With the nickname Sin City, it’s no surprise that Las Vegas is a city of excess. Of course there are the usual excesses that immediately come to mind when one thinks of Vegas. Many people drink to excess in Las Vegas. The lavish buffets and upscale dining options allow people to eat in excess while visiting the city. There is no shortage of ways to dispose of your excess cash in the casinos or shopping in the ridiculously expensive stores in the resorts. Even entertainment options are excessive. You can be amazed by the acrobatic feats of the Cirque Du Soleil artists, marvel at magicians or enjoy kitschy lounge acts belting out tunes from behind a piano in a hotel lobby bar. If you prefer entertainment of a more personal nature, all you have to do is call the numbers listed on the backs of the baseball-like cards men hand out to passersby on the Strip. You can select your very own personal entertainer from an array of ladies with this specialized skill set. Like a Domino’s Pizza, they will arrive at your door in less than 30 minutes; how long they stay is entirely up to the individual’s credit limit. These excesses should not surprise anyone who has ever been to Vegas, read anything about Vegas or watched an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, but on our recent trip there, I noticed a few excesses you may not be familiar with.
Excessive Walking –The resorts and casinos are immense, sprawling structures that require hoofing it lengthy distances to get from point A to point B, so I wore a pedometer to keep track of how much we walked. We were fascinated by the distances we had to travel. Going to the valet stand to pick up our rental car was a half mile journey. Oregano pointed out that when he walks a half mile, he isn’t usually still in the same building. A round trip trek to the gelato stand in the hotel was also a half mile which justified the nearly daily trip we made there. A chocolate fondue was our reward for the 6 mile round trip from our hotel to Caesars Palace. According to our calculations, all of that walking offset our decadence; everything in moderation, even gluttony.
Excessive Bathrooms – All of the walking combined with the desert dryness means people need to drink in excess. The excessive drinking leads to excessive – well, you know what that leads to and so do the resorts and casinos because there are almost as many bathrooms and stalls as there are slot machines. As someone with a bladder the size of a walnut, I appreciate these ever-present bathrooms. While my tiny bladder is often inconvenient, it has given me the opportunity to become quite the public bathroom connoisseur. I can tell you that the bathrooms in these resorts and casinos are among the cleanest and most lavishly appointed that I have seen anywhere.
Excessive Glitz– I am not referring to the blinking, twinkling lights on the Strip or the over-the-top costumes on the showgirls. The glitz to which I am referring was on the tourists. Never in my life have I witnessed such a vast collection of clothing and accessories festooned with sequins and sparkles. Even more amazing was the range of sizes these snazzy clothes came in. Can someone please explain the trend of wearing pants with glittery words emblazoned on the derrière? When the numerous lights in the lobby and casino hit that word it lures your eye to the source and then that image is indelibly burned in your brain. Maybe I am not trendy, but I prefer to let my personality sparkle, not my clothing.
Excessive Heels – Given the amount of walking required to get anywhere in Vegas, wearing high heels may be fashionable, but it is foolish. The number of women precariously balancing themselves on high heels and huge wedges was staggering. These women were wearing shoes my mom would refer to as “sittin’ shoes;” shoes better suited for sitting still and looking pretty than for actually walking somewhere. These teetering women were usually texting as they walked posing a hazard to those of us in more sensible footwear. If they were texting, teetering and drinking they gave new meaning to the word tipsy.
Excessive Natural Beauty– When we got weary of the manmade excesses in Las Vegas we headed into the desert to see some of Mother Nature’s finest excesses. Joshua trees in the Mojave National Preserve are surreal. They look like Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali joined forces to create a tree. Oregano learned not to touch these trees the hard way because the pointy pom-pom clusters weren’t a big enough warning. In Valley of Fire State Park we played on rock formations that seemed better suited for Mars than Nevada. The splendors of Mother Nature’s excesses were a nice balance to the overindulgence of Vegas.
What happens in Vegas is not exactly human nature demonstrating its finest behavior. No matter what your definition of fun is, that is one commodity Las Vegas has in spades.
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