"That's how my rock and roll"

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, October 13, 2011

We awake, and look out the window and we truly are in the desert. No trees, except for some hairy cactus, and rock.  It is already hot, but it is pretty, in a dry, desert-like way.

We have breakfast and then hit the pool and we are in the car by the crack of 11am.

We have roughly a 2 hour journey ahead, which feels like a walk in the park.

And with a stroke of terrific luck, Elwood sleeps for every minute of the journey. 

On the journey we pass Hoover Dam and Boulder City, and the odd casino but mostly nothing but sensational landscape until we hit Vegas (baby).  We listen to Levi Lowrey – 'I confess I was a Fool'.  Driving down the strip is something else – the light shining from the gold MGM Lion could blind you, and New York New York just looks brilliant.  Elwood refers to the statue of liberty as, ‘that lady from Madagascar movie.’  We are very proud indeed.

Elwood wakes up super happy as we are looking for our hotel, which is not one of the big ones but it is on the strip in the middle of all the action.  We are chuffed.

We check into the hotel and our room stinks a bit.  We cannot work out what the smell is, but we figure, it will probably just smell of us pretty soon.  The aircon sounds like there is a massive plane about to come through the wall and l it looks like it may possibly be installed with blu-tac or chewing gum.  But we’re in Vegas (baby) so we don’t care.

It’s too hot and massive out on the strip for Elwood to walk or be carried, so we decide we are going to need a pushchair.  And, we don’t have one.  So I have a 30 second look online, find a rental, and the lady says she’ll deliver to hotel in 30 minutes.  All good, so far.  Except she arrives and forgot the pushchair (for real) so it actually takes another hour.  Grrr.  So we grab a bite to eat.

Once we have the pushchair our first stop, as promised to the wonderful boy, is MGM grand to see the Lions.  They are not doing much but Elwood does not mind, he is still happy.  He is even happier in the gift shop looking at the lion merchandise!

On the way in MGM grand Elwood spotted the Rainforest Cafe.  His head almost exploded.  We spend too much time in the gift shop, before making some vague promise about coming back.

Walking around on the strip is an experience like no other.  The first thing that gets you is all the people trying to hook tourists up with prostitutes.  At any crossing there would be 10-15 people on either side of the road handing out business cards for prostitutes.  And all sorts of people handing them out, male, female, young and old.  They all wear t-shirts say ‘I can get you a girl in your room in 20 minutes’.  It is a little strange, and I really cannot help but wonder what happens in your life that you find yourself wearing that t-shirt, handing out cards on a street corner in Vegas (baby).  I try and not think about desperate people doing desperate things.  But it can be difficult to block it out in Vegas (baby).

The other thing as you walking down the strip is that there are loads of characters.  Firstly, I think this is brilliant for Woody.  But something does not sit right.  Firstly, they bear no connection to the shops they are standing in front of, they are sometimes carrying an eskie, one of the super Mario brothers called out ‘how you doing man’ to Elwood, they are all filthy (really filthy) and faded, and as the day goes on they make less effort to conceal the fact they are drinking massive cans of beer

They try and get the kids attention and engage with the kids – and then ask you for money

The other ones to watch are people giving you their CD’s on street corners.  This bloke gave Noah a CD of his music. it also had messages of inspiration had written on the sleeve – nice touch I thought.  The man described himself as a bit like Will Smith, but sometimes he gets a bit more jiggy.   (We nod like we might know what this means.)  He built rapport with us through recalling the nursery rhymes London Bridge and Ring-o-Roses, being true stories about London.  He then asked for money, and then his CD back.  And there I thought we were making friends...

After MGM Grand we went to Tropicana which has a bit of swing vibe, and they were playing  ‘Zoot Suit Riot’ which I hadn’t heard in ages and loved.  They had a children’s ‘side show alley’ area which Elwood ran around in thinking he was playing everything without us putting any money in.  He then had some goes on knocking over rubber ducks and fell about laughing attempting the throw ping pong balls into bowls.  He won a few tickets for prizes, which he  took quite seriously whilst Noah and I picked up tickets off the floor that kids had dropped – which I took quite seriously.

Our next stop was New York, New York.  As we walked in there was a girl selling oxygen at an oxygen bar.  The oxygen was coloured so it must be much better than the clear stuff I am used to.  We might have to go back there, once I can decide my preferred colour of oxygen....

Again, they have a section of arcade games.  By this stage – Elwood is out of his tree.  He cannot stop dancing and tossing his hat in the air and catching it.  He is having a blast.  And this is when he enthusiastically declares, "That’s how my rock and roll". 

Because Elwood has been brilliant today, and we are the softest touches in the world, we head back to the Rainforest Cafe for them to skin us alive for a couple of meals.  Elwood loved it and played and ate so happily, so we tried not to think about the money we were haemorrhaging in the ‘forest’.

We intend to head down to Bellagio to look at the fountains put to music, you have to do this when you are in Vegas (baby), it is the law.  But they start blocking off the street, and we realised the strip is about to get a load of NASCARS coming down it.  So we find a place to watch and it feels very strange that we are watching Nascars speed down the strip in Vegas (baby). 

Elwood enjoyed watching the cars but it was a bit loud for him (it was only about half as loud as our air conditioning so I do not know how he will cope with that!).  Elwood wanted to head ‘home’ so we did and he was fell sound asleep in a heartbeat.

Noah and I have developed another speech impediment.  Neither of us can say Vegas without adding ‘baby’ on the end.  We both think it is funny every time, and Elwood looks at us in a way which tells us how embarrassing we are.    I resent this, as I thought we had quite a few more years up our sleeve until we were unbearably embarrassing.

So that is it for today. We are very excited about tomorrow and looking forward to getting back amongst the madness.

Good night from Vegas (baby)
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Leonie on

Baby!baby! You're in veges baby!!!

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