whole billboard out loud and then goes into a routine that I just can't remember well enough to type.   Pat was laughing so hard she was nearly crying.  I giggled then tried to figure out who I could beat up.  There were no targets of opportunity in this normally target rich environment.
We got back to our room with no other sexually laced incidents.  Thank God.  We packed up and flew out the next morning via Southwest Airline.  I have only a couple of observations about this.  We were checked in by Mike Carr who has been featured on the A&E show "Airline".  He was nice and complemented Sarah on how tall she was.  Finally, after traveling all over LA, San Diego, Sedona, and Las Vegas we meet someone who has been on TV. 

I did not mind flying Southwest, with the exception of their hybrid kindergarten/cows going to slaughter boarding system.  Lining up in numerical order, and standing around is stupid and serves no purpose.

I will type a final blog this weekend and direct you to a place where you can look at all of our pictures if you wish to. 

Until then,
Mike, Pat and Sarah 
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