Sunday, February 10, 2008

Las Vegas: Part Two

Karla dropped me off at the Tropicana around six-thirty. It was my first time seeing this gem of the strip. The Tropicana is among the old guard of hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard. That is to say that it hasn't been renovated much since it was built back before the mega luxury hotels sprung up around it. Regardless, our room in the Paradise Tower was charming in its own way, with a few of the neighboring Hooters Hotel and a mirrored headboard and ceiling combination. Phillip and his cousin Alex met me in the room after hitting up the liquor store. We gathered with Daniela, Pete, Erin, and David in the lobby and went for a swanky feast at the DB Brasserie in the Wynn Hotel. Apparently no hotel is too luxurious for a little Vegas-style entertainment. A different light and puppetronic show - in the spirit of Madonna's 1994 Bedtime Stores - peppered our meal every thirty minutes (does anyone have a photo of that?). After dinner we went back to the suite and hung out. Phillip and I went to bed later on and some of the group went out with Alex to check out the nightlife.

The roller coaster at New York New York; the only Elvis I spied

Major construction to build the 2009 City Center - I like the contrasts

The next morning Phillip and I woke up early and walked around the strip. It is really something else. Hedonism at its best, it is a Disneyland for adults. We walked through some hotels then I went back to the hotel to order room service and take a nap. Phillip and I rejoined the group early evening in the suite for some party time. Out of everyone I started tripping as soon as we left the hotel room for a grand walk around the city. You can imagine what it is like to hallucinate in such a visually stimulating city. Zoiks! We saw the lions at MGM and the dancing fountains at the Bellagio. People in roller skates were giving out "free hugs"? Next thing I knew I was strapped into the roller coaster at the New York New York and flying around the city. New York New York is definitely the most bizarre hotel. I found myself standing under a fake streetlight in front of a fake Katz's Deli on a fake Bleeker Street. We schelped around some more hotels and saw the freaky 3D Dinosaur movie. We went back to the hotel for some drinks etc and got delicious pizza. Some enjoyed the hot tub and sauna. After everyone went to bed David and Pete stayed up until five in the morning playing black jack. Pete broke even and David won $25.25 in total.

Freaky free huggers; Daniela and colors!

Seeing blurry: Have Mercy indeed

Molding at the Tropicana; David and Erin

View of the strip from the party suite; we stole these great glasses

On Sunday Phillip and I played some slot machines. I lost twenty-five cents. The group went for brunch at the (non-union) Venetian, which is certainly the corniest fancy hotel. Afterwards Phillip, Alex and I went to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay and went to dinner with Phillip's aunt and uncle on his madre's side. By sundown it was off to the airport. I snored the whole ride home.

Lady unluck; 25 cents in the hole


Venetian; primos at the aquarium

Tropicana lobby vs Mandalay Bay lobby, wah wahh

Sin City; my spirit motel

Off the Strip

Las Vegas was an interesting cultural experience. For all its glitz there isn't much glamor. People come from all over the world to get drunk, gamble, dance, and pet strippers. All of the businesses on the strip are owned by large corporations. I enjoyed myself but I can't imagine returning as a real grown-up without the vices of this trip.

1 comment:

erin said...

definitely a wacky, wacky trip, but i had a great time & loved getting to know you better