We slept in this morning till 9am. When I checked my phone I noticed a text from one of our upcoming couch surfing hosts, Russ. He and his daughter were in Vegas and were wondering how our trip had been going. I texted him back and let him know that we too were in Vegas and that perhaps we could meet up for dinner. Rachael was annoyed at me in the beginning because she said she didn’t want to meet some girl who might be “annoying”. I told her that Russ’s daughter “becka” was 13 and that if she didn’t get along with her that we could just eat dinner and go off on our own. Rachael reluctantly acquiesced and we said we’d text a location later on. Rachael and I are going to stay with Russ and his family in Utah in a week or so. I thought it would be nice to get to know them. Besides, Russ and his wife are both teachers too and we have a lot in common.
Rachael and I went to Café Cortez for breakfast which is a little café in the hotel. The food was good and the prices reasonable. Rachael started up a conversation with our waitress named ‘Daisy’ who also has a 13 year old daughter. Before the end of the meal, Rachael was on a first name basis with most of the wait staff! I am so glad that she talks so easily with people and is able to make friends with anyone.
After breakfast it was off to the strip. We got bus tickets and headed for the Stratosphere Hotel. This hotel boasts a tower that looks like the Space Needle in Seattle, WA. We were going to go up to the top, but it cost $18 each so we decided not to. We were even more surprised to find out that you could bungee jump from the top of the tower for only $100.
Inside the hotel were more gambling machines and gaming tables. On the next floor were retail shops.
We left that hotel and headed down the strip. While walking along the side walk we saw men and women in bright orange t-shirts giving out little cards. They were only giving the cards to men. Many of the men threw the cards on the ground so since I was curious, I picked one up. It had a naked woman on it and a phone number you could call to have any type of girl you wanted sent straight to your hotel room ! While I figured that Vegas would have its share of hookers, I thought that it would be done on the sly like in any other city… But NO ! Here in Vegas prostitution is LEGAL ! There are even some areas that have working, legal, brothels ! This I learned by ‘googling’ prostitution and Nevada. I guess it should be no surprise in a city where wedding chapels line one side of the street while divorce lawyers line the other side.
It was about 4pm, and we got a text from Russ and Becka. We were going to meet them in the Venetian, a hotel with an Italian theme. It was a beautiful hotel, inside and outside. In the hotel there were Shakespearian type actors walking around promoting a show that would begin at 8pm. There were fancy shops like Gucci, Coach, Neiman-Marcus and a whole lot of designers I’d never heard of. We went into some of the stores at Rachael’s request but I know I can’t afford those things, and even more, I wouldn’t buy them if I could ! Rachael reveled in all the opulence, but it just made me ill. So much waste and extravagance. We met up with Russ and Becka at the Godiva store where I couldn’t help but purchase some chocolate. We walked around a bit more and talked and talked. Rachael and Becka hit it off right away and were soon inseparable. Russ and I also had a lot in common and became fast friends discussing teaching, religion, science, and politics with ease. I hadn’t realized till then how long it had been since I’d had the company of another adult, let alone a man. We decided to go to the Buffet at the famous Bellagio Hotel for dinner. That would mean a trek of several blocks and hotels to look at. We walked through the Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, and finally made it to the Bellagio where we had to wait on line for 45 minutes to get in. Well, it was definitely worth the wait ! The food was incredible and I fear I have gained weight this trip instead of losing it. After dinner we went outside to watch the dancing water show at the fountains out front of the Bellagio. It was very nice, but Disney World had nothing to worry about, the fountains at the Bellagio don’t even come close. As a matter of fact, although all these hotels look pretty and are well kept, they can’t come close to the attention to detail that Disney has at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. So far, all the hotels seem to follow the same general structure. A theme, a casino and shopping centered around the theme, and some big attraction like a show or ride. And of course there is the “sleeze” component that is definitely not part of Disney… Would I come back to Vegas? Probably not, but I’ll head to Disney World instead.
Today's Pictures are at: https://plus.google.com/photos/104423898538711271791/albums/5763115743376440657?authkey=CKmFmaicy4fwdw