Monday, December 10, 2007

Las Vegas

Spent 4 days in Las Vegas last week. The weather was sunny and in the 60’s compared to the 8 inches of snow and 20 degree weather in Wisconsin. Pools were open although not many people were using them; we sat in lawn chairs in the sun one afternoon. It was great just to be able to walk without wearing a jacket.

People watching is the main spectator sport. When I first went to Vegas I thought everyone would be dressed up, lots of diamonds and mink coats, sequins and tuxedos. No such thing. Now, as then, I saw more sweatshirts, jeans, non-descript tourists. Average looking people from all over the world stroll the sidewalks, play blackjack, attend conventions, plunk money into slot machines, and wander about high end shops.

The sleaze element is always in the open. The card flicking people line the sidewalks. They flick cards together and hand one in front of people on the sidewalk. Each card has a picture of a scantily clothed, attractive female, price ($35 on the one I saw), and phone number. Most people walk past and ignore the card flickers, but it is funny to watch the people who stop to take the cards and talk to the card handlers. Another common sight is truck billboards that have a photo of the same lingerie clad blonde girl (average looking, no one stunning) and the advertisement “Girls Who Want to Meet You” and the phone number 696-9696. (I memorized the number because we were going to call it and hear what was said – we didn’t!) While I wasn’t sure I saw any prostitutes this time I will never forget my first time in Vegas. A beautiful young girl was standing at a casino bar with two older, overweight, not so good looking 60 something guys. When I questioned why a gorgeous young girl would be with those two men I was informed by my friend that she was probably a hooker. I was aghast (can anyone say naive?) and wanted to “save” her!

Available entertainment is varied, top notch, and expensive. We saw the comedian, impressionist Danny Gans at the Mirage. The tickets were $100/apiece but well worth it. His impressions of Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Creed, Dean Martin, Bon Jovi, to name a few, were incredibly real. While we would have loved to see Celine Dion or Elton John, the cost of $375 per ticket was cost prohibitive. If I could go to a show a night for a week I would see Second City Improv, The Blue Man Group, Elton John, Lance Burton, and Jubilee.

While not an avid sports enthusiast, I have to admit to enjoying the sports rooms at the casinos. I was interested in betting on the Packers-Raiders game but after asking about placing a bet, found it wasn’t worth my while when the Packers would have to win by 11 points and I would need to spend more than my planned $10 to make it worth my while. We watched the 4th quarter of the Bears-Redskins game at the Monte Carlo Sports room and it was funny to watch people become upset when the Bears kicked a 3 point goal which ruined the betting odds! A new way to watch a game. Horse racing was huge in these rooms, and I never realized how many races happened in a day.

We aren’t big gamblers because neither of us is lucky. Any gambling we did was on slots. Losing was even fun as long as it took a long time and I could hear the ding-ding-ding because it made me think I was winning even if I was losing. We took a craps lesson which involved numbers and thinking and those elements ruled out the game for me! I would rather spend my money on something I can wear or look at in my house.

Vegas is fine to visit once in awhile but I don’t need to go there often. There are other new places I want to see and other places I’d like to revisit.