Thursday, January 3, 2013

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a world of it's own. The casino complexes are so big that you can easily get lost in them. There are no clocks and the lighting is set to twilight all the time. In the shopping strip within Caesar's Palace, the roof is painted to look like the sky and the floor is imitation roadway. After a while you start to believe you are in a real street, until you decide to leave and then you can't figure out how on earth to get out of make believe world into the real world.

Looking up in the shops at Caesar's

Each of the complexes is a replication of somewhere else, like Caesar's interpretation of Ancient Rome and New York, New York's faux Manhattan skyline. We made the mistake of buying day tickets on the monorail thinking that would be an easy way to see 'The Strip'. Unfortunately the monorail stations are set right at the back of the different complexes and to get to and fro the stations to the street you have to walk all the way through the casinos. This means maneuvering through the myriad of slot machines and gaming tables, then the hotel shops, up the stairs to the station and back down again at the next stop.

Remarkably,while children aren't actually allowed to play the slots, they can walk right up to and around them. The casinos have pushers and prams in the walkways right alongside the high rollers. Smoking at the tables is permitted and all the rooms are filled with the smell of whatever it is they use to try and disguise the smoke smell.

My big payout

Anyway, we had fro yo for breakfast (as you do in Vegas ;) and then set off to walk/monorail 'the strip'. We wandered through endless shopping malls and checked out all the fake stuff. The highlight of the day was the water show at the Bellagio. I put a few bucks through a slot machine just because I could, we bought some naff souvenirs because it seemed like we should and we ate something greasy on the way back to our lovely suite at the MGM where I tried to make peace with my aching feet in a lengthy spa bath.

I found the whole 'fake facade' of Vegas a bit offensive. Nothing is real there and the gross consumerism just made me feel a bit icky. I'm glad we saw the city but I'm pleased we were only there for 48 hours.

Today we drove to Anaheim. It's a long, boring drive through the Mojave Desert. Breakfast was at a stray casino not far out of Vegas at an all you could eat buffet for $6.99. It looked like one of those places where scary movies start. Crazy. No lunch required. There were people eating breakfast in their pyjamas and then moving straight to the tables.

The traffic coming into LA was the worst we've seen and after one car literally shaved our front bumper and then nearly tipped themselves over cutting lanes, we were white knuckled by the time we arrived at the Anabella, a hotel across from Disneyworld. The room was cheap enough but by the time we were slugged $14 a night for parking and $10 for wifi I was starting to wish I'd forked out for the friendliness of a Disney resort. This was exacerbated at dinner when I was told it was not possible for the chef to prepare a meal without garlic in it. Excuse me? I'm thinking we'll eat off premises for the rest of our stay!

We met a family from South Australia in the laundry. They're doing pretty much the same trip as us but in reverse order and this is their first stop. Jealousy overwhelmed me. It's 41C at home and windy. I'm not ready to go back to that yet :-(

To satisfy Taine's obsession with 'Cars', Geoff's desire to see the 'real' Disneyworld and my insistence that there's lots of other things to see in L.A, tomorrow we're going to try and do both Disney parks in one day. Wish us luck!


  1. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, I hope you have enjoyed it. It has been very interesting to read where your up to on your trip and what you have been doing from day to day. Love the photos!

  2. Thanks Emma, we've had a great time. I hope you're enjoying your holidays too :-)