Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Journey: On to Las Vegas

We set out from Bakersfield to Las Vegas around 9.00 am on Sunday, May 4th. It would be the hottest weather of our entire trip -- mid to upper 80's. I had never experienced the desert before and found the bleak landscape rather interesting, if not exactly inspiring. Into the Mohave and I was surprised to discover the mountainous terrain -- and a mountain of windmills! (Tehachapi)
We took a diversion to a supposed ghost town, Calico, but Neil turned around when he felt it was a tourist trap. En route to Calico we saw a small sign to Fort Irwin which was interesting to me as my son had done maneuvers there when he was in the army several years ago.
And so to the State of Nevada, which I found uninspiring from the moment we arrived. Lots and lots of casinos along the road. Everything is about getting the traveller to part with his money -- and trying to convince everyone that a wonderful time will be had by all. I had managed to book us a room in the Luxor the night before. To be honest I was greatly looking forward to looking around this famous playground and to experience the over-the-top atmosphere that so many of my friends and acquaintances had waxed lyrical about. I had once seen the 'Strip' from the air, and until that moment had no real desire to visit the place. But from the air it had looked very magical and maybe even 'fun'!
We arrived at the hotel around 4.30 pm. We booked in, the woman who took our details was professional and helpful, but clearly this was a very busy hotel -- over 4.000 rooms --. It was the only hotel where we would have to pay for the Internet -- $12.00 for the night. We did without! Nevertheless, we found the 'inclinator' and our room in the Pyramid. And I admit it was fun to look down on the goings on 9 floors below. Our room was very nice and the price was very good! In fact that was the best part of the experience for me. And Neil enjoyed just looking out past the sphinx and across to the airport.
But we were game to see the strip and wanting to look a bit chic made my big mistake and changed my shoes. Now I'm not so daft as to put on new shoes, but changed into a pair of slightly dressy sandals that I knew to be comfortable. However, since I had not worn them for several months, I would pay the price for my small vanity. Our plan was to walk the 'Strip' and find a good place to eat.
The best laid plans ...

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