Rafting and Las Vegas

I am writing from the KOA campground in Las Vegas where I am sitting outside the laundry room. It’s good to have a little space in this place where time is not measured. You never see a clock as you go about the city, nor can you walk down the Strip without having to take many detours up and across side streets with doors leading, not unintentionally, into more shops and casinos. I hadn’t realized how much Las Vegas is like Disney World for adults. The huge hotels are a maze of shops, casinos and restaurants each with a theme. Last night, Janie and I walked over 4 miles from our humble lodging at a Travelodge to the Luxor at the opposite end of the Strip. On the way back, we wandered through New York, New York, with its Irish Pub and NY style brownstone buildings, through Paris where we stopped at a cafe, and today had lunch in St. Mark’s Square after watching the Mozart opera characters singing and dancing while gondoliers passed in the Vegas version of the Grand Canal. Once I enter a building, my usual sense of geography disappears in a maze of slot machines, black jack tables and crowds of people in all directions.

I see the appeal for those who love to shop or to wander through “foreign” lands with the comfort of hearing English instead of Italian and seeing familiar store brands from The Gap to Gucci. For me, the appeal are the shows. Last night, we got discount tickets to see Menopause, the Musical. The show was almost sold out so we got tickets in row E and row J (I got the E ticket, Janie, the J) and I enjoyed conversing with two women from Arkansas seated next to me about their experiences here this week. The musical was great fun filled with songs from the 60’s, rewritten with words appropriate for the hot flashes and sleeplessness of menopause. Instead of “I want to be a California girl”, it was “I want to feel sane and normal”. The mostly female audience, laughed throughout the whole show. Tonight we are seeing something entirely different, the Cirque de Soleil show called Mystere.

Yesterday was a day of contrasts. In the morning, we started out on a bus to the Hoover Dam. We boarded a raft for an amazing trip down the Colorado River just below the dam and enjoyed a cloudless, brilliant blue sky, temps in the 80’s and scenery that kept us in awe. The river is calm there and the lava rock rises steeply on either side. There were a few side canyons to peek into and a couple of sandy beaches where we stopped to eat our bag lunches. We lucked out with seats in the front of the raft where the temptation was to continually photograph the views knowing that the photographs would never capture the experience the way we wished they would.

I’m about ready to leave the glitz of Vegas for the quiet of Death Valley in California tomorrow. But first, it’s time to take the clothes out of the dryer. Even in Vegas, reality has its place in the laundry room.

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4 Comments

  1. Phyllis Biegun

     /  October 12, 2011

    Sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  2. lesley anderson

     /  October 13, 2011

    Hi Ellen

    I am enjoying reading your posts. You are certainly having a variety of experiences. I appreciated the reference to corn fields in Illinois. I am doing a long bike ride on Sunday – 160km around the Bay in Melbourne. Actually it is a 210km ride but I have pre-decided to cut off the last 50km by taking the train!

    Best regards
    Lesley (Anderson) – NT East 2011

    Reply
  3. Sam

     /  October 14, 2011

    Fantastic! Tell me though, did you play at least one slot machine? Not a gambler but I feel like you should at least pull the lever once if you are in Vegas. Have fun in Death Vally!

    Reply
  4. Amy M.

     /  October 14, 2011

    Hi Ellen – Fun to catch up a bit with your trip! Hope it’s continuing to be wonderful.

    xoxoxox

    Reply

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