After my California Super Bowl post, I’m on a West Coast roll. And since I have another trip in that direction looming, time to share more memories.
My first trip to Las Vegas came in 1995, and I was quite the newbie. I broke myself in by staying at the Tropicana, one of the graybeards on the Strip but one that seems to embody the tradition of Vegas glitz. That was in August, when the desert metropolis is quite the cauldron. I made the mistake of staying too long by the pool one day, and I was a french fry at dinner. Otherwise, it was quite an introduction. No huge gambling losses, and I even took in one of the dance shows at the Trop. (Hey, your mother would not be embarrassed.) And my first Vegas comedian: George Carlin.
My trips got more sophisticated in later years. In 2003, a woman friend and I saw Carlin’s show again. There were more than seven words you can’t say on TV. But my friend said, “I laughed so hard my face hurt.” She and I also trekked the entire strip, from the Tropicana to the Hilton, to meet my sister, who was also in Glitter City with a Jazzercise crew. In the Vegas heat. We DID make occasional pit stops in the casinos along the way for water breaks, which also gave the chance to inspect the varied casino themes and architecture. (FYI, despite that long walk in the heat, the friend, who remains a California resident, still speaks to me. 🙂 )The Hilton has (at least it did then) a statue of Elvis in the lobby, as he still apparently holds all kind of attendance records in Vegas.
The next year, the same friend and I hit the big time, Caesars Palace, for Celine Dion’s show. Talk about magnificent singing and dancing. “I Drove All Night” was particularly memorable, as well as her cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.”
In 2008, I needed a Western fix, and hit Vegas again from ATL (one pic below). I took in another dance show, at the Egyptian-themed Luxor. Lunch at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant near the Flamingo also was fun.
Soon I will go armed with my video cam for the first time. Long overdue for a film on casino architecture, not to mention the always entertaining street scenes. Don’t touch that dial.