Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vegas: Not Like It Used to Be

At Oasis RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada...

To avoid any chance of heatstroke, we're making a run for it--back to Texas. There will be no detours or stops for sightseeing, as we've pretty much seen all of the sights on other trips between here and there. Besides, it takes some of the fun out of it when paramedics have to be called when we set foot out of the coach in the heat. We also have chores, appointments and obligations at home, and the longer we lollygag around, the more of them there will be. (You can stop gloating now, fulltimers; it's not very nice.)

The passing of years has dimmed the excitement we used to have for visiting the old Las Vegas. It has morphed into a series of monster hotels, casinos and parking garages that all seem to be joined together into nonsensical theme park-like subsections, as though the mishmash was conceived by someone doing LSD. There are vast throngs of people everywhere, traffic on the strip is a mess and drivers are rude.

All of the gigantic buildings in this alternate universe are funded by the hundreds of thousands of folks who happily come here and push money into machines and onto gaming tables where the house will gladly take it, secure in the knowledge that it will always win in the end. We came out here mostly for the shows in the old days, enjoying immensely the crooners and the big orchestras that played the old standards we loved--you know, the ones that had a melody?

Today, we recognize almost none of the entertainers whose faces appear on the billboards advertising their shows. And, with few exceptions, the orchestras are gone, replaced by keyboards and thumb drives in computers. We don't recognize any of the music, either. It mostly sounds like some kind of primal chanting and thumping while someone is clearing his sinuses--and that's just the rap music. I don't get it, and I never will; I'm just glad to have been around when music was music.

As I mentioned in the last post, we went to see the Australian Bee Gees, and we wish we hadn't. It was a seriously ham-fisted tribute with deafening amplification that made the inadequacy of the performers unbearable. We haven't walked out of very many shows, but this one we did. The next night--again, looking for some music we might recognize--we took in the show "Hitzville," a Motown revue. It was actually quite good, the performers being very talented. We thought this one was well worth seeing.

As far as our restaurant experiences go, I already mentioned Sonio's, a place on Charleston where locals go for good food on the cheap. On our last night, I took Sandy for a birthday dinner to the nightly seafood buffet at the Rio Hotel. It was probably the best buffet we've found anywhere, considering the number of items--no fewer than 160, not including the salads and desserts--and the freshness and expertise shown in their preparation. It's pricey, but you can get discounts at the ticket brokers. Well worth it, in our opinion.

Okay, that's it for Vegas. We hardly knew ye this time. Not sure we'll be back.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough every day.

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