Thursday, October 22, 2009

Las Vegas; The breakdown.

I have no clue if any of you care at all, but just in case you do, and for myself to look back on, I'm going to blog all about it in this post.

I absolutely adore flying. The sensation of it is so amazing to me. I love take off and landing and I love turbulence, and even if I close my eyes and concentrate on the movement even when the plane is flying smoothly I can feel it inside my body and I love it. I am not in anyway afraid of airplanes because even if it did crash, the fact that the last few moments of my life were spent in one of my favorite places ever (which is up) is good enough for me. When I say up I mean anything. I love being above. I love flying, the feeling of falling, when you're up in an observation deck in a tower and you take that first look down and you get that rush, everything about being above makes my heart sing.

The view over Nevada was amazing. We were flying over at around 11 so the sky was black and the only thing visible was the light from all the cities and towns. Nevada, in the night is very flat. There are cities and cities and cities of light but they are all tucked away in between clumps of mountain. It's a very weird landscape. Anywhere there is a city it is completely absolutely flat and anywhere there are mountains, there is not a spec of urbanization. So looking out at night is very odd. We would fly over a huge city and every where were lights as far as you could possibly see was flat land filled with little tiny specs in huge clumps. And as the city began to end the light would thin out and it began to look like we were below and looking up because the land looked like the sky, pitch black with white speck dispersed about. It was hard to believe it WASN'T the sky, and then it would end. No more lights only black. Pitch black as we flew over the mountains and it was hard to believe that 5 minutes ago we were looking as far as the eye could see at millions and millions of lights and now it seemed as though the dark would go on forever.

As I said before, I brought my garden gnome with me to Las Vegas. On the trip from here to the Edmonton airport I picked out a name for him and decided on Gnorm the Gnome (with a silent G of course). Unfortunately, I checked him with my luggage instead of bringing him on the carry on and this was not one of my brightest ideas. He arrived in Las Vegas in about 15 pieces and went from Gnorm the Gnome, to Gnorm the Gnarled Gnome. So first stop after the hotel was Wallgreens to purchase a role of duct tape. i think I did a fantastic bandaging job and I believe he's much cozier this way. And my Gnorm quickly grew on my mother as well. I think he added the necessary part to the trip and I'm very glad I brought him along.

The residents of Vegas are so unfriendly!! None of the staff were at all pleasant except for a select few. But all the tourists were very friendly. I don't think we talked to anyone who didn't live in Las Vegas who wasn't nice. And we met people from all over the world, with every accent you could ever imagine! I fell head over heals for a British guy on the bus that we struck up a conversation with who had the most beautiful accent ever! The way he spoke was all I needed, but the friendly smile and adorable feature didn't hurt the situation any either. Although I will never see him again. I also love love love African accents and could listen to and African man with his crazy slang talk for almost as long as I could a British. I think half of what made this trip so great was talking to all the tourists from different parts of the world.

This city NEVER sleeps! At 2 in the morning is when the streets are the most crowded. There is always something to do and somewhere to go. I am not of legal age though in the States so we had to stick to more of the day time activities. Day time runs until about 11 30 in Vegas. The sun sets around 7 but usually that's when all the great stuff is happening. A lot of the hotels have little shows that they put on just outside once the sun goes down, for the public. One had in incredible water show where the water would shoot up out of hundreds of sprinkler type things and dance along with the music. It was very impressive. Our hotel, the Treasure Island, put on a show called the Sirens of TI, which was basically a bunch of slutty girls dancing around on a boat but the SFX were cool. Mostly during the day we would shop. LV is full of outlet stores where you can get everything at factory prices. We also spent a day just walking from one end of the strip to the other, which yes, does take a whole day if you stop at everything there is to see. We went to M&M world, and Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville where I held 4 macaw parrots at once, and we went to The Beatles store and The Hard Rock Cafe and we went to the stratosphere where you can lookout from thousands of feet above Las Vegas. This is where I went on the 1000 foot drop ride which was incredible. It dropped you 1000 feet in under 1.5 seconds. I love the feeling of falling, so this was my kind of ride. We also went to Freemont street which is a street, the whole length of it covered by a huge curved television screen. They dedication that night was to Queen so they played Queen songs and showed pictures of them and Jazz. We also went to 3 Broadway shows. We saw The Lion King which was absolutely the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed in my entire 18 years of life!! It was breathtakingly beautiful and I cried 4 times during it because of the beauty of the performance. Look up the costumes if you like because they are so incredible as well. We also saw Cirque de Soleil's Mystere which was also very excellent. The acrobatics were so amazing and there was so many parts where they interacted with the audience. The third show was Phantom of the Opera. This show was not my favorite. It was very well done of course but it was just so plain. There was nothing 'wow factor' in this, it was just like any other play, good, but not amazing. I would not pay to see it again. It was the movie acted out in a theatre was all it was.

We lived off of Lil' Betty's Chocolate Chip Muffins and Wallgreens bananas for the most part of out trip because eating took too much time. But let me tell you those are the most amazing muffins ever made up until about day 4. When we did eat out we would hut for a Subway or something cheap because honestly, food is not what we went to LV for, and we wanted as much shopping money as possible.

Las Vegas is not as hot as I would have though. The temperature would get up to mid 30s but because it's so dry it does not feel that hot. It's also windy, and I experienced what it's like to stand on a crowded bridge above a main road while the wing introduced my nose to the bottom hem of my sun dress. I think it's an experience everyone should try.
The LV Strip is also surprisingly clean. There is the odd piece of garbage on the sidewalk but that's it and it's not dirty or dust at all. You could sit down where ever in a pair of white shorts and stand up clean. It's weird. There isn't grass either. We did find some patches of grass but it was fake plastic grass that was very very convincing until I set Gnorm down for a picture and realized we were all being fooled. I think we saw maybe 4 spot the whole time where real grass grew and then I was obvious that I was sod and there were about 20 sprinklers in a 10 foot area of grass.

By the time the last day came I was for sure ready to come back. The first half of our plane ride was in day light but we were in the clouds and then I went to sleep until we were getting close to Edmonton. We magically turned out 2000 dollars worth of purchases into about 800 on the customs form and then watched out luggage pound it's way down the conveyor slide onto the luggage pick up zone. No wonder Gnorm was in pieces after arriving in Las Vegas! I could see my breath when we walked out of the airport doors, but it meant I was home again so it wasn't too too bad. And there wasn't any snow so it was ok.

In all, I did love Las Vegas but I think the next time I go I want to be 21 so that I can legally drink. I don't think I'd do much gambling but it would be fun to experience the night life at legal age. I'd also like to go back again and watch the Lion King about 12 more times [=

So thank you once again mommy for the awesome way-more-than-necessary 18th birthday gift! Much love! ~Jn9