Las Vegas - sailing the seas of sleaze

Trip Start Aug 21, 2007
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Trip End Dec 20, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Viva Las Vegas - or - What the hay is crapless crap? - or - Cowboys, glitz and massive weight gain.
 
Having just left Asia after 3 months there the first thing that struck us after touching down on American soil was the shear size of a significant part of the population here. I will never forget the jaw dropping breadth of the first wheelchair I saw at the airport. At the root of this human inflation has to be the abundance of food and the incredible size of food portions at restaurants. And there's "all you can eat" and free fizzy drink refills everywhere. Especially in Las Vegas.
 
We stayed at a fun hotel and casino called the Stratosphere. A huge telecom tower is part of the hotel: the view from there is stunning. You can appreciate the size of Las Vegas (2 million inhabitants) and see the surrounding desert, hills and distant Lake Mead. This is an artificial reservoir extending behind the majestic Hoover Dam. It serves as a water sports haven, but also provides parts of California and Nevada with water. Las Vegas itself takes its water from a large underground reservoir it sits atop of. And if the view isn't enough for you, you can hop on one of the fun rides atop the viewing platform. These shoot you into the air inverse bungy style or propel you over the edge of the tower where you'll find yourself dangling a few hundred meters above ground. All good fun. And frequented almost exceptionally by hardy brits.
 
There are plenty of shows to see in Vegas: magic, dancing, singing (e.g. Tom Jones, Bette Middler) and musicals (Producers, Spamalot, etc.). But you can also see a few freebies like free circus performers at the Circus Circus casino or the Magic Mile shopping center, singing gondoliers and musicians at the Venetian (it's smaller than the Venetian in Macau), lions at MGM, Flamingos at Flamingo and spectacular fountains at Belagio to name those we saw.
 
At the Belagio fountain we met up with Doug who'd gone to elementary school and church with my sister Ati and I back in West Virginia. He's been teaching in Vegas for 9 years now and was exceptionally good fun to hang around with. Under his expert guidance we checked out the Christmas decorations in various Casinos (best at the Belagio where there's also the world's biggest chocolate fountain!). Doug also showed us some of the hard to find freebee show treats at some Casinos and treated us out to some of the best food we'd eaten on our trip. We fully recommend the Hibachi steak and pumpkin cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory in Caesar's Palace. At the end of our trip through Asia I had lost 7 kg in weight and Regine had also lost quite a bit. Now we're back to our wedding weight. That's pre-season overindulgence for you. My advice for anyone seriously wanting to loose weight, cut the sweets,  halve your portions AND eat everything with chopsticks...you simply can't fit half a pig between two wooden sticks.
 
It was certainly fun to just people watch.  There's little wackz stuff you won't see in Las Vegas. We were spoilt by giant Texas hats and penis-amputatingly large belt buckles: It was national rodeo finals in Vegas. So many a red neck cowboy in town. Yee-haw!
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