Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to road trip to Las Vegas, for the bachelorette party of an old college pal. I’m still suffering the after-effects. I still have a cold. I still have a dry cough. I’m still exhausted. But that’s not what Part 1 is about. Part 1 is about VEGAS, the entity—a living, breathing black hole known as “the strip.”
Driving from Phoenix to Vegas is like racing through a video game, fearing for your life at every turn. For most of the drive, you can’t get cell phone reception, because you’re in the desert. I mean Desert, with a capital “D.” Since moving to the Valley of the Sun, I haven’t felt like a desert dweller, because PHX has so much green. The drive to Vegas has no green … except for a couple green cars, maybe. I even ran over tumbleweed. I DID! I half expected Clint Eastwood to pull up beside me on a galloping horse, just long enough to tip his hat and vanish into the sunset.
After passing through the mountains and cliffs at 75 mph, I arrived in Vegas, and even my GPS started flipping out. “Turn left at Las Vegas Boulevard … No, wait, look at the Luxor … Wow, that’s cool … Don’t hit the freakin’ TOURISTS! Sara, are you even paying attention?” Needless to say, I got lost. I missed the entrance to Planet Hollywood twice before finally shoving a couple bucks into the hands of an awaiting valet and riding the elevator to the 22nd floor.
Hotels in Vegas might as well be strip clubs. I’m serious. Exhibit A: The night before, my friends had eagerly awaited the elevator down to the casino. When the elevator door opened, there was a couple inside, and well … let’s just say the elevator wasn’t the only thing going down. Exhibit B: There are go-go dancers. Everywhere. You can’t order a drink without ducking in between some girl’s legs, and she’s usually wearing nothing but bra and undies. Exhibit C: Girls can’t walk around alone. I should have hired a bouncer. I got sick of men asking, “Where’s your boyfriend?” and me replying, “In Phoenix, and he could kick your skinny ass.”
Then, when going out on the town, there is the almighty “list.” I don’t know how our bachelorette party got on all these “lists.” I don’t know how normal people—you know, groups composed of something other than fourteen attractive drunk girls—get into any clubs at all. Then, once you get onto these lists and into these clubs, it really doesn’t matter, because there is never anywhere to sit (my feet hurt so badly by the end of the first night, I walked down Las Vegas Blvd. barefoot) and beer costs nine bucks. So on my Vegas budget, I could buy half a beer a night and then, watch the smoke machines churn out what may have been toxic fumes across a room full of people all trying to get laid. Or rich. Or just inebriated.
In conclusion, I have to say that I like Vegas for the decadent, money-sucking black hole that it is. I suppose it’ll make more sense when you read Part 2.