I’d meant to write a “how to do Vegas” post after my recent trip there. I believe I have some insight. You see, I don’t gamble, I don’t like to shop for clothes. As for the restaurants and the spas? Well, believe me Vegas has nothing on San Francisco and Sonoma. So what is there left to do? And why on earth would I go there? Well, I never exactly PLAN to go to Vegas, but somehow or other I tend to find myself here nearly every year.
And there is one experience you can only really have in Vegas. It all comes down to one activity: walk The Strip. Preferably from one end to the other — or at least from Mandalay Bay or The MGM Grand to the Venetian. It’s a bit more than a mile as the crow flies, but I logged nearly four miles on my pedometer doing it. That, my friends, is because, in Vegas, the House always wins. So no matter how much you want to walk outside and avoid the casinos and the shopping, you can’t. Somehow, Las Vegas has been engineered so that there is no possible way to walk more than half a block without being forced into one of the major hotels.
But keep battling your way back out onto the sidewalk. Because that’s where the best floor show is. And it’s free! First of all, on the streets of The Strip is where worlds collide.
Here’s the best part: the glamour and the sleaze are evenly mixed and on both sides of the street. So you’ll have an equal opportunity, within the space of half a block, to walk in the world of the high roller or a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation type perp. No matter which universe you are in at the moment, the scene is equally surreal.
I’ve never exactly been able to put my finger on what is so fascinating about Vegas. It’s kind of like this: imagine the top tourist spots of the world (say Paris, Rome, Venice), then imagine everything heightened and not necessarily for the better. The colors are too bright, the proportions are just a bit off, the lighting is too intense and it’s all completely surreal.
I’m tempted to say there’s no place like Las Vegas. No place where things are too brightly colored, oddly out of proportion and just plain surreal. But I know I’ve seen it all somewhere else.