Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We returned as far a Syracuse, from Las Vegas, Sunday night, last.  Because it was too near the witching hour for this driver, we stayed at the airport hotel for the night.  Sleeping in, for an inordinate period of time the next morning, was followed by a leisurely breakfast and then we drove home on a balmy, sunny day.

The bride and groom left Sunday for Palm Springs and have reported that they are having a great time in the 85 degree southern California clime.  The Texas contingent flew back yesterday and the Niagara Falls couple return late tonight...and return to work in the early 'morrow; the resilience of youth is a constant amazement to me.

Las Vegas was never on my bucket list; my brother lived in Vegas for 25 or so years and I never visited him there.  If it hadn't been my daughter's choice for a wedding venue, I'd most likely never have ventured there in this lifetime.  The adage "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" is a statement that reflects the fact the Vegas invites it's visitors to indulge themselves.  To wit: You can smoke in Las Vegas.  I quit tobacco 26 August 1996 at 3 pm.  In the ensuing 14 years I didn't so much as touch a cigarette let alone smoke one.  First night in Vegas in the hotel casino I took a drag on Josh's cigar.  If I was in France, that wouldn't have happened.
I learned early on in my Navy career that I was crappy at gambling, pun intended.  The sex industry is well represented so that trying to make one's way around without ogling the eye candy is like walking through a MARS factory and not noticing the M&Ms.

Permit me to digress for the moment.  Two years ago I decided to stop working full time.  I wanted to see if I could earn a good salary working only nine months leaving me 3 months to fulfill my bucket list.  In 2009 I took off the months of July, August, and September.  Perfect!  This year the plan was to work from Jan. thru the end of July, be off August, Sept. and Oct.  October was set aside for a trip to France.  When our daughter decided to wed in November the off time was altered and the France trip scrapped.  But lo and behold there is a Hotel in Las Vegas named Paris with an obvious French theme.

 Arriving on Thursday for a wedding on Saturday would give us plenty of time to imagine ourselves in Paris , see the sights and semi-satisfy our desire to be in France.  The hotel with all the bling and glamor of Las Vegas did a bang up job of creating a French ambiance.  Then we had something to eat: welcome to the good old USA.  While the food was OK it didn't measure up to our expectations.

 Even our continental breakfast with dark roast coffee and croissants and pain au chocolate were sup-par.  That is to say the pastries were stale.

The ambiance of the boulangerie was Disneyesque and still the pastry paled.  Oh well.

So we decided, since we were up early, we'd take advantage of the quiet sunrise and tour the strip, get some pictures of the spectacular buildings, and make our way to Italy to see what they had to offer.

 At the Venetian, with her gondolas and marble walk ways,
it definitely felt more european than what we'd experienced so far.  And we stumbled upon a french bistro which was so French, complete with Pastis and Bordeaux, that it was really the  pièce de résistance.
At the Napolean bar in the Paris Las Vegas, listening to thhree great jazz singers.
Squeezing in and out of this limo was a job for a contortionist, of which none present were.
The wedding was beautiful and went smooth as silk with the reception tons of fun.  It was worth the trip and each found something in Las Vegas to fill their time: Gambling, shopping, partying/dancing, strolling the strip in the un-busy hours of dawm taking spectacular photos, site seeing, going to shows, (Manilo had to cancel due to a cold)  people watching and walking, walking, walking.

Next year? FRANCE; count on it!



Blogger Churlita said...

Las Vegas has never been on my list either, but if my daughter was getting married, I'd be there in a second.

3:37 PM  
Blogger beth said...

oh how I remember the walking... my feet were so sore after a day on the strip!

I can tell you were up early, the light is lovely in your pics.

congratulation to the newlyweds. Last time Fred and I were in Palm Springs, we splurged on a hot air balloon ride for his birthday (at dawn, of course!). It was well worth it.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Bee's Blog said...

Congratulations to the happy couple.

I so enjoyed this post. I know that you went for a happy occasion so that's different but I don't think I know anyone who actually went to Las Vegas and liked it! It's probably one of those places that everyone should 'do' once! A bit like flying on Concorde. I always said that everyone should do that once because I believed that the experience should be available to everyone.

My sons visits LV going to heavy equipment exhibitions. He stays at the Venetian (courtesy of his company I hasten to add!) and his opinion - it's seedy!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Stafford Ray said...

Interesting photos, never been there in body. Thanks for that and for the wimp's wisdom. marriage advice: 'Whenever you're right, shut up'. that't what I do... then I get 'Don't partonise me!' :-)

And seriously, for exercise, get into the pool!

2:51 AM  

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