Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Journey: Wrapping up Las Vegas, I Hope

Here we are still stuck in Vegas! Obama is the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, yesterday Tim Russert died and I can't get out of Vegas!!!

The Saga continues ... We stood a moment outside the 'entrance' (I now use this term loosely, very loosely) to the Las Vegas Monorail. My feet were killing me -- rubbed quite raw, to be explicit. We were both hungry and getting grouchier by the minute/second. There was momentary temptation to cross over the road to see the lights and fountains at Bellagio -- and how I wish we had done that. It was buzzing with people, to be sure. But we opted for the 'entrance' and disappered down the walking sidewalk and into the bowels of 'somewhere' that turned into a hotel with slots and no restaurants other than cafeteria/buffet uninviting places. We did check out two places in some corner somewhere -- 30 minutes wait -- we think this is de rigeur for any restaurant along the strip.

No matter who we asked or which direction we turned it was not easy to find the monorail station. And so we walked and walked first one way and then the other, the slots clanging in the background. It was all very strange. I limped along ever more slowly; Neil moved along ever more quickly before me. The search for the station seemed interminable. We asked guards, we were pointed to this direction and that. And finally around the corner after the swimming pool -- there it was: The entrance to the monorail station. Success.

Neil went along to the ticket machine. NINE dollars for the two of us -- but we splurged and victorious at long last climbed on board the car and I collapsed with relief.

Boy oh boy, were we dumb. One short stop later and the sort of melodious voice over the speaker explained that this was the last stop! What! I couldn't believe. By this time, we were both hating Las Vegas more than any place we had ever ever been to. What a rip-off place. What a -- a -- Oh hell, let's get out of here and back to our hotel and eat at the restaurant there. We asked the guard for the exit. He explained, but we did not understand his directions well enough and it took at least ten minutes to find a way outside again. And then it took minutes to orient ourselves to where the hell we were. Not far from where we had first entered the entrance to the station, I don't think. Then we had to find a safe place to cross the street. We had managed to confuse the Las Vegas Monorail with the Monorail that connects the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Excalibar Hotel. So both of us were entirely unprepared when we found ourselves not immediately outside the Luxor, but across the street and down the road apace! Oh, headache, oh, sore feet. We were kind of across the street from the Excalibar. And so continued the trek back to the Luxor, which was long and wearisome and meant that we complained a lot. And of course we were full of regret at ever having come to this god-forsaken place, etc. etc.

We found our way back, found a restaurant, The American Bistro, which served adequate food that was very expensive for what it was. We both had the chicken, which was slightly undercooked. It was dark and dreary in there -- but at least we could eat at last. And no 30 minute wait, either. Back to our rooms, I mended my feet, as best I could and had a pretty good nights sleep!

The best part of the stay was waking up early to see the sunrise over the desert. Soon we were up and out and on our way again -- to the Hoover Dam and beyond. We drove up the strip and were amazed at how little we had seen of it, but not amazed enough to want to stay any longer. Neil says never again. I wouldn't mind going again with someone who knows what's what. But overall it's not my 'cup of tea'. Liked the fact we found a Marie Callender's for breakfast. I can highly recommend the Eggs Benedict!

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