Most coaches were a minimum 40 feet long and larger. High end cars or SUV's and designer golf carts were parked behind the coaches. Many had outdoor barbecues, washers & dryers and bars. Sculptures and carved stone name plates and enormous planters added individual touches. Most people own or rent their sites there and why not, 3 pools and spas on site, a diner and a ten minute drive to golfing and The Vegas Strip.
Got our first taste of Vegas on a drive up and down "The Strip". Many world famous sites are represented in their Casino form; rather of a sacrilege to those who have already visited the genuine article. Hoards of tourists thronged along the sidewalks and moved as one mob across the boulevard. The luxury hotels and casinos gave way to the rows of dusty wedding chapels, olden-day strip motels and many bond and pawn shops. Sadly, the original icons of the Golden Days of Vegas look weary and the hot spots for the likes of the Rat Pack are huddled in the run down end of the strip. On our way back, the sun was setting and we experienced the flashing neon, huge electronic billboards, pounding music blasting into the street and the romantic reflections of the sun on the numerous mirrored towers. Embracing the "all things in small amounts" theory; we returned to the quiet of CC; overwhelmed by our first taste of "Sin City".
Next day, Dixie bade us good luck as we left her at daycare for an overnight stay. Parking at the top of the Vegas Strip, we headed out on foot to allow all our senses to be whipped up into a frenzy. Many street corners hold newspaper boxes jammed with newspapers offering each and every kind of sex possible. Groups of poorly paid hopefuls wear t-shirts boldly printed with the message: Girls Girls Girls as they aggressively hand out cards to strip shows. Others yell the praises of their irresistible deals on discount tickets for classic Vegas shows. Add the sounds of bumper to bumper traffic plus all types of music belting out of each venue and you will have an idea of the strip's sound scape.
The sense of taste can be teased with snacks or full course meals from any nation. In our experience we found most food overpriced and mediocre. Beverages were abundant everywhere and could be freely carried outside. Many visitors had been seduced into purchasing mammoth drinks in yard long coloured plastic vessels or reproductions of blenders with handles or over-sized martinis whose bottoms sparkled or flashed!
Touch was inevitable as crowded sidewalks, plazas and lineups jostled folks together everywhere. Many couples and newly weds embraced and unabashedly shared their affections for each other. Gorgeous girls in their Vegas high heels and mini dresses retouched their hair and makeup. Many folks touched with hope, the green tables and stacks of cards at the poker table or pressed good luck kisses onto chips before feeding them into the hungry mouths of slot machines. Then there are the clubs and shows where juggling and magic, the sound of a talented voice or dance step and many "naughty" performances will touch the soul or flesh of the audience.
Olfactory Vegas can be good and bad; the whiff of charbroiled shrimp or steaks versus the over-perfumed men and women hoping to catch the scent of a lover. Condensed clouds of cigarette and cigar smoke float heavily in all the casinos. The mixture of the likes of burned onions and overcooked caramel blend in nasty combinations seeping out in the most unlikely places.
The sights are mind blowing and as much as I tried to release my inner party girl, I felt overwhelmed and overstimulated everywhere on the Vegas Strip. Most people have seen the big casinos of Las Vegas in feature films or TV shows. Colour and texture are the dominant elements of design with the golden shimmer of metallic glass of the Mandalay contrasting with the black glass pyramid and pseudo-stone sphinx and hieroglyphic-carved pillars of the Luxor. The playful castles of Excalibur butt up against the wealthy New York skyscraper street scene, Statue of Liberty, Chrysler Tower and Harbour fire boat. Across the street is a wall of green glass and shining golden lion of the MGM hotel. Within these hotel/casinos there are restaurants and bars, aisles of high end shops and galleries and displays corresponding to their themes such as MGM lions in their natural environment; roller coaster, delicatessens, fried food venues and designer candy available in Manhattan or Coney Island.
Paris has its mini Eiffel Tower and Follies Bergers entertainment; Bellagio has an enormous fountain display set to music and inside; a conservatory filled with botanicals, tiles, and sculpture of exquisite Italian design. The Venetian, features the Palazzo Vecchio and gondolas. The iconic Caesar's Palace is filled with heroic sculpture and marble columns.
Fully exhausted after walking about all day, dinner and a variety show, senses peaked; we were joyous to be "Leaving Las Vegas".